Larrivée Bridge Height Adjustment vs Neck Reset

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No saddle height left and bridge profiling


It seems many people have issues with low to no saddle left for adjustment.

This is what I have been told when I asked a very reliable source, Larrivee has used a thicker than normal bridge to allow the user to adjust the set up to their liking via a bridge profile. When I asked what a profile was I was told that the bridge material is removed to allow for more saddle height so the the saddle can now be lowered again. It just seems that shaving bridge material with the bridge on the guitar is a bit aggressive.

If someone can explain bridge profiling and how it is done that would be great.

Matthew Larrivée replies

It's an issue that opens a can of worms for many people. As there are a group of "internet forum readers" who believe it is not a valid way to adjust the guitar. Both Jean and I, Taylor, Martin, Collings, and virtually every other maker disagree with them.
Our bridge starts off at around 10.5mm and you can safely take the bridge as low as 7.0mm with no loss in tone or stability. We basically use a rectangular orbital sander and some hand sanding to do it. We also manufacture special bridges (9.5, 9, 8.5, 8, 7.75, 7.5, 7.25, and 7mm) that we use for repairs. The bridge usually requires some extra dremel sloting to reset the string break angle as well.
The primary reason this is done is not that neck join has changed, but rather the back of the guitar has either swollen or collapsed due to moisture change which forces the neck block to slightly move in turn giving the apearance that neck angle has changed. For example I had a lady come in this week from San Diego whos guitar was swollen like a football. Her action was a mile high because the back of the guitar had swollen up shifting the neck forward. She had lowered the saddle and there no room for it to go lower. So we removed about 2mm from the top of the bridge and reset the break angle - the string height at the 14th fret went from 8.5/64th to 5/64th with room on the saddle to spare to try and get lower if she wanted. It's a quick and easy permanent fix that doesnt require the risks and damage of a neck reset.