Fender strat approximate intonation saddle setting

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anthm

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Joined: 05/16/20

Posts: 53

Hi all,

Thanks in advance to any of the guitar Tecs that take the time to go through this.

It relates to the bridge on Fender Strat with 6 individually adjustable saddles. (My Strat recently purchased (Player Series))

I do have a question on the approximate intonation settings of bridge saddles. In particular, the initial settings of the individual saddles, pre fine-tuning of the sadlles. I have copied and pasted this Quote off the fender website. (I recently bought a Strat and the saddle settings were NOT set as in in the quote below)

Firstly the Quote:

""You can preset the basic intonation of your guitar by taking a tape measure and measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the 12th fret (the fret wire itself; not the fingerboard). Double that measurement to find the scale length of your guitar. Adjust the first-string bridge saddle to this scale length, measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the bridge saddle.

Now adjust the distance of the second-string saddle back from the first saddle, using the gauge of the second string as a measurement. For example, If the second string is .011" (0.3 mm), you would move the second-string saddle back .011" (0.3 mm) from the first saddle. Move the third saddle back from the second saddle using the gauge of the third string as a measurement. The fourth-string saddle should be set parallel with the second-string saddle. Proceed with the fifth and sixth saddles with the same method used for strings two and three."

Now the Question.

Do you subscribe to the theory above? "I have heard this called string thickness compensation." Personally, I can not seem to fathom how or why this would work. I just purchased a Strat and it came out of the shop with the string saddles were in an arrow shape, Es further from the nut and D and G closer to the nut and A and B between the two to create the arrow that points towards the Nut. ( Basically, my guitar came out of the shop in contrary to the above quote)

Anyways, if you have time I would be interested in your take on the subject, or any other experts that happen to read this. Thank you in advance.


Kind Regards

Anthony

#1

Hi all,

Thanks in advance to any of the guitar Tecs that take the time to go through this.

It relates to the bridge on Fender Strat with 6 individually adjustable saddles. (My Strat recently purchased (Player Series))

I do have a question on the approximate intonation settings of bridge saddles. In particular, the initial settings of the individual saddles, pre fine-tuning of the sadlles. I have copied and pasted this Quote off the fender website. (I recently bought a Strat and the saddle settings were NOT set as in in the quote below)

Firstly the Quote:

""You can preset the basic intonation of your guitar by taking a tape measure and measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the 12th fret (the fret wire itself; not the fingerboard). Double that measurement to find the scale length of your guitar. Adjust the first-string bridge saddle to this scale length, measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the bridge saddle.

Now adjust the distance of the second-string saddle back from the first saddle, using the gauge of the second string as a measurement. For example, If the second string is .011" (0.3 mm), you would move the second-string saddle back .011" (0.3 mm) from the first saddle. Move the third saddle back from the second saddle using the gauge of the third string as a measurement. The fourth-string saddle should be set parallel with the second-string saddle. Proceed with the fifth and sixth saddles with the same method used for strings two and three."

Now the Question.

Do you subscribe to the theory above? "I have heard this called string thickness compensation." Personally, I can not seem to fathom how or why this would work. I just purchased a Strat and it came out of the shop with the string saddles were in an arrow shape, Es further from the nut and D and G closer to the nut and A and B between the two to create the arrow that points towards the Nut. ( Basically, my guitar came out of the shop in contrary to the above quote)

Anyways, if you have time I would be interested in your take on the subject, or any other experts that happen to read this. Thank you in advance.


Kind Regards

Anthony

Guitar Tricks Admin

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Joined: 09/28/05

Posts: 3047

This is a great detailed question! I'm sure one of the techs on this forum will be able to provide an answer!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

#2

This is a great detailed question! I'm sure one of the techs on this forum will be able to provide an answer!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7356

Originally Posted by: anthm

I do have a question on the approximate intonation settings of bridge saddles. In particular, the initial settings of the individual saddles, pre fine-tuning of the sadlles.

You should post this question in the GT Guitar Tech forum in order to get an answer from a professional guitar tech.

https://www.guitartricks.com/forum/threads.php?f=30

Originally Posted by: anthm
Do you subscribe to the theory above?
"I have heard this called string thickness compensation."[/quote]

Yes. All my Strats (& other electrics with individual saddles) are set up like this. From there I have to adjust each guitar because there are micro-differences in nut to bridge distance, string gauge & action/height.

Essentially the staggered pattern is due to the strings being slightly different thicknesses. And the wound strings react slightly differently than the unwound strings, which is the reason for the setback jump staggering from the G to D strings.

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#3

Originally Posted by: anthm

I do have a question on the approximate intonation settings of bridge saddles. In particular, the initial settings of the individual saddles, pre fine-tuning of the sadlles.

You should post this question in the GT Guitar Tech forum in order to get an answer from a professional guitar tech.

https://www.guitartricks.com/forum/threads.php?f=30

Originally Posted by: anthm
Do you subscribe to the theory above?
"I have heard this called string thickness compensation."[/quote]

Yes. All my Strats (& other electrics with individual saddles) are set up like this. From there I have to adjust each guitar because there are micro-differences in nut to bridge distance, string gauge & action/height.

Essentially the staggered pattern is due to the strings being slightly different thicknesses. And the wound strings react slightly differently than the unwound strings, which is the reason for the setback jump staggering from the G to D strings.

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

anthm

Full Access

Joined: 05/16/20

Posts: 53

Thanks, Chris for the input.

I reposted this thread here

https://www.guitartricks.com/forum/thread.php?f=30&t=57897

#4

Thanks, Chris for the input.

I reposted this thread here

https://www.guitartricks.com/forum/thread.php?f=30&t=57897

DraconusJLM

Full Access

Joined: 06/21/21

Posts: 185

My electrics are pretty much the same as described on the Fender website, but with some adjustments for fine tuning.

I wouldn't worry about where the saddles are on your guitar if the intonation is correct.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....

#5

My electrics are pretty much the same as described on the Fender website, but with some adjustments for fine tuning.

I wouldn't worry about where the saddles are on your guitar if the intonation is correct.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....