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My Cabronita Build - Bridge Saddle Question.

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Lamf77, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Lamf77

    Lamf77 TDPRI Member

    40
    Nov 6, 2014
    Illinois
    I am putting a Cabronita together and am just about finished. I am no expert, hence my question.
    I put the high and low "E" strings on to help get the neck straight and check alignment. The HipShot Bridge fits perfect, and while the string are not exactly over the pickup poles, they are pretty close.
    I am going to take it into the shop for set up; but noticed in my "quick" check of the these strings, the saddles on the HipShot are really high. The two screw which are inside the HipShot saddles in seem to be almost as far into the saddle as they can go, without coming out the other end?
    My neck and everything else is ok? Just wondering if this was normal.
    Thanks!
    Mike

    bridge.jpg
     

  2. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Sep 24, 2004
    Endicott, NY
    Yeah, those saddles seem excessively high.

    Is your neck shimmed? If so, take the shims out.

    You may also want/need to lower those pickups.

    Where did you get your body and neck from?
    I'm wondering if maybe your neck pocket is too shallow.
     
    Lamf77 likes this.

  3. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Jul 25, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Saddle heights are adjustable - that's one of the tasks in the set-up. With an allen wrench, you can do that yourself. Another thing to check is whether or not your neck is sitting square in the pocket. I guess this is your own partscaster? The neck might be sitting at an angle - not parallel with the length of the neck. Another task to check in a set up. On your own, you can just slightly loosen the neck bolts - with the strings still under tension, and the string tension will pull the neck into the pocket good and tight. If you've not done these things before, then ask to watch the tech do the setup on your guitar. It's your guitar, there shouldn't be any resistance from a tech having you watch what's being done to your guitar.

    I hope I'm not overstating your questions - maybe you're already familiar with these things, I just can't tell from your original post.
     
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  4. Lamf77

    Lamf77 TDPRI Member

    40
    Nov 6, 2014
    Illinois
    It's an "official" Fender Cabronita Body. The neck is not shimmed. The angle is not great, but the strings clear the pickups ok.
    The neck is an AllPart Japanese neck.

    I measure and the neck in the center is approximately 3/8 of an inch off the body.

    Thanks
     

  5. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    A. What kind of Filter'trons are those? Gretsch bridge filtertrons never line up correctly, all you can do is get it even. TVJs are the only ones I'm aware of that widen the spacing on their bridge pickups to line up.

    B. I agree with teletimetx's advice, if you put this together, you can pretty much set it up yourself. We're here to help you.

    C. The saddles are not OK, they all need to be adjusted for action and then radius.
     
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  6. Lamf77

    Lamf77 TDPRI Member

    40
    Nov 6, 2014
    Illinois

    Thanks...some of you post is new to me, others I was not aware of. As I stated above the neck sits about 3/8" or 1 cm above the body. I put in all the electronics myself, and only put on the two "E" string to checkif they worked, and help align the neck with the pickups.
    I had read the Cabronita is known for the poles not matching with the strings 100".

    At first, the strings buzzed until I raised the saddles. They just seemed higher than I was used to...hence this post.
     

  7. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    53
    Nov 18, 2010
    Vancouver
    That seems high... As @crossroader suggested, check your neck pocket depth and also check your neck and nut. If the nut isn’t cut low enough, the action may dictate the height of the saddles and the same goes for having the neck more bowed than flat.

    Edit: I missed your post about the body being OEM so the pocket would be correct. I’d check the neck angle, any bowing and the depth of the nut.
     
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  8. Lamf77

    Lamf77 TDPRI Member

    40
    Nov 6, 2014
    Illinois
    I had them made from a Reverb Vender, Madison Music, they are called Crystal Clear.


    https://reverb.com/item/1611384-cry...filtertron-guitar-pickups-hand-wound-boutique

    I had read about things not aligning correct, and hence the HipShot Bridge.

    The neck pocket is 5/8" deep.

    So if I put all the strings on, the first thing is to check for clearance using the two screws in the saddle, then adjust the screw in the back to move the saddle in and out?
     

  9. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ah I get it now. Since there is no shim, and assuming your nut is cut correctly and you adjusted your truss rod, then I'd get longer saddle screws. The alternative to that is to reverse shim the neck, that is put the cut business card on the headstock side of the pocket, which will allow you to lower the saddles some.

    1) Put on all the strings, get some tension on the strings (not all the way) and adjust the action (as you say, clearance).
    2) Tune up to pitch and check for buzz. If you have buzz don't worry, there are several causes for this, but it won't be your Hipshot bridge.
    3) Adjust saddles for radius. Tune to pitch, stretch strings, play break in.
    [
    [
    [
    Last step) Adjust your intonation ("move the saddle in and out") screws for the best intonation. This is always the last step after you adjusted everything else to your liking and got rid of any buzz.
     
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  10. Lamf77

    Lamf77 TDPRI Member

    40
    Nov 6, 2014
    Illinois

    Ok...first I will double check the neck and make sure it is set properly.
    Then put on all the strings and follow your advice.

    FYI -right now the neck is totally straight...I check it with one of these:

    [​IMG]
    At the first fret, the high "E" string is about 1mm above the fret and at the last fret the string is about 2mm above the fret.
    Not sure if this tells anyone anything.

    Finally, here is a few from the side. Does it look like the neck may be angled up a bit at the bridge side?

    side neck.jpg

    Thanks all!
     

  11. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I don't have anything to measure in front of me, but this seems high. You can check the nut by pressing a string down between the 2nd and 3rd fret, then look at the gap between the fretted string and the 1st fret. You could measure this and post it up here, but I eyeball it. I think of a piece of heavy paper fitting in this gap for the 3 plain strings, and a business card for the bottom 3 wound strings. More than this, and you'll need to have the nut slot (carefully) deepened.
     
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  12. Lamf77

    Lamf77 TDPRI Member

    40
    Nov 6, 2014
    Illinois
    Ok...not sure if this is a huge deal. I took the neck off to recheck. When I did, a few small traces of wood had come off from the neck by the screw hole. I cleaned out the pocket, put the neck back on. If you look at the far right "black dot" and the lines of grain in the wood. You can see the neck is a bit farther down on the heel. The third line of grain down underneath the dot is a lot closer.

    Just to confirm...when you screw in the neck...is there a special way to do it? bridge side screw tighten, the neck side?



    After:

    fixedbetter.jpg
     

  13. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Good troubleshooting. Yes you need to make sure the neck fits in the pocket. A little tight is best, but having a tight fit makes screw alignment that much more critical. You did right by cleaning up the wood chips from the pocket, it can make a difference. By removing this material, you removed some unwanted "shims". Now it looks like the neck is making better contact, and lowering it down as well. The saddles should be able to come down now.

    There are a few methods I read about, and honestly I don't really follow them. But I do treat the neck screws in the same way I'd treat a valve cover or wheel mount, that is make sure good, clean contact is made, "hand tighten" (actually you still need a screwdriver for this), then torque evenly. Never over torque, you'll strip the wood.

    "tricks" I like to do are opening up the screw holes in the body so the threads can pass through and pull the neck to the body evenly. Another is to the back off the neck screws when the strings are close to pitch, just a 1/8 turn or so, and let the string tension pull the neck into the pocket a little more. This won't work if you're using the screws to keep a set string alignment in a loose pocket, though. Also, if the pocket and neck are designed and cut properly for each other, the last 'trick' is unnecessary IMHO.
     
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  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    It does look slightly angled up at the bridge side.
    Did you put a shim under the neck heel? If so remove it and reassemble. What others have mentioned, you may need a shim on the other end of the pocket to tilt the neck back flat. It won't take much 'business card' is the usual thickness of choice. 1/4inch wide by 1 inch long.

    You might have neck screws that are holding the heel up (the screws need to slide through the body neck holes and screw into the neck, if they screw into both then you result in gaps high/low angled neck problems).

    .
     
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  15. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Sep 24, 2004
    Endicott, NY
    Your "after" picture of the neck join looks much better - and that should allow you to lower your bridge saddles.

    With a Fender body and an Allpart's neck, everything should fit together fine.
    @BorderRadio's directions on seating and tightening the neck are spot on.

    Make sure the neck sits flush and tight in the pocket as you're tightening everything down.
    If the neck screws are binding in the body or if the holes in the neck and body don't line up, you won't get a snug fit.

    Looks like you're getting there.
     
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  16. Lamf77

    Lamf77 TDPRI Member

    40
    Nov 6, 2014
    Illinois
    Well....I put on all the strings and raised the center 4 saddles and was able to lower the outer 2 quite a bit! I tuned her up[ and seems "ok". I took a picture of the bridge. I set the outer two saddles then raised the next two slightly higher and the middle two a bit higher. No buzz that I can tell!
    Not sure how exactly to check for perfect string height to clearance...other than how it feels.

    Right now, when I go to the 12th fret, all the strings go into the "yellow" or to the right on my reverb tuner. So I think that is sharp. Which means I move the saddle toward the back, away from the headstock?

    Here's a picture...you can see the bridge is way better! You dudes are awesome and saved me a trip to the shop. If you're ever in the Western Suburbs of Chicago...Giordanos Pizza and Beer on me!

    donealmost.jpg
     
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  17. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks for the pizza and beer, it's lunch time too! ~stuck in the desert~:oops:

    If your notes are sharp at the 12th fret, then yes you tighten the screw to pull the saddle back. You might need to adjust this a few times as you break it in, and after every change you make to your setup. Don't forget to get those filters nice and close to the strings, that's where they can breathe. I see these are ceramic filters--no experience with those, so maybe the 'rules' change..have fun!
     

  18. Lamf77

    Lamf77 TDPRI Member

    40
    Nov 6, 2014
    Illinois
    Well, I moved them down, I'll move them back up!
    I have no experience with these at all. Never play'd em. I was able to pick up a old Fender Princeton 112 Plus for a great price...and boy do the cleans sound great!
    Clear, crisp with that nice Tele twang. Kinda a controled boomy, punch. They do lose a bit on the dirty channel, then again, I am used to humbuckers.
    Any idea what the distance should be between the strings and pickups?
     

  19. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Most people start here and then move them around to taste. Ceramics have their own tone though, so you'll have to experiment. My biggest thing with Filters is the 'compression' factor (big) and the lack of articulation on the neck pickup. I usually drop the bass side of the neck pickup lower than 7/32 while also bringing up the pole screws. Seems to work.

    A1_TVJs.png
     
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