Highwood saddles bottoming out on bridge?? Need advice

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Strat_3TSB, Apr 7, 2021 at 7:37 PM.

  1. Strat_3TSB

    Strat_3TSB Strat-Talker

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    Whats up everyone, I recently got a set of Highwood saddles for my 09 strat and have some questions. On the high and low E string, in order to get the my desired action (2mm) i have to bottom out the saddle on the bridge, essentially making the height screws useless. At that point the are loose and will just fall out. Im curious if its ok just to remove them and let the saddle just lay flush on the bridge with no height screws? The Highwoods don't let you lower the action nearly as much as the stock stamped saddles. I also noticed the screws are not as snug in the threads as the stockers. So ill be curious over time of those loosen up on me.

    If im missing something here let me know. A few pictures showing what i mean.. You can see on the E string i have the height screws completely removed in order to get the saddle to its lowest point. Any info is appreciated. Ive never had this issue with the stock bent saddles or graphtech block. Also the bridge is decked.

    strat1.jpg strat2.jpg strat3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 7:43 PM
  2. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 8:04 PM
  3. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Curious as to why you changed saddles?
     
  4. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

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    Probably not an ideal setup, but if that is working, sure you can do that. The string tension will hold the saddle where it is.
     
  5. Strat_3TSB

    Strat_3TSB Strat-Talker

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    The spacing is correct, 2 1/16 for an American Standard. Regardless, im not sure how that would effect the saddle height.
     
  6. Strat_3TSB

    Strat_3TSB Strat-Talker

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    Wanted something a little smoother on the hand, but don't really like the block saddles. I tried messing with different height screws for the stockers but couldn't quite get it were i wanted. Figured id give these a try.
     
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  7. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    Looking at that last picture, looking across the pickguard, the line where the neck meets the body it appears that the neck is either shimmed slightly forward, in which case you could remove the shim, or if there isn't one in ther alread you could shim then neck back a bit which would lower the action allowing you to raise the saddles to get your desired action.

    This may or may not be good advice, but I'd at least remove the neck and see what's what.
     
  8. Strat_3TSB

    Strat_3TSB Strat-Talker

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    I appreciate the advice here. I have never shimmed the neck, but when i did get the guitar originally i did have a shop set it up, so they may have. The guitar hasn't been played in over 6 years so i'm just trying remember whats what :)
     
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  9. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    I would definitely check the neck pocket and make sure the neckmis sitting flush in it. If it os then you can either shim it back or, if the action os where you like it, leave the saddles flat on the bridge. If anything you will.at least have more contact with the bridge plate than those two tiny grub screws.
    That is the main reason I use Babicz saddles on my guitars...for the full contact with the plate.
     
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  10. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    And when using saddles with grub screws, I find it helps to do it to lower them so that they don't claw up your meat as you play.
     
  11. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    Won't hurt anything to take the neck off and look. Tip: Keep the string taut on the tuning heads as you slack them off to keep the string from slipping off/out. Once you have them slacked off enough, keep them taught at the nut and put a capo on at the first or second fret, so all the slack is over the neck/body.

    This way when you take out the neck crews you can just flip the neck up and over and set it aside to check the neck pocket and you won't have to do a full restringing when you put it back together.

    Just reconnect the neck, take the slack out of the strings, remove the capo and tune to pitch.
     
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  12. Strat_3TSB

    Strat_3TSB Strat-Talker

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    Cool im going to do this in a bit and will report back, i have never taken the neck off a guitar so thanks for the tip on the capo on the first fret.. i have locking tuners so that may make it easier too.
     
  13. Strat_3TSB

    Strat_3TSB Strat-Talker

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    Ya im thinking im just going to leave those to saddles flat on the bridge.. I don't see how the screws will really make a difference.
     
  14. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    Actually the locking tuners make it sort of unnecessary since they'll grip the strings and keep them from coming out. It's more useful with non lockers and especially those with the hole in the top. Once loose all those extra winds are a hassle to get back on right.

    But I do it as a matter of course. At the very least it keeps the strings seated at the nut, so that when you're re-tightening them your hand is free to make sure they're seated at the saddle until they're taut enough.
     
  15. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    As long as the action is acceptable and you want to keep the bridge decked, then leaving it as-is is perfectly acceptable.

    If you do want to float the trem, then you'll need to raise the bridge plate 1/8" or so and you'll need to adjust the neck angle to allow the saddles to provide proper action.
     
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  16. Strat_3TSB

    Strat_3TSB Strat-Talker

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    Just confirmed, there is no shim between the neck and the body..
     
  17. Strat_3TSB

    Strat_3TSB Strat-Talker

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    I appreciate that man thank you. I do keep the bridges decked on my guitars. I can get the action on both E strings right were i normally have it, but no lower in its current form. So ill just leave the height screws out on those.

    I guess the only way to get lower action would be to shim the inside of the neck (where its closer to the body)?
     
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  18. rockon1

    rockon1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I'd shim the neck a tiny bit. It would bother me not having wiggle room in either direction.
     
  19. Strat_3TSB

    Strat_3TSB Strat-Talker

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    are there any common items people shim them with?
     
  20. rockon1

    rockon1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    1/2 a business card or so works well.
     
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