Find the Correct Saddle for Your Ibanez® Acoustic Guitar

Are you in need of an Ibanez steel string acoustic guitar saddle? Ibanez uses a seemingly endless number of different saddle compensation patterns, lengths, thicknesses, and top radii, and so you will need to spend a good deal of time finding the correct saddle type for your specific guitar. Ibanez has well over 100 different saddle part numbers.
However, even once you have found the correct saddle type needed, actually getting your hands on a saddle is difficult, too, because Ibanez does not sell parts directly to the public. Ibanez is by far the most difficult major guitar manufacturer to find replacement saddles for, so you will need plenty of patience for this task.

This article provides tips on how to find the correct saddle for your Ibanez steel string acoustic guitar, but we advise that you also measure your guitar’s saddle slot for a proper fit as every guitar is slightly different. If you are not the original owner, at some point someone may have installed a different saddle or have adjusted the saddle slot, producing different specs from the factory’s.

Please note that this article only applies to steel-string acoustic guitars.

Saddle for Ibanez Acoustic Guitar - Angle

Post-1973 Models

Step One: Determine Guitar Serial Number, Production Month/Year, Series, and Model Number

If your guitar was built after 1973, the first step is to determine your guitar’s serial number, production month and year, series, and model number. Note that having the model number alone is insufficient as Ibanez may have used a different saddle size for different years, and even different months during the same year.

If you are unable to find your serial number, visit this serial number information page for Ibanez.

To determine production month and year, contact Ibanez Support with your serial number.

Step Two: Contact Ibanez Support or Visit Ibanez Parts Information Page

Now that you have the above information you can determine what Ibanez part number your saddle is. To do this, either contact Ibanez Support with your serial number and ask the for the saddle part number, or visit the Ibanez Parts Information Page, which will allow you to search for your guitar series and model, then display various parts used for it. In the upper left hand corner, you will see a number of drop down menus, below which you will see a search box with Model No. listed in light grey letters. Type in your model number into this search box, then click the blue Search button.

You may soon see results for your model, however, please note that not all Ibanez models appear. If not, you will need to contact Ibanez support. If your model is listed, you will likely see multiple results because Ibanez will use different parts for different production years and months. On the far right side, you will see Production Year listed listing month and year ranges. Select the result that your guitar’s production month and year fall within.

You will then see a new page showing a number of parts for your model. Scroll through until you find Saddle. You will commonly see a picture of the saddle part, the part number, and notes. In the Note column, you will often see information that lists the specs and material, something similar to this:

W74 T3 H12 R400, unbleached(natural) oil bone

Below is a description of the above:

W = Length in mm
T = Thickness in mm
H = Maximum Height in mm
R = Top radius in mm

Note that this information lists the size of the saddle you would receive if ordered from an Ibanez dealer, but your current saddle’s actual dimensions will likely differ slightly in length, thickness, and/or height. The factory saddle specs are starting points, not set heights that require no adjustment. Each guitar will have a slightly different neck angle, and so although the factory might set the twelfth fret action at a specified height, technicians can achieve this through a combination of adjusting the neck relief, nut slot height, or saddle height, resulting in different saddle sizes for different guitars, even from the factory.

Additionally, each guitar’s saddle will have different heights for the bass and treble sides. For many Ibanez saddles this is often about a 1.2 to 1.6 mm height difference, but can vary for each guitar. Please see our guide on Bass to Treble Edge Height Difference for more information.

Step Three: Find an Ibanez Dealer

Now that you know the Ibanez saddle part number, you will need to find an Ibanez dealer to purchase from because Ibanez does not sell parts directly to customers. Unfortunately, though, few Ibanez vendors carry acoustic saddles. Try doing a Google, Ebay, or Reverb.com search for the specific Ibanez part number and you might have some luck. Or try contacting an Ibanez dealer and asking whether they can order the part for you. Note that the saddle you need may no longer be in production. As such, you will need to get a custom saddle made, or find an aftermarket saddle. Unfortunately, aftermarket saddles specifically and properly designed on Ibanez factory saddle types are rare. You might find some companies advertising saddles that are made for Ibanez, but before purchasing one of these, check the specs carefully against the saddle specs you need.

A Note on Ibanez Saddle 5ASD18F

From around 2003 to 2012, Ibanez used saddle part number 5ASD18F on hundreds of different models. Unfortunately, this saddle part is discontinued, and finding a replacement is extremely difficult, and we do not know of any aftermarket options. As such, you will likely need to have a custom saddle made, but finding a company willing and properly able to do this will also be difficult. (Sorry, but we currently do not make this saddle type.)

To assist those looking to have one of these saddles made, we have provided the below information.

First, the saddle compensation pattern is unique. It is essentially the opposite of a forward line non-compensated saddle plus an overhanging B compensation. The overhanging B presents a distinct problem for making a saddle as you must start with a much thicker blank, then remove significant material.

Below are the specs for the factory saddle, but please note that your guitar’s original saddle likely has a lower height and/or different bass/treble edge height difference. It is common to adjust the saddle height since each guitar will have a different neck angle, neck relief, slot height, and fret height affecting saddle height.

  • Length: 80 mm
  • Max Height: 12.9 mm
  • Bass/Treble Edge Height Difference: 1.6 mm
  • Thickness: 3 mm
  • B Overhang: Extends 0.9 mm off the back side of the saddle toward the bridge pins
  • Radius: 300 mm
  • Material: Ivorex II

You might be tempted to use a nylon string guitar saddle as a replacement for the 5ASD18F saddle. Nylon string saddles are often 80 mm long and 3.0 mm thick. However, please note that nylon string saddles typically have either a flat top radius or a relatively flat top radius, whereas the 5ASD18F has a rather curved 300 mm (11.81 inches) top radius. Additionally, nylon string saddles will rarely be as tall, and will have different compensation patterns.

Pre-1974 Models

If you have a pre-1974 Ibanez acoustic model, then your guitar will not have a serial number. As such, you can try contacting Ibanez support for information, but there’s a good chance you will need to measure your current saddle and saddle slot as discussed in the next paragraph.

Which Saddle Does Your Ibanez Need?

Still wondering which saddle size your Ibanez steel-string acoustic requires? Please contact us with all of the below information.

  • Guitar Serial Number, Production Month/Year, Series, Model
  • Current Saddle Length, Maximum Height, Thickness – Must be measured with a caliper
  • Bass to Treble Edge Height Difference
  • Bridge Saddle Slot Length, Thickness (if different from saddle specs) – Must be meausured with a caliper
  • String Spacing at the Bridge
  • Current Saddle Compensation Pattern (Please send a picture if you are not sure which type you have)

We will respond within 48 hours.