Split Saddle Bridge and Nut for Intonation

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Max Dickinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:47 pm

Split Saddle Bridge and Nut for Intonation

Post by Max Dickinson »

Hello,

I really like all the resources that forum provides, I've enjoyed reading the discussions. One of my influences as been Gore and Gilet's Design and Build. One of the places where I felt these books lacked was a proper solution to intonation problems.
The process described by Gore and Gilet involves either using a formula or creating a guitar mockup on a rail with the exact amount of string tension. We found both of these methods to be lacking. If the amount of compensation is found by using a forumula, then translating it onto the gutiar will be hard. Shaving away precise amounts of the nut and saddle is not easy to achieve. Another factor that we have to take into account is the humidity changes that occur season to season. These will change the guitar and the intonation will be off.

I have invented a new bridge and saddle design that provides adjustable compensation. Here is what they look like.
Image
Image


It's a simple idea with a lot of precise routing behind it. The bridge saddle nuts can move in the channels. Each nut sits on it's own plate that can be removed. When the strings are off there's a spring that holds the nut in it's position. They can be moved back and forth with a small fork tool with the string tension on. The split nuts can be removed and changed with a screwdriver. There is a magnet holding it in place when the strings are off. This is how it works in short. We use a CNC to make the peices of the bridge.

I wrote up a full article exploring the problem of intonation and how to correct it. It's too long to post in it's entirety here. There is a video example of intonating the bridge and changing the saddles.

Fixing Guitar Intonation

Clay Schaeffer
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Split Saddle Bridge and Nut for Intonation

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

You really should check into Thompson's enharmonic guitar fretboard. It was not terribly practical at that time, but with today's CNC technology it may be possible to develop that system using some of your ideas to make it more user friendly. Having a guitar that can play in tune on all the notes may be a worthy endeavor.
I have been using a similar "tilt neck" design for over a decade. Stauffer used one back in the early 1800's. You may find it is more practical to glue down the fingerboard extension and allow some "fall away" to happen as the action is lowered rather than leaving it unsupported (or else support it with a neck extension into the body). An unsupported fingerboard extension will eventually warp.
Good luck with your guitar mods, and look into the past innovations and see if you can improve on their short comings.

Max Dickinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:47 pm

Re: Split Saddle Bridge and Nut for Intonation

Post by Max Dickinson »

I searched for the eharmonic fretboard and all I found was that it was an alternative tuning. Can you please explain the idea to me more or link to some materials. I appreciate your response to this and I'm thrilled to take this somewhere new.

The tilt neck design isn't new, but I still think it's pretty cool. What do you mean glue down the fingerboard extension? we have a block that extends two inches to give the fretboard more support.


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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Split Saddle Bridge and Nut for Intonation

Post by Barry Daniels »

In the future, you might want to have a better looking fretboard to showcase your "invention".

I would also advise a little more break-over angle on the bridge by using string ramps.
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Max Dickinson
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Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:47 pm

Re: Split Saddle Bridge and Nut for Intonation

Post by Max Dickinson »

Thank you

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Ryan Mazzocco
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Re: Split Saddle Bridge and Nut for Intonation

Post by Ryan Mazzocco »

I think it's a really cool concept. New things like this are really hard for people to wrap their brains around. You're used to seeing a one piece solid nut with 6 slots. Anything else just jumps out as weird to the eye until it's around long enough for people to get used to. I think people are finally coming around to the idea of a split saddle as not being totally alien. Yours is going to take a little more time.
I say keep it up and keep developing. It may be a hard sell on spec, but put it out there and talk about it every chance you get. The people that "get it" will appreciate it.
I know you have MY interest!

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