Actually, the nut piece covers almost everything you need to know for the saddle too Toby.
But glad you appreciated it
The key things to bear in mind for a saddle are these. 1st, the saddle needs to be a
comfortable fit in the saddle slot. A friction fit is too tight, it needs to be just loose
enough so you can lift it out and drop in in without friction, but not so loose that it
wobbles backwards and forwards. 2nd, the bottom of the saddle needs to be perfectly flat
and square in all planes, length ways, width ways, and across the diagonals. 3rd, and most
important, the bottom of the saddle slot needs to be equally flat in all planes, and that
is where people have most problems. There are various ways of achieving that, but they all
require a degree of experience, some specialist tools (either a modified router plane, or
a Dremel and a suitable jig) or a mixture of both. If you don't have the tools, it will be
cheaper to pay someone to do the work than buy them.
And while I am a strong
advocate of DIY, I am also a strong advocate of knowing the limits of DIY. Some jobs are
really best done by someone with experience and the right tools. For example, your Yasuma
sounds like a fine instrument and not one you should be experimenting on if you don't know
what you are doing. And it is important to stress that weak tone and sustain are also
symptoms of loose/damaged braces as well as poorly made/fitted nuts and saddles. On a
quality instrument like yours I would want to at least exclude mechanical faults like that
before doing any other work. Also, switching from plastic bridge pins to wooden ones might
require some modifications, either to the new bridge pins or the bridge itself. Nothing
major, but again something you need to understand before undertaking yourself.
Full shell binding will have some effect on the tone, but really insignificant. The
difference between two tops cut from the same piece of wood will be far greater, by orders
And finally, you have two guitars from the same company, both
over 30 years old. Guitars really do change with age so there is no reason to assume that
just because one sounds superb after 30 years of ageing that the other will too.
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.