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The Virtuo’s Adjustable Bridge

TechTalk: The Virtuo’s Adjustable Bridge

The Virtuo was designed to be the ultimate do-it-all guitar on stage and in the studio. Featuring a hollow carbon-fiber body paired with a suite of acoustic and electric pickups to give a range of sounds, the Virtuo is known as the guitar with ‘Acoustic Body, Electric soul’.

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It features both the Graph Tech Ghost Piezo system for incredible, natural acoustic pickup sounds and the Fishman Fluence humbuckers delivering a range of electric tones, covering vintage and modern humbuckers and classic single coil sounds. It even comes equipped with the hexpander 13-pin MIDI output for use with external MIDI equipment to achieve a whole host of sounds, expanding your tonal palette even further.

Acoustic or Electric strings?

As the Virtuo bridges the gap between acoustic and electric, it is a great choice for many players who need more than one guitar when performing. The instrument was inspired by seeing many great musicians playing live-stream gigs over lockdown and switching between multiple guitars to get the sounds they were looking for. We kept this in mind during the development and the Virtuo can be set up for either electric or acoustic players preferences. The adjustable bridge allows you to switch between different strings and string gauges with the ability to easily readjust the saddle’s intonation and height to match. 

The pickup set works perfectly with electric strings across both the piezo and magnetic pickups. However, those more accustomed to playing acoustic may opt for using acoustic strings on the Virtuo.

We offer a special set of acoustic strings with more magnetic content which work just as well with the electric pickups on board. The Double-wound string set from Newtone strings can be factory equipped on the Virtuo when being set up at Emerald for those who prefer. These come in a higher gauge (11-52) offering slightly more volume and bass response when played acoustically and on the acoustic pickups but perform consistently tone wise with the electric strings on the magnetic pickups.

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When switching between different string gauges on the Virtuo, intonation and height adjustments can be made easily on the individual saddles.

Changing strings:

To change strings on the adjustable bridge, take the ball end of the new string and bend it to create an angle at the end of the string to catch under the saddle. Thread the ball end into the string hole beneath the saddle and pull the string to seat it in the hole. At this point, tension needs to be kept on the string to ensure it doesn’t slip out when stringing it through the tuning post. Some people find that placing something to keep the string from slipping out helps, in this instance we use a golf tee to hold the string in place if needed. Then simply wind the string through the tuning post and tune to pitch.

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When you have restrung your guitar, adjusting the intonation can be done simply with a tuner and a screwdriver. If a guitar is not intonated properly, it may be in tune when the strings are played open but then be slightly sharp or flat when the notes are fretted. To set the intonation, first tune the open string and then fret it at the 12th fret and check on the tuner. If the string reads as slightly flat then the saddle will need to be moved towards the nut to shorten overall length of the string from the saddle to the nut. The opposite will be done if the string is sharp, moving the saddle back from the nut towards the bridge.

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When adjusting the saddles, loosen the string first at the tuning peg to release some of the tension. This is important to avoid damaging the saddle when moving it. Using a small screwdriver, turn the screw holding the saddles in place to fine-tune the intonation. It is best to make slight movements on the screw and bring the strings back to pitch and check the intonation after each ¼ or ½ turn of the screw as this is about making very slight adjustments.


When you have intonated each string properly, adjusting the action or height of the saddles for the player’s preference can also be done with the turn of a screw. 

We set up the Virtuo with an action / string height between ‘1.4mm’ on the treble side and ‘1.9mm’ on the bass side as standard when leaving Emerald. However the player can make further changes based on their playing style and the gauge of strings used.

First release some tension on the saddle by slacking off the string at the tuning peg then use either a small hex screwdriver or hex key / allen key (1.2mm) to raise and lower the height screws on the saddle. Each saddle contains two height controlling screws. Take care to note how many turns are made as both sides of each saddle should be at the same height. It’s important to make sure the saddles are flat when finished adjusting for optimum performance on the pickups. 

You can also use a radius guide when changing the action to keep the action in line with the radius on the fingerboard if needed.

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Hopefully this has been a useful guide for those looking to set up their own Virtuo when changing string gauge or action but if you aren’t totally comfortable making some of these changes yourself, you can contact your local luthier or guitar tech who will be able to set up your guitar to your liking. 

All of our instruments undergo a full setup before they leave us and if you have any personal preference in terms of strings or action you can make note of this with our team when ordering. 

Our resident experts, Kev and Davy, are at hand to answer your questions. You can contact them via the live chat on our site or via email to

Emerald Guitars; to make and inspire music.

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