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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / J-45 design flaw!

Previous 20 Messages  
degs

canada

Nov 19th, 2003 10:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I"m a little confused here too,I don"t see how sanding the bottom of the wooden bridge which holds the saddle can altar the break angle.Isn"t it the height of the saddle above the top of the bridge that determines break angle. And taking the bridge off to taper it on a fairly new guitar Iwouldn't be too happy about that .

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Nov 20th, 2003 05:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You are not thinking clearly. If you lower the wooden bridge, don't you lower the point at which the string attaches to the bridge at the pegs. Then, if you raise the saddle to compensate for lowering the bridge, is the angle not increased?

You also didn't read the entire thread. Martin, Larrivee and most top builders "taper" their wooden bridges. This allows them to acheive a lower action while maintaining a good break angle. Gibson even tapers bridges but not on the J-45 and a couple other models. It cuts costs & setup time by not tapering the bridge.

I wanted a lower action. Sanding down the saddle got the action right but the high E wouldn't come through when amplified due to the shallower break angle. The luthier removed and sanded the bridge, installed a new saddle and adjusted it to the same height as before. Presto. Action is lowered, pickup picks up, guitar plays beautifully and sounds great. You can't see any of the modifications. Why wouldn't I be happy?

infidel2000

Lock up your

middle-aged single moms
Nov 20th, 2003 12:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Gibson even tapers bridges but not on the J-45 and a couple other models. It cuts costs & setup time by not tapering the bridge."

As a long time Gibson fan I have to say something now. First of all the break angle/string pressure on the saddle has nothing to do with the volume of your pickup. Tune a string up or down a step or two and it changes the pressure on the saddle orders of magnitude more than any reasonable break angle change, especially a barely perceptible one, yet it doesn't affect the volume of your pickup.

Second, nothing designed into a 1940's guitar had anything to do with pressure pickups. Nobody had dreamed of them yet.

I have seen what might be the taper you speak of, on an L-00 Blues King reissue. The treble side of the bridge is lower by maybe 1/16". This gives a taller saddle on the treble side, to give a brighter sound to the treble. I have never seen this on any other guitar, including the very highly regarded Collings version of the L-00, the C-10.

I don't know what they did with your guitar, but I suspect the thing that fixed it finally was getting the saddle bottom, or bottom of the saddle trench, flat or else replacing a broken pickup element.

It wouldn't cost Gibson any more or any less to cut a bridge any shape they wanted. Knock on some other guitar for awhile. Maybe Martin :-)

I'm glad you're pleased with your guitar - one thing I've learned is that in music the thing that works for you is the right thing, and nothing else matters.



jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Nov 21st, 2003 04:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Knock on some other guitar for awhile."

I'm not knocking on Gibson. I own 3 Gibson guitars. Look at my profile.

Stratlanta
Contributing Member
*

RALEIGH, N.C.

Voted Most Likely to Underachieve!
Nov 21st, 2003 09:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

jhawker - it's threads like this that force me to take occasional FDP breaks!!! Enjoy your guitar and ignore the "experts".... 8^)
(this response meant as support for you BTW!!)

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

Guitars & Labradors!!!
Nov 21st, 2003 11:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thank you Stratlanta. And the guitar was & is great. I love the short scale and the round shoulders tone. It's alot easier on my old fingers now!

RandyfromDE

Audubon PA

Nov 22nd, 2003 11:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

To the gentleman who own J-45's (sorry for this hijack, but it seemed silly to start a new thread!)

What guage strings do you use? I bought one last week, I guess it had mediums on it. It seemed real hard to get a sound out, you really needed to work. I put a set of lights on like I use on my other guitars and man, what a sound! Very full, almost rowdy!



jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

Guitars & Labradors!!!
Nov 22nd, 2003 04:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I used Gibson OEM 12's. I'll probably switch to Martin 80/20's or Phosphor/Bronze. The 12's suit me though. I have a set of 11's that I might try but with my action nice & low I might get some fret buzz. As it stands, mine is perfectly set up for 12's. Congrats on your J-45. They sure are sweet sounding guitars!

RandyfromDE

Audubon PA

Nov 22nd, 2003 11:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, I've had the J-45RW for about a week now, it's definitely THE guitar I reach for. Such a full tone, great for my solo performing.

I use Martin Marquis lights on all my guitars, .012-.052 I believe.

Rosshead

USA

Ross
Oct 8th, 2017 09:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My 2016 j 45 has the same exact issue, the first luthier I brought it to wouldn't even lower my saddle cause he new about the problem but didn't tell me, he just tightened the truss rod some said it couldn't be lowered and sent me on my way, the next luthier lowered my saddle and couldn't figure out why my high e string was half the volume of my other strings, he thought it might be a defective transducer, so now I'm gonna send it to your place,
I'll get a different pickup though, I don't want them taking off my bridge, if that's what they really do, that's kind of crazy, I'll just get the lyric pickup,
I do think my high e is slightly quieter acoustically as well
It wasn't until I lowered the saddle. Gibson is really awful with this sort of thing, I've heard other people mention it in videos on YouTube, every j45 is basically defective if you lower the saddle at all, except for the few with exceptional neck angles that don't require a lower saddle to play amazing...otherwise you can tell its supposed to be an awesome guitar, but as of right now my dads j 15 is a lot better.

Rosshead

USA

Ross
Oct 8th, 2017 09:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I forgot to mention, plug your guitar into garage band or something similar and check the input volume of each string, on mine you can clearly see the high e is registering on the green volume meter thing about half what the other strings are. I'm sure when I get this figured out I'll have one of the best guitars in the fricken world though

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 9th, 2017 01:03 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A 14 year old thread necro!

jhawkr
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Oct 9th, 2017 03:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow! I had forgotten the issue after 14 years! Don't pay any attention to those who tell you what you saw and heard wasn't what you saw and heard! ;o) My J-45 is still playing great and I've even gone to Martin FX 11-47's since with no mechanical issue. Still sounds rich and full and in fact, after aging 14 years, sounds even better! I still trust EM Shorts with all my luthier needs.


Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
********

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Oct 9th, 2017 06:16 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Looks like this issue comes up once every fourteen years or so. I'll expect to see the next report in 2031. :-p

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Oct 10th, 2017 09:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This topic is really interesting and even though I just looked at it, it brought out some issues that I have had concerning acoustic volume and string angles over the saddles.
So, in my limited knowledge on acoustic bridges/saddles, I found this topic of great interest.
After the round about discussions on design and application,it was interesting to learn about tapering the bridge and increasing the saddle height. I guess I would need to use my caliper to determine the thickness of the bridge from saddle slots to bottom, and from that measurement, I could possibly figure out how much planning I could do to the bridge base, then increase the saddle height to compensate for action/string break angle. I think this would improve a couple of acoustic guitars I own and have worked on.
So, even though this is an older topic, I find it to be right on time for some improvements that I have done but with this new found knowledge, it may bring about the 'why doesn't it perform as well as I thought it should? '
So, in someone reviving this thread, I garnered some new and much desired information that may improve my previous efforts to: get a better break angle over the saddle, and instead of deepening the saddle slots, tapering the bridge base and raising the saddle for improved volume on both, acoustically and better pressure to the under-saddle pickup!
Thanks again for bringing this topic up, as it was timely and informative!

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Enjoying

the downtime
Oct 10th, 2017 12:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Although it's a common factory operation or modification, there's no need to plane off the top of a wooden acoustic pin bridge to increase a string's break angle over a lowered saddle.

The simple solution is to use a gauged nut file to make a little angled slot that's aimed at the top of the saddle and runs down into the pin hole about 1/8" or so. It doesn't require much of a slot at all to change the geometry for the better. It does not weaken the bridge.

Here's an example.

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
*****

South Florida

larryguitar
Oct 10th, 2017 01:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have this issue with various guitars. Sometimes I question if it's just my imagination or is there something to it.

I love the "plug into garageband' diagnostic. I never thought of it but that makes total sense.

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
*********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Oct 12th, 2017 11:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It seems a bit strange to me that a manufacture, on occasion, doesn't fix a problem.

I came across a problem with an Ibanez AFB200 with the tone control. The pot had no affect on tone. I searched and came across a thread from 2010 discussing the problem with a similar Ibanez bass. Made the modifications and it's fixed. 7 years and they haven't address the problem.

I guess if a certain percentage of complaint is not reached some companies do nothing about it.

Break angle is huge on acoustic instruments. I've done a fair amount of work on saddles and pulled and reset a few bridges.

I came across a great deal on a Martin 00015s, The guy had just bought it and had his luthier replace the saddle with bone, I guess before he ever played it. He didn't like the sound. I got the instrument delivered for under $400. I tightened strings and it sounded bad. I was freaking out a little but calmed down thinking Martin would not let an instrument like this leave the factory. So I decided I'd pull the strings, clean it, go over the set up and put new strings on it. While I was cleaning it the saddle fell out of the bridge, I put it back in and it was so loose that you could wobble it.

I cut a new saddle, set it up the way I like put the strings back on, tweaked the intonation and the guitar was amazing.

I called the guy who I bought it from, I told him about the problem, that his luthier was a hack, and offered him the option of reclaiming his guitar. He thanked me and said he'd already replaced it.

Little things can make a huge difference on acoustic instruments.

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 02:02 PM, Oct 12th, 2017)

jhawkr
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Oct 13th, 2017 06:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Although it's a common factory operation or modification, there's no need to plane off the top of a wooden acoustic pin bridge to increase a string's break angle over a lowered saddle."

Looks like an easy fix but you really should not have to do that on an expensive guitar only a few months old. I think EM Shorts got the OK to do the repair on my J-45 under warranty as they are an Authorized Gibson Repair Dealer. I say "expensive" and it was at the time, $1,350!


Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Oct 23rd, 2017 09:46 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If the problem exists on a pinless bridge, is it better to redo the route for the saddle and increase the depth of the slot or remove it and taper the bottom of the bridge base and then increase the saddle height?
I know it's an extensive operation but if I were to do this, what would be the best approach? I can make a router template that would allow my Dremel tool to cut the depth on a graded plane for depth control, which would certainly be a lot easier than removing the bridge base and would use calipers to determine the thickness of the bridge base in the slotted area to figure out how much material is available as not to cut through the bridge base into the guitar top, otherwise, if it doesn't allow for any adjustment there then the only other way to really make this work would be a neck reset to increase the string angle to the bridge and that would be far more extensive than I would ever do!
Well, I need to take all my measurements then post my findings and then post back here to ask for more information about how you would approach this problem.
In my information I would include: string height over the frets with the neck relief adjusted flat at the 12th fret and my measurements of the bridge height, slot depth, and the available wood that could possibly be removed for creating a new saddle height. Personally, I think I'm into a neck reset to resolve my issue because of the guitar having a pinless bridge. I have done the angle slotting to the saddles without any real improvement and that doesn't allow much of any improvement due to the lack of string angle from the bridge base, at all!
If it were a pinned type of bridge, then the strings would have a better increased angle before going over the saddles.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / J-45 design flaw!




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