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  1. #1

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    I need some help (education) regarding my bridge and stop bar.

    I am a recent convert to flat 11’s on my Ibanez. Love em.

    I needed to change the compensation and found I didn’t quite have enough room to correct the D string enough.

    I considered flipping the bridge piece for that string but I may have an easier solution.

    Just flip the bridge 180 degrees and start over with the intonation. Due to the fact that my 3 treble bridge pieces are sloped opposite the bass strings, I’d be able to slope the D string one better and get the intonation correct. Screws would face the nut and it looks like most folks prefer that.


    The other item is the stop bar. I noticed that the bass side screw was loose ( a little) when I replaced the strings. So I tightened it down.

    Now I see that my bass strings are very close or touching the back of the bridge.

    I read that some folks have the stop raised up a little. I just thought it needed to be tight to the top. Lots of talk about tension and such.

    I purchased the guitar new around 18 months ago and the bridge has not been removed to my knowledge.

    I have the Ibanez “Quick Change” stop bar so I can’t do the back wrap.

    What should I do?
    This bridge has some very small clips that hold the screws in place and it might be difficult to just reverse on piece. Flipping the entire bridge seems like a better solution.

    Reverse the bridge and readjust? Raise the stop bar. Maybe put some washers under it to anchor it to the top.

    Obviously, the string angle currently is rather severe on the low E due to the bridge/stop distance being shorter and the bridge being higher on that side.

    I’m a “jazzer” with a light touch. Some finger style and some picking.

    This is a much better guitar than I am a guitarist but I’m always looking for improvements.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Attached Images Attached Images Bridge and Stop Help Needed-img_0931-jpg Bridge and Stop Help Needed-img_0929-jpg Bridge and Stop Help Needed-img_0932-jpg Bridge and Stop Help Needed-img_0928-jpg 


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  3. #2

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    The screws that anchor the stop bar are for adjusting the height of the bar. The bar height adjusts the break angle over the saddles. The string angle should be about 12% from the saddle to the bar. By tightening the screw you lowered the bar and increased the break angle.

    I would just turn around the D saddle piece. I prefer the screw head to face the tailpiece.

  4. #3

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    1. The tailpiece anchor screws and even the whole stop-bar tailpiece are a complete (100%) accident of history - wherein a troubled bridge design was re-purposed into a stop tailpiece.

    Yes the screws allow for height adjustment as part of this complete accident of history.

    Some prefer to have the strings to not touch the bridge structure, so raising the tailpiece is a good (if 100% accidental) way to accomplish this.

    There is no experiential data whatsoever to support an “optimum” break angle over the bridge. This does not inhibit endless opinion.

    Jackass, data-free opinions on break angle and alleged “tension” abound.

    ”Top wrapping” also lacks any actual measured data whatsoever to support its perceived benefits.

    If you feel better keeping the strings from contacting the rear edge of the bridge, then definitely raise the height of the stop tailpiece via the screw height.

    2. Yes, it is a pain to remove the clip from the screw and reverse the D string saddle. But reversing the whole bridge will not help you. You simply need to reverse the D string saddle. Sad, and a pain, but the mind-numbingly simple Newtonian physics of the situation are unavoidable.

    3. Having the bridge saddle screws face the stop tailpiece simply allows adjustment without having to avoid the treble PU. There is absolutely nothing more to it than this.

  5. #4

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    Thanks all,

    My intent here was to get as much factual info as I could in order to decide for myself what I need to do.

    I thought that reversing the entire bridge piece would allow the (what is now the G string saddle) to move to the D string. The slope would be facing the stop and not the PU as it is now. I don't need a lot of additional movement on the D to get the compensation correct. Reversing the piece either way would accomplish the same thing.

    I really don't see a benefit either way as far as how the screws face .

    I will be looking at raising my stop on the bass side a little. With a steep break angle I can see where moving the saddle piece any further towards the stop would be problematic.

    Why wouldn't the factory put the stop back further. Plenty of real estate to work with. OK, that sounds like a trapeze.

    Has anyone made a stop with a vertical slot on the saddle side that the string could move in. No one is talking about the additional corner the string needs to go around at the PU side. That design may be something to consider.

    I can see why tension (vertical) would be more of a consideration with an acoustic box but the semi's or solids mainly key off the magnetic properties of the string. I don't play my semi unplugged. I doubt many do.

    Bottom line? If I can improve the guitar (tone/playability/etc.) I will consider making a change.

    If its just cosmetics or some unsupported opinion, I may say no thanks.

    Any further thoughts would be appreciated.


  6. #5

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    You can reverse the bridge if you like, it's not a big deal. You can either accept the intonation on one string as it is, or do something about it, it's entirely up to you. You can either reverse the entire bridge or reverse one saddle. It's your guitar, and you're legally allowed to do whatever you like to it, as long as you don't harm other human beings in the process.

  7. #6

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    No D strings were harmed in the making of this action-adventure.

  8. #7

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    I may have completely lost my tenuous grip on reality.

    But in what passes for my mind, and described in terms of sub-atomic particle spin, the bridge on this guitar has a “spin 2” - at least in terms of saddle direction.

    Note that if the bridge is reversed, the D string saddle will now be what was the G string saddle. So your end-net D string saddle (and all the saddles actually) will still have the same orientation after the bridge is reversed.

  9. #8

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    Sounds like you will definitely get your guitar sorted out Mark.

    Please remove all string tension before turning the stop bar screws.

    Sometimes they behave under some tension, but more often things can get very ugly with grind-y artifacts appearing in the soft finish and soft metal.

  10. #9

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    What was I thinking.
    I took the stop and bridge off this AM and found that reversing the bridge would do nothing to help the alignment of the saddle pieces.
    I decided that the stock saddle is unserviceable as far as removing the small internal clips that hold the adjustment screw in place.

    So I may be looking to upgrade the bridge and tail piece. Lipstick on a pig but I think that this is an area that might be a good place to put the next dollar I spend on this guitar.
    Are any materials better than another? Brass/titanium/unubtanium? My factory one has some cheesy plating.

    Can anyone suggest a drop in unit that doesn't require a luthier? Or just tell me a good brand (Gotoh?) and I'll see if I can find one to fit.
    I did raise the stop piece a little to get the strings free from the back of the bridge. You only have so much latitude for side to side adjustment due to the screw arrangement but it is better.

    Now I gotta go play.


  11. #10

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    Look for a metric bridge as I understand your Ibanez has metric dimensions. I rather like the Tone Pros and the Graphtech Resomax.