Jamie and Pamela came to visit last weekend, and while they were here, Jamie and I replaced the saddle on my new guitar. The “new” guitar, for those keeping score (I understand Jamie currently has my meagre tally doubled) is a Johnson parlor guitar (though it’s a bit big as parlor guitars go) that I bought online for very cheap. It’s nowhere near as loud or well made as my fancy S&P, but it’s fun to play.
Jamie snapped a couple photos of the saddle-replacement process.
The saddle, for those not guitarisitically-inclined, is the bit of material (traditionally bone — though nowadays usually plastic) that transfers sound from the vibrating strings to the top of the guitar body. As such, the quality of the saddle affects the sound a great deal. In my case we were removing the cheap saddle it came with and installing one with greater quality and density.
Pulling the old saddle out took both of us, one to hold the guitar down on my kitchen table and the other to lever it out with pliers. In order to get the new saddle to fit we had to sand down the sides.
Despite our general inexperience (though Jamie has been doing other kinds of mods on his guitars of late), the installation went well. The new saddle raised the strings slightly and this stopped some fret buzz that had been happening on the treble strings.
It’s always really hard to tell with this kind of thing, but I’m confident in saying that the overall sound has improved as well.