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Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Troubleshooting » Archive through December 18, 2006 » Bridge and nut « Previous Next »

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Intermediate Member
Username: mdrdvp

Post Number: 186
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 12:48 am:   Edit Post

I have two questions. First, the adjustable nut. The nut-slots on my bass are too wide, you can park four bikes in it. Somebody adjusted the slots a bit too much. But, it doesn't affect it's playability and sound. Is it wise to replace it, or just leave it the way it is? It just looks a bit silly.
Second, the bridge saddles, it you look at the picture, you'll see that the slot for the E string is on the wrong side of the center line. It is not reversed though. The other three are correct. For now I just made an extra slot in the E-string saddle. Are these saddles easy to replace or is it better to replace the whole bridge? I'm not in a hurry because everything sounds and plays good but maybe in a couple of months I like to fresh up the looks of my Series bass.


Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 672
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 1:33 pm:   Edit Post

(So you must be tuned BEAD, right?)

Replacing the saddles is not difficult, it just takes a while to disassemble the bridge and put it back together. There is no reason to replace the entire bridge. You can just order some new saddles, either blanks to slot yourself, or possibly (not sure) have Alembic slot them if you provide them with the necessary details.

There is no rule about where the slot should be positioned on the saddle. They are all cut by hand, considering string spacing, distance from edge of the neck, etc. Sometimes they spread out toward the sides, others bunch in toward the center, and some may just be shifted to one side. However, yours does seem a little strange, in that it would have put the BE too close together, and EA far apart. If you like the spacing after re-slotting the E, then that's fine.

As for the width of the slots in the nut, as long as they are somewhat V shaped, or have a small enough bottom in the U that the strings fit securely, then that's also fine. You want the slot to have contact up the sides of the string (ideally, a full half circle). If the strings are mostly just sitting on the bottom of the slot without much side contact, then you might notice a slight improvement with a better fitting nut, though it will only matter for open strings. You can certainly get a new blank for the nut, and fit it yourself or have someone local do it for you.
Intermediate Member
Username: mdrdvp

Post Number: 187
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Friday, July 07, 2006 - 12:03 am:   Edit Post

Hi bob,

My bass is tuned EADG. It's in the showcase section under Series I, mysterious pawn shop bass.
I gigged with the bass yesterday and it just worked fine. I will replace the saddles in a couple of weeks.
The slots in the nut are U shaped and a bit too wide, there's nothing I can do about it because we are talking capital U shape here. I raised the nut and it works for now. But I will replace it as well.

Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 674
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Friday, July 07, 2006 - 9:11 am:   Edit Post

(Oh, I get it - I thought you were suggesting the second saddle was wrong, but you really wanted the first one also left of center. Makes more sense.)

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it". As long as you're happy with the way it plays, maybe you should just leave it, unless the appearance really bothers you. Odds are that you won't really notice an improvement in tone or playability.

Glad to hear you're enjoying it. It's a beauty.
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 500
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 3:44 pm:   Edit Post

I had to adjust the nut on my Orion Guitar on Friday whilst on tour in Slovakia. This was because the open D- string started buzzing when I took it out of the flight case on the day of the gig.
The only reason I adjusted the nut was because I couldn't think why adjusting the truss rod would get rid of it. It only required a small turn, maybe just over about 1/2 turn or so.
What would cause the guitar to require that type of adjustment?

It has been to many different countries this year and not required any adjustment at all and it was perfect on the previous gig.

I'd like to give it a bit of a check over before my next concert so any advice would be great.

Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 507
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 3:49 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Jazzy,
Maybe it was feeling a little low. :-)

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4102
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 4:35 pm:   Edit Post

My first guess off the top of my head would be a significant increase in humidity.

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