Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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akpasta
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Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:04 am

Hi Folks,

I have posted before, but still haven't solved this problem. I have a 66' Fender XII and I have some sitar-sounding saddle buzz coming from the high octave D (.13) and G (.10) strings. I am 100% confident it is coming from the saddles. As you know, the Fender XII saddles are round, so unlike a tune o matic, or other bridges with minimal contact between string and saddle, there is a lot of contact here, due to its shape, and I am getting a sound as if the string is vibrating against the saddle behind its initial point of contact. I've tried flipping the saddles around, cleaning them, etc.

I have taken it to the two most reputable shops in my city.

The first basically told me they don't hear it (ie we can't fix it and you're overreacting).

The second shop said they absolutely hear it and also trace it back to the saddles. They first buffed down the saddle to smooth out any thing that could be causing vibration. When that didn't work, they tried to file a string slot into one of the saddles. Problem is, the saddles are made of steel and they could not file a path with saddle files. They said they'd have to use a rotary dremel wheel to literally cut into it. They didn't want to do that, and I am skeptical it will even work because those wheels are very wide.

1. Their next idea was to basically cut a small section out of the saddle, almost like a piece of pie, with a cutting wheel, which would give a point for the string to sit on, ensuring no part of the string could touch anything behind the point of contact with the saddle. Imagine from 12 to 3 o clock on the saddle there is no material. The string rests at 12 o'clock and there is literally no material behind it. If I had a spare saddle I'd absolutely try it. Unfortunately if it doesn't work, these things are HARD to replace.

2. Their next idea that was to remove the saddles and saddle block entirely, and fit a tune-o-matic style bridge where the saddle block is currently located. A Gibson-style 12 saddle tune-o-matic bridge would fit in the space https://www.guitarparts.co.nz/media/cat ... -web_1.jpg but the problem is the overall string width of those bridges is significantly narrower than the fender XII width, so there would be a LOT of empty space on each side of the fretboard and the strings would be very close together.

Does anyone have tips on other bridges out there that string up tune-o-matic style? I measured a Rick 12 saddle bridge and it has the same issue with the bridge width. Gotoh style will not work because of the string through pattern through the back of the guitar.

For reference, here's an image of the bridge (not mine):

Image

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FEXII
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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by FEXII » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:04 am

I think you have got the saddles on in the wrong order. There are 4 different sizes. I have never had this problem myself. Is the sound amplified when you play or is it just when you play it not plugged in? I don't have time at the moment sorry as I am really busy, but in a couple of weeks I can try to find my parts list for a XII and it will show you the correct order for the saddles. Someone has probably had it to pieces and put them back in a random order. I would NOT drill or cut anything. That is one of the best (if not the best) factory bridge assemblies ever designed for a 12 string guitar and it usually works very well.

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:14 am

FEXII wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:04 am
I think you have got the saddles on in the wrong order. There are 4 different sizes. I have never had this problem myself. Is the sound amplified when you play or is it just when you play it not plugged in? I don't have time at the moment sorry as I am really busy, but in a couple of weeks I can try to find my parts list for a XII and it will show you the correct order for the saddles. Someone has probably had it to pieces and put them back in a random order. I would NOT drill or cut anything. That is one of the best (if not the best) factory bridge assemblies ever designed for a 12 string guitar and it usually works very well.
I don't believe I have the saddles in the wrong order, but if you could confirm for me that might help to cross it off the list. I would imagine the high D and G octave would be the tallest saddles as those strings are in the middle of the fretboard where it is highest, and also they are thin strings. It shouldn't really matter in my mind which saddle it is, as it is NOT fret buzz.

I hear the sound all the time with those strings: open, fretted anywhere, amplified, unplugged. It's saddle buzz, sitar-like. Subtle yes, but you REALLY hear it if you play only those strings, making individual melodies buzzy like a sitar.

Here you can see the exact photo of my bridge - https://drive.google.com/file/d/124KBP ... sp=sharing apologies I couldn't embed the photo, but I don't have it hosted online.

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by Cpe4spd » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:29 pm

Saddle diameters measured around the middle, narrower part of the saddle

E 01- part #36 - .278" / 7.08mm
E 02- part #36 - .278" / 7.08mm
B 03- part #38 - .340" / 8.65mm
B 04- part #38 - .340" / 8.65mm
G 05- part #39 - .371" / 9.42mm
G 06- part #40 - .391" / 9.95mm
D 07- part #39 - .371" / 9.42mm
D 08- part #40 - .391" / 9.95mm
A 09- part #38 - .340" / 8.65mm
A 10- part #39 - .371" / 9.42mm
E 11- part #36 - .278" / 7.08mm
E 12- part #37 - .305" / 7.76mm

Hope this helps. Part number off of parts list diagram :)
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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by FEXII » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:39 pm

Where are you (what City)?

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by Cpe4spd » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:48 pm

In Anchorage, when not in Nashville were I worked and lived. Like to spend time up North now days. 8)
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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by FEXII » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:58 pm

Cpe4spd wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:48 pm
In Anchorage, when not in Nashville were I worked and lived. Like to spend time up North now days. 8)
And You?
Thanks! I meant akpasta . . . was seeing if I could help, but good to know anyway! I should have made it clear!

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:09 pm

I'm in the Bay Area. And my G and D saddles are correct, thank you for those numbers!

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by Cpe4spd » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:03 pm

Hmm... Well it sounds like this has really been an on going problem for you. And anything mentioned has probobly already been brought up as a possible solution seeing this has been covered. So the little I can add is this . is the intonation spring strong enough pushing against the saddle. are the saddles at all loose, or vibrating against each other. Does the string touch the spring or rub against it. Where the string comes up through the hole in bridge could vibrate. That solution might be removing bridge or loosening screws and trying to slide it a bit, then tighten it. Try a couple brass ones or have a couple news ones made-machined. What ever you do, save all the original parts and don't damage any or have them modified. As original parts are hard to find and it would devalue the guitar. 2 cents
Good Luck :)
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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by Britfingers » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:49 am

I have a few spare saddles you can have. PM me and i will send you them at no charge.

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by timtam » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:29 am

Can you dampen different bridge components as you strum (eg with your fingers or rubber damper) such that the buzz goes away ? If you've swapped saddles around and it doesn't go away it sounds like it's coming from somewhere other than the saddle itself. Have you tried removing just (some of) the springs ?

More specs here BTW ...
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vie ... hp?t=17272

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by ludobag1 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:20 am

to me no filing needed ,try before a neck adjustement at heel ,a fine piece of wood Under the heel ,a shim ;)

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:47 am

There's definitely no buzzing coming from the saddle springs or from elsewhere vibrations on the bridge. It's not something the shop has said a neck shim will fix either.

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by ludobag1 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:24 am

have you try it ?
more pressure on bridge avoid strin g buzz on jazzmaster ,fender need shim really often
it is easy to do if you know how to set up a guitar ,my jazzmaster are all shimed ,my xii Don't need but i play rarely it

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Re: Fender Electric XII Saddle Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:35 am

ludobag1 wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:24 am
have you try it ?
more pressure on bridge avoid strin g buzz on jazzmaster ,fender need shim really often
it is easy to do if you know how to set up a guitar ,my jazzmaster are all shimed ,my xii Don't need but i play rarely it
Hi! The reason a shim benefits jazzmasters but would not work on a Fender XII is the break angle of the strings over the jazzmaster bridge is very shallow because the tail piece is so far back from the bridge. The Fender XII break angle is already very steep over the bridge, the tension is very high already. Adding a shim would not make enough of a difference. Jazzmaster/Fender XII bridges are very different.

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