Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

Tusq Saddles
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Author:  Beckelman [ Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Tusq Saddles

Has anyone modified / added tusq saddles to their Ricky? I have a 2008 360/6 and I've been toying with getting block of tusq (http://www.graphtech.com/products/brand ... 3a41ff887e) and cutting new saddles from it. I haven't figured out yet how to get the precision of the screw hole (drilling in the correct location). Tapping it is pretty easy but drilling it looks like the big challange.

So before I attempt this task I thought I'd ask if someone else has done this, did it make a difference, and how did you get the holes in the correct place?


Author:  Beckelman [ Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tusq Saddles

Below is what I'm doing to create Tusq saddles. The doc is work in progress;

I’m using a Tusq Saddle “slab” (PS-9025-00) for the material to replace my Ricky’s saddles. The slab is black and should not stand out or appear odd as a replacement saddle. Also, the Tusq slab is .25” think and the original saddles are .125” think so the finished saddles will have to be sanded down which I will do as part of shaping the finished saddles.
I started by measuring the width of the Ricky saddles and found they were .3645” wide.
My block of Tusq is 4” wide so I estimated I would get at least 8 saddles from the block. Since I only need 6 saddles, I figured I could mess up 2 of them and still have plenty of material.
After taking into account the thickness of the saw blade and cutting the block bit wider than necessary I decided to lay the blocks out at .44” wide. Once the blocks were cut I planned on sanding the sides smooth and to size.
Next I used an xacto knife and square to score the block into saddle sized pieces.

And ultimately, I got 9 blocks

Next I drilled the hole for the screw. The screws are 6-32 and I used a 1/8” drill for the starter hole and then tapped the hole.
I used a very fine coping saw to cut the score lines about 1/16” deep and then I started sanding the block to its final thinkness of .12”

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Author:  Beckelman [ Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tusq Saddles

So one more post on my Tusq saddles...do it! I finished (99%) them and they did improve the tone dramatically. I realized once I got them install that I should have recorded before and after. Unfortunately I did not. I can tell you the first thing I noticed is the highs are brighter and the lows are warmer. The tinny pitch I had (and didn't like) on the e and B strings is gone. I have not finished the string arch at this point...only set the notches, intonated and set the bridge height. I still need to work on arch but IMO this was worth the effort. I just need to fine tune the saddles to get the arch correct. Oh...and they're not pretty...well...they look ok but the transition from one saddle to the next isn't as clean as the originals but with the cover on who can tell.

Anyway...I'm not going back!

Author:  iiipopes [ Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tusq Saddles

And if you have a whammy, whether the stock Ac'cent, or aftermarket Bigsby, consider graphite saddles as a replacement. As with the Tusq, significant machining will be required. As for me, after taking a stock saddle blank and filing it offset for the low E pair of strings on my 360-12 OS WB FG ckbd so it would intonate correctly, I don't want to put any more time into it. It is good as it is for me.

Author:  Beckelman [ Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tusq Saddles

iiipopes...yes...it did take a couple of days to make the saddles. The block had to be sanded down from it's original 1/4" to 0.12"...that was the most difficult part. And it required a drill press to get the hole for the screw in the right location on each block...so this is not for the faint of heart. But it does sound even cooler than it did with the originals.

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