Bridge issue - string popping out of bridge

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by neilled, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. neilled

    neilled Electromatic

    11
    May 22, 2019
    Northampton, England
    I'm suspecting the answer to this will be 'take it a professional guitar shop/tech' but just wondered if anyone else has had this issue, and what they might have done to try and fix it or put it right. This is my G6120DS, and I have a problem where the high E pops out of the notch in the bridge when I'm finger-picking and pull up on the string. (See attached pic) Logic tells me the notch isn't deep enough, and could be filed down a bit deeper somehow. However I have no idea what tool I could use for this, and I don't want to ruin anything. I have no idea if this is the original bridge or not, (if that is relevant) Any help appreciated!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    That's a Bigsby bridge, most likely stock on that guitar. What gauge string are you using. I think those were made for .011. It's aluminum so you could just take a file to it but I am not a luthier so I can't give you more advice and would caution against just taking a file to it without further advice.

    Bigsby bridges are not standard so if you want a new bridge (say a Gretsch bar or Compton) you would need to get a new standard bridge base as well.
     
    Runamok likes this.
  3. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    The notch looks pretty good. It may be just your style. You could file it a bit deeper but should file the adjacent couple also, maybe the B and G, to even out the string radius.... If you go .010 deeper on the E, Go maybe .005 deeper on the B, and just a few thousanths deeper on the G.
    I think it's the photo but, does your string spacing narrow down a lot to the tailpiece?
    I had one of those bridges and never had that issue. A bar bridge will probably be worse as the "notch" is very shallow.
     
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  4. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I have those bridges on two guitars, and had that issue. I used nut files in the grooves on both bridges with much success. I just worked slow and carefully.
     
  5. neilled

    neilled Electromatic

    11
    May 22, 2019
    Northampton, England
    Thanks for that... The strings are slinky heavy top/skinny bottoms, so the E is .010. Thanks for the info!.
     
  6. neilled

    neilled Electromatic

    11
    May 22, 2019
    Northampton, England
    Oh... It's definitely my style . (or lack of!).. I play with a thumb pick and I pick with 2 fingers, and I'm to brutal on the up-strokes. If I concentrate on picking lighter, my playing becomes less fluid..... I guess if I practiced picking lighter it would come with time, but it would be nice to relax and give the string a good twang without fear of it popping out.
     
  7. neilled

    neilled Electromatic

    11
    May 22, 2019
    Northampton, England
    Thank you.. I'll look into nut files!
     
  8. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    The front of the notch looks good, but I can’t see the back… Make sure it has a downward ramp/slope/slant towards the tailpiece.
     
    mrfixitmi and amp360 like this.
  9. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
  10. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    @neilled
    I got cheapy nut files. No good for fabricating new nuts, but food enough to open slots a bit.
    You can find them on Amazon.
    D04E200B-CF6B-423A-9219-867E4C09EA31.jpeg
     
    new6659, mrfixitmi and GOOBALL JEFF like this.
  11. String Popping out of bridge.

    In the guitar biz, as in horse racing, that is what is known as a “bridge jumper.”


    Needle files are a good tip to avoid expensive nut files, btw.
     
  12. Gregor

    Gregor Country Gent

    My vote's for needle files as well. You probably don't have to go very deep at all. The key here is to go sloooow!!!
     
  13. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    So here's a question I have pondered... (sorry for the thread drift!) :
    Should it slope toward the tail piece? Seems to me that invites potential buzzing on the slope. If you do the opposite, just a "Cliff edge" for the string to exit off of, it exits clean with no potential intermittent contact.
    I started questioning this when installing a bridge like an Tune O Matic that had 3 segments sloping one direction and 3 sloping the opposite! And thinking "wait! Which way really IS best?"

    Also, a round filed notch seems like it may buzz more as you cant get it a perfect match with string diameter....
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
  14. Teledriver

    Teledriver Synchromatic

    Age:
    53
    829
    Feb 12, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    Nut and bridge notches should slope away from the fretboard. Consider the apex of the notch the final potential point of string contact before your fingers/plectrum (the notches...the saddles on a ABR-1 go either way to give a tiny bit more for intonaton purposes).
     
  15. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Legit question. The shape of a TOM saddle is usually sloped either towards the neck or tail piece. The actual notch, as thin as it is, is usually straight. I’ve never heard of a tech actually sloping them. :)
    The 3rd saddle in your nice diagram seems a recipe for making string buzz.

    I make small “V”s, they’ll round out soon enough IMO.
     
  16. Teledriver

    Teledriver Synchromatic

    Age:
    53
    829
    Feb 12, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    True @Ricochet. ABR-1's are flat. A small notch, and they are so narrow where the string touches the saddle that sloping/slanting is not needed. The grooves in a nut are a different story.
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  17. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    Yes, that's what I meant to point out. Trying to file a radius like the lower left is likely a bad recipe too. The V avoids it.
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  18. gretsch-to-go

    gretsch-to-go Gretschie

    192
    Oct 2, 2019
    Palm Coast, FL
    I'd raise the bridge saddle piece on at least the treble side a little and adjust the action height to create more string break angle ? What I see ? That Bigsby doesn't have the front roller bar to hold the string at the proper break angle like you would see with a Bigsby B7 or even a B5. That string break angle is more downward tension, sufficient enough to hold the strings in place over the compensated saddle piece. Filing a saddle slot deeper might affect intonation. And you don't want the string to bind in that saddle slot when you use the Bigsby, you want the string tension of the string break angle to hold in the saddle slot though. This is a Nashville, not a Metal Super Shredder for low action I think that's a Bigsby B6 Kalamazoo Series. My advice is screw wheel adjustment(s) not filing.

    https://www.bigsby.com/products/vibratos/b6/

    nashville.jpg

    https://reverb.com/au/item/18508591-2003-gretsch-g6120ds-nashville-in-excellent-condition
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
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