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Unstable bridge saddles on 1987 Explorer

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The bridge saddles on my 1987 Gibson Explorer is unstable. The 3rd string sounds a little "loose" and some fretted notes on 4th string sounds like it is buzzing a lot, but the string height and neck tension are correct. What can I do to fix this? I can't take it to my luthier due to Covid-19 but I have the skills to fix it if it is possible.



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  • 1 month later...

Very likely the screws rattling. The wire across the tops of the screws at the front is meant to stop this, but doesn't always work and sometimes makes things worse.   And what people do, as I can see in your pic, is push-bend it with a screwdriver which does no good at all. You need a new bridge wire at least. You can stop the screws rattling with careful adjustment - tighten or loosen it until you feel resistance, you should be able to do this without it moving the bridge saddle. However it will start rattling again sooner or later, they always do, which is why you need a straight bridge wire to exert downward force.  Also you could try experimenting with stuffing little bits of cotton wool, or something similar, in the gaps behind or in front of the saddles. This would be the easiest solution, if a bit inelegant.

Or you could just buy a replacement Nashville-style bridge which does without the wire and shouldn't rattle at all!

Edited by jdgm
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