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3 saddle bridge, or 6 saddle bridge?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by zekester, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. zekester

    zekester TDPRI Member

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    I have a California Series Tele ('97), with neck humbucker and Tex-Mex bridge pups. It has a 6-saddle bridge. I read a lot about players replacing their 6 saddle bridges with 3 saddle bridges to achieve a more "vintage" configuration. My question to the community is, wouldn't the 6 saddle bridge be preferable to the 3, if only for the ability to more perfectly achieve intonation of the instrument? To my mind, when 2 strings share a saddle, accurate intonation can be achieved for only one of the pair in some instances.
     
  2. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    The theory is certainly that you need individually adjustable saddles for each string to achieve 100% perfect intonation. In reality, the three saddle set up can achieve so close to that (not convinced that anyone’s ears can hear the difference), especially with a few tweaks to angle the screws.
    There are many moving to six saddle for better intonation & those switching to 3 saddle for authenticity. Personally I’ve only ever had Teles with 3 saddle and never felt the need to change.
    Run a search on older threads & you’ll find the subject discussed ad infinitum.
    As usual, lots of conflicting ideas, no shortage of opinions, and lots of good reading.
     
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    For your guitar, you'd be better sticking with six.

    There's tricks for getting three to intonate. But if you are not looking for 50/60/70s tone the six is good.
     
  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I have, and like both on my Teles.
    Two have compensated 3 saddle bridges on my avatar guitar and MJT, and a six saddle on my Cabronita.
    Both types intonate perfectly, and I can’t appreciate any sonic difference.
    I do prefer the three saddle compensated, for looks, and comfort.
    I may eventually change the Cabronita’s bridge to the 3 saddle type, but not anytime soon.
     
  5. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    The six-barrel style bridges can rattle against each other, so either use the block style or bent steel type if going with six or use the three-barrel style.

    You can buy 'compensated' three-barrel bridges, rutters and others, or take a cheap brass barrel bridge and use a saw/file to cut your own angled slots.

    .
     
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  6. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Three looks more vintage. That's the only difference I've ever discerned. Intonation is close enough not to notice
     
    Steve Holt likes this.
  7. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with the others, I don't mind either and I have both. There's no point in swapping.
     
  8. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

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  9. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    It's hard to imagine that the 3-barrel design was the best solution to a musical problem. Then again, my acoustic guitars have fixed (although compensated) bridges. My T-type has 6 block saddles. I can't vouch for tone comparisons.
     
  10. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Hv the three barrel Gotoh compensated saddles.

    Not good enough for compensation for me- especially since I play clean

    Will order this week their six saddle bridge

    Ymmv.
     
  11. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    You’re on a guitar forum focused on gear. Almost everyone has modified something on almost all of their guitars. Having done too much of that, I’ve come to the conclusion that some things work, some things don’t, and most of what we do doesn’t make much difference at all. With that in mind, most of what we hear as differences are in the mind. Change anything you want. If you pay enough for it, it’ll be better. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  12. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    They sound different. To some maybe more then others. To me the entire reason i like teles is the tone which with a 6 saddle bridge becomes much more generic and loses much of what i like about telecaster tone. Nothing wrong with that if u like it, but not for me. W/O that quintessential tone teles have nothing else going for them that i like really. It's 100% about that particular tone that to my ear is diluted with a 6 saddles bridge. Not everyone feels the same but some including myself do. I bought one recently because i loved the neck so much with the belief that i could make it sound at least good enough. After a week i was done with it. I knew better but i wanted to like it due to the neck. Never again.
     
  13. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, you are correct.

    Leo Fender's first attempt had three but, as far as I know, every subsequent model he designed had six. I think that says something.
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  14. Gravel Road

    Gravel Road TDPRI Member

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    This setup works on this guitar. every guitar and every guitar player is different. Part of playing a guitar is the different roads we travel. ASAT bridge.jpg
     
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  15. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    To the OP, it doesn't matter. If you didn't think there was something to change before reading something on the internet, then you don't have a problem at all. Keep it and play it!

    That color! WOW! And the hardware, pickups, pickguard, totally sick setup. Nice guitar you've got there!
     
  16. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    3 barrel bridges look cooler and I think it's an elegant solution to how to (more or less) intonate a guitar using few parts. Intonation is usually ok, and compensated saddles pretty much solve the problem completely.
    I think it adds some character to the instrument, but I've never compared the sound difference.

    If you have a modern tele that came with a 6 saddle bridge, I think I would leave it as it is.
    "If it isn't broken, mod it until it is" are words many of us live by, but it might not always be the best approach...
     
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  17. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I favor bridge with the fewest moving parts that get the job done. I have a 3 saddle compensated bridge on my Tele because it has fewer screws and springs to reduce sustain and perhaps tone. I also removed the “space control” bridge off my Falcon and put a compensated bar bridge on it for the same reason. Both guitars intonate well and sound great. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  18. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think it makes any real world functional difference that's enough to worry about so the way I'm reading it is that if you're a purist then you want three saddles and if you're OCD about intonation then you're gonna want six.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
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  19. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Holic

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    1) If 3 saddles were good enough for Roy, Danny, Cropper, Burton, etc then it's good enough for me.

    2) with compensated saddles, I get intonation set within 2 cents on all strings

    3) 2 saddles are even better.

    download.jpg
    Mastery

    I'm fine with my Barden compensated saddles or my Wilkinson compensated saddles.
     
  20. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

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    Both work for all kinds of players. Great music been played on both.

    It's what works for you.
     
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