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Thread: Saddle Screws won't turn on Brand new SRS4

  1. #1

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    Saddle Screws won't turn on Brand new SRS4

    Hey everyone, I just received a brand new Stingray Special. It is wonderfully light weight and the finish is just out of this world. With that said, I needed to do a bit of a set up as usual and have to adjust the string height, something I've done a thousand times in over 30 years playing, maintaining and building my own basses. The saddle screws will tighten with no problem. They will also loosen a little bit but at after 1 full turn they will not turn any further. It just locks up like you've gotten the saddle to hit the bridge plate but that is not the case. I'm wondering if there are bad threads on the screws. I put some Big Bends Nut Sauce on the threads to perhaps lubricate it but still it doesn't go past the same spot. I don't want to put too much torque on the allen wrench or the screw in fear of stripping the screw head or damaging the threads. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

  2. #2

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    Hey, I had this same issue a few weeks ago with my new stingray special 4H. It turns out the new saddles only go down so far and then the screws lock. This wasn’t low enough for me so I added a small neck shim and that allowed me to get a lower action and now it is beautiful.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3

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    I suspect this was done to prevent the screws from backing out and getting lost.

  4. #4

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    The string saddles are hollow (barrel) saddles. The height screws don't exit through the top of the saddle...only through the bottom. Lowering the saddle obviously involves turning the height screw anti-clockwise. It will reach a point where the top of the screw will hit the inner top of the barrel but can't exit any further. That will be the lowest point the saddle can go. A shim under the neck heel in the neck pocket on the body will solve the problem. Alternatively, I believe the height adjustment screws have different lengths depending on the saddles they're used on. You may be able to interchange them. Customer service will always help.

  5. #5

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    I'd love to know the reason behind it. I mean I've never had a bridge saddle with this type of design before. And to have to shim the neck just turns me off. I may actually swap out the bridge with a Hipshot if I can't get the action down to where I want it.

  6. #6

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    Shimming a neck is simple and done all the time. It is not a QC problem really but it takes very little to change the neck angle enough to require a shim. Many Ernie Ball, and other basses are shipped with a factory installed shim. Several of my basses made by various manufactures have shims. I believe Ernie Ball will even provide the shims.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeglow View Post
    I'd love to know the reason behind it. I mean I've never had a bridge saddle with this type of design before. And to have to shim the neck just turns me off. I may actually swap out the bridge with a Hipshot if I can't get the action down to where I want it.
    They were used on Pre-EB and early EB Rays & Sabres. Today they're used on the Classic Collection Rays, Cutlass & Caprice and the Special Rays. I think the idea behind them is to stop the hand palm from being roughed by protruding height screws but I can't speak for the EB design engineers.

    Also, what Chuck says above.

  8. #8

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    I understand shimming the neck and have done so on several old Fenders I own and some home built basses. But, the saddle screws are not even close to the top of the saddle where my hand could even possibly get scratched. I've never run across this before on any basses I've owned where I couldn't adjust the screw to any specific height I desired. My '17 Classic has low saddles, no screw protrusion, my '16 Stingray has low saddles, no screw protrusion. I can adjust them as low as I want or as high as I want. I respectfully disagree with the idea of shimming the neck. This just doesn't seem right to me, and to suggest that a brand new instrument needs a neck shim is just wrong. There should be no reason to shim a brand new instrument if there isn't a flaw or issue with the saddles. And if that is EBMM answer to this then I will replace the bridge or at least the saddles but I am disappointed to say the least.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeglow View Post
    I'd love to know the reason behind it. I mean I've never had a bridge saddle with this type of design before. And to have to shim the neck just turns me off. I may actually swap out the bridge with a Hipshot if I can't get the action down to where I want it.
    Shimming the neck is routine.
    Replacing the bridge is not.

    Most likely the neck is already
    shimmed, but you would want
    a slightly thicker shim.

    .
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x2] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

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  10. #10

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    I had this problem on the caprice I owned. MM sent me some shims and different length screws. Helped some. I like the regular bridges better, easier to adjust and never lost any screws.

  11. #11

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    Neck shims are pretty standard practice, EB supply them in three gauges (send customer service an email) but easy enough to make, piece of thin card at the back of the heal should sort it out and give you all the adjustment you need.
    No first hand experience with the style bridge you have but swapping it for an after market one is not something I would entertain doing. EBMM bridges are generally bulletproof and anchor to the body perfectly, there a huge part of the tone

    StingRay 4H Buttercreme 2005 L.E.
    StingRay 4H Light Blue over Vintage Sunburst. 2005 ”SunBlue"

    GENZ-BENZ & ORANGE AMPS.

  12. #12

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    Maybe this pic will help as I may not be really clear about the explanation of why I'm not really caring for this saddle design and believe that shimming the neck isn't the answer. I believe there is an issue here. The picture below is all of the saddles at the lowest possible settings I can get them to go. Notice the E and G are much lower than the A and D. The A and D are also not exactly the same height either. I did this to show what I'm trying to describe the issue I feel like I'm having with these saddles. I just don't understand why there would be so many threads left on these screws if they are supposed to go any lower or a "stopper" from allowing the screw from being lowered or raised. I will obviously reset the radius of the saddles to match the neck radius.

    I know how to make shims, and have done so for basses and guitars I have bought and built and of course not all need them. I have hand made plenty of guitars and basses from scratch, not just buying pre made bodies and necks, although I have done that in the past as well, but cutting everything from blanks. I am quite familiar with building basses and guitars, cutting and shaping my own fingerboards, frets, wiring, sanding, finishing, painting and dying instruments. I have never run into a bridge I couldn't adjust fully. The way this is explained in this thread is that it's as if EB has put a leash on the ability to adjust the bass to the players desire unless you manipulate the neck with shims. I just find this to be very odd.

    I DO appreciate all of the commentary, advice and direction, so please don't misconstrue my remarks as doubt or disrespect. I will email customer service and talk to them about this and also getting some pre made shims from them.


    Saddle Screws won't turn on Brand new SRS4-img_5192-jpg
    Last edited by Joeglow; 12-26-2018 at 04:34 PM.

  13. #13

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    The photo helps us understand what you are dealing with. If it were me, I would remove and measure the length of a screw from the G and D saddles (I think they are different lengths) and then purchase shorter ones so that the bridge saddles can be lowered to your satisfaction. It is possible that the screws form the G&E saddles would be the correct length for the A&D so you would only need four shorter screws.

    It does seem a quirk in the way it is designed but I'll bet some time was spent thinking this out and it was done for a reason we may not know. Shorter screws would be the less expensive solution and would retain the original hardware that certainly contributes to the tone of MM instruments.
    Last edited by Chuck M; 12-26-2018 at 05:05 PM.

  14. #14

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    Hmmm, are all of the screws hitting the inside top of the saddles? Like, when you look from the top, are the sockets all right below the holes? How low are you setting the action?

    I remember issues like this with companies that ship basses with exposed core low B strings. They need a longer intonation screw, and longer saddle screws. The problem was that the intonation screw would bottom out in the saddle, so you had to cut it down to use B strings with no exposed core.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood Fretboard/ 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Signature Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  15. #15

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    No, the screws are not to the tolp of the saddles. I'm trying to set the action as per the EBMM website set up guide as I usually do. The picture I posted just depicts where the screws stop and will not go any further down. This is not particularly where I'm trying to set the string height. I realize a lot of thought went into the new bridge but it isn't making the playability better at this point.

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