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Better tone with un-notched saddles?

RocknRollShakeUp

Active member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
695
Found a cool interview with JD Simo where he briefly mentions that he prefers unslotted saddles because they make the guitar sound much better. He changes the saddles to new ones when they start to wear in, apparently.

Any thoughts, agree, disagree?
 

charliechitlins

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
335
He probably has ears like a bat.
I don't.
I do find, however that a string rings more true if it's just supported on the bottom and not buried in a slot.
I always cut nuts so half of the string is sitting proud of the slot.
There is much more down pressure on the saddles, so just the tiniest slot is needed.
I have a small 3-corner diamond file that I use to just put a small nick in the saddle.
This is enough to keep the string from shifting during picking and bending.
The slots also get you your string spacing when you change strings.
Not having slots sounds more like a quirk than a solid practice, to me.
But, hey...JD Simo...
Dude clearly knows his stuff.
 

RocknRollShakeUp

Active member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
695
He probably has ears like a bat.
I don't.
I do find, however that a string rings more true if it's just supported on the bottom and not buried in a slot.
I always cut nuts so half of the string is sitting proud of the slot.
There is much more down pressure on the saddles, so just the tiniest slot is needed.
I have a small 3-corner diamond file that I use to just put a small nick in the saddle.
This is enough to keep the string from shifting during picking and bending.
The slots also get you your string spacing when you change strings.
Not having slots sounds more like a quirk than a solid practice, to me.
But, hey...JD Simo...
Dude clearly knows his stuff.
Many thanks for your thoughts.
I am contemplating trying a new bridge, and that’ll give me a chance to see for myself. I won’t top wrap so I’ll see if the strings stay put also.
 

MrNubs

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
54
post the interview please

you would think on stage doing a show and really digging in that those thinner strings during bending would start to move
 

zacknorton

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Aug 26, 2011
Messages
585
so he likes it when his strings slide around laterally on the saddles???

I mean, I can understand not wanting your strings buried in deep notches. But, all you need is enough to keep the strings from moving on the saddle, which will create rough uneven divots over time and lead to string breaking, and buzzing.

I'll stick with notched saddles.
 

toneville

New member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
17
I don't know that saddle notches themselves create a tone issue but when there are notches there is a potential for an issue that is not present when there are no notches. Worn notches can weaken the sound under certain pick attack styles. I am experiencing this right now on one of my high "E" bridges and have been too preoccupied (lazy) to fix it right now.
 

charliechitlins

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Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
335
Just to muddy the waters...Les Paul guys seem to like sustain.
The guitar I have that has more sustain than any guitar I've ever played has a trapeze tailpiece and a wood saddle that is quite wide where the strings rest on it.
 

RocknRollShakeUp

Active member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
695
post the interview please

you would think on stage doing a show and really digging in that those thinner strings during bending would start to move

Here you go. Start at the 5:20 mark for the specific saddle commentary. It happens quick, he just makes one comment about it, and unfortunately the interviewer fails to interrogate him more on it. But he clearly says that he prefers the strings "just sitting on top," and not in a groove, and then he quickly gives the reasons why.

 
Last edited:

zacknorton

Active member
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
585
that depends on the neck angle and how far you can drop that tailpiece before it bottoms out on the back edge of the bridge.

strings are always gonna move and slop around on a tune o matic without some sort of notch or groove. Unless you're in standard tuning with 12's. At least That's been my experience.

More important... is the fact that that string pressure will make it's own marks/grooves/notches on those saddles... and those are going to be zones instead of precise channels.

Even if all you do is hammer notch the string into the saddle that's way better than nothing.
 

zacknorton

Active member
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
585
from what I've heard, Simo is a great player. really great.

but I'm notching my bridge saddles and I don't care what he says. (y)
 

sozo

New member
Joined
May 20, 2022
Messages
9
Wouldn't an un-notched string saddle create a sharper surface for the string than a well notched saddle, and increase the chance of string breakage? Of course if you have a guitar tech change your strings after every gig this may not be a factor, they only have to last one night.
 
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