Workshop: Smart Guitar Bridge

It's not very often I see new, useful features implemented on modern guitars. This Ibanez bridge, however, is a nice update to the standard Martin-style drop-in-saddle pin bridge. It foresees the usual tension, time, and geometry problems associated with aging guitars and designs around them. I know that traditionalists will probably force Ibanez away from this design (as any improvements are generally frowned-on by the guitar-playing public), but I like it!

First-off, the bridge itself is thinner which means it's lighter-weight and it also means that as one sands-down the saddle to deal with the inevitable caving-in/doming-up changes to the guitar top's effect on action height, you have plenty of room to come down before there's zero back-angle on the saddle.

Second, the saddle slot itself is fairly shallow in depth but the front of the bridge has a taller, thick leading edge that accepts the sideways push of the saddle (from back-tension of the strings) into it. This defeats the common problem of a tilting-forward saddle and transfers more energy directly into the guitar top as more surface area of the saddle comes into contact with the bridge itself. That's smart!

The last bit are the 6 slots for each string cut into the front of the bridge. That allows the saddle to come down for action adjustment while still leaving a big, sideways-pressure-accepting block of wood that the saddle can press-up against and transfer energy into. It's a dumb solution but it's a good one.

The only failing of this design is that it'd be better to have the pins set in an even line behind the saddle (like on modern Martin bridges) and a little closer to it for better back-angle on the saddle with the strings.