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3-saddle bridge or 6-saddle?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Micof, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Micof

    Micof NEW MEMBER!

    Sep 28, 2009
    I just want to know your opinion about these two types of bridges. What are the advantages/disadvantages of the two, what's the difference when it comes to tone, which do you personally prefer, etc.? :p

    Thanks! Hope you can help me on which bridge to buy for my tele! :D

  2. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    Its generally acknowledged around these here Tele Pages that the Three-Saddle bridge has more MOJO and therefore infinitely better tone than its modern inferior 6 saddle offspring.

    The same therefore, logically, applies to the owners of Telecasters respectively equipped.

    Evil Funk likes this.

  3. sean001

    sean001 Tele-Meister

    Mar 17, 2003
    Gilberts, Illinois
    Three saddles have more mojo. Three uncompensated saddles have even more mojo. I prefer three saddles and personally use the Glendale Twang set. NOW, that said, I really think in a blind test, 99% of players couldn't hear the difference. Maybe they could hear a difference between 6 and 3 saddles but they could not tell you which is which. Pete Anderson made some pretty good records with 6 saddles and so have a lot of other heavy hitters.

    Three saddles = more cool, more mojo
    Six saddles = better intonation

    The tone of either is completely subjective. I think 3 saddles is more twangy but it is nothing the treble knob on a decent amp couldn't overcome when using 6.

  4. appar111

    appar111 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 8, 2006
    I agree that the 3-saddle has more mojo (in looks anyway, as I don't have any experience with the 6 saddle modern bridge), but intonation can be tricky if you don't have 3 compensated saddles. I'm figuring that out now that I'm playing more stuff higher up on the neck, and am currently debating compensated saddles or a switch to a gotoh modern 6-saddle bridge.

  5. Roli

    Roli Banned

    Jun 28, 2005
    ¤ Hungary ¤
    3 saddle for the purists, 6 saddle for the pros.
    Evil Funk likes this.

  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    This is the mother of all questions.

    It gets asked, different ways, at least every other day here.

    Check out some of the past discussions; there's a enormous amount of real information here amidst all of the romance and blanket statements of personal preference.

    New suggestion; one that hasn't been expanded on much before:

    Using 11-49 or thicker strings? The added tension keeps the barrels and strings aligned.
    The cold fact is, with 10-46 or thinner strings, especially with the saddles low, don't do a perfect job of keeping things in place and so especially 9-42 guys with low action might wanna consider the Gotoh enlongated plate;

    Are your strings drifting around in heavy use? If they are, regardless of guage, think about a saddle like the Callaham "enhanced" before abandoning the barrel type altogether - seems a better choice on guitars that set up low, for other reasons pertaining to the way a tall, hiked up string breaks over a faceted saddle.

    Tip of the iceberg.

    You could stay immersed in all this talk for weeks, but at some point you gotta use the products and do trials with them to catch all the fine details.

  7. appar111

    appar111 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 8, 2006
    I'm running 10-46's with medium low action-- would you recommend trying out the Gotoh elongate plate bridge?

  8. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Not unless you're really dissatisfied with what you have.

    That elongated plate bugs me. And the more I reflect on the fact that the Gotoh elongated plate is chromed brass, the less inclined I am to recommend it.

    Yegbert suggests a MIM Standard plate (chromed steel) with Gotoh chromed brass saddles. Were I to try a long plate right now, I think that's the combo I would choose.

    Maybe that seems weird but it is true. I like Graphtech nuts, and I dislike their saddles. I like brass saddles, but I dislike brass plates (unless they are billet). I think the brass that goes into ordinary bridge plates is of poor quality.

  9. Rob52

    Rob52 Tele-Holic

    OK, any opinions on the early 60's style 6 saddle bridges (the ones with the offset barrels) as compared to the 50's 3 saddle or modern 6 saddle types?

  10. sean001

    sean001 Tele-Meister

    Mar 17, 2003
    Gilberts, Illinois
    You probably want to post a picture so we make sure everyone is talking about the same thing BUT if you mean the little, "hammer head" barrels, those are the worst crap ever loaded on a Tele. Bad for tone, bad for sustain, the go out of tune as they slide around in the ash tray, the height changes as the saddles rattle around. Absolute garbage! IMHO at least.

    Three saddles or modern 6 saddles are much, much better than the hammer head barrels. I suspect that there will be very few dissenting opinions on this matter.
    Evil Funk likes this.

  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Praise the Lord!

    Yes, indeed, an evolutionary dead end. They often stand so tall, when fully set up on a country style Tele where the player is really getting under the strings, that the saddles can't help but try and topple over.

    Don't buy them, that's for sure. But if you're on a "guitar spending freeze", put these on the Tele you have that naturally sets up the lowest; they're gonna malfunction less in that usage, IMO. You could add a set screw to hold them fast, but what if you need to raise the action more? I guess I like all my saddle pressure to the downward, although I do like the G + L Saddle Lock design.

    I took the actual 6 hammer barrels and transplanted them onto a Fat Frankensquier with the heavy elongated Squier steel bridge plate. Much longer 4-40 brass length screws that are actually bent into position, and the saddles are all slammed low. This is actually not that disgusting sounding.

    Twang is an ethereal thing. Something about the admixture of the cheapo stamped Leo plate and way too many small pieces parts competing for the same space. The Gods do not smile.

  12. Al Watsky

    Al Watsky Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 5, 2007
    New Jersey
    The center pull 6 saddle bridges are OK.
    The offset barrel 6 saddle are not , because of the string pull problems.
    I have been setting an angle in my tele bridges since the 80's, in the 70's
    I used hardtail strat bridges on my tele. It was a mod to say the least.
    The modern angled 3 saddle bridges get the job done.
    The issue of tone is subjective, I will leave that topic to the retired list members.
    The un-angled traditional 3 saddle bridges work if the player has enough technique or talent to adjust his or her finger pressure to the needs of chord tuning.
    For single lines its not a big deal.
    If the player doesn't have a very good ear they will be happy with anything , thats set up.
    If the player has a very good ear they will make anything you you set up and put in their hands work.
    My personal preference is for angled 3 barrel saddles. I can intonate perfectly with them. I prefer the feel and sound of that set up.
    My older tele a 68 thinline has the stock bridge and plate , those old grooved steel saddles sound good to me. I bent the screws for my own use to angle the saddles and it intonates perfectly. My angle is more acute on the E/B string saddle than any after market fixed angle set I have seen. I can play that in tune as well.
    I can also play a non angled set in tune , but with more finger pressure adjustments necessary.

  13. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I prefer 3 saddle ashtray bridges. The way I rest my hand on the bridge I sound better with the vintage appointments.

  14. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 5, 2007
    Evergreen, Colorado
    I've got two Teles and two bridges.

    Six-saddle on my 2000 American Standard Tele.

    Three-saddle (uncompensated) on my AVRI '52 Tele.

    I like 'em both, but it's more about the specific guitar than the bridge. My American Tele is the most comfortable guitar I've ever played, so I'm not changing a thing. But I like the 3-saddle for extra twang and "mojo" on my AVRI '52 specifically. I use Jerry Donahue's intonation method and stay intonated and in tune just fine.

    I used to have a CIJ '72 Tele Custom and I swapped out the 3-saddle bridge for a 6-saddle one and liked it better, so like I said, for me it's more about the specific guitar and what works for it than preferring a certain type of bridge.

  15. Teleblooz

    Teleblooz Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 18, 2006
    Hillsboro, OR
    The most Mojo comes from 3 saddles carved from a black cat bone.

  16. Rob52

    Rob52 Tele-Holic

    Thanks for the comments.
    I've never actualy used one of these bridges, I've allways stuck with 3 saddle bridges, mostly with compensated brass saddles. I was just wondering about the 6 saddle "hammer" type as they don't seem to get mentioned in discussions about 3 or 6 saddle bridges. I guess the comments here explain why.

  17. dlaroe

    dlaroe Tele-Meister

    Mar 17, 2009
    Rougemont, NC
    I've got a 6-way chomed brass bridge on a cherry bodied Tele. Not twangy but I love the sound of this guitar. Probably sounds more solid tail Strat (think Robert Cray) than a classic tele sound.

    I like the lack of an "ash tray" lip, I rest my palm and pinky where that lip would be.


  18. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    Quite, the 3-barrel saddles so obviously have such a better tone that practically all the pros use 6-saddle bridges.

  19. Verne Bunsen

    Verne Bunsen Tele-Holic

    Nov 29, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I love when this debate pops up. Sometimes you can almost hear peoples teeth gritting as you read their comments. And chunks of keyboards flying. And spittle hitting the screen. Three things best not discussed among friends: religion, politics, and 3 vs 6 saddle bridges!

  20. Doubletriode

    Doubletriode Tele-Meister

    Mar 23, 2008
    What is that method? :confused:


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