Tune O Matic Saddle flip.Perfect Intonation!
Hey guys, made myself pretty happy tonite.I just thought I'd post.Maybe someone's having the same problem.
It's a stock Tune O Matic type bridge on an Ibanez Jet King 1
I've never been able to get perfect intonation. The GB & e strings just could not be set right for open & 12th fret to match. The saddles were all the way back and hitting. I decided to give it a try and take it apart to flip those 3 saddles.Now all six have the flat side toward bottom. This worked perfect I'm right on it seems, anywhere I check. I don't know why they didn't just make the thing this way. They'd had alot more people happy with the product. Oh well I like to fix things anyway.
I kept the same strings on with are about a month old but I'm sure when I change them It should be good, with maybe a screaw turn or two. Anyway if you're having this problem then give this a try!
flipping saddles on ToM type bridges is done for the reason you describe -- to put a saddle in the optimal adj range. but it's strange that you are trying to move the high e and B saddles so far back, as they usually wind up in the front to middle of the the bridge if strung with 9's, 10's or even 11's (high e gauge). I'm wondering if your ToM was placed correctly -- or maybe it's a nut placement issue. if ToM placement, no problem, as you've taken care of it. if it's something else, here's a check to help determine that: use a chromatic tuner with decent precision and compare notes at the 3rd and 15th frets to see if that intonation is good. if okay, then everything is probably fine. if not, it probably is nut placement or cut. or ... does your Jet King possibly have a compensated nut, (similar to a Buzz Feiten setup)? if it does, you should never use the open notes to set intonation. use the 3rd and 15th or similar as described above. actually, it's always better to stay away from open strings when doing intonation adjustments.
-=tension & release=-
I've just been working on a Tune-O-Matic clone that came on my SX lap steel. It had three saddles flipped. What I was doing was lining them all up straight, as a lap steel needs no intonation adjustments. The scale length isn't even that critical, the "fret" markers are just a visual guide to slide placement and you adjust it by ear anyway. A straight bracket with holes to anchor the strings and notches for saddles works fine. But SX had the Gibby clone parts handy and used them.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
Yeah I'm still not sure how this made such a huge difference.
I have a reg. uncompensated Tusq nut. Before it was mainly the G & B that was back and hitting. I play alot in Eminor scale so I kind of also use all those notes up and down the neck to check too. Right now everything is really showing good on the tuner,trying to use normal pressure. I've checked with two different chromatic tuners, ones on an effect pedal & other's a Korg CA-30.I kinda figured that on a $300 gtr that maybe the precision of the bridge posts was just off or something. Up until now I thought I just had to live with it and was thinking,Oh this is why people buy those $1500 gtrs.
What's strange is that now I do have the saddle compensations at what looks like normal postions.
High E saddle where the string sits is in the middle.
B is slightly back from that.
G slightly further back
D slightly up from G
A back from D
& Low E is back and hitting, but good.
Looks like I could've left the high E either way, but I did have trouble with it too before. Everything's checking good now so I guess I won't question what ever voodoo happened.
One thing I would like to ask is, Are those after market TOM bridges worth trying? Are they just more precision made or are they heavier made and add sustain? I guess I don't need one now for the precision tuning, but if they add sustain or even better tone then I still may upgrade. Looks like most aftermarkets already have the saddles all facing the sameway,Like I have mine now.