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CV '50s Tele: Need Advice for Saddles/Bridge Upgrade!

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by FenderGuy53, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    OK. I got my new CV '50s Tele (BSB) yesterday. It's my first, ever, 3-saddle bridge setup. If (or when) future intonation issues arise, what do you think of these saddles/bridge upgrade options:

    • Option 3: Swap in a Fender Standard Series 6-Saddle Bridge for $24. I want to be able to experience/enjoy the "3 brass saddles" mojo; however, I really like this setup and would be quite happy if it ends here.

    I don't want to put a lot of $$$ into my CV '50s Tele, but I do want it be soulful, playable and easy to set up and maintain.

    A penny for your thoughts, guys? Whaddayathink? Any other options?

    Thanks, guys.
  2. Vinyl66

    Vinyl66 TDPRI Member

    Sep 11, 2012
    I recently installed Callaham compensated saddles on my Tele with excellent results, intonation is pretty much spot on. I went for brass, but they do them in stainless-steel as well.
  3. john kleeman

    john kleeman Tele-Holic

    Jun 16, 2010
    Portland, Or.
    My Roadworn came modded with the 6 saddle bridge. It intonated better and imparted a sustain and even response across the range of the instrument. I put a 3 saddle back on and it was much more Tele like: snap, twang, etc.
    I'd buy the Stew Macs. It will give you the intonation you desire and preserve the tele nature. My 2c's.
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  5. Option One, One to Ten with Ten being best, these # 5167s are a genuine 9.
    If you ever dream of buying more Teles ever, order 3 sets and get the multi discount. These are the best inexpensive saddle, bar none. They're a 10 until you buy some Rutters or some Callahams; those are the real 10s but they cost much more.

    Option Two, One to Ten with Ten being best, these "Gotoh" Wilkys are maybe 4. I don't like them, I fight with the guys who use them but they can work well, look pretty good. I can name 16 products I like better but I gotta leave room at the bottom.

    Option Three, One to Ten with Ten being best, these 6 "hammer" saddle bridges are really awful but GFS sells worse, so I give them a 2 - because James Burton used them and he's cool. Otherwise they'd be a 1. These are so bad, I have 4 I took off guitars and I refuse to sell or give them to anyone - I'd be making an enemy for no valid reason, the way I see it.
  6. zakkwyldefan79

    zakkwyldefan79 TDPRI Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    If you decide to go with the Fender 6 saddle bridge, there's a seller on ebay that sells them for $16.75 with free shipping. That's where I got the one for my Tele. A real Fender bridge in original packaging. He's a fast shipper, too. That would save you a few bucks.
  7. You gotta wonder why you can buy this complex bridge, genuine Fender, so cheaply.

    There's a reason. They can't give them away. :(
  8. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Tele-Afflicted

    May 25, 2010
    North Alabama
    If problems arise, you can always just put a little bend in the ones you got. I think you're overthinking it myself, I say just play it and don't worry about it. But if you are the tweaker type and you just know your gonna want some more adjustment, I'd go with the Stew Mac saddles.
    The Wilkerson compensated bridge is good, I have 2 of em on partscasters, but in your situation it seems like overkill. Why change the whole bridge when you can just swap out the saddles for cheaper? I wouldn't put on a 6 saddle myself. The 3 saddle is part of the charm of your guitar.
  9. zakkwyldefan79

    zakkwyldefan79 TDPRI Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    I get that you don't like them and that's cool. I wouldn't call it complex though. It's a pretty simple bridge.

    Personally I hate the 3 saddle bridge. The main reason I changed mine was that I didn't like the raised edges on the original ashtray bridge. My pinky would hit it when I was trying to mute the strings and not hit the high e enough to mute it but enough to make it sound funny. It drove me crazy. I also like the six saddle bridge because I can get the intonation more accurate. It also mounted the same way as the original bridge. I also like the looks of it better. I have not noticed any issues with it so far. But unlike a lot of tele players, I don't play country music or light blues rock. I like the looks of a tele but I wasn't after the tele sound. I play hard rock & metal so I modded my tele to work better for that kind of music. It's all just personal preference.
  10. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    You're asking for thoughts, mine is keep the stock setup.

    I love the stock bridge and saddles on my CV50. Sustains like no one's business, and intonation is virtually perfect, Just a very slight compromise with the D/G strings. I honestly don't know how folks get good intonation with those compensated barrels. My 3 Teles are all stock 3-barrel bridges, and all are just about perfect. My '75 has the middle barrel slightly angled by the previous owner giving the intonation screw a very small bend, and it's intonation is about as good as it gets.

    I also like two strings pressing the saddle down, as opposed to just one on a 6-saddle bridge. IMO that gives the Tele some of it's characteristic sound.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  11. ShadowChancer

    ShadowChancer Tele-Holic

    Apr 14, 2012
    Central Scotland
    Three saddle not for me either

    I`m with you on wanting to get with the mojo of the 3 saddle thing , but to me it`s not my thing , if you alter it at all its a pantomime to get it to settle and I`ve read at least six hundred posts on how easy / great they are . Not for me , I had a mex tele MW nice guitar went over to the three saddle to be all tele and hip and ended up ripping it off and going back to the six (which I have on my CV50s , VM , and American Special . Live it doesn't seem to matter so much but , multi tracking in the studio and the high register parts are just wrong , I can pitch it back in in my software but what`s the point ? Horses for courses I suppose , if it floats your boat its the right bridge for you , end of . IMG_0846.jpg



  12. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    I like the Callaham's, too, but if I were to go that route, I'd probably change the bridge, too (see my note to Boris, below).

    I like the concept of the beveled sides of the Callaham and Rutters saddles, moreso than the "bent saddles" approach of the Stew-Macs. That said, I believe that it may be more practical to try the Stew-Mac's, given that I'd still be using the stock bridge.

    If I decided to move up, then I'd replace the saddles AND the bridge. On the other hand, if the 3-saddle deal doesn't float my boat, then I'd go Fender 6-saddle setup - because I like that setup.
  13. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    I'm leaning this way, if the stockers don't pan out. Thanks.
  14. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    Great! Thanks for the "heads up". I really like the Fender 6-saddle setup because it makes intonation easy and it provides a nice, clean look.

    I'm going to give the 3-saddle thing an honest try. If it doesn't work out, then I'm all over the Fender 6-saddle thing. ;)

    I agree with you 100%, zakkwyldefan79; but I'm keeping an open mind and I'm going to give this 3-saddle thingy a try.

    I don't play country music; I play progressive rock and blues-inspired music. I still want my Tele to sound like a Tele.

    Not my thing, either, but I'm willing to give it a try... ;)
  15. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    I'll give it my best effort!
  16. gsh1968

    gsh1968 Tele-Holic

    Jun 16, 2008
    London UK
    They are not talking about the 6 saddle vintage style, they are talking about the modern 6 saddle bridge found on the Standard.
  17. AxeVictimAZ

    AxeVictimAZ Tele-Holic

    Sep 11, 2010
    Don't mean to hijack your thread, but I posted something similar here,

    Should have put it here as you have gotten a lot more response.

    The Stew Mac's appear to be winning here but when I read the comments on Stew's site there were a couple that stated the first string could not be lowered enough.
    I'm leaning towards the Callaham's.
  18. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    Yes and yes. Stew-Mac's get the nod, but I agree that the larger diameter of the saddles could be problematic for string height. Boris believes that the Stew-Mac's are the best available, at this price point, so I'll ask him if he is aware of this issue.

    For me, it doesn't make sense to put the $40 Callaham's on a bridge that costs $15 - including the saddles!

  19. CAAD8N8

    CAAD8N8 Tele-Holic

    Nov 21, 2010
    I've used the Wilkinson with compensated bridge saddles on two teles with good results. The bridge/saddles aren't terrible stock either
  20. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    boris, regarding the Stew-Mac compensated saddles, there are several comments within the Stew-Mac review area which mention that the increased diameter of the saddles may be problematic for lower action settings. Have you experienced this issue?
  21. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    ShadowChancer, another mod that I was considering on my CV '50's Tele was moving to a 5-hole, 3-ply (B/W/B) pickguard with pickup adjustment holes, for pickups that are mounted to the pick guard.

    Have you considered this change? Are these pick guards available?

    Would a Fender Standard MIM Tele pick guard fit the CV '50's Tele?

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