The Bridges of Martin County
So, I fitted a piezo bridge in a prior episode.
Part of this process was “adjusting” the bridge
One has to file down the excess from the base, carefully.
So here we are
The amount taken off was probably a little too much, and for the thicker strings, there was some fret buzz — which by the way, sounds awful through the piezo, as it hears everything.
Time to order a new bridge
This time, I thought I would go for a bone saddle— the prior was some kind of plastic. I’ve read a lot about the difference.
In this instance, I took the time to create a proper sanding jig — you only need some double sided tape and a sandpaper.
This will make getting a nice flat base much easier — it’s going to be next to impossible to avoid rounding the ends off otherwise.
Now, bone takes a lot of effort to sand
So you might need to move down a gauge for the initial work.
Finally in place
To be honest: I find it hard to hear a difference on the recordings.
Playing the instrument: I prefer the new bridge as the absence of the fret buzz makes it sound much nicer to play. That was not the impact of a bone saddle, but simply a better set-up.
On the recording though — a mixed bag.
What do you hear?
One might hear there to be a slight warbling effect on the later recordings, which could be me muting the soundboard with my forearm inconsistently.
To me, what is more noteworthy is that there is more impact on the tone from how I deliberately strummed the 2 iterations differently with the old and new saddles— the first time, I let the pick skate over the strings, and the second time I held it firmly and strummed more into the strings.
So, there we have it — lessons to learn?
If there is a magic ingredient in bone saddles, I did not experience it there.
As usual: Setup is king.