A customer just dropped off a nice T28 Martin tiple complaining about poor intonation. He says he heard that Frank had done an intonated saddle for one of these. I can't seem to find any information on the web site about this, so am asking what Frank or anyone else has done in this regard. As I am sure most of you know, the original saddle is a tiny mando fret, and the bridge is pretty delicate so I am leary of cutting any of it away to accommodate a saddle slot. Anyone have a great solution?

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Uh-oh..Now you got me thinking about a couple lockdown bars(Capos) on each side of my 12th fret floating point on my movable neck calculator..FIX that to one point as it is on the fretboard and go from there both directions... so I can float the nut and saddle points and calculate them out..:-O!!..Oh Joy...:-(

  On this latest Harmony Patrician(about 16-7/8" scale..I'm running (G) 10p/22w (C) 15p/28w/15p (E) 12p/24w/12p (A) 9p/9p..with two fret at 17" across and the second one with 17-1/8"(A) end to 17-3/16"G end..close but not perfect to calculations.The front saddle is cut out on the C and E wound strings only.I need to check the proper compensation lengths again for the plain strings but that front saddle may get ground out for the side strings at those two points.

  I did tests and calculated out about an extra 1/8" for the E and almost 3/16" for the C..seems about the same as others have found.I do need to test the plain strings more to see where they come in with the sizes I used for the C and E..

  I'll probably do some "nut compensation checks"(perhaps just move the 12 fret for the single strings?) also on the calculator's nut..OR perhaps make a floating nut piece for there also.It's nice not have to do all this on the INSTRUMENT itself!

The Harmony tiple..came to me as a "gift" from a friend who bought it off ebay as a "good" playing/looking instrument" for $200..but it was a total piece of garbage with several ugly glued and cleated cracks on the top and back,about 1/2" high action,the inside bracing cut-out and some homemade crossbracing thrown inside.The tuners worked but a couple were bent..Fortunately the buttons didn't break off in the straightening process.On the crossbracing inside was handwritten "Harmony Patrician Tiple" from the previous "repair" I assume it is one.There was a tiny fragment of a headbadge decal that had the word "THE"(as in The Harmony Company)written on it in small letters along the old bottom edge of the decal.The bridge looked more like a standard Harmony baritone bridge revamped with 10 holes,no brass strip.I stripped off the top and back,yanked out the poor crossbracing setup,fixed some bad kerfing and revamped back to more of a "Martin tiple " ladder type bracing format front,back,and pin bridge instead.It may not be original..but it looks and works a lot nicer than the original did and more like the T15 look with new vintage mahogany(1950s?) for the soundboard and back.The bridge is now Koa with white /black dot plastic pins..oh well..

  Note: does it make any sense to think the nut compensation would need the same amount at the nut as the saddle from the 12th ..or half both directions?..just to get close..not exact.Is that proper thinking?I'm getting brain dead on this..LOL!I guess I need to revamp my calculator and do some more testing..perhaps on a fixed test fretboard of the tiple scale length..

Nice bridge , I have made a new bridge for my 1930s Harmony Tiple and am down to the saddle. I will use the drill bit trick to figure out the proper locations before slotting Thank you 

I had a Martin T17 for a while, cool instrument but somebody was willing to pay a few hundred more than what I had in it. It's one of the few sales I regret.  This might help with your current project. Send pictures!


what I need to send pictures is my grand daughter and she will be here this weekend so I will send pictures of the bridge as it is now and the Tiple without any finish corrections 

When I posted my tiple bridge experiment 5 years ago I had no idea how many people actually tried to play these instruments and would get in touch with me wanting to get theirs fixed. I'm, in Chicago and have now made 6 or 7 other tiple bridges for people as far away as Hawaii, Connecticut and Arizona ... no good deed goes unpunished I guess. Don't any of you other repair guys take in tiples? Anyway, here is a poor cell phone shot of the last one, a T-17 that I had to remove the back and reglue EVERY brace on the top as well as the bridge plate (because the top was collapsing) before I could do the bridge. Each of the bone saddles is individually compensated. The owner is a happy camper and says it works as it should now, but it was a real PITA. So careful what you post up here friends!


can you sell me one of your tiple bridge ?

Hi Wayne

I can make the bridge for you but to get the intonation right the bridge needs to be glued on the instrument before the saddle slots are cut to find the proper position. You can see how I use a drill bit on top of the bridge as a temporary saddle to determine the proper placement for the slot earlier in this post. Every instrument will intonate a bit differently so if you want it right I would need the instrument on my bench.


any idea what that might cost ? you can text my cell or call me 716-525-6257

Oh I would love a Bridge too. What part of the country do you live in?

I am building one and doing the binding and neck joint currently.

Love your compensated saddle if needed.

Hi Scott. My shop is Guitar Works, Ltd and is located in Evanston IL, the first suburb north of Chicago on the lakefront. After 48 years doing this stuff I am trying (without great success...) to retire. I only work three days a week now so it takes me a bit of time to get a bridge completed since I have several other duties that I need to do when I'm in the shop like payroll and dealing with the never ending taxation paperwork. And holding the hands of middle aged men that have brought their beloved guitars to me for decades and NO ONE ELSE could possibly change their strings... Since you have a virgin top on the instrument and can place a bridge wherever it needs to be to intonate properly and seeing as how you built the instrument I would think you could look at the photos of one of the bridges I made and just copy that yourself. It ain't rocket science after all.

One other Tiple tidbit. The last Martin I did had worn out sloppy tuners and the owner wanted them fixed as well as the intonation. I checked the measurements of the StewMac  Golden Age slotted peghead 12 string restoration tuners (#2502) and the spacing is the same as what Martin was using back in the day.  I bought a set and cut off the extra tuner as someone mentioned earlier in this post and they work great. In addition to cutting off the extra tuner I had to drill three mounting screw holes for a no mod installation. The relic nickle even looks period correct and the cut edge is barely noticeable.

well I got 2 pictures uploaded . I used the old bridge as a pattern and duplicated the Harmony Logo as best I could. I used a 1926 tiple as the inspiration for a custom Oversized bridge. Intonation is spot on . bridge covers most of the old top damage. only problem is New custom martin bracing is to light so top deflection is bad, high action. now waiting for me to pull off back and reXbrace with wider and taller braces. all fun stuff just need another hour in the day.  


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