File the saddle notches out, smooth, and re-notch?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Thoughtfree, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. Thoughtfree

    Thoughtfree TDPRI Member

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    I'm dealing with a weak signal from the high E string, from the cheap modern bridge pickup of this old custom build; the narrow blades don't cover the first string as fully as the center strings. I posted re pickup on the TDPRI pickup forum.

    It occurs to me that the saddles are part of this problem. Multiple haphazard notches, from many years of assembly, disassembly and experimentation.

    It seems obvious that I should file and sand the saddles smooth, then file a shallow notch in each, half the string diameter. Or are notches even necessary - would smooth saddles be OK?

    Thanks for your opinions.
     

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  2. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The saddles SHOULD be smooth in that type I think. But it appears the high E string is already off center in the saddle and the string is still not loud enough. They can be bad enough even if over the pickup.

    -Best option is to loosen the neck and shift the neck a bit in the neck pocket "headstock up". That will bring the string further over the pickup if you have string to fretboard edge room on the low E to do that.
    -or.... replace the bridge with a narrower string spacing if it's wide.
    -Another option is to buy a pickguard that you can self drill to relocate the pickup futher to that side.
     
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  3. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Replace the cheap pickup?
     
  4. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    @schmee is right: your high E string is already quite off centered, and I do not see how you could reasonably move it more to the left.

    It would be interesting to check the alignment between bridge, pickup and neck to see where the problem comes from.
    If everything lines up ok, I agree with @hemingway: it may be time to replace the cheapo pickup.
     
  5. Thoughtfree

    Thoughtfree TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the thoughtful replies. The guitar is set-neck, so can't readjust there. This was a nice guitar in its day - built 1990 - but now I see its problems clearer. Chances are I'll return it to a neck-pickup-only configuration rather than sinking more money - new bridge and/or pickup - into it.
     
  6. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    Is the E string even in the groove? Looks like it's sitting on top. If the saddle's already destined for doom, you might try widening that groove more toward the center of the guitar and see if that will help. It looks like the E string comes up and goes "out" in the direction of the edge of the neck.
     
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