Portfolio - Electrics
The pickups in your electric are the most crucial component to it's tone. It is shocking to me that so many of the electrics that pass my bench have pickups that are no where close to dialed in. There is is a sweet spot to hit with these though, too close and you will effect the vibration of the string. Too far and you will be robbing the guitar of tone and volume. A good portion of my time in electric setups is spent finding just the right spot to get the most out of your pickups.
Something very important to consider if you have a fender style bridge like the one pictured above is your string radius. These saddles need to be dialed in to the same radius as your fretboard in order for your instrument to play properly. Otherwise, your action will be inconsistent from string to string and can really hamper your playing and drive you nuts!
A fact of life is that guitars will never be perfectly tempered instruments. This does not however mean that you need to put up with chords that always sound off no matter how much you tune or playing out of key with your bandmates. By properly adjusting the saddles of your guitar you can intonate your instrument to play the best it can. Your chords will sing, your notes will be clear and accurate and you wont be the weak link in your bands performance.
I will say again and again, you should never compromise the tone of your instrument by playing on plastic. There is always something better that will last longer, boost your overtones and harmonics and not cheapen the appearance of your instrument. Most of the time, bone is going to be the best bang for your buck but in the case of tremolo instruments, alternatives like slipstone or graphite might be the best thing you have ever done for your guitar.
Your archtop guitar likely has a floating bridge similar to the one in the photo. The difference is that yours may not have been custom fitted to your guitar. These bridges have a curve sanded into the bottom from the factory but this is only meant to get it close most companies don't fit them past that. In order to get the best the best tone, this surface needs to be carefully matched with the top of *your* guitar. Otherwise, you may be loosing energy and tone pushing a poorly fitted bridge!