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New saddles causing issues

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Jode, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Jode

    Jode TDPRI Member

    60
    Feb 12, 2007
    Glasgow
    Hi everyone,

    May have previously posted this in the wrong place, so here I go again...

    I just had some Rutter straight comp saddles brought over to the UK to replace the stock ones on a '96 Japanese tele, 7.25 radius. It's my first time changing saddles over, and I'm having a lot of trouble with the G buzzing, particularly on bends but also just straight fretting higher up the neck. Raising the string doesn't seem to have much effect.

    The guitar was set up absolutely perfectly beforehand, with a pretty low action, so I think it's unlikely to be a fretwork issue... I guess my question is - is this likely to be an issue isolated to my installation of the saddles, or is it a situation where every aspect of the setup now needs to be checked over?

    I should add that the saddles certainly seem of very high quality - not suggesting otherwise for a second. Any advice much appreciated!
     

  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    I took a look onl8ne. I don’t like the way those saddles are slotted. It appears that the large contact patch in the saddle could lead to dead, dull and buzzy sonics....nothing that a good hand of a knowledgeable tech could not fix in a few minutes. Fwiw, I have been compensating those large brass Tele saddles for over two decades.
     

  3. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    43
    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    Wally, the pictures on Marc's site don't really show the design that clearly. The groove you're seeing is not the contact patch. There's a groove in front and a groove in back, and where those two grooves intersect forms the contact point, which is really very small, much smaller than on something like a tune-o-matic saddle. The groove in front of that contact point virtually guarantees that the the string won't rattle against the saddle.

    Jode, it can be hard to diagnose buzzing sometimes, but generally you do need to make sure that the setup hasn't changed. It's also possible that there's a mechanical issue that's not intuitive.

    See if you can take some good, clear pictures of your bridge from the top and from the front and post them. Maybe we'll be able to see something that points to the problem.
     
    moosie, swany and boris bubbanov like this.

  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    upload_2018-3-13_12-56-47.jpeg

    IF these are the saddles, then either the picture doesn't do the saddles justice or I would have to modify them.
     
    chemobrain likes this.

  5. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    43
    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    Yeah, like I said pretty explicitly, the picture doesn't do them justice. They're designed with a very clean break point and you wont' improve them if you modify them. I have them and have installed them on customers' guitars, and they're my favorite intonated design.

    Gotoh has started using the concept as well, though their saddles are big and ugly.
     
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  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Yeah, maybe Marc should utilize a new image for that product. The two pairs I have, have clean, precise break points.

    I hope the O.P. will send us some images. One thing that some people aren't expecting, is, to get the string at the right height for all 6 strings, the cant of each saddle is not what you wanna focus on. You align the breaks and not the outward appearance of the barrels. This is maybe what the O.P. has done that's wrong. He may be trying too hard to get the middle barrel appearing dead level on top.
     

  7. Jode

    Jode TDPRI Member

    60
    Feb 12, 2007
    Glasgow
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Slightly strange update... in my desperation, I thought I’d just double check that the middle saddle was installed the right way round, so raised it as high as I could to read the letters on the underside. Definitely on correctly and, lo and behold, the buzzing was gone! Obviously this is great, but it’s a little unsatisfying not being able to learn the game in the act of fixing it... here’s some photos anyway... IMG_4392.JPG IMG_4393.JPG IMG_4394.JPG
     

  8. Jode

    Jode TDPRI Member

    60
    Feb 12, 2007
    Glasgow
    The string heights are probably not ideal, I've done a lot of fiddling, but now slightly reluctant to tweak it further as it all feels pretty good.
     

  9. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Are you sure the head of the saddle's intonation screw was pushed all the way forward, against the back of the bridge plate, before you raised the saddle? If it wasn't firmly seated there, it could have been the source of the buzzing.
     
    Kreepy, moosie and boris bubbanov like this.

  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jode, you do appear to have the slants I would expect to see with Rutters slots.

    However, at least two of those height screws are on the short side. Keep an eye out for an opportunity to get some another 1/8th inch longer, or so, most especially for the middle barrel. IMO if you leave part of the saddle bore "unused" you open the door to rattles/extraneous noise - sometimes just below the threshold of hearing, sometimes just fuzzing up your signal a little. A little over-long is IMO better than too short - besides those voids fill up with disgusting stuff - urk.
     

  11. Jode

    Jode TDPRI Member

    60
    Feb 12, 2007
    Glasgow
    Not 100% sure, but I certainly haven't adjusted it since... something to watch out for.
     

  12. Jode

    Jode TDPRI Member

    60
    Feb 12, 2007
    Glasgow
    That makes sense - I'll try to get hold of some different screws.

    Thanks for all the advice, folks - I'm very fortunate in that I grew up in a house full of guitars, with a dad who knows a thing or two about setups. The downside is that, between that and tending to get setups done professionally, I've never really learned the art of maintainance. So I know what I like, and I know when it's wrong, but way behind on learning to fix it myself at age 35!
     

  13. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    63
    Apr 11, 2016
    Las Vegas, NV
    I don't know, maybe I'm missing something, but the offsets appear to be opposite from providing correct intonation for a plain G string set. I'm used to seeing a configuration similar this, with the low E on the top:

    E |
    A |
    D |
    G |
    B |
    E |

    Just Curious?
    Gene
     

  14. Jode

    Jode TDPRI Member

    60
    Feb 12, 2007
    Glasgow
    I totally agree - most likely I'll now adjust the outer four strings to match the radius without messing any further with the D/G. Bit of a backwards way of getting there. I'm having some Don Mare pickups wound right now - once they make it over to Scotland I'll probably have the whole shebang set up professionally anyway. I have more experience of swapping out pickups than doing setups, but this is my main gigging guitar, so in general I should probably save the school days for my other teles and get this one done right.

    EDIT - I just realised you're talking intonation, not height. Yes, the intonation remains off... thanks for reminding me to steal the correct screwdriver from work tonight!
     

  15. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    63
    Apr 11, 2016
    Las Vegas, NV
    WOW! I'm an absolutely embarrassed moron for not properly proofreading my previous post. That is not at all what the saddles should look like and it's too late to edit the post!
    Sorry Folks,
    Gene
     

  16. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    I think we all got what you were trying to say. Extra spaces in posts seem to be automatically eliminated, so no foul on your part.
     

  17. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    I'd still check those intonation screws. The photos show they're not tight against the back of the bridge. What happens is because they're angled - and the higher the action, the more angled - if they're not tight to the bridge when slack, string tension kind of gets them stuck, and they'll be riding on one of the intonation screw threads, which as I think Luther said, can be a source of buzz.

    I'd start fresh. Detune and push those saddles as far forward as they'll go. Set your saddle heights, and see if you still have issues. You'll need to intonate again, and you should really do that on brand new strings...


    By the way, I also have a couple sets of these, and the saddle take-off point is a very specific peak within the groove. Not the groove itself. Great saddles.
     

  18. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Can someone explain to me, in idiot's English, why you need a groove in some saddles but not others?

    Threaded saddles I get, that's its own thing, but when it comes to 3 compensated or 6 barrel, why the grooves? And of course, 6 block is a different design.

    Because if you're heavy bending, that brings the string back to proper position?

    I just never understood the technical aspects of this.
     

  19. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    This is kind of like when I try to cinch the belt on my pants over my ever-increasing stomach.

    It's all a compromise, you know?
     

  20. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    The grooves in the Rutters design are not about the strings returning to their spot, though that does happen. The goal here is to compensate the saddles, but without tilting them like many other vendors do. The saddles remain straight, but the little apexes cut into the grooves, where the string takes off, are staggered forward or backward, depending on the string the saddle is designed for. The grooves are just to get rid of material around the take-off point so it doesn't touch the string, cause rattles, intonation problems, etc.
     
    boris bubbanov likes this.

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