After-market saddles that are SHORTER front-to-back? My bridge is mounted too far forward...

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Overthere, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    As I said in your original thread, the first thing I would do is buy a set of branded reliable strings, hell I'm a Yorkshireman but $5 will hardly lead to starvation.
     
  2. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    I hear you and I know your intention is to help me out, but a new set of strings will not solve my problem.

    New stings will not relocate the bridge reward by 5/32".

    Nor will they modify the trem block cavity by adding material to the front wall to support 6 new mounting holes, and route the back wall to enlarge for trem block swing clearance.

    Nor will they drill the two missing holes in the trem block.

    The guitar is intonated at present, but only because I removed every one of the saddle tensioner springs to get additional rearward adjustment room.

    Over the course of THREE DAYS WASTED trying to intonate this guitar, a premonition developed: hold off on restringing because this otherwise great guitar will ultimately be returned for refund.

    The only reviews I find online are at the mfr/retailer's own website. Average is 4.5 stars, but I think most who buy it never discover the fatal design flaw (bridge mounted too far forward) because they don't intonate and don't even install the trem arm. At $100, it's a toy. However, I have found a few reviews that mention intonation difficulties. More importantly, the three-part YouTube video series that convinced me to purchase this instrument could not, in the end, intonate the low-E string properly. He also found that a standard strat pickguard would not fit between the heel of the neck and bridge plate. THE PLOT THICKENS. =O

    I placed a call to the mfr/retailer this morning and spoke with a good front-line support rep, who knows nothing about guitars, but has promised to escalate the matter to someone who does. I presented the issue as a fatal design flaw. At one point in the conversation, she switched gears from "I'll look into this further" to "I'll process a refund," so I think she discovered prior incidents, though she didn't admit it. So I'll wait to hear from their product specialist. My intention is to tell them everything I know in order to HELP them straighten out the manufacturing defect. But who knows, maybe they'll call me back with a simple fix. =]

    Are we making any music yet...?
    Not yet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
  3. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    This is the last time I ask. Have you put on a new set of decent strings?

    Everything else you are doing or thinking about is a waste of time otherwise.

    @Thrup'ny Bit and I have only been playing for a combined 100 years or so, so maybe we are missing something....:rolleyes:
     
  4. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Replacing the trem assembly *might* solve the issue, but you shouldn't have to do that on a new guitar. Return this POS and get yourself a Squier.
     
  5. rake6978

    rake6978 Strat-Talker

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    1. how does the guitar feel? Do you like it?
    2. how does it sound? again, do YOU like it?
    3. how does it look to YOU? do you like it?

    If you answered yes to these questions then let's work the kinks out of it!
    Drilling the two hoes out is no big deal.
    Another option with your intonation issue it to add a 3/16" shim in the end
    of the neck pocket to lengthen the scale slightly. A little white model paint
    and it will almost disappear. If you don't have any maple
    I'd gladly mail you a small piece FOC to get you up and running.
     
  6. Personal Gsus

    Personal Gsus Strat-Talk Member

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    This seems like a lot of drama for a guitar that can be returned(?)

    OP, why are you so determined to MacGyver this particular guitar?
     
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  7. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Cheap or old strings can make a guitar impossible to intonate.
    Likewise, a new set will intonate "off" until they "stretch" (break angle radius at the saddle and tuner post take a set)

    If your measurements are correct (and they appear to be if 25.5" falls within the first 30% of the adjustable range) the only things left are the fret alignment and strings.
     
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  8. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    There are two different bridge designs that use different length saddles. The long bridge is more modern the short bridge is vintage style.
     
  9. Odell

    Odell Strat-Talk Member

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    Lowering the saddle has the same effect as moving it backward. Try lowering it until the low E intonates and see what you've got in terms of action. You might want to add some relief if it's too low.

    Setting the trem to float can also add height. Tightening the springs to bring the plate flat on the body might help.
     
  10. BRhat

    BRhat Strat-Talk Member

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  11. BRhat

    BRhat Strat-Talk Member

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    Did you tighten down your mounting screws all the way. If so you won't be able to deck your bridge plate. Loosen the 6 mounting screws just enough to allow the bridge to sit flat.
     
  12. Imtxn

    Imtxn Strat-Talk Member

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    If you are close, cut the springs. Another option might be to shim the end of the pocket pushing the neck away from the body. But this requires plugging & redrilling the body holes it you don’t like them oversized
    IMHO, the holes were probably drilled perpendicular to the body, but the softer wood in that area where the bridge was mounted was compressed by the string tension.
    Is the block still centered in the route
     
  13. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Guys... ^^^^^^^

    Issue resolved.
     
  14. Five Aces

    Five Aces Strat-Talk Member

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    His issue is resolved, but I'd like to comment on what a previous post suggested....

    "Another option with your intonation issue it to add a 3/16" shim in the end
    of the neck pocket to lengthen the scale slightly. A little white model paint
    and it will almost disappear. If you don't have any maple...."

    On the lesser expensive guitars (that are obviously the bolt-on neck models), I've done this on several guitars and it's the least evasive, and easily reversible. I've usually added a 1/4" thick shim and spent a little extra time hand filing/sanding to insure a good neck pocket fit. The overlap of a 22 fret fingerboard will usually hide the small gap. and if you slightly open up the neck clearence holes in the body, you will not even need to redrill the neck. Then, when you remount the neck and restring it up to proper tension, loosen the neck bolts slightly so the tension of the strings compress the neck firmly into the pocket and helps to insure the shim is compressed in place, then retighten the neck bolts. Not only will it solve the intonation adjustment issue, it allows that if you decide to swap tremolo bridges or parts, you will have enough tolerance for just about any quality replacement parts, without fear of fit. As long as you take the time and care to fit the shim right, you absolutely will not lose tone, resonance, sustain, or any other issue that some will say. I still have a Strat and a Tele modded that same way and I will put them up against any of the better models for comparison (that's why I kept them).
    I did it also to a Fender AmSe Strat just because I didn't like seeing my block saddles with no springs just to get it to intonate. And it validated my point that it did not hurt the guitar in any way! I got a lot of critisizm about it just because it "wasn't right" to do. Mind you, these are the same people that claim that their tuning problems are because they didn't have locking tuners! Yeah...right! Just sayin' .....'nuff said!
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
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  15. DemonSTRATe

    DemonSTRATe Strat-Talk Member

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    AHA! When I read the msg that started this thread I thought, "I wonder if he's got the Indio Classic like I do (mine's Blue Burst) which has the same issue." In fact, I bought the guitar because of that video too (knowing I could get it delivered to Toronto because Darrell has it in Alberta)!
    In my case, my low E is still not as it should be, but rather than remove the spring (which I thought mightn't help enough), I bought a replacement trem system from China. It's a Musiclilly product which (maddeningly) has nothing written on it to identify it. All it has is the company name and its 3 contact links. Of course, I bought it based on the right measurements. It has a thicker block, a push-in arm, claw, 3 springs, and the 7 screws. I also have a small plastic bag with an Allen key, screws, springs and 6 saddles that are *slightly* smaller than the ones on the Indio.
    The sad fact is, I haven't installed any of these yet; but I'm hoping that one or both will result in proper intonation (and other things). When the change happens, I'll report back.
    The surprising thing is that the saddles on my Indio say "Fender" and I don't remember having swapped them in! In other news, I replaced the original Indio tuners with Wilkinson EZ Lok tuners.
     
  16. bmikultyak

    bmikultyak Strat-Talk Member

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    I may have missed it but which way is it off frequency wise (sharp or flat)? Not to offend but are you going the wrong way? Also, are you using a good tuner (strobe)? Lastly, I'm not sure of the threads but there are "block" saddles without the angle adjustments (similar to some basses) which might work without any alterations. Check out Stew Mac.
     
  17. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Strat-Talker

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    For the price and trouble of a fix; lose it. You can get a decent Squire infinity cheap enough, and it will be much closer to correct.
     
  18. Doc538

    Doc538 Strat-Talker

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    IMHO 1. Should have spent less and bought an $80 Glarry. 2. Should have taken advice and replace strings first. Those bailing wire Chinese strings are lucky to tune let alone intoneate. 3. If you're not into doing a lot of modding to achieve a playable axe, take the refund, add a little to it and buy up to a guitar that plays out of the box or can be adjusted at the store. There are some things that some people should not buy online.
     
  19. rmackowsky

    rmackowsky Strat-Talker

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    I just bought the same white Indio for $80. Once it gets here and I tune and intonate, I'll report back.
     
  20. Five Aces

    Five Aces Strat-Talk Member

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    I kinda agree with some of the previous posts...
    When you go & buy "inexpensive" guitars, you either realize that you're gonna end up doing what the factory didn't, or you spend what money you saved to a professional to fix it! That's partially why you got it so cheap! So you either make this a learning oportunity and do it yourself so you make it "yours". and understand that if you screw it up, you'll learn a lot in the process and chalk it up to experience.
    That's how I finally got my feet wet working on my own guitars. Years ago I bought a cheapie Tele on Craigslist for $20 and learned everything from messing with the truss rod, cleaning up sharp frets and even repairing dings in the finish! And with all I learned with that Tele, I still have it and it's now one of my go-to guitars! ....and yes, I had intonation issues and actually had to insert a spacer in the neck pocket. If you put in a spacer the full width of the pocket ( not just a small piece) and you contour it to fit like a puzzle, it will not hurt the tone, and the neck will be very stable if you plug & redrill properly (no toothpicks!). Professionals plug & redrill necks all the time!

    If all of that is too overwhelming to you, or you have no desire or mechanical talents to speak of, then take the sure route and just get a refund.
    These kind of guitars will ALWAYS need work of some kind. Those who proclaim they are perfect out-of-the-box are rare and few. It's more likely that they are inexperienced in recognizing the issues, or are inexperienced and haven't learned yet! Even (as an example) Darrell Braun's review gives some of these guitars high marks for a starter guitar, but usually follow up commenting that "for the price, they are pretty good" but always follows up with suggestions on what it needs to be done to make them better!