Resonator Biscuit Moved?

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Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby Jonpaul » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:26 pm

I was changing the strings (one at a time) on my Republic Highway 61, 14-fret Resonator guitar, and the biscuit moved. I then loosened all the strings and gently moved the biscuit with my fingers into what I thought was its former position. How big a deal is this? Should I do anything else. Your expertise is appreciated. Thanks, Jonpaul
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby OldWailer » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:48 pm

If you still get clean natural harmonics (pick the string while touching it with a finger, then release the finger) at the 12th fret--you did it right. If the harmonic is off the exact top of the 12th--the bridge has been moved enough to change the scale length and you will need to adjust it. To adjust it, just move the bridge in the same direction as you would move your finger toward the top center of the 12th fret. . .
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby ricbleu » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:12 am

And you can do as OW says without removing the strings. There will be enough room around the biscuit in its well to fit in a small screwdriver or filet of wood and gently wedge the biscuit in the direction you require. I have done this myself when I removed all the strings at once (I don't normally do that) when I was stripping the paint off my Republic triolian. When I reassembled the guitar and had restrung her, I had to position the bridge accurately again. :D Peace.
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby Freeman » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:34 pm

Most of the biscuit bridge resos that I have worked on have the saddle at exactly 2X the distance to the 12th fret - ie they have no compensation. The saddle is perpendicular to the centerline - you want this for slide play but it will be sharp for fretted. Most cones fit pretty tightly in the soundwell and you can not move them farther away from the nut (which is what you would want to do to compensate for fretted play). Don't try turning the cone (like an acoustic) because that would shorten the distance on one side making it even sharper.

The best thing, unless you know yours was tweaked otherwise, is to put the biscuit perpendicular (and maybe during a setup, to move the break angle as far back on the saddle as you can). Once you get it where you like it, just remember to not take all the string off at once (helps to make a mark on the cone and cone well with a Sharpie)

fwiw, when I built my tricone I made the well a little oversized and very slightly moved the saddle towards the tailpiece. I then made some little spacers that holds the cones in that location. It seems to be an acceptable compromise.
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby Jonpaul » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:01 pm

Thanks to you all for the help. I'll check my guitar and let you know the results. Again, thanks, Jonpaul
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby The Breeze » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:05 am

Not really a problem as the intonation will never be perfect anyway. I generally set mine up on the top and bottom strings. 12th fret harmonic against the 12th fret fretted string, if the fretted string is sharp then move the saddle away from the neck, if flat move towards. I've always had my saddles at a slight angle, (bass strings longer), and found no problems and like Freeman I have always found that I have needed the saddle as far away from the neck as I can get it. I use 13's and have not noticed any intonation problems. It is a compromise, so don't worry unduly.
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby Jonpaul » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:37 pm

I've checked the intonation of the high e-string (1st string) at the 12th fret. The 12th fret plucked harmonic is right-on, but the 12th fret-finger fretted shows that the string is sharp by at leaast one-bar on my snark tuner (most of the time), ocassionaly the snark will show that the fretted note is true.

Another concern: My 6th string is sounding ok when plucked open. But when I finger fret the 6th string or use a slide (even at the second fret), the string sounds muffeled /dull. What do you think? - - Jonpaul
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby The Breeze » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:55 am

Make sure that the strings are seated properly.
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby ricbleu » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:42 am

The Breeze wrote:Make sure that the strings are seated properly.
Yes, Breeze is quite correct. Most likely your string is not engaged in the little slot cut for it in the saddle. It happened to me and I also found a splinter left hanging from one edge of the tiny saw cut which interferred with the clean play of the string . If you have her with the coverplate off, it's a good idea to check those and trim off any splintered grain with a razor sharp craft knife. :D Peace.
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby Freeman » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:26 pm

Jonpaul wrote:I've checked the intonation of the high e-string (1st string) at the 12th fret. The 12th fret plucked harmonic is right-on, but the 12th fret-finger fretted shows that the string is sharp by at leaast one-bar on my snark tuner (most of the time), ocassionaly the snark will show that the fretted note is true.

Another concern: My 6th string is sounding ok when plucked open. But when I finger fret the 6th string or use a slide (even at the second fret), the string sounds muffeled /dull. What do you think? - - Jonpaul


JP, that is exactly what I said in my earlier post - these critters, by their very nature have no compensation and will play sharp when fretted. That is compounded by the fact that we tend to run slightly higher action - that stretches the strings even more. So, sorry to say, you'll have to live with it or do some very radical reworking of your biscuit to move the break point.

Second question is hard to answer. Does is sound bad fretted at each fret or just a couple? As others have asked, is the string correctly seated at the nut and the cone? Any problems with the 5th or 4th string? Same guage string that you've always used?
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby The Breeze » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:52 pm

Jonpaul wrote:I've checked the intonation of the high e-string (1st string) at the 12th fret. The 12th fret plucked harmonic is right-on, but the 12th fret-finger fretted shows that the string is sharp by at leaast one-bar on my snark tuner (most of the time), ocassionaly the snark will show that the fretted note is true.


Don't be too picky. The strings will never hold a constant pitch, use 13's or above as their sound is less thin so the overtones will compensate.

The Breeze wrote:Not really a problem as the intonation will never be perfect anyway. (edit) It is a compromise, so don't worry unduly.


Just play with attitude and it will sound amazing!!!
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Re: Resonator Biscuit Moved?

Postby Jonpaul » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:18 pm

The Breeze wrote:Make sure that the strings are seated properly.


I checked and the strings seem to be seated properly. I did a little experimentation: I slid the biscuit from the low E string straight across toward the high E string and left just enough space between biscuit and high e string (side) cone cover hole edge (0.027-inch), it helped. Now I can use the low e string finger fretted or with a slide. After reading all the helpful replys I received, I believe that all seems well now. This is my first resonator guitar encounter and I have much to learn. I appreciate all who replied to my post. Again, Thanks.
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