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Rutters Stainless Saddles Boost a Baja

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by boris bubbanov, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    This is Winter Park One, one of 7 Bajas in the flock. It has been forgotten from time to time.

    [​IMG]

    Marc Rutters (Edgemarc) sent me some stainless Tele saddles he made to see what I thought of them. I installed them on an flattened AV52 style plate and then I ruminated (I went on vacation) for weeks on which guitar to put them on. Finally, today I chose Winter Park One.

    [​IMG]

    In typical Baja style, I had to switch some 7/16ths height screws to get a proper setup. I used hex index 3/8ths for the two end locations. Marc had 3/8ths and 5/16ths, which I use on Highway Ones for instance.

    [​IMG]

    One of the neat things about a Baja is the geometry is such that you need not shim and yet the saddles boost way up for plenty of room for country style playing. It also sounds darned good this way.

    These Rutters chromed stainless saddles are very clear and a definite wake up call for this particular guitar. Not ice pick-y IMO through my Custom Vibrolux Reverb-Amp. These are some of the nicest sounding stainless saddles I've ever played, better than any steel barrel saddles I own.

    [​IMG]

    One thing you must get used to is understanding that the apparent tilt of the saddle between the two strings does not equal the height of the string. Because the string height is determined by the eccentric slot and NOT by the top of the saddle. Once you appreciate this and stop letting it bug you, you are off to the races because these things sound great and intonate great on a 9.5 radius Tele, A = 440 and using 11-49 strings with a plain G string.

    I will encourage Marc to switch to a stainless .020 - .023 wire spring, 1 inch and about .190 in diameter. I sure wish I could find some like this, but there's always Lee Spring and when you spend $ 400 THEN the price finally gets manageable. The music wire actually might be better when the saddles jack up like this but this stuff will corrode.

    The saddles themselves are amazing, and I will say right away the threading (for instance) on the saddles is super precision, close tolerance. Like Callaham. Not like Sung Il.

    Congrats to Marc for a very cool product. :D
     

  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I really like the sound of the neck pickup like this. The bridge pickup is also good. Supposedly the magnetic field of the bridge pup is influenced by having much more of the coil above the bridgeplate in a good way - but to me the most noticeable thing is you got less shielding and the bridge pup used alone is noisy.

    The N + B in series (in phase) is that typical humbucker sound; very useful. The N + B in parallel (in phase) is not the beauteous sound one gets with No-Casters or Original Vintages but it will do. Neck + Bridge in series (out of phase) is basically a cartoon sound with the guitar set up like this - no value.

    But the shocker is the N + B in parallel (out of phase) which is wonderful and useful - about a million miles from its series counterpart. It could well be just as reliable as parallel in phase on this Baja configuration. Check it out! Suspend disbelief and listen to me for a second. Just because this combo sounded like doo-doo on some other pickup set - you won't believe this until you try it on a Baja set up like this.
     

  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Long time since I played that loud, that long on saddles of any kind of steel, and gotten away without a case of ringing ears.

    These are really tasty sounding saddles.
     

  4. rainedave

    rainedave Tele-Holic

    638
    Jan 3, 2010
    NC, USA
    Nice review. Thanks for all the good info on phases. On one hand, I like saddles with slots for the obvious reason that they keep the string spacing fixed. At the same time, my strings never seem to pass directly over top of the magnets. Maybe that's not so important. If a string passes over the edge of a magnet (looking straight down on the pickup) does that have a noticeable effect on it's volume/tone? I've never bothered to find out myself, I always slide the strings to center them.

    RD
     

  5. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 27, 2008
    Kansas City
    Sweet! How pricey are these? I just put a set of RS Steel comped saddles on my Baja (we'll see how they do- mostly just curious about steel saddles in general before pulling the trigger on anything more expensive), but haven't had much time to try it yet, since I sent it off to have the back of the neck refinished last weekend. These look really nice.
     

  6. Groberts

    Groberts Tele-Holic

    754
    Dec 22, 2009
    Tucson
    Do these sound better than a good compensated brass saddle?
     

  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I chose this specific CP Baja because it needed something, compared to its comrades. It happened to have some tilt/slant compensated brass saddles on it already, good ones.

    Certainly in this particular one, the saddles I think bring out more on this guitar.

    Not sure if I would want my only Baja to have stainless. This = faster attack, and I just feed into playing in a different manner.

    In general I still prefer the bell brass, most guitars. But, if I'm needing stainless, this might be just the ticket
     

  8. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I don't even know!

    I've forgotten to ask. Marc just asked me to try them out. I'm also supposed to be trying out his machine jack cups - he's got a conventional looking one, like the Glendale in most ways; then there's one with spiral knurling which maybe can be installed and removed (searching around here for a certain beat up guitar to do the trials on). AND there's a 3rd one with the spiral knurling and also the jack mount point is not fully recessed - should be good for right angle plugs.
     

  9. Clem

    Clem Tele-Meister

    142
    Feb 1, 2010
    Wiltshire
    Interesting. We can get Sung Il/Wilkinson bridges and saddles quite cheaply in the UK and I was wondering how they could get the price down so much compared to other manufacturers. I take it the quality is not that hot...
     

  10. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    I have the SungII/Wilkingson Bridge and thinks its a good quality piece of kit .i use with top loading strings and Keystones .Not a huge believer in what bridge gives what tone on a Tele . Its splitting hairs. A few decent licks learned quicker would be more useful than the time spent mucking around with bridges. ..IMHO .
     

  11. younkint

    younkint Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Oct 14, 2007
    Spring, Texas
    Boris, back a few months ago, you mentioned "...you really need to pay attention to how much/little contact the string makes as it navigates over the barrel. Has a definite effect - IMO you don't want the string "wrapping around" the saddle nor do you want the string just glancing off, either."

    I'm wondering whether the Rutters saddles' "intonation groove" doesn't fall right into what you're talking about. Having personally used the Rutters saddles, can you say that the groove follows the contour of the saddle?

    I'm having a little difficulty trying to gather how these saddles are able to correct intonation. I am interested in these saddles for use on a very nice Baja; that guitar is just begging for accurate intonation. I would probably use brass...
     

  12. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I bought a Sung Il for the purpose of checking it out. I wish I'd used it in stock form a while and got some impressions of it - but I was anxious to see how it would machine (like butter, very soft) and now it has 6-32 bores I tapped and big stainless hardware. The plate is .050 and so you can't easily compare it to most of the others; they're .060 inches thick.
     

  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Terry, I think of this stuff, as I would juggling. (I hope I am better at this). All things being equal, getting the angle of the string a certain way as it comes out through the hole onto the bridge and over a saddle can effect the guitar's sound. Putting a sharp facet on the saddle face can effect it, and slots certainly can. I have never been a big fan of slots, nor the threaded saddles of part of Fender's legacy, either. But I take this good result Marc got to mean, it can be about HOW you design and implement a slot - just as it is important how a nut slot is cut and what it comes to look like. It is possible Marc has concluded that the chromed hard surface reduces some of the effects some slots seem to be bothered by. I don't know.

    I've been actively trying to set a guitar up with a Callaham bridge assembly - 7/16ths height screws, the whole shooting match. It is evident to me the facets in this case are beginning to kink the strings pretty badly, together with this wrap effect you referenced. I will keep on testing, but my impression is a Callaham is just not the right bridge if you like to set up real high - Marc's saddles for whatever reason, may be the champion for the players who love a real high saddle. Another concern on the 4-40 hardware on a Callaham set up super high is, the bore is canted and at some point the small threaded legs will deform - they obviously weren't meant to be used that way.
     

  14. younkint

    younkint Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Oct 14, 2007
    Spring, Texas
    Thanks for the reply, Boris.

    As I don't set up real high, I'd probably not see the issues you mention re the Callahams. The Rutters saddles certainly have visual appeal, in that they don't appear to be twisted all over the map. If they intonate well, I may just spring for them. I didn't have any intention of making changes to my Baja, but the more I play it, the more it seems to want accurate intonation.
     

  15. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 27, 2008
    Kansas City
    I'd really like to know what the price on these is. I have a set of RS comped steels on my Baja now, and I like 'em (especially for the measly $10 I paid for them!), but it'd be nice to have something notched to keep string spacing solid...

    I'm kinda digging the sound of steel saddles on my Baja. It's really not as huge a difference from brass as I thought it'd be though- I think having closer intonation is a bigger plus to these vs the stock ones.
     

  16. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR

    :confused::confused::confused:
     

  17. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member


    Can't find the place you snipped from....I'm guessing it is mine.

    Bad choice of words on my part, no doubt.

    I just mean a AV52 style, vintage style 3 barrel plate that has been sanded real flat on its underside.
     

  18. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 27, 2008
    Kansas City
    How'd a fella go about getting his hands on a set of these?
     

  19. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR

    Si Senior, grassy-ars
     

  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member


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