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Montana Lutherie

If your mando is older, you may have SADDLE SAG...

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Having trouble getting your action just right? The G and E strings play great but you get a buzz on the D and A? You get rid of the buzz on the D and A strings and the G and E are hard to play?

The picture above shows what may be the reason. Over time the string tension works on the saddle on a traditional style bridge creating a bow with the D and A strings riding lower, sometimes significantly. Flat or radiused fingerboard, the problem created is the same. Varying string height off the frets requiring a higher than comfortable action to get all fretted strings to note true and clear.

A few solution are: 1. replace the saddle. 2. sand the top of your saddle flat and re-radius/re-slot. 3. ignore the bow and deepen the G and E slots, OR 4. Replace the bridge with a current design.

Years ago we solved the issue by redesigning the bridge. Our saddle has a brass bar inset into the ebony, pictured below, to eliminate the possibility of sag and the thumbwheels push down against the base rather than up against the saddle ends and can be adjusted with an included 5/16 wrench .

Also, check out the very cool bridge designed by Vern Brekke at Bridger products. Saddle that will never sag and no thumb wheels. The saddle is adjusted up and down with two wedges and small cap head screws inset in each end of the bridge.
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