Guitar repair & setup workshop in Manchester, UK

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Bone bridge saddle making for acoustic guitars

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When it comes to making a bespoke bone saddle for an acoustic guitar there are lots of factors that are all really important.

I make my saddles from a rectangular blanks especially for your guitar's bridge which means that it's 100% tailor made to be spot-on for the best playability, sound, looks and performance.

saddle blanks

If you don't have a bone saddle in your acoustic guitar you are missing out big time, it really is my favourite tonal upgrade for acoustics

Bone is an awesome material, although it's a traditional material used in guitar making it has many advantages.

broken saddle

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Advantages of having a bespoke made saddle:

bone saddle measuring

A perfect fit for your saddle slot

Some guitars have a saddle in that's too thin. Not only is that terrible for string-to-soundboard transfer but they can lean and give a poor string contact point resulting in a fuzzy tone. I make mine to be snug so that theres just the right amount of pressure holding it in

bone saddle measuring

Made with the correct radius

Your guitar's fingerboard (unless it's a classical guitar) has a curvature and the saddle has to mirror this radius perfectly so that the strings may be held at the right height from E to e string.

bone saddle height

Bridge height optimised for your guitar's setup

Although the guitar's string height is dependant on other factors too, one of my new bridge saddles with be set perfectly for your playing style

under saddle piezo pickup

Great for undersaddle pickups

For those who have Piezo transducers hiding under their bridges, bone is great for those too. It carries all the same tonal advantages straight to the pickup itself. String to string balance is carefully monitored too so that when plugged in, each string has the same output volume as the next.

  >Read about acoustic pickup installation  

bone saddle intonation


Although many acoustic guitars are designed with an offset bridge saddle angle, the intonation pattern needs to be fine tuned for optimum intonation string to string. My bone saddles are intonation compensated with the use of a "B-Bump" on the B string. Also available in a straight intonation pattern if required

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How they're made - Maing a bone saddle from scratch

Here's how i make a new bone saddle from scratch - this one's for a 12 string acoustic

measuring a bone saddle blank

A saddle blan is sleected from my stock and the thickness measured, I'm looking for one that will fit snugly into the rosewood saddle slot of the guitar's bridge

bone saddle blank trimmed

The saddle blank in sanded to the perfect thickness and then the ends are trimmed and rounded so that they fit inside the saldde slot perfectly.

Acoustic saddle rough sanded

The saddle is now rough sanded to the correct radius. The curve in this fingerboard is 14" so it's important for the bridge saddle to match it

bone saddle radius

Here's the saddle with the correct radius sanded onto it. Of course it's way too high at the moment, the top also need some attention

12 string acoustic saddle intonation pattern

This is the intonation compensation pattern needed for each independent string to play in tune. This curve affects the intonation of each string which is responsible for the string playing in tune as you fret higher notes. The 12-string version is extra complex whn compared to the 6 string version.

Not how the unison strings B-B ad E-E share the exact same position?

12 string compensated saddle

Here's how it looks in real life - fiddly to make for sure

12 string compensated saddle

The new saddle is fitted into the bridge slot, the heigh just needs to be set now

12 string compensated saddle

Here's the saddle all strung up!

During the process of setting the saddle height you have to de-stringthe guitar a few times and yes, I broke the damn G string again!

  >Buy a bone saddle now      >Back to Guitar Upgrades