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Material under bridge saddle- Hummingbird??


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Looking for advice please.


Changing my hummingbird strings today and the saddle fell out as it sometimes does but along with it came a thin strip of fabric, brown in colour, which has been sitting under the saddle.


Is this a stock feature or has it been added by the last guitar tech that set it up?

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I've used very thin strips of birch laminate to make shims, with virtually no change in tone. These are generally available at craft or hobby stores. Birch is quite similar to maple, and can work well in a number of internal repair applications. In fact, some early Gibson instruments that were speced with maple bodies, were actually made from birch.


Shim or no shim, getting the saddle to fit snugly in the slot is a key factor. Not super tight, just snug.

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Could it be a pickup element? The LR Baggs element has kind of a fabric look to it.



Hope tinman has considered this.

I tend to bet on jedzeps theory that the former owner found it too brittle, fx for a certain recording, and therefor tried to dampen the Bird down.


Long theme short, the piece of cloth (and other foreign-bodies) is a no-go as a main-rule. Which of course can be broken in special situations.

Straight hard-wooden shims are fine, but different experimental materials should be only used in case you want to alter sound.

I still keep medium sandpaper under my Dove-saddle. That's because it is so smooooth.

Also withhold trebs on my squares (and others) with a line of under-saddle-duct-tape beneath the 3 thin strings. Oooohh. . .

Various luthiers have scorned me for that, but I just smile.

What do they know about my sound'n'taste - how the guitars react to my nails. Nil.


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I was just thinking about this before you posted. I think this might be it. When I think about it maybe the strip didn’t fall all the way out which would imply it was attached on one end. The pickup still works too. Having just restrung with expensive strings I don’t want to mess about with it and risk string kinks so I’ll look properly at time of next restring.


I’ve owned from new and it’s only ever been handled by pro guitar techs so I doubt it’s botched job but I guess that’s also possible.


It does seem an odd thing to have blocking contact between saddle and bridge. If it is the pickup element, it makes me wonder what effect it’s having on acoustic sound.


Thanks guys.

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  • 3 years later...

Old thread but...

My Hummingbird has a fabric-looking thing under the saddle. Since the saddle has never been worked on, I have to assume that the thing was put in at the factory. My best guess is that it has something to do with the pickup. I decided not to monkey with it. Next trip to the shop, maybe I'll ask the luthier what it is.

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