Guide to Oversized Acoustic Guitar Saddles

Unfortunately, there is no standard oversized saddle, which makes finding a replacement difficult. The term “oversized” can refer to the length, height, thickness, or a combination of these. In this article, we discuss some of the oversized guitar saddles used and how to find one for your steel-string acoustic guitar.

Common Saddle Sizes

Before we discuss oversized, let’s discuss common sizes. Steel-string acoustic guitar saddle sizes vary greatly, but the majority are around 70 to 75 mm long, 8 to 11 mm maximum height, and 2.5 to 3.2 mm thickness. For the purposes of this article, we’ll define an oversized guitar saddle as having any dimension above these common length, height, or thickness specs.

Extra Long Saddles

Any steel-string guitar saddle longer than 75 mm would be defined as oversized. Here are some saddle types longer than 75 mm.

Cut through guitar saddle
Through Guitar Saddle Blank

Through Saddles

Through saddles will go through the bridge and are often much longer than 75 mm. The best known through saddles are those appearing on Martin Guitars from 1916 to 1965, and some Martin retro models since the 1990s. Martin through saddles are either 95.3 mm or 103.2 mm long. For more information see our Guide to Martin Guitar Saddles


Vintage Yamaha Saddles

Vintage Yamaha saddles were often center line non-compensated, and were sometimes as long as 84 mm. Finding any saddle above 80 mm long will be difficult. See our Guide to Yamaha Saddles for more information. 


Ibanez 5ASD18F

Ibanez has used extra long saddles on a variety of models. Most notably, Ibanez saddle part number 5ASD18F, used on a large number of models, was 80 mm long. Finding a replacement is difficult because Ibanez no longer makes this part, and because its distinct hanging B shape is difficult to reproduce. For more information see our Guide to Ibanez Saddles, then scroll down to the A Note on Ibanez Saddle 5ASD18F section for more information, including specs. This saddle type was also tall with the factory part at 12.9 mm maximum height. 


Extra Thick Guitar Saddles

Any saddle thicker than 3.2 mm would be considered oversized. Below is a discussion of some thick saddles. 

Gibson Height Adjustable Saddles

Perhaps the best-known among extra thick guitar saddles are Gibson height adjustable saddles. These saddles appeared on some Gibson models from the late 1950s and into the 1970s. You’ll also find some Gibson retro models that use adjustable height saddles, although with a different material.

Adjustable Bone Guitar Saddle for Gibson Guitars
Gibson Style Height Adjustable Saddle

These saddles were surprisingly thick, often around 7 mm, and quite long, often around 79 mm. The factory saddles were initially made from ceramic, then wood, and now Tusq. You’ll also find bone aftermarket options. For more information, see our Guide to Height Adjustable Saddles as well as our guide focused on Gibson Height Adjustable Saddles

Many Taylor T5 Saddles

Many, but not all, of Taylor’s T5 saddles are quite thick at 4.1 mm. These saddles are routed front acoustic saddles, which are somewhat distinct in the guitar world. 

RTDG2 Taylor T5 Style Acoustic Saddle Angle
Taylor T5 Style Acoustic Saddle

See our Guide to Taylor Guitar Saddles and scroll do to the T5 Saddles section for more information. In particular, note the difference between the “acoustic” and “electric” versions, which are not interchangeable. 

Some Ibanez Saddles

Some Ibanez saddles are quite thick, such as Ibanez part 5S724L401R-B, which is 4 mm thick.

Ibanez 5S724L401R-B Style Guitar Saddle
Ibanez 5S724L401R-B Style Guitar Saddle

Please see our Guide to Ibanez Saddles for information on determining the correct saddle for your model. 

Some Breedlove Atlas Series Models

Some, but not all, Breedlove Atlas Series models use a 3.7 mm thick saddle. The factory part is also tall at 13 mm, but please note that your guitar’s original saddle likely has a lower height and/or different bass/treble edge height difference. Factory technicians often adjust the saddle height since each guitar will have a different neck angle, neck relief, slot height, and fret height. Please see our Guide to Breedlove Guitar Saddles for more information. 

Extra Tall Guitar Saddles

As noted earlier, some Ibanez and Breedlove saddles stand above 11 mm. Additionally, Gibson center line non-compensated and forward line B compensated saddles are often tall, often around 11 mm maximum height, but can sometimes be up to 12 or 13 mm. Finding a saddle above 11 mm maximum height is difficult and will often require a custom saddle.

Which Oversized Saddle Does Your Guitar Need?

Still wondering which saddle size your guitar requires? Please contact us with all of the below information.

  • Guitar Year, Series, Model
  • Fretboard Radius
  • Current Saddle Maximum Height, Length, Thickness – Must be measured with a caliper
  • Bass to Treble Height Difference
  • Bridge Saddle Slot Length and Thickness (if different from saddle specs) – Must be meausured with a caliper
  • Compensation Pattern

We will respond within 48 hours.