Why are my barrels so far back on the bridge?

timeconsumer

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I want to install a Rolling Bender on my Tele and sent them a photo to assess whether it would would work on my Japanese Paisley. They got back to me and said that my barrel saddles were too far back and they couldn’t guarantee that the Rolling Bender would fit.

I’ve noticed before that the saddles were screwed on too tight. I adjust my own instruments and the intonation is bang on perfect, but I can’t help but think that I’m missing something that requires the saddles to be so far back for proper intonation. (The bridge is the original Japanese ashtray, but I’ve replaced the saddles with brass barrels.)

I’ve previously snagged my hand because the long screw holding the barrel was protruding from between the strings. This got better with lighter string gauges, but it still boggles my mind why it’s so far back. The springs are currently almost fully tightened.

Any ideas? TIA!
 

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Boreas

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Is it stock? Evidently something wasn't fitted properly.

Is it intonated OK now?

You could always shift the bridge plate back. Does flipping the saddles help? You can always shorten the screws and springs.
 
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nojazzhere

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I want to install a Rolling Bender on my Tele and sent them a photo to assess whether it would would work on my Japanese Paisley. They got back to me and said that my barrel saddles were too far back and they couldn’t guarantee that the Rolling Bender would fit.

I’ve noticed before that the saddles were screwed on too tight. I adjust my own instruments and the intonation is bang on perfect, but I can’t help but think that I’m missing something that requires the saddles to be so far back for proper intonation. (The bridge is the original Japanese ashtray, but I’ve replaced the saddles with brass barrels.)

I’ve previously snagged my hand because the long screw holding the barrel was protruding from between the strings. This got better with lighter string gauges, but it still boggles my mind why it’s so far back. The springs are currently almost fully tightened.

Any ideas? TIA!
I agree that those saddles look too far back. Somehow, the bridge is too close to the neck. (?) It's a bit of work, but the bridge CAN be relocated and moved back. I've had to do that on a couple guitars, and it required additional routing, and using top-load bridges. You might be better off just leaving it like it is. The longer saddle screws can be cut shorter, if you're "snagging" your hand.
Good luck.
Nice guitar, BTW. ;)
 

hamerfan

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Maybe there is quick an dirty way good enough. If you shim the neck, the saddles must be higher and nearer to the neck. Together with loosening the bridge screws and pushing it towards the butt, you could get some millimeters.
 

FenderLover

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I've had aftermarket bodies with bridges drilled too close to the neck. Easy to measure. A few of mine have the #6 screw too close to the bridge mounting screw, but they work. If I were to drill them myself, I'd always add 3/16" to the standard measurement. Enough room to make me feel good, not too far to cause saddle screw length issues.
 

schmee

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Looks great to me. They are no where near the end and when they are back like that the string goes through the bridge plate hole without rubbing on the sharp corner of the hole.
I say it's a +++ If it's not a Fender it was built by someone who knows what they were doing.
If any screws are too long get shorter screws.
 

Peegoo

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I agree with schmee. Looks fine. If any of the saddles runs out of room (it compresses the spring 100%), then you're into the 'too far back' arena. You are good to go.

Most intonation screws are far too long, and that is contributing to the illusion that the saddles should be farther forward. They're fine.
 

Si G X

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yup, looks pretty 'normal' for 'vintage spec' to me too, I think my E/A is back even further and I did clip the spring shorter on that saddle... and I'm using shorter adjustment screws.

Are they compensated saddles, they look kind of straight (position wise to each other)
 

Si G X

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You can make this worse with shimming though, the more you shim, the higher the saddles are raised and the more angle is on those intonation adjustment screws, that's what makes them stick up between the strings. The flatter those are the better in that respect... that can be solved by using shorter ones or cutting them off though.

It just about balance and knowing what to do/adjust to make it function the best. I would say shim until the saddles are at a height you are comfortable with and a nice action and work from there.

None of this helps with the 'rolling bender' thing though.
 

kuch

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I want to install a Rolling Bender on my Tele and sent them a photo to assess whether it would would work on my Japanese Paisley. They got back to me and said that my barrel saddles were too far back and they couldn’t guarantee that the Rolling Bender would fit.

I’ve noticed before that the saddles were screwed on too tight. I adjust my own instruments and the intonation is bang on perfect, but I can’t help but think that I’m missing something that requires the saddles to be so far back for proper intonation. (The bridge is the original Japanese ashtray, but I’ve replaced the saddles with brass barrels.)

I’ve previously snagged my hand because the long screw holding the barrel was protruding from between the strings. This got better with lighter string gauges, but it still boggles my mind why it’s so far back. The springs are currently almost fully tightened.

Any ideas? TIA!
Take a look at the pdf from the Fender site and check your saddle location. hope this helps...
 

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1stpitch

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Looks like the intonation screws for the E/A saddle are sitting on top of the bridge mounting screws. That would unnerve me. Maybe try another bridge, or at least measure some other bridges to see how they might line up.
 
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KokoTele

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I don't agree that the current position is normal. While it might not be totally uncommon, it's not the norm and these are getting close to end of the adjustment range.

First thing to do is make sure your neck is straight. It needs far less relief than most people think it does, and for these purposes, start with it dead flat. If it takes a big truss rod adjustment to get it flat, redo the intonation and see where the saddles fall.

Next, measure from the nut to the break point of the saddle. On the high E, that distance will be 25 1/2" plus about 3/32" of compensation. The low E gets about an extra 3/32" of compensation. So 25 19/32". On the low E, that distance is about 25 11/16".

It's rare for a modern CNC-made guitar to have a bridge that's that far off the norm, but it happens, especially with aftermarket bodies.
 

timeconsumer

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Maybe there is quick an dirty way good enough. If you shim the neck, the saddles must be higher and nearer to the neck. Together with loosening the bridge screws and pushing it towards the butt, you could get some millimeters.
Thanks, I’m not too fussed as the guitar is currently set up with perfect intonation all the way up the neck, but it does make it harder to fit a Rolling Bender.
 

timeconsumer

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I'd definitely go for the shim before cutting up the guitar. Shortening the adjustment screws is easy, too.
I started googling shimming and it might be an idea for this guitar. Just curious: could shimming the neck also help lower the action? It’s currently set up nicely, but I’m always up for lowering the action a smidge more.
 

timeconsumer

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I agree with schmee. Looks fine. If any of the saddles runs out of room (it compresses the spring 100%), then you're into the 'too far back' arena. You are good to go.

Most intonation screws are far too long, and that is contributing to the illusion that the saddles should be farther forward. They're fine.
Thanks, I’ve actually googled shorter intonation screws in the past since the intonation is perfect, but I’m now curious whether shimming the neck could also help with lowering the action a bit.
 

timeconsumer

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yup, looks pretty 'normal' for 'vintage spec' to me too, I think my E/A is back even further and I did clip the spring shorter on that saddle... and I'm using shorter adjustment screws.

Are they compensated saddles, they look kind of straight (position wise to each other)
Yes, they are indeed vintage spec saddles. I pondered getting compensated saddles, but I was already getting good results with the stock saddles so just went with brass replacements.
 




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