Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

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Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by corsair on Fri May 13, 2011 6:56 am

I've always been puzzled by the roller saddles that don't roll, and whilst I mentioned it and had a play with them 2 or 3 years ago, I have the opportunity now to have a really good look at the engineering involved.



They won't - as they're fitted - rotate about the axle. Simple as that, and the reason might be because the engineers who designed and built this may have considered that a rotating wheel is going to cause quite some wear on either the axle or the hole through the saddle with the attendant problems down the track a ways, and preferred the string just to move across the roller surface which I'm quite positive is a very high grade hardened steel. I reason this because I cannot ream the hole out with any of the bits I have available to me here; in fact putting the bit to the hole results in a blunt bit very, very quickly indeed. I'm NOT going to touch this to a grinder to see what sort of sparks I get!!!

So the wheel is an interference fit in the bracket, and the roll pin is an interference fit in both the wheel and the bracket...







They are roller saddles which are not designed to actually roll; more accurate perhaps to call them barrel saddles!!!

Discuss.... Laughing

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Iceman on Fri May 13, 2011 7:51 am

Where in the assembly did you pull that spring pin from?

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by corsair on Fri May 13, 2011 9:13 am

The roll pins hold the roller and the adjustment lever in the housing; I used a 1.6mm parallel pin punch to drive 'em out....

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Iceman on Fri May 13, 2011 4:22 pm

Well then, if those are the stock components there is no chance it was designed to rotate, unless the engineer was a real stooge. Judging by the overall quality of the Mats as a whole I find that possibility remote at best.

Spring or roll pins are designed to be pressed or tapped into an interference fit to then internally expand in whatever direction the apeture has been machined to. Unless this has been reworked or doctored to fix a past failure.

Was this off that bridge you recently bought on e(vil)bay from drdave?? I have recently learned he is not the best technician out there, if one at all. Evil or Very Mad Mad Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by corsair on Fri May 13, 2011 5:02 pm

Yep; that's the one!! I'm trying to bludge the posts off him but he's being a little resistant!! Laughing I had no troubles getting the bridge here; he was very good with communication and postage - I was quite impressed to be honest. Sorry to hear you've got troubles...

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Iceman on Fri May 13, 2011 11:15 pm

Nay, he was a great seller to deal with but I certainly wish he hadn't attempted to resolder whichever loose wires he did on that Genesis I bought from him. Westbone and I have been pm'ing merrily to and fro in a vain attempt to figure it out and in the end only traced down a half dead humbucker as a reward. Not sure if it was DOA or his wiring "fix" did it in. The humbucker only worked with the coiltap pulled out which I always understood to effect the short which split the pup.

Oh well, Seymour Duncan.... into the breach!!

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by corsair on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:46 pm

OK, a small bump here...

... can anyone see a reason why I cannot take the  wheels out of their saddles, relieve the metal on the saddle supports to allow the thing to spin, and then drill out the centre hole in the wheel so that it can revolve around the rollpin??

I can see why they didn't do it at the factory as the time involved in fine tuning the bridges would add to the retail price, perhaps not a lot but enough to warrant not doing it.

I'll do one and report back...

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Westbone on Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:34 pm

corsair wrote:OK, a small bump here...
 relieve the metal on the saddle supports to allow the thing to spin, and then drill out the centre hole in the wheel so that it can revolve around the rollpin??
By doing what you describe above will make the whole thing a sloppy fit.
Considering a rollpin is not 100% round but is  basically a  spring pin it needs to be under pressure.

The rollers are not a tuning problem so whats the point?

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by corsair on Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:21 am

Yes, I know what a rollpin does and why, and I also wonder if doing what I'm planning to do will affect tuning stability or intonation but we'll soon see, won't we?! I have 3 spare bridges and some time on my hands so now's as good a time as any for a play!

The point is that roller saddles and nuts seem to be de rigueur presently and I'm just wondering if I can make a BD a proper roller bridge. Does it not seem a little strange to you that the talented engineers at Matsumoku did good things generally but chose to make a pseudo-roller bridge??

Anyway, the saddle as it came out of a plastic bag....



...driving out the rollpin with a 1.2mm pin punch


... saddle held in vice for filing the roller supports back a tiny amount



... drilling out the roller so that it will actually roll. The bit is 2.5 thou greater in width than the diameter of the pin...



.... driving the pin back home.



All done and waiting to be re-assembled. The rollers that are set lowest in the saddles needed an extra bit of work but they all now spin quite happily, though a little lubrication ensured that as un-lubed they were quite tight and didn't spin quite as freely as I'd hoped.

Now I'll find a guitar with a chromed BD on it and swap 'em over!!

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Westbone on Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:49 am

Get your drift. Thought you were going to drill the whole thing through.
Nice one.

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Barry on Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:50 am

corsair wrote:...Does it not seem a little strange to you that the talented engineers at Matsumoku did good things generally but chose to make a pseudo-roller bridge??
Yup. Probably, as you say, for production cost reasons.
Then again, they also designed those luverly brass barrel saddles of which I am so-o-o fond. Barf 2

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Adey on Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:43 am

Westbone wrote:Get your drift.
Pun intended???

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Westbone on Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:43 pm

Adey wrote:
Westbone wrote:Get your drift.
Pun intended???
Wink

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by corsair on Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:11 pm

OK, I did, in fact, put this bridge on the Clipper 1012 and results - to my ears - are inconclusive as the tuning seemed as stable as the non-revolving one I A/B tested it against, and the intonation is fine. Problems I can see down the road a little are that the rollpin is not meant to have this type of wear and is quite likely to suffer metal fatigue of some sort, I'd've thought. There is a tiny amount of slop in the the rollers on the rollpin and this is going to cause wear on the part of the rollpin which has the roller bearing on it.

So... to me, an interesting exercise but one perhaps that they had done in the factory at the time and dismissed because of manufacturing cost issues/production values??

Nothing quite like re-inventing the wheel, eh! Cool Laughing

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Westbone on Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:44 am

I know that bugged you for awhile, rollers not rolling!

Seems a good mod. Shouldn't wear out in our lifetime, not exactly spinning around eh. Bit of lube works wonders....and the string pressure will keep it all in place. Not that it's going anywhere anyway.

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'.... Cool

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Adey on Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:07 am

What do they do on other roller bridges and tremolos?

Do they just use a plain bearing surface in the roller?

I will get round to stripping down and cleaning up the Kahler on my Pantera sometime soon. I am guessing that that is all they use...??

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Iceman on Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:03 pm

The Kahler Pro that is factory installed on x390's is designed with roller saddles that are engineered to actually roll, Adey.

If you click on the website link icon on my profile it will take you to a page dedicated to that exact tremolo with lots of information on ckeaning, caring and ordering replacement parts.

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

Post by Adey on Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:37 am

Ah. I found that link whilst looking for info on the Kahler earlier.

I have since stripped mine down, given it a clean, re-oiled the various parts, and put it all back together.

One other thing I did was to grind about 0.25mm off the height adjusting allen screws. I found that when I got the string height down to where I wanted it, the roller was slightly lower than the top of the adjusting screw and the top of the screw was pushing the string out of contact with the roller. It's much better now.

Having said that, the whole Kahler assembly could do with being recessed into the top of the guitar by another few mm really, in my opinion. With the action set where I want it, the strings are really flat over the rollers. (In fact, the neck would probably let me get the strings lower, but I can't phyically get them any lower and keep them in the rollers).

I have found this makes the guitar a bit trickier to play if you want to palm-mute. With a tune-o-matic type bridge you can easily feel where the saddles are for the degrees of palm muting you want. With the Kahler, it's a less obvious feeling.

But maybe it's just me...

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Re: Bendmaster Deluxe saddle...

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