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#2494155 - 05/17/13 04:28 PM Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please...
ZZbottom Offline
Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 6
My Gordon-Smith is blessed with a Schaller 455, a "combined bridge and tailpiece unit".
It's the normal arrangement with 6 adjustable saddles, but also features 2 bolts at the rear of the unit which, when adjusted, can push against the 2 stud mountings.
Can someone advise as to how to proceed to correctly intonate with this arrangement, please?
I assumed the idea was to get the open string/12th fret harmonic/fretted note roughly correct by using the 2 bolts first, and then "fine tune" the saddles...?
Thanks

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#2494165 - 05/17/13 05:19 PM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: ZZbottom]
desertbluesman Offline
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Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 2853
Loc: Near Phoenix Az
I use those bridges myself, I generally think the posts are pretty near correct, so I just use the saddles on my guitars and they are all have the proper intonation when adjusting only the saddles.
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#2494237 - 05/18/13 03:38 AM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: desertbluesman]
ZZbottom Offline
Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 6
Thanks for that..my problem seems to be that I can't adjust the saddles enough to get the intonation anywhere near correct - they "run out of room", if you will! - so I've been obliged to tighten the two bolts and push away from the pillars. The reason for the original question was that I've been forced to "push away" more than I'd bargained for! The bolts are virtually home - i.e. at their fullest travel - which "feels" wrong, let alone how it looks!

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#2494259 - 05/18/13 07:35 AM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: ZZbottom]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5431
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Welcome aboard ZZbottom! 1st thing to check is your tuner and make sure it's set at 440. You can put everything in the mid position (ie. saddles and post) and take it to your tech and he'll probably do it for you for $20 bucks. If you want to play around and DIY, then I can only guess where I might start. I would forget about intonation at the 12th fret adjustments(length), until I get the open strings tuning set to 440. I would check to see that the string clearance at the 12th fret is set to specs 1st (height) and that I'm in tune by raising or lowering the bridge posts (hopefully no truss rod adjustments are needed, which I always let my tech do). Then I would adjust the saddles forward or back checking the open vs 12th fret tunings. If they all start running toward the back, I would move the bridge back a little and check again before running out of room...

I prefer to let my tech do it. If you are running out of room with both the saddles and post adjustments, I would suspect the tuner and/or the string height. I've seen pictures on some guitars with this bridge totally stretched out which looks weird but I'm guessing that's what they might have to do on some models? Good Luck with it and Have Fun...


Edited by Larryz (05/18/13 08:00 AM)

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#2494397 - 05/18/13 04:36 PM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: Larryz]
ZZbottom Offline
Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 6
Thanks, Larryz... my tuner(s) are indeed set to 440, and the (set)neck is OK. Without being at all funny about it, I'd better explain that I'm not a beginner at this game - I've regularly setup my Strat and LP over the years without much trouble, but this Schaller design is a new one to me....it's the 2 large bolts that (can) push against the pillars that threw me! I've not come across that idea before, but don't seem able to find any "rule book" on the design, even on the Schaller site.

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#2494402 - 05/18/13 05:28 PM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: ZZbottom]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5431
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Didn't mean to imply you were a beginner, I just thought I would mention the tuner and it is so rare that it almost never happens, but I've caught myself once and a buddy once completely out of tune with the rest of the gang. The guitar would be in tune but somehow the darn tuner was not on 440 and it's ugly when you come in a few cents sharp or flat...go figure...LOL.

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#2494578 - 05/19/13 01:30 PM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: Larryz]
ZZbottom Offline
Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 6
I can imagine, Larryz!
My personal claim to (similar) fame was at one gig where the vocalist announced that the next song was a Free standard.
Indeed it was.
"Alright Now" was indeed a classic.
The drummer clicked us in...and I kicked straight into "Wishing Well".....

Enough of the cold sweats....back to this Schaller bridge!
Can I take it that my guess is correct? The two bolts are used to roughly tune, before the individual saddles are brought into play?

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#2494596 - 05/19/13 02:17 PM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: ZZbottom]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5431
Loc: Hwy 49, California
I think your logic is right on, with the saddles coming in last for final tuning and moving the bridge back with the two bolts should affect intonation. But, in a way I think they can work together when making the two bolt adjustments. I would still put the saddles in the middle and the two bolts set so that the bridge is most of the way in and looks normal at the posts. Raise or lower the bridge posts to get to 440 (raising it from all the way down should get a meter reaction). Then start adjusting the saddles. If they all move a thread or two toward the rear (while watching your meter and if nothing is happening, stop and move the two bolts to move the bridge and take a reading. Then back the saddles, then the two bolts, and so on kind of in a leapfrog fashion until the final saddle adjustments...my WAG (wild ass guess).

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#2494612 - 05/19/13 03:54 PM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: Larryz]
ZZbottom Offline
Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 6
Sound advice, my friend...thanks for your assistance.
I'll let you know how I go on!
It's about 10 to midnight here as I write, so methinks I'll not be starting tonight - I've a feeling there's one or more exasperating hours ahead!
Thanks again for your warm welcome and advice....you're a good 'un.

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#2494667 - 05/19/13 08:09 PM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: ZZbottom]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5431
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Holding me breath and keeping me fingers crossed for ye... thu

ps. had a thought this morning. If you have the stock bridge you can put it back on and measure from the nut to the center of the bridge (scale length) and then put the Schaller back on and measure for the starting point of your two bolt adjustments to get close. If you don't have the stock bridge you can look up the scale length for your model guitar.


Edited by Larryz (05/20/13 07:53 AM)
Edit Reason: ps.

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#2495816 - 05/23/13 12:35 PM Re: Help/advice with Schaller 455 bridge, please... [Re: Larryz]
ZZbottom Offline
Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 6
Good thinking!
Cheers...

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