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ES 335 bridge saddles


spinnn

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Hello,

 

I have ES 335 dot reissue that I love. It's only three years old but it always played beautifully. Some days ago I put new strings (always 10-46 with this guitar) and checked octave intonation. I had to adjust some strings, particularly the G and low E. The G string forced me to swap it's bridge saddle in order to get more compensation (bigger length). The low E is my main problem right now. It's brigde saddle is now at maximum length and it's still sharp...

 

Could this be because of the neck? Perhaps I should straighten it a bit on the truss rod?

 

Thanks for any knowledgeable replies.

Spinnn

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I'd defer to folks more knowledgable than me, but if you're using the same gauge and brand of strings your intonation shouldn't "drift". At least not on a guitar where the bridge assembly is anchored to the top (as it is on a 335). So, if you went to a different brand of string (even if same gauge) that could explain it. If you went to a different gauge of string (even if same brand) that'd definitely explain it.

 

Otherwise then you might have just gotten a "off" set. I'd start with a fresh package of strings then go from there.

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I'd defer to folks more knowledgable than me, but if you're using the same gauge and brand of strings your intonation shouldn't "drift". At least not on a guitar where the bridge assembly is anchored to the top (as it is on a 335). So, if you went to a different brand of string (even if same gauge) that could explain it. If you went to a different gauge of string (even if same brand) that'd definitely explain it.

 

Otherwise then you might have just gotten a "off" set. I'd start with a fresh package of strings then go from there.

 

Well, thanks a lot. Do you know which strings come with the ES-335 dot reissues? I used ernie ball 10-46 but then switched to Roto sound yellows. I'm beginning to question the quality of roto sounds... I ordered the good old D'Addarios 10-46. Are they still good? Or what are the best strings for this guitar?

 

Spinnn

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Barring any bridge placement issues which seems not to be the case for you as you have been able to intonate it before , I would have a thought about

the two spots that would effect the intonation .

(1) The angle of the slot in the nut , these slots need to be angled properly to allow for proper intonation.

(2) The part that might be your issue if (not both 1 & 2) , when you slot the bridge "saddles" that is also done at an angle so the string sits

on one spot of the saddle , when you turned it around it would make that angle just opposite of what it was . Edit: I just noticed your E string

was not the saddle that was switch , yet still keep in mind that the angle at the nut and the angle at the saddle where the string "sits" is the actual

lenght of the string for intonation purposes. Perhaps the nut wore just a tad more , and the string is now on a different spot , the nut is just as important

as the saddles when it comes time for proper intonation. Try to keep that in mind.

 

With that said I would first try a new saddle and cut it properly , if that does not give you the results you need , I would also look at

replacing or reslotting if possible the nut groove for the E string, a good luthier would be able to intonate that properly by making the simple compensations needed in either one or both areas

usually within thirty minutes unless a new nut was installed,then slightly longer, but not much.

I hope you this helps you get this resolved.

 

/cheers

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Thanks Danny. What's the normal solution to a saddle that won't move further back? And do you know why it happens?

 

Regards,

Spinnn

 

If you mean that it it won't travel to the end of the screw, sometimes they just get stuck. Try moving it back and forth to see if you can free it. I usually find brute force helps, but be sure not to slip and damage the wood--might want to put a piece of cardboard under the bridge. If you can't free it that way, a bit of grease might help. If none of that works, loosen the strings, remove the bridge, remove the retaining spring, pull the saddle and use a wrench or vise and a screwdriver to work the screw until it moves freely. Don't reinstall the bridge until all of the saddles can be adjusted back and forth properly.

 

I have found that if a guitar had proper intonation before a string change but not after, and the string gauges are unchanged, it has invariably been a bad string.

 

Danny W.

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I switched from Ernie Ball to Rotos a couple of years back, definately don't think the Rotos are any weaker in quality - which isn't to say it's impossible you have a rogue set. I'd try a fresh set and, if that doesn't work a trip to a local luthier might be in order.

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Finally got the guitar back. Wow! The luthier (Tim Marten in London) did a great job. Nut height was paramount especially for the low E, but also neck adjustment (it is now straighter). String height is now smaller but no buzzing.

 

What I can say is that the guitar now sounds better than when it was new. It just plays more in tune.

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Finally got the guitar back. Wow! The luthier (Tim Marten in London) did a great job. Nut height was paramount especially for the low E, but also neck adjustment (it is now straighter). String height is now smaller but no buzzing.

 

What I can say is that the guitar now sounds better than when it was new. It just plays more in tune.

 

Congrats. A good setup (I mean a real good setup) can take a good guitar to the realm of spectacular!! it's a wonderful feeling to get it back and realize how much better it is. No matter how good a Gibson is when you buy it, it can be improved by a tech who really knows what he's doing. They all need some adjustment (er, well, with the exception of my L5 which was pretty much perfect when I bought it).

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Finally got the guitar back. Wow! The luthier (Tim Marten in London) did a great job. Nut height was paramount especially for the low E, but also neck adjustment (it is now straighter). String height is now smaller but no buzzing.

 

What I can say is that the guitar now sounds better than when it was new. It just plays more in tune.

 

I am glad you did get this resolved Spinnn. As I said the nut is often overlooked when setting intonation.

I am not one who thinks when you buy a guitar you should run it straight to a luthier to get a set up.

It should be set up from the factory. Unforunately Gibson checks the marks off but I really have to wonder just how many

guitars they actually set up. With that said, there are alot of variables from assembly to when you recieve the instrument.

Thus, nothing more than a height, a small truss rod adjustment,or at the most intonation should be needed. I am glad to be able to do my own set ups

and most minor "setup repairs". Never thought I would own an Epiphone but it was my most recent purchase,

I will no longer purchase from Gibson since the trouble I had with my '08 AL-355, I know Epi's are part of gibson so I still fed

Henry a little but that is the closest I will go, The action was a bit high on the epi.

I simply lowered the action and it was set up better than the last five Gibsons I purchased and overall the attention

to detail is better than alot of the Gibsons I see hanging at the stores. In no way am I saying that

epi's are of better quality , they even claim they are "set up " by gibson , yet the quality and attention to detail really made me

shake my head in a good way. I have some great Gibsons from the 60's and 70's that I will never part with and I used to be a huge fan

of gibsons. Sometimes just one bad purchase from a dealer who won't take a return and a company that refuses customer service ends over

a relationship of over thirty years.

Enjoy your guitar, I am glad you are back to playing it in good order.

/cheers

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I am not one who thinks when you buy a guitar you should run it straight to a luthier to get a set up.

It should be set up from the factory. Unforunately Gibson checks the marks off but I really have to wonder just how many

guitars they actually set up. With that said, there are alot of variables from assembly to when you recieve the instrument.

Thus, nothing more than a height, a small truss rod adjustment,or at the most intonation should be needed. I am glad to be able to do my own set ups

and most minor "setup repairs"

 

 

Set up for whose specs? Yours? Mine? Maybe I like high action. Perhaps super-low action. There are way too many differences as to how people like their guitars so there's no way Gibson can ship them all with a perfect set up for every person.

 

Combine travelling, heat and humidity changes and umpteen people playing the guitar in the store before the customer buys it --- the action could be totally different from when it left the factory.

 

One comment you make kinda baffles me though. You think Gibson should have their guitars set up from the factory and don't think a luthier needs to give them a set up. But next line you say that "height, a small truss rod adjustment or at the most intonation should be needed".

 

That _is_ a set up.

 

And a set up is not a "repair".

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Set up for whose specs? Yours? Mine? Maybe I like high action. Perhaps super-low action. There are way too many differences as to how people like their guitars so there's no way Gibson can ship them all with a perfect set up for every person.

 

Combine travelling, heat and humidity changes and umpteen people playing the guitar in the store before the customer buys it --- the action could be totally different from when it left the factory.

 

One comment you make kinda baffles me though. You think Gibson should have their guitars set up from the factory and don't think a luthier needs to give them a set up. But next line you say that "height, a small truss rod adjustment or at the most intonation should be needed".

 

That _is_ a set up.

 

And a set up is not a "repair".

 

Please when replying , don't pick and chose part of a post and highlight that then pick and choose what you decide to "defend" for whatever reason.

No axe to grind here. There are basics to a guitar set up , and sure some like the action different. In my post I also pointed out "there are alot of

variables from when the instrument is finished to when you receive it " I think that covered the humidity part and the differences that change the initial setup,if

there indeed was one performed. One definition of Repair is :to restore to a sound or healthy state , a small tweek to the truss rod ,intonation , or string height is

hardly a set up. I used the term "setup repair" in quotes . There are basic guidlines to a setup , and then some prefer to deviate from those standards.

Nothing to see here , move along.

Let's not derail this thread , this person was enjoying his guitar until he changed his set of strings. He is back to playing it and is happy.

Again I am happy for you Spinnn , glad you have your guitar back and you are again enjoying it.

 

/Cheers

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