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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

saddle angle?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Silent Otto, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Silent Otto

    Silent Otto Tele-Meister

    Jun 1, 2015
    3rd rock
    hi all.
    im changing strings (MIM tele) and sight down the string line to see that all the saddles (6-saddle bridge)are slightly angled side to side, towards the high E -- each saddle's grub screws are set at unequal lengths.
    so the question is -- should the saddles be square to the bridge plate, or should i just leave as is?

  2. Budda45ftw

    Budda45ftw Tele-Meister

    Aug 21, 2017
    Rochester NY
    You want a bit of a radius at the bridge.

  3. Silent Otto

    Silent Otto Tele-Meister

    Jun 1, 2015
    3rd rock
    so they should mimic the fretboard radius?, totally makes sense!
    fenderchamp likes this.

  4. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    I set my saddles individually as low as possible so there is no buzz or rattle, then raise as needed to mimic the fretboard radius. Just feels better that way imo.

  5. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Meister

    Oct 28, 2015
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. When you do need to adjust the saddle height you might strategically do it so they come out more level, but if its not buzzing, leave it alone.

  6. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2013
    In my opinion, yes. I'm a bit obsessive about such things; I like nice, orderly parallel lines and right angles.

    For string height, I use a ruler and set each string 5/64" above the 12th fret. Or with a capo at the first fret, 5/64" above the 17th. With .010" of neck relief, on my guitars the resulting string height is the same using either method. I find that comforting.
    danpan likes this.

  7. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    WNC Isothermal Zone
    In a 6-saddle set-up, a flat or slanted method will work; so the question becomes: Does one method work better?

    IMHO, adjusting the saddles so that the bottoms are parallel to the body surface provides for: 1) optimal stability and 2) best saddle-to-saddle contact.

    Good luck!
    LutherBurger likes this.

  8. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    I would try to have the saddles parallel to the bridge plate, but to correct it at this point you're risking getting the action height out of whack. Whoever adjusted the string height last probably didn't pay attention to how many turns were being made on each screw so they were left a little cockeyed. It would have to be really bad for it to create a problem in terms of spacing (tilted saddles require more room side to side).

  9. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    WNC Isothermal Zone
    It's better to have it right; it's a 10-minute fix, if you have a 6-inch rule which measures 32nds and 64ths of an inch.

  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I like to split the difference, with more weight towards having each neighboring saddle somewhat congruent to its neighbor,.

    If you elevate one screw that much over its partner, it will will take on much more of the load applied to the saddle. At the extreme, the screw with inadequate tension starts moving around.

    But at the other end, when the saddles are absolutely parallel to the face of the body, the saddles may stick up a bit more and fall into the path of the picking hand, and that can be aggravating.

    Finally, the more you cant a block saddle relative to its neighbor, the more this splays the 6 saddles when seen as a whole.

    Put it another way, if I'm fooling with a MIM Standard (or a T style with that type of bridge) and the outboard (E) strings are too close to the edges of the frets, I'm gonna adjust them towards being flat (and less following the radius) because then the saddles can group up more tightly to one another. Might be .015 inches but every little bit makes for a better playing guitar

  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 2, 2010
    The lower the saddles the less it matters.
    Think of a saddle as a triangle of forces.
    The two screws at the bottom, and the string pushing down at the top.
    If the saddle is set high, like it often is on a Tele, that triangle is twice as tall as it is wide at the base, so it is less stable when tipped at an angle than if the string pressure is centered over the two base points.
    And as noted, when tipped, there is less tension on one screw than the other.

    In the real world, I have worked on many guitars where this had become a real functional problem, because once the saddle is tilted and the long screw has little tension on it, strumming tips the saddle and it just gets worse and worse.
    Try slipping your pick in between the saddles and prying a bit.
    Can you move them pretty easily?
    You shouldn't be able to tip them easily with a pick.
    Tippy saddles that move can effect the sound and response, as well as not staying adjusted due to loosening screws.
    Guitars come into shops like this regularly.

    If you have a modern 12" radius board and low saddles, and it makes you happy, it might be fine to angle the saddles so it "looks" like they are all lined up in a neat radius. Keep an allen wrench in your gig bag.
    But if you need a tech to adjust your guitar, have a 7.25 radius board, or have a guitar where the six saddles are as high as they are wide at the screws, keep those saddles level for stable lasting adjustment, and secure string anchoring that won't move when you play!

  12. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Meister

    To answer your question I have the saddle screws even on the saddle and the saddle itself set to the radius.
    fenderchamp likes this.

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