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J-45RW Saddle and other questions.


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I started asking this question in another thread, but I forgot where it was, so I started a new one. I want to replace the saddle on my '99 J-45RW. The original saddle is a Fishman and it is funky looking. See Photo.




If I remember correctly, I was told it was designed this way to help with the sound of the under-saddle pickup (it is the factory pickup). I want to lower the string height a hair and was going to shape a bone saddle. The question is: should I drill and slot the bone saddle to match this one? Or, am I wasting my time? In my younger days (before my second broken hip...bicycling accidents), I would have made two (one like the Fishman and one standard looking one), but now I don't have the time or patience. I will go with the consensus.


Second question. I noticed there are two threaded screws holding the bridge to the top. See Photos.





I am the original owner and no work has been done to this instrument. They look like they are under the dot inlays on the bridge. What is this all about?


Last, and not a question. i just like my fingerboard inlays better than the dots they use now.




Thanks for bearing with me.

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I would not redrill and slot your replacement saddle.


They used to attach the bridge with bolts and that looks like what's going on with yours. If you're the original owner, then it had to be a factory install. Don't worry about it.


I also like your fret inlays better than the dots.

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That saddle with the slots and holes was designed to maintain string separation with the sectioned pickup installed. It is actually best to emulate that design in a replacement and can be easily replicated with a size matched drill bit and a fret or coping saw.


Trace the pattern with a technical pencil onto drafting paper and then use Elmer's white glue to paste the stencil onto the new piece to be worked. Do the cutting and drilling (if you cut slots first and drill after there is less chance of cracking) on the blank and then do all your shaping, sizing and compensating work.


The pickup you have is quite sensitive. If you don't put the slots back in the replacement saddle, the pickup will get more vibrations from neighbouring strings and be somewhat muddy compared with the original sound.


If you really want to put a simple saddle in, consider replacing the pickup with an up to date Fishman that is not segmented.


I hope this helps you.

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