M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

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M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

Postby One Way » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:52 am

My M2500 Tribute, purchased new, is beautiful, sounds awesome, and about every 1 - 2 weeks needs to adjustment to raise the bridge saddles and stop strings buzzing on frets.

This is my 1st G&L instrument and my first experience with the saddle lock bridge so I may be doing something wrong or leaving out a step in the adjustment process.

Here’s what’s happening, I can go through setting truss rod, saddle height, intonation, and then finish by tightening the saddle lock screw. I’ll play it for a week or two then the next time I pick it up to play I notice strings buzzing on frets. Initially I thought the neck wasn’t holding adjustment. Ultimately each time I discovered the bridge saddle screws had loosened and some saddles dropped to their minimum height, some adjustment screws turned freely and not in contact with the bridge plate.

Yesterday morning I picked up the bass to play and there was the dreaded string buzz again! This time I put the hex key into the saddle adjustment screws before loosening the saddle lock screw or checking anything else and darned if several of the screws could turn freely, no contact with bridge plate. I reset the string height, tightened the saddle lock screw, and then checked the saddle height adjustment screws, several were loose.

This leads me to believe that possibly the bridge is flexing slightly when I tighten the saddle lock screw, raising the saddles slightly, and relieving tension on the saddle height screws allowing them to vibrate loose as the instrument is played. Interesting that I only notice string buzz when I pick up the instrument to play the first time of the day but perhaps I don’t notice strings playing cleanly then buzzing in a band setting? That said, my final setup step yesterday was to snug each of the saddle height screws (after the saddle lock screw was tightened) to make sure they had some slight torque.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas on what may be done while performing a setup that I haven’t done to hold string height adjustment? Perhaps a neck shim so the saddle height screws extend further from minimum adjustment height? Thanks
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Re: M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

Postby Al Evans » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:11 am

One Way wrote:This leads me to believe that possibly the bridge is flexing slightly when I tighten the saddle lock screw, raising the saddles slightly, and relieving tension on the saddle height screws allowing them to vibrate loose as the instrument is played.

.
Have you tried snugging the adjustment screws up AFTER you tighten the saddle lock screw?

--Al Evans
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Re: M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

Postby Ken Baker » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:19 am

What you are describing is what happens when the saddles are not perfectly level to the bridge plate. You loosen the Saddle Lock screw, set your saddle height, and all the height adjuster screws are in firm contact with the bridge plate. Tighten the Saddle Lock screw and the now-unparallel sides of the saddles are squeezed together, lifting several of the height adjusters off the bridge plate.

The bottom of the saddles are supposed to be square to the sides, this so that they can be pressed together without lifting one side.

To do:

    1. Loosen the saddle lock screw and adjust your saddles' height. Make sure that the bottom of each saddle is parallel to the bridge plate.

    2. Tune to pitch.

    3. Read this and adjust as necessary.

    4. Re-tune to pitch.

    5. Snug up the saddle lock screw. Not too tight; just snug,

Assuming you were able to get the bottoms of the saddles perfectly parallel with the bridge plate above, your saddle adjusters should all be in contact with the bridge plate.

Getting the saddles perfectly parallel to the bridge plate can be eyeballed if you have a good eye for such things. Alternately, a small engineering ruler can be used.

If, after going through all this, saddles still lift you might have a saddle or two where the bottom and sides are not square. At this point you should contact G&L repairs for advice.

Ken...
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Re: M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

Postby One Way » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:46 pm

Al Evans wrote:
One Way wrote:This leads me to believe that possibly the bridge is flexing slightly when I tighten the saddle lock screw, raising the saddles slightly, and relieving tension on the saddle height screws allowing them to vibrate loose as the instrument is played.

.
Have you tried snugging the adjustment screws up AFTER you tighten the saddle lock screw?

--Al Evans

I hadn’t done this before and did for the first time yesterday.
Thanks for your advice! I’ll see how this works out.
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Re: M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

Postby One Way » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:59 pm

Ken Baker wrote:What you are describing is what happens when the saddles are not perfectly level to the bridge plate. You loosen the Saddle Lock screw, set your saddle height, and all the height adjuster screws are in firm contact with the bridge plate. Tighten the Saddle Lock screw and the now-unparallel sides of the saddles are squeezed together, lifting several of the height adjusters off the bridge plate.

The bottom of the saddles are supposed to be square to the sides, this so that they can be pressed together without lifting one side.

To do:

    1. Loosen the saddle lock screw and adjust your saddles' height. Make sure that the bottom of each saddle is parallel to the bridge plate.

    2. Tune to pitch.

    3. Read this and adjust as necessary.

    4. Re-tune to pitch.

    5. Snug up the saddle lock screw. Not too tight; just snug,

Assuming you were able to get the bottoms of the saddles perfectly parallel with the bridge plate above, your saddle adjusters should all be in contact with the bridge plate.

Getting the saddles perfectly parallel to the bridge plate can be eyeballed if you have a good eye for such things. Alternately, a small engineering ruler can be used.

If, after going through all this, saddles still lift you might have a saddle or two where the bottom and sides are not square. At this point you should contact G&L repairs for advice.

Ken...


Thanks for the advice Ken!
I’ve only eyeballed the saddles for level when setting string height and can visualize how level saddles are very important with the G&L saddle lock bridge. Makes perfect sense as a possible (and probable) cause. I’ll measure, adjust, play, and report the results in a couple of weeks.
Thanks again!
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Re: M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

Postby One Way » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:27 am

Just wanted to post a follow up.
I measured and adjusted per Ken’s instructions and also added just a tiny bit of blue loctite to each adjuster thread.
Adjustment has held fine ever since.
Thank you for your recommendation and help, my M2500 Tribute is awesome!
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Re: M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

Postby Ken Baker » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:07 pm

Glad to help and thanks for the feedback.

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Re: M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

Postby One Way » Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:57 am

Thought I’d provide an update on my experience adjusting the saddle lock bridge now that I’m much more familiar with it.
My friendly local music store plus G&L dealer received a new L-2500 Tribute in stock, Tobacco Sunburst w/ matching headstock. After resisting for a week or so I phoned them and we came to an agreement on sales price. Now I own two G&L Tributes, M-2500 And L-2500.

Taking each of your helpful comments above in consideration I’ve adopted a set-up process for the saddle lock bridge that I believe is superior to adding loctite or another means to create friction between the saddle adjustment screws and the saddles.

1. Set the string height and verify the bottom of the saddles are parallel to the bridge base.
2. Tighten the saddle lock screw.
3. Take a small scrap of paper and use it like a feeler gauge between the bridge plate and the bottom of each individual saddle height screw. There should be no space. If a space is detected gently adjust the offending screw until it makes contact with the bridge plate.
4. Once all saddle adjusting height screws are in contact with the bridge plate as verified with the scrap paper “feeler gauge”, I ever so slightly snug each screw. For you highly precise people I’m talking about one or two inch pounds of tightening force. Most screws will not move and any that respond to this final snug will move very little.

Using the above method I’ve had no issues with the bridge of the L-2500 and believe the original “problem” I experienced with my M-2500 was new owner user error. I feel compelled to share because I regret having the Loctite added to the M-2500 screws (or perhaps the threads were crunched a bit to create more friction? I wasn’t there to observe how the work was done) because set up adjustments, when needed, are easier on the L-2500. Due to the friction now in the M-2500 bridge I cannot easily perform step 4.

Oh, one more thing - Owning these two fine G&L instruments seem to have cured me of gear acquisition syndrome! :-)
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Re: M2500 Tribute set up won’t hold

Postby Ken Baker » Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:11 am

One Way wrote:Oh, one more thing - Owning these two fine G&L instruments seem to have cured me of gear acquisition syndrome! :-)


For now! :twisted:

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