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  1. #1

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    I just recently put a set of new Monel strings on my Heritage and noticed a slight(?) tilt of the bridge base and posts toward the neck. There are some pictures below. I am wondering if this is something that needs correcting or not. I have a tendency to unnecessarily worry about such things, but I don’t want to ignore something that could lead to a real problem.

    Other than the slightly off-putting appearance of the bridge, the guitar plays and sounds great.

    Thanks in advance for your help!!!

    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-f4dc2993-ae27-42f5-8ce2-619001abba9a-jpg

    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-4f2e1734-8ce2-4fce-8f39-1dca223de658-jpg
    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-41d621e3-ac59-42ea-badc-5b0243224518-jpg
    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-93840045-1237-4c39-8105-59cbeda9f2d4-jpgIs this tilted bridge an issue or not?-2ad9eb92-366f-4a7b-97be-fb445f7637fc-jpg

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  3. #2

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    I don't know what guitar this is but it can be tilted and still intonate. However I would what it sitting straight up as intended you just have to be careful as the strings at times can pull the saddle forward as they catch going over the top of saddle. It takes a bit of finesse to get it straight up over the point of where the bridge should sit and then be at a 90 degree angle from the plane of the top. Some saddles will sit sloppy and require more attention. This one you have needs attention at least as far as I am concerned.

    I have also seen situations that require a new saddle on the top because it does not have enough wood to cover the post adjustment screws. All in all it is not probably any huge issue but with some work it can be better for sure. The Leaning Tower of Saddles (Pisa).

  4. #3
    Bridge base may have been reversed 180 degrees at some point. You want an equal bisection of the string angle if it's not 90. I'll usually try to get a slight cant towards the tailblock.

  5. #4

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    No, it shouldn't be that tilted. Upright is correct.

    JimmyBlueNote's idea is good: try reversing the base and see if this corrects the problem.

  6. #5

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    Once the bridge is fitted correctly with sandpapering underneath if it needs it, then it should be marked. Mark the underneath side treble and bass so that if you take it off you know which way it is supposed to go. I am not saying you need to do this but when you do get it set make some markings.

  7. #6

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    lot of gaps between the base and the top, see pics 1 & 4. maybe reversed as some have pointed out
    oh, and that's a really tall bridge, shouldn't hurt anything, just wonder if you're getting optimal tone w/ one so tall.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    lot of gaps between the base and the top, see pics 1 & 4. maybe reversed as some have pointed out
    oh, and that's a really tall bridge, shouldn't hurt anything, just wonder if you're getting optimal tone w/ one so tall.
    Height of the bridge isn't detrimental. Its purpose is to maintain the proper action relative to the geometry of the string, nut, plane of the fret tops and the string line. Any contribution to the breakover is relatively small compared to these factours.
    Pre '50's guitars tended towards a flatter lower bridge. After the instruments were being built for projection, the neck angles changed. Bridges got higher. You didn't need the slim clearance of the D'Armond pickups and the sounds of archtops changed.
    A similar evolution happened with baroque violins that changed with modern larger orchestras. You won't find a strad that hasn't been radically altered to have a higher bridge, but the string action remains pretty much as it was. Neck angle and bridge height work to maintain a playable action.

  9. #8

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    Yeah, the height of the bridge is determined by the neck angle. To be able to lower the bridge, a neck reset would be necessary. Assuming the action is reasonable at present, of course.

  10. #9

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    Thank you everyone for responding!

    I know the bridge base hasn't been reversed, as this is a new, beefier bridge that the Heritage factory put on for me a few years ago after I had issues with the last bridge: and I didn't personally reverse it. The new bridge has never really fit perfectly to the top: I think they let a younger, possibly less experienced kid do the work.

    I loosened the strings and with some finesse was able to reposition the bridge so that the base makes better contact and the posts are more vertical. I think the strings were pulling the bridge forward a bit. Maybe the bridge base might require a little sanding in the future? This is something I've not yet attempted on my own, but I'm willing to learn.

    Maybe it's passable for now? Depending on the lighting and shadows, some photos make the bridge situation more or less favorable. Here's a bunch of pictures to give you the full story.


    Any further thoughts? Thanks again!

    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-1-jpg
    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-2-jpg
    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-3-jpg
    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-4-jpg

    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-6-jpg
    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-7-jpg
    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-8-jpg

    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-9-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-5-jpg 

  11. #10

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    That's better

  12. #11

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    This is an issue I have wrestled with a few times.

    My preference is that the saddle comes close to touching the base with a little clearance from the adjustment wheel. If nothing else, it looks better. It may transmit more energy to the top. The taller the setting screws, the more wobble and therefore energy lost to the air. I can't promise that matters but it might.

    Bridge base fitting by someone competent should fit the top exactly and not cant the screws one direction or another. Sometime though the screws are not well embedded in the base or there is play in them so that the screws can wobble.

    It is easy in my neighborhood to get a taller saddle. I've attached pics of one I just got. It's very easy to notch the saddle.

    Usually I'm more pragmatic, at least for a temporary solution. I loosen the strings, tip the saddle toward the tailpiece, then tighten the strings. The base fitting and taller saddle can be done at your convenience.

    That's what I do anyway.

    Is this tilted bridge an issue or not?-20210724_203934-jpgIs this tilted bridge an issue or not?-20210724_203941-jpgIs this tilted bridge an issue or not?-20210724_203945-jpg

  13. #12

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    Lookin' mucho better ! that's a very high riding saddle.

  14. #13

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    Thanks once again, all!

    Marty (or anyone else), would you recommend any particular place to purchase a taller saddle if I were to explore that route? How tall is a tall saddle? Would you recommend any particular model or style bridge? Incidentally, your bridge looks very nice, Marty.

    Also, can anyone here speak to the level of difficulty of fitting the bridge to the top? I'm sure some of you have probably done this yourself. I am tempted to get a new bridge (with a taller saddle) and try to fit it myself. I can seek out the steps in the process myself, but I'm just curious if this is a worthwhile endeavor, or if I should just let Pete Moreno do this at some point.

  15. #14

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    You can measure the height you want and order it or your luthier can do that. A good luthier is the better choice.

  16. #15

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    It's possible that the posts got bent somewhere along the line. You can try to straighten them, or just order new ones. Posts and wheels are readily available online, and they're all the same, at least same threads. Posts can get bent rather easily when the saddle is high and there is a lot of space between it and the base. It's easy to replace them, all you need is a flat-tip screwdriver or an Allen wrench, both types are common. I like to put one or more extra adjustment wheels on the post if there is too much space. Snugging one or two down on the base provides support and helps keep the posts from bending, while the top wheel is used for adjusting the saddle height as usual. IMO it's worth the minimal cost.