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B string compensated saddle

#1 User is offline   passthej45 

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:09 AM

yeah I know what it looks like, but could someone explain it to me. Why the b string and what if it's not compensated, as I just read that older models were not ?
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#2 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:22 AM

My take - Notice on a lot of steel string acoustics, the saddle is angled up toward the high E-string - for better compensation. The wound strings have a solid core (solid like the B and E strings). The tendency to need a shorter length as you go from low E to high E is a consistant differnce until you get to the B string, which is much thicker than the high E and the cores of the lower strings. For proper compensation, this string should be a bit longer than the high E and that's where the compensation comes in.

Of course there are more differnces than thickness - there's wound and solid - and that's why there are bridges made with individually adjustable saddles for each string (especially on electric guitars) allowing for much finer compensation and perfect intonation.

If there is no compensation (nut or saddle) on a steel string guitar, the farther up the neck you play, the fretted notes can be further off. If you have this situation and want to play high on the neck and be more in tune, you adjust your tuning so it's a smidge off, but is closer up by frets 10 through 15.
13 Gibson CS Advanced Jumbo R/Spruce..O12 Gibson Southern Jumbo TV....O11 RainSong JM-3000 12
11 Martin 000-15M Elderly LE....................O10 Gibson ES-359......................o10 Rickenbacker 360/12
09 Jackson PC-1.....................................O09 Fender 52 Telecaster AVS..ooO08 Gibson SJ-200 (Colosi S/P)
08 Gibson Robot SG LTD........................oO08 Fender Am/Dlx Stratocaster.....08 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string
08 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone...................o07 Guild F412...........................O07 Taylor NS74ce
07 Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II.....................o98 Martin D-45VR.....................0097 Guild X-700 Stuart
73 Yamaha G-55A......................................65 Gibson Melody Maker..............Amps: Bogner Alchemist (Head/212Cab)
Keyboard: 06 Yamaha DGX220............................................................................o Line6 Spider Jam & Micro Spider

#3 User is offline   larryp58 

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 01:28 PM

View PostBigKahune, on 23 February 2011 - 10:22 AM, said:

My take - Notice on a lot of steel string acoustics, the saddle is angled up toward the high E-string - for better compensation. The wound strings have a solid core (solid like the B and E strings). The tendency to need a shorter length as you go from low E to high E is a consistant differnce until you get to the B string, which is much thicker than the high E and the cores of the lower strings. For proper compensation, this string should be a bit longer than the high E and that's where the compensation comes in.

Of course there are more differnces than thickness - there's wound and solid - and that's why there are bridges made with individually adjustable saddles for each string (especially on electric guitars) allowing for much finer compensation and perfect intonation.

If there is no compensation (nut or saddle) on a steel string guitar, the farther up the neck you play, the fretted notes can be further off. If you have this situation and want to play high on the neck and be more in tune, you adjust your tuning so it's a smidge off, but is closer up by frets 10 through 15.


Simple and well put, BK!!!

#4 User is offline   AJ-Emanuel 

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 01:41 PM

View PostBigKahune, on 23 February 2011 - 10:22 AM, said:

My take - Notice on a lot of steel string acoustics, the saddle is angled up toward the high E-string - for better compensation. The wound strings have a solid core (solid like the B and E strings). The tendency to need a shorter length as you go from low E to high E is a consistant differnce until you get to the B string, which is much thicker than the high E and the cores of the lower strings. For proper compensation, this string should be a bit longer than the high E and that's where the compensation comes in.

Of course there are more differnces than thickness - there's wound and solid - and that's why there are bridges made with individually adjustable saddles for each string (especially on electric guitars) allowing for much finer compensation and perfect intonation.

If there is no compensation (nut or saddle) on a steel string guitar, the farther up the neck you play, the fretted notes can be further off. If you have this situation and want to play high on the neck and be more in tune, you adjust your tuning so it's a smidge off, but is closer up by frets 10 through 15.


It's the explanation I was looking for, no complicated formulas. thanks
So I ask you an other question about intonation: I've the impression that "sometimes" my Gibson advanced jumbo, after a perfect/objective tuning with electronic tuner (planet waves) has some chords in tune and other not. In particular when I play chord A at 2nd fret, the B-string sound out of tune; I change chord and it is perfect.
What can be the cause? old string, mechanic not performing ok (they are open back vintage style) or there's something more serius.
The impression is that this problem is only about b-string (after your explanation I exclude that the compensation is the problem).

Thanks for any idea
1997 Guild D4
2009 Gibson AJ

#5 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:38 PM

View Postlarryp58, on 23 February 2011 - 01:28 PM, said:

Simple and well put, BK!!!


Thanks Larry.



View PostAJ-Emanuel, on 23 February 2011 - 01:41 PM, said:

It's the explanation I was looking for, no complicated formulas. thanks
So I ask you an other question about intonation: ... In particular when I play chord A at 2nd fret, the B-string sound out of tune; I change chord and it is perfect. ...


This problem is usually caused by the nut - the string slots are cut to improper depths.

Lets say the B string slot is cut too high. When you fret an A chord in the first position, the B string is pressed to the second fret. In this situation, with the slot cut too high, the string has to travel farther than it should to be fretted - and it stretches (increasing the tension), causing string to be sharp when fretted. Usually with this problem, the further up the neck you fret the B string, the less sharp it sounds.

This problem is seen more often in the slots for the D, G and B strings, but any nut slot could be cut incorrectly. To check, compare the depth of the string slots on your nut, they should be a bit higher on the low E and gradually get lower to the high E. If one of the slots appears higher than it should be, that's a problem. A luthier/shop should be able to easily correct this situation.
13 Gibson CS Advanced Jumbo R/Spruce..O12 Gibson Southern Jumbo TV....O11 RainSong JM-3000 12
11 Martin 000-15M Elderly LE....................O10 Gibson ES-359......................o10 Rickenbacker 360/12
09 Jackson PC-1.....................................O09 Fender 52 Telecaster AVS..ooO08 Gibson SJ-200 (Colosi S/P)
08 Gibson Robot SG LTD........................oO08 Fender Am/Dlx Stratocaster.....08 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string
08 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone...................o07 Guild F412...........................O07 Taylor NS74ce
07 Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II.....................o98 Martin D-45VR.....................0097 Guild X-700 Stuart
73 Yamaha G-55A......................................65 Gibson Melody Maker..............Amps: Bogner Alchemist (Head/212Cab)
Keyboard: 06 Yamaha DGX220............................................................................o Line6 Spider Jam & Micro Spider

#6 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:15 PM

Great micro insight BigKahune. A pleasure to read.

#7 User is offline   AJ-Emanuel 

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 02:51 PM

View PostBigKahune, on 23 February 2011 - 07:38 PM, said:

Thanks Larry.





This problem is usually caused by the nut - the string slots are cut to improper depths.

Lets say the B string slot is cut too high. When you fret an A chord in the first position, the B string is pressed to the second fret. In this situation, with the slot cut too high, the string has to travel farther than it should to be fretted - and it stretches (increasing the tension), causing string to be sharp when fretted. Usually with this problem, the further up the neck you fret the B string, the less sharp it sounds.

This problem is seen more often in the slots for the D, G and B strings, but any nut slot could be cut incorrectly. To check, compare the depth of the string slots on your nut, they should be a bit higher on the low E and gradually get lower to the high E. If one of the slots appears higher than it should be, that's a problem. A luthier/shop should be able to easily correct this situation.


As always transparent and clear like water.
So it comes the last (hopefully for you :-)) question: why should I go to a luthier/shop?
But your hint is in line with what I've seen browsing the web:
. truss rod setting? no problem you can do by yourself (just be carefull 1/8 turn per time not more)
. Bridge bone adjustemnt for customized action? no problem you can do by yourself
. Nut adjustment for intonation? mmmhhh...better you go to the luthier
Every time I go to a Luther, it's 50EUR only to say good morning...(I live in Italy so probably in US is different).
From the bottom of my ignorance it seems to me more delicate truss rod or bone tuning that just making a deeper hole in the nut, or not?
1997 Guild D4
2009 Gibson AJ

#8 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:37 PM

Well, I've got a few guitars, so I put some money into a couple of sets of nut slot files, I got them here - http://www.stewmac.c...1&xst=3&xsr=458 . . . (if a size isn't there, order the next lower size and just file the slot a bit wider than the file)

I've got a set from .10 - .46 for my electrics, and a set of .12 - .53 for my acoustics. So I can fine tune my nut slots. [biggrin]

It's easy to do, loosen the string to get it out of the slot, just take a couple of passes with the file, put the string back in the slot to check the depth. If you got too deep, mix a little baking soda and super glue (gel type) to fill the low nut slot, let it completely dry, and then re-file the slot.
13 Gibson CS Advanced Jumbo R/Spruce..O12 Gibson Southern Jumbo TV....O11 RainSong JM-3000 12
11 Martin 000-15M Elderly LE....................O10 Gibson ES-359......................o10 Rickenbacker 360/12
09 Jackson PC-1.....................................O09 Fender 52 Telecaster AVS..ooO08 Gibson SJ-200 (Colosi S/P)
08 Gibson Robot SG LTD........................oO08 Fender Am/Dlx Stratocaster.....08 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string
08 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone...................o07 Guild F412...........................O07 Taylor NS74ce
07 Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II.....................o98 Martin D-45VR.....................0097 Guild X-700 Stuart
73 Yamaha G-55A......................................65 Gibson Melody Maker..............Amps: Bogner Alchemist (Head/212Cab)
Keyboard: 06 Yamaha DGX220............................................................................o Line6 Spider Jam & Micro Spider

#9 User is offline   AJ-Emanuel 

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 03:24 PM

View PostBigKahune, on 24 February 2011 - 05:37 PM, said:

Well, I've got a few guitars, so I put some money into a couple of sets of nut slot files, I got them here - http://www.stewmac.c...1&xst=3&xsr=458 . . . (if a size isn't there, order the next lower size and just file the slot a bit wider than the file)

I've got a set from .10 - .46 for my electrics, and a set of .12 - .53 for my acoustics. So I can fine tune my nut slots. [biggrin]

It's easy to do, loosen the string to get it out of the slot, just take a couple of passes with the file, put the string back in the slot to check the depth. If you got too deep, mix a little baking soda and super glue (gel type) to fill the low nut slot, let it completely dry, and then re-file the slot.


You're the number 1, thanks!
1997 Guild D4
2009 Gibson AJ

#10 User is offline   gta05 

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 01:45 PM

I bought an Epiphone DR-500MCE VS, on the epiphone website under the spec said that it has a B compensated saddle but mine does not have one. Then i realize that when i put a capo let say on second fret,i'm a little out of tune. By your explaination it could be the reason. I contact the Epiphone custumer service, for an explaination on that and for the right saddle... [confused]

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#11 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 02:44 PM

.
I hope Epi helps you out.

If not, check with Bob Colosi - http://www.guitarsaddles.com/
13 Gibson CS Advanced Jumbo R/Spruce..O12 Gibson Southern Jumbo TV....O11 RainSong JM-3000 12
11 Martin 000-15M Elderly LE....................O10 Gibson ES-359......................o10 Rickenbacker 360/12
09 Jackson PC-1.....................................O09 Fender 52 Telecaster AVS..ooO08 Gibson SJ-200 (Colosi S/P)
08 Gibson Robot SG LTD........................oO08 Fender Am/Dlx Stratocaster.....08 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string
08 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone...................o07 Guild F412...........................O07 Taylor NS74ce
07 Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II.....................o98 Martin D-45VR.....................0097 Guild X-700 Stuart
73 Yamaha G-55A......................................65 Gibson Melody Maker..............Amps: Bogner Alchemist (Head/212Cab)
Keyboard: 06 Yamaha DGX220............................................................................o Line6 Spider Jam & Micro Spider

#12 User is offline   TommyK 

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:33 AM

If it's in tune without a compensated saddle, then it doesn't need one.

Tuning is based on an uncapoed guitar.

When you capo, your guitar will necessarily be out of tune when you play it. The 'open' strings should be about right. But fretting above a capo will result in a somewhat sharp tone. This is because by fretting a string you stretch it. When you fret a capoed string you are stretching an already stretched string, therefore... a tad sharp.

Is the 'out of tune' condition noticeable to your ear only only noticeable to your electronic tuner?

If your ear cannot perceive the out of tune-ness, then do like they do in Chicargo, fugeddaboudit.
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#13 User is offline   Hogeye 

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 10:47 AM

View PostTommyK, on 22 March 2011 - 08:33 AM, said:

If it's in tune without a compensated saddle, then it doesn't need one.

Tuning is based on an uncapoed guitar.

When you capo, your guitar will necessarily be out of tune when you play it. The 'open' strings should be about right. But fretting above a capo will result in a somewhat sharp tone. This is because by fretting a string you stretch it. When you fret a capoed string you are stretching an already stretched string, therefore... a tad sharp.

Is the 'out of tune' condition noticeable to your ear only only noticeable to your electronic tuner?

If your ear cannot perceive the out of tune-ness, then do like they do in Chicargo, fugeddaboudit.

Lots of interesting theories here. For the real reason a guitar is difficult to tune just "Google" Tempered tuning. This argument has been around since the first fretted instrument. Don't waste any money on a luthier to fix this problem. There is no proven fix for it. If you tune your guitar properly the symptoms can be greatly reduced. It's just physics. It's impossible to place the frets on a guitar so all notes will be in tune in every key. Sorry....

#14 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 11:19 AM

View PostHogeye, on 22 March 2011 - 10:47 AM, said:

... a guitar is difficult to tune... There is no proven fix for it. If you tune your guitar properly the symptoms can be greatly reduced. It's just physics. It's impossible to place the frets on a guitar so all notes will be in tune in every key. Sorry....


I totally disagree. It's not difficult to tune a guitar that is properly setup - the nut and saddle/s placed and cut correctly. The discussion here is about tuning problems with Gibson factory fresh nuts - something that is well documented on this forum.

Physics notwithstanding, tuning your guitar properly simply won't do a bit of good if the nut and/or saddles aren't placed and cut correctly.

The correct statement is: If the nut and saddle/s are setup (placed and cut) correctly, the symptoms can be greatly reduced.

Those who work on guitars know this. Of course some "luthiers" and shop repairmen may be better than others at diagnosing/performing the proper adjustments. Sounds like you've had some bad luck (?)

BTW, I don't see anyone who posted for help a month ago posting back with more problems/questions. B)
13 Gibson CS Advanced Jumbo R/Spruce..O12 Gibson Southern Jumbo TV....O11 RainSong JM-3000 12
11 Martin 000-15M Elderly LE....................O10 Gibson ES-359......................o10 Rickenbacker 360/12
09 Jackson PC-1.....................................O09 Fender 52 Telecaster AVS..ooO08 Gibson SJ-200 (Colosi S/P)
08 Gibson Robot SG LTD........................oO08 Fender Am/Dlx Stratocaster.....08 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string
08 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone...................o07 Guild F412...........................O07 Taylor NS74ce
07 Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II.....................o98 Martin D-45VR.....................0097 Guild X-700 Stuart
73 Yamaha G-55A......................................65 Gibson Melody Maker..............Amps: Bogner Alchemist (Head/212Cab)
Keyboard: 06 Yamaha DGX220............................................................................o Line6 Spider Jam & Micro Spider

#15 User is offline   Jerry K 

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:04 PM

View PostHogeye, on 22 March 2011 - 10:47 AM, said:

Lots of interesting theories here. For the real reason a guitar is difficult to tune just "Google" Tempered tuning. This argument has been around since the first fretted instrument. Don't waste any money on a luthier to fix this problem. There is no proven fix for it. If you tune your guitar properly the symptoms can be greatly reduced. It's just physics. It's impossible to place the frets on a guitar so all notes will be in tune in every key. Sorry....


+1. The setup can be optimized and you can tune carefully but beyond that is the basic problem that tempered tuning involves compromises to make all keys sound pretty good, but not perfect.

#16 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:23 PM

View PostJerry K, on 22 March 2011 - 01:04 PM, said:

+1

The setup can be optimized and

you can tune carefully but beyond that ... compromises to make all keys sound pretty good, but not perfect.


Hey Jerry, that's what I said. B)

I don't see anything in Hogeye's post that remotely mentions a setup is worth the time and effort.


View PostHogeye, on 22 March 2011 - 10:47 AM, said:

... Don't waste any money on a luthier to fix this problem. ... If you tune your guitar properly the symptoms can be greatly reduced. ....

13 Gibson CS Advanced Jumbo R/Spruce..O12 Gibson Southern Jumbo TV....O11 RainSong JM-3000 12
11 Martin 000-15M Elderly LE....................O10 Gibson ES-359......................o10 Rickenbacker 360/12
09 Jackson PC-1.....................................O09 Fender 52 Telecaster AVS..ooO08 Gibson SJ-200 (Colosi S/P)
08 Gibson Robot SG LTD........................oO08 Fender Am/Dlx Stratocaster.....08 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string
08 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone...................o07 Guild F412...........................O07 Taylor NS74ce
07 Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II.....................o98 Martin D-45VR.....................0097 Guild X-700 Stuart
73 Yamaha G-55A......................................65 Gibson Melody Maker..............Amps: Bogner Alchemist (Head/212Cab)
Keyboard: 06 Yamaha DGX220............................................................................o Line6 Spider Jam & Micro Spider

#17 User is offline   Jerry K 

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 02:07 PM

The problem is that even with optimal setup and accurate tuning it will still happen that one key sounds fine while another seems a bit off (depending on how good your sense of pitch is). In other words Hogeye is right: tuning a guitar is not that simple or easy and the main reasons for this are the physics and inevitable discontents of the temperament we use.

#18 User is offline   Hogeye 

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 02:32 PM

View PostBigKahune, on 22 March 2011 - 01:23 PM, said:

Hey Jerry, that's what I said. B)

I don't see anything in Hogeye's post that remotely mentions a setup is worth the time and effort.


#19 User is offline   Jerry K 

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 02:37 PM

Let me put it another way. Setup - it's a moving target on a wood guitar. The wood is constantly flexing from moisture gain and loss. The nut and saddle are being sawed by the strings and slowly worn away, the strings stretch, sometimes while you are performing, the frets get slots... etc. You can always tweak the tuning to sweeten it for a specific key but what if, like me, you often modulate between two keys while playing one tune? You have to learn little tricks of tuning and tricks for fingering. It's part of what makes guitar so difficult to play well.

#20 User is offline   Hogeye 

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 02:52 PM

This is such a complicated issue to address. I suggested that the problem could be better explained by Googling Tempered Tuning. This problem has been around since Pythagoras discovered the formula for placing frets in a fretted instrument. This is not a problem peculiar to Gibson it happens with any fretted instrument.

I don't remember that "Pass the J-45" had a fret nut problem. I couldn't even address the issue of the condition of the nut without seeing it. I guess that it's assumed that all Gibson's have a nut problem. Even if you fix something that may not be broken it will still play out of tune. Sorry......

A very nice guy named Buzz Feiten thinks he has a fix for the situation. Try a Google search for that. My advice is don't waste your money.

So...If I have offended anyone here by my remarks I apologize. It's not a bad idea to have nut files and a good tune up by a qualified luthier is never a bad thing just don't expect your problem to go away.

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