Bass saddles for sale on Guild site now!!

fronobulax

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It's hard to tell, but there were definitely some plastic saddles early on.

BA-297 almost certainly has them.

BA-297a.jpg

I think BA-404 has them but if you disagree I have better things to do than argue.

BA-404a.JPG

BA-416 looks to have mahogany.

BA-416.jpg

But there are a couple in the BA-5xx range that could be plastic.

Basically using serial numbers to date features is an exercise that has exceptions but I'd say all '65's and the earlier '66's had plastic.

Someone with more motivation might look at JetStars since they used the same bridges and pickups when the JetStar and Starfire were both in production.
 

lungimsam

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Thanks for the info, frono!
So if Guild used it early on then it is another “legit” material for their basses.😀👍
 

Nuuska

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I can take measurements of mine and post here this weekend. I can post both for the brass and ebony.

If possible - metric- please 😂 - I can convert from inchic measures - no problem.
Or if you have inchic caliper w 3 decimals - that will do, too.
 

mgod

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They were originally plastic, as delivered from Hagstrom, then they switched to mahogany. My oldest Starfire has plastic, as do my 2 Hagstrom Coronados, but the rest have mahogany.
 

chazmo

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My '67 saddle split at the top. Gluing it did not work because the pressure on the top of the saddle forced the "legs" apart. I replaced the saddle but the parts are available for the next owner :)
Fro, was the '67 saddle ebony? Just curious.

edit: sorry I didn't see the other posts from the experts. I take it it was plastic or mahogany.
 

fronobulax

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Fro, was the '67 saddle ebony? Just curious.

edit: sorry I didn't see the other posts from the experts. I take it it was plastic or mahogany.

I think for any version of the "harp" (and similar) bridge before 1978 the choices were plastic (before 1967) and mahogany ('67-end of run). If ebony or any other wood was a choice then I will learn that when a reliable source tells me. The 90's reissue tweaked the bridge and the saddle design was different. Newark Street basses used mahogany for the ones with the similar bridge.
 

mellowgerman

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Yup, my old 66 (serial in the mid 300's if I recall correctly) had original plastic saddles. Sounded just fine. Sounded fantastic actually but I doubt rosewood or ebony saddles would have made it sound not fantastic.
 

lungimsam

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If possible - metric- please 😂 - I can convert from inchic measures - no problem.
Or if you have inchic caliper w 3 decimals - that will do, too.
Yes, for those small dimensions I was thinking millimeters, too!
 

lungimsam

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Measurements for the ebony saddles are (as best as these old eyes can tell):
 

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Nuuska

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Thanks for pictures.

About 16 mm long ?

Any idea why the slots are offset ? - an obvious weak point right there.
There seems to be enough intonation adjustment w the paddle - so I see no need for slot offset as for intonation.
Does it affect the sound if you flip them?
 

lungimsam

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17mm long
I think offset to get you a little more adjustment room before they back into the action adjustment screws.
But my brass saddles’ slots are not offset and work fine. Yes that offset creates a weak point where both mine broke.
Doesn’t effect sound if flipped if you file the string slot even front to back.It might if you file slanted like the nut.
I can measure the brass saddles later if you want those measurements. They are a little taller so harder to get lower action with them. I’m at 3/32 at 12 th fret. Any lower and I think I might have to trim the foam stops on the back side of the bridge to lower that end enough to get a good break angle.
 
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Nuuska

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All good - I'm looking at symmetrical design then . . .
 

fronobulax

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Hmmm... I'm as certain as I can be, without getting off the couch and checking the music room, that my '67 and '71 sets are symmetrical and identical for all four strings.
 

Nuuska

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Just occurred to me - if possible - can someone measure the thickness of the paddle ?

2mm gap on saddles is announced - but is it a loose-precise-tight fit ?
 

lungimsam

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Super tight in my 2014 NS Starfire bass.
 

lungimsam

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So you can see here that the( 4) 2014 FMIC non-ebony saddles (on left) are also offset.
The three black ones on right are 2022 Cordoba.
My brass saddles, designed for hagstrom bridges, had shorter channels by about 1mm and are not offset and are a little taller. I had to file the brass channels about 1mm more so the feet would stand on the bridge face. Otherwise they just teetered on the 2014 NS paddles.
 

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Nuuska

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Just thinking - if the offset is there so the thicker side is towards neck - then there is better support. After all the force vector leans that way.

IMG_3743.jpg


On Starfire bridge the situation is not as extreme - but the pressure is still not perpendicular.

You might need to check them saddles while they still are in one piece.
 

lungimsam

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Yes, it appears to me that the string presses against that back top corner of the paddle/saddle slot interface. And that it is where I saw them split apart. I actually was looking at the ebony saddle as it split when I was taking the bass off my shoulder. The neck footer just broke away from/at that corner you drew in the pic above.

Definitely can flip the saddles around any way you like, as long as you get enough space for intonation slider travel and the saddle doesn't butt up against the action adjustment screw, limiting travel, if needed.

The offset may be cut that way for that reason. Good feature to have! But with wood, easier to break.

Using a brass bridge solves the breakage problem, but imho, thins the tone out a bit. They also don't grip the bridge plate as well and all 4 saddles eventually slide their way to the lower bout side, skewing the string alignment (as can be seen in the pic of the black bass above that front posted). You can grab the 4 saddles as one unit and slide them back, though. The wood saddles stay put though. So I prefer wood saddles. Just hope they don't break while playing onstage. It is weird that both my A saddles have broken over time. Gotta check the paddle and see if there is a burr on it or something.
 
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I've seen plastic saddles on Madeira (1970s Guild import line) MB-100 basses (the poor man's JS2).

 
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