View Full Version : Should I care about this alignment?
I have a n00b question that I couldn't answer via 'search'.
When I was changing strings today on my Kentucky A style, which I've had for a bit over 2 months (used), I just noticed something, which I will attempt to explain with this terrible illustration:
(Please click it to see what I mean: I didn't know how to attach the sketch properly.)
As you may see, the strings seem to skew, as a whole, toward the E side.
The bridge is centered in relation to how the strings lay.
The neck isn't warped or bent, and it's how it should be at the body join.
I reckon the tailpiece was installed off center, but I'm loath to get it reset--is this a potential problem, or just one of those things one should expect from a nice, yet budget minded instrument?
Thank you in advance!
Well I'm not a builder, but it seems to me that the slots may not be spaced correctly on the nut and/or bridge. That is, even if the center of the nut, center of fretboard and the center of the bridge line up on the instrument body's centerline, if the slots are not spaced correctly this could still happen. Not sure if tailpiece would matter; unless its pulling the bridge off-center. I've never seen this on any mandolin I've played.
Well if it was mine I would fix it - just so there was an even amount of space on either side of the fretboard and less chance of pulling an e-string off the ends of the frets. But... don't fix what doesn't bother you ;)
To fix, the bridge needs to be moved slightly towards the G side so the strings are centred on the fingerboard. Of course if the tailpiece isn't quite centred, or the neck attached dead square to the body, then you may end up with a slight dog-leg in the strings at the bridge. This isn't a problem as such, except that the bridge wants to slide back so the strings run dead straight - mostly that's a problem while you're setting the bridge up with only 2 or 4 strings up to pitch, and not an issue once all 8 are up to tension.
Looks like your bridge has just slipped or been slipped a quarter inch or so to the tenor side. Happens a lot. Loosen your strings and slip it into position. Check the fit to the top carefully. If all is well,check your intonation at twelve. If that's good,hold the bridge in position and re-tension the strings. If your tailpiece is a little off,the bridge will still hold when you get up to standard pitch. Probably no more serious than that,but I can't guarantee it.
Tavy beat me to it. Carry on
Thank you all!!
The slots in the nut are in the right place, and so are the ones in the bridge.
I reckon it's what y'all recommended in common--moving the bridge.
(I just looked at it from farther away than in my hands, and I can see it a whole lot better...sorry to not 'duuuh-check' myself, or I woulda been able to answer my own question, bless my heart [in the Southern sense, of course].)
I'm still proud of my dumb sketch, though...gotta work on my virtual fret placement, but...lol.
Run a straight edge down from the middle of the nut and in line with the position dots on the fingerboard, if those are in line see if it lines up with the center of the tailpiece, if not the tail piece needs to be moved a little toward the G string side of the mandolin....If all of those are in line then the bridge needs to be moved so that it is centered....Could be the slots on the saddle are cut a little off, if so, a new bridge top will correct the problem as long as the holes like up with the adjustment screws on the base....Moving the tailpiece can be a tough job depending on how far off it is, maybe should be accomplished by a builder that is up on doing that....
Good luck, Willie
Well...I moved the bridge to where I thought was center, and...turns out the tailpiece IS off a bit--not in its original position. I was able to get the strings a little more toward center, but the way the tailpiece sits makes 'center' wrong, if that makes sense.
(I would post pics, but I don't have the wherewithal to take post-able ones.)
I'll ask my tech if it seems to be an issue, but for now, it works. (I even got the intonation betterer, which, as we all know, is one more than better.) I might just not worry about it, because I plan on getting pickups put in this bad boy, so I'll get it taken care of at the same time.
Thanks again, everybody.
it sounds like the nut is slotted band but easy to fix.take it to a music store and they can have it fixed in no time
I got similar problem with strings skewed toward the E on my brand new Kentucky, all I had to do is to put the bridge at the proper position (such that fret#12 is at the same distance from the nut and the bridge), then move the bridge a little toward the G side so the Strings not skewed. It's quite easy and natural. I could do a little better by fitting the bridge with the top (knowing well the procedure, no time yet). I have not checked to see if the tailpiece is off-centered yet. But so far, so good, the action is low, good intonation.
I need a few weeks (maybe upto 8 weeks) for everything to settle in.