The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1
    I’m upgrading my artcore amh90 and i want a compensated ebony bridge. I would prefer to get one that fits over the TOM posts. I saw the old forum posts about this, but i didn’t see any solutions other than asking matt cushman who isn’t on here any more.
    Does anyone know where i can get one? I asked a local luthier and he said it would be a lot because he’d only be making one and it would take 3 hours or so.
    If i can’t get one that fits the posts, can i take the posts off and put a floating one in it’s place?

    Thanks in advance for any help

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by yiscarlsocool
    I’m upgrading my artcore amh90 and i want a compensated ebony bridge. I would prefer to get one that fits over the TOM posts. I saw the old forum posts about this, but i didn’t see any solutions other than asking matt cushman who isn’t on here any more.
    Does anyone know where i can get one? I asked a local luthier and he said it would be a lot because he’d only be making one and it would take 3 hours or so.
    If i can’t get one that fits the posts, can i take the posts off and put a floating one in it’s place?

    Thanks in advance for any help

  4. #3

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    you should take your guitar to a local Luthier and ask them to make you a bridge,

    The spacing on the bridge pins is metric so anything made in America for an American guitar won’t just drop in and fit that’s why I say you need somebody that’s nice enough to make you an Ebony bridge. Cut the string slots and Intonate it properly for you while they have the whole thing there.

  5. #4

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    An ebony saddle with a gradual compensation from treble to bass should intonate fine. Not necessary to go to the great lengths of each string. This has been in use since Loar L5’s from 98 years ago. I do them for players frequently. If any doubt I can video my Peterson Strobe tuner at open string and 12th fret. They are about as close as you can reasonably get. Changing even the pressure your exert on the fretted note will change the pitch by 1-4 cents at times.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Crm114
    you should take your guitar to a local Luthier and ask them to make you a bridge,

    The spacing on the bridge pins is metric so anything made in America for an American guitar won’t just drop in and fit that’s why I say you need somebody that’s nice enough to make you an Ebony bridge. Cut the string slots and Intonate it properly for you while they have the whole thing there.
    Thanks. I did that and he said they could make one. He would make a machine template of it and then could make more, but it would be 300, which is really high. that's why i was considering a floating bridge, but i don't know if that would cause issues with the block

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    An ebony saddle with a gradual compensation from treble to bass should intonate fine.
    Even with a wound G?

    Why would a floating bridge cause troubles with the block? In my (uninformed ) opinion you should be fine with a floating bridge as long as thetop touches the block. In doubt you could replace the posts with flat-head screws that sit flush with the top so the floating bridge still loads the block directly?

    Grover have an archtop bridge that looks suitable. It doesn't have the posts on the extremities of the saddle but much further inside so you might even be able to adapt it to your existing posts. Only seems to come in rosewood though.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB
    Even with a wound G?
    Especially with a wound G, it’s the plain G that creates the zig zag

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohanAbrandt
    Especially with a wound G, it’s the plain G that creates the zig zag
    Sorry, but I don't see how that makes sense:
    - it would be logical for strings of the same design but increasing diameter to require increasing compensation; the "zig" would then correspond to a sort of "reset" when moving to the wound string
    - this view is supported on any steel string acoustic that I can think of. Their compensated saddles either have this "reset", or they actually use 2 saddles. And it's not like everyone plays those with a plain G, on the contrary!

  10. #9

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    Well, there’s going to be a break in the straight line somewhere if you want perfect intonation, either on the g or on the b. For me I have found the problem less with a straight diagonal line and a wound G. I think others that has tried both will agree. Lets see

  11. #10

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    I spoke to Deacon Mark and he said that he could make you an Ebony bridge saddle for your bridge for $75 but you have to send him your entire bridge assembly so he can fabricate it properly.

    PM him if you want a good job done right the first time

    BigMike

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Crm114
    I spoke to Deacon Mark and he said that he could make you an Ebony bridge saddle for your bridge for $75 but you have to send him your entire bridge assembly so he can fabricate it properly.

    PM him if you want a good job done right the first time

    BigMike
    thanks. that would be great. i'll send him a msg

  13. #12

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    The wound G intonates fine with a straight saddle, but the plain G is the problem because of the much bigger diameter. The b intonation will be a little off, but not too bad. With a plain G its intonation is way off. If you don't believe us, try one of each and see what you hear.

  14. #13

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    I don't know who you is here, but let's make this simpler: which design gives the most accurate intonation with all strings for a common steel string set with a wound G, in standard tuning?

    With TI Plectrums both my jumbo and my Loar give near perfect intonation with a "zigzag" saddle that's slanted so that the bass side is further back than the treble (I'd say I come within 2-3ct of perfect at the 12th fret, on all 6 strings). If you tune a straight saddle for the 2 E strings the G string must be stopped a couple of mm (2? 3? more?) further back and I find it hard to believe that wouldn't show up as a different error in the intonation at the 12 fret. Could be that the error is smaller of course, or that it goes from +2ct to -2ct - both of which we'll normally accept as "in tune".

  15. #14

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    The usual "straight" saddle is not straight across. If you look closely, you'll see that it slants from e to E when the base is perpendicular to the strings. For some string sets, a properly compensated saddle gives somewhat better intonation, but the straight saddle is usually close enough, although it does depend on the string set, some being better intonated than others. How close is close enough is up to the individual player.

  16. #15

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    Evidently straight refers to the saddle, not to its orientation w.r.t. the strings.

    I took a ruler to the compensated saddle on my jumbo (made by Chris Alsop, tuned for Seagull guitars). The straight line between the 2 E crossings passes about 1.5 mm behind the G crossing. Less than I thought, but it couldn't be much more given that the saddle itself is only about 3mm thick.

  17. #16

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    Well, its a bit magic, but hearing is believing. Try it, it will work for you as well, as it has for numerous of the jazz guitar greats

    Edit: And if straight lines isnt good enough for you, then have a look at true temperament fretboards
    Last edited by JohanAbrandt; 05-17-2022 at 02:59 AM.

  18. #17

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    With almost any strings, the saddle has to be slanted to get decent intonation. That's just the way physics dictates it. Traditional saddles have the slant built in, to keep the base straight, some don't. Some strings require more slant than others. That's why the base is movable. Flat-tops are built with the saddle slanted, and can be somewhat limited as to the strings which are usable, because the slant can't be changed once it's routed into the bridge. None of this is new, it's been known forever.

  19. #18
    Deacon Mark made an ebony bridge for me. looks and works great. It's thinner than the TOM, so i had to raise the posts, no big deal, but the amh90 action was a bit high at the lowest setting on the TOM, so it's a net positive.
    As far as intonation, the high e is dead on at the 17th fret. the low e is 2 cents high at the 17th. The only time I play that high is to sound like an old Les Paul record
    I think the guitar feels and sounds diff, more like my other full sized archtops (mostly the feel), but the action is lower and there's my own confirmation bias.


    TOM compensated ebony bridge for Artcore-img_6640-png

  20. #19

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    Ebony bridges are readily available, e.g. Bridges and Tailpieces for Jazzguitars – Thomann UK

    As they are constructed to be used with the wooden bridge base that you slide in position to get the intonation right that may take a little effort to fit it to your guitar. I would first try to slip it over the existing posts, maybe you are lucky and get good intonation. If not you may try either to carve the bridge to get it right or get rid of the posts and use a wooden bass to slide it for the correct intonation It may be too high so you may need to take some wood away from the under site.
    FWIW, I've been using a humble Artcore AG75 for years with a wooden bridge and it made a lot of difference to my ears – the guitar became brighter and airier – more alive. So even if it takes a little bit of effort, you may like what your getting. The effect of changing the bridge was bigger than a pickup swap I also tried later.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly
    Ebony bridges are readily available, e.g. Bridges and Tailpieces for Jazzguitars – Thomann UK

    As they are constructed to be used with the wooden bridge base that you slide in position to get the intonation right that may take a little effort to fit it to your guitar. I would first try to slip it over the existing posts, maybe you are lucky and get good intonation. If not you may try either to carve the bridge to get it right or get rid of the posts and use a wooden bass to slide it for the correct intonation It may be too high so you may need to take some wood away from the under site.
    FWIW, I've been using a humble Artcore AG75 for years with a wooden bridge and it made a lot of difference to my ears – the guitar became brighter and airier – more alive. So even if it takes a little bit of effort, you may like what your getting. The effect of changing the bridge was bigger than a pickup swap I also tried later.
    yeah. The floating ones are too high for the amh90 and the TOM hole spacing is different, so you can’t just swap out the bridge between the two. Mark’s bridge did the trick though. You’re right about the difference. I’ve pretty much played archtops and classical guitars exclusively since the early 90s and putting the Ebony bridge on the artcore makes it feel and sound more like my other archtops. (I also swapped the pickups out).

    I wonder if that Benton Semi-hollow tailpiece would fit though. It’s purely for aesthetics, so i probably won’t get around to it

  22. #21

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    I guess Someone with a CNC could make one - I’d set the intonation at the TOM and then give it to him to copy that, heights and the whole alignment for a good fit. Just an idea how it could work …