Did a bone saddle upgrade for this LL16 ARE last week. The dark tint finish gave this guitar a vintage vibe, Back and sides looks the same as a regular LL16 with nice rosewood grains.
This one came to me with a saddle sanded way too low. The guitar had almost no sustain especially at the thinner strings. Here you can see that the saddle is almost level with the bridge slot. When you get such a shallow break angle, it’s always bad news. Granted action was very low here (about 3/64 inch), but the guitar actually sounded quite lifeless and certainly did not sound like what the LL16 is capable of.
The strings were also done in a weird manner. Perhaps the previous person knows something of a higher ordinance, but both E strings just look wrong.
No problems. Let’s start with some Bearclaw Special. A nice guitar deserves all the TLC from Guitarbear. Fingerboard and frets are cleaned and shiny after some massaging with lemon oil and steel wool.
Before (dry & rusty)
After (moisturised and shiny)
New Bone Saddle
Did some measurements and started work on shaping a new bone saddle.
OK, we got a good fit. All smooth after sanding up to 2000 grit.
I put in a new set of vintage coloured brass pins. They match this particular guitar very well. Action set to around 5/64 inch at 12th fret capo on 1st.
Latte the cowboy is happy with Guitarbear’s work.
The Yamaha L Series continue to show very good build. This is not the first time I see a saddle sanded so low on the L series, yet the amazing thing is that fret buzz is quite minimal. There’s really some impressive fret work done at their China factory.
However, the overly low action had taken away all the guts and voice of this guitar when it came to me. Just a note to anyone who wishes to do their own setups, DO NOT neglect the importance of a healthy saddle height.