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6 saddles vs. 3

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Ranger, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. markxander

    markxander Tele-Holic

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    I think it comes down to the guitar more than the player. I like six saddles but my 72RI just didn't feel or sound right until I put a 3 brass saddle config on it.

    Similarly, my standard has 3 steel on it right now but I'm thinking it will benefit from a six saddle set up and I'm going to try it.

    Either way, I'm more interested in finding the right bridge and saddle combination for each guitar than I am in keeping a favourite on every single guitar.
     
  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Ok, how about two saddles?

    [​IMG]

    How about three saddles on a Strat?

    [​IMG]

    Lot of this depends on what you're trying to achieve, who is expected to play the guitar, and what underlying characteristics this individual guitar project has that you are either trying to enhance or trying to tone down.

    There's no one magic bullet. There's a junkyard player out there someplace who needs more buzzes and rattles and jangles for the relaxed, sloppy sound he's after. There's a neck pickup only jazzy player for whom a twangy bridge design is a terrible mistake. Explore; find the things you like better. Or just use what you got and don't worry about it. ;)
     
  3. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    imho, 2 saddles would be 2 clicks dumber than 3. :D
     
  4. FenderWebCaster

    FenderWebCaster TDPRI Member

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    Hey Boris! That looks like a Chimemaster from Glendale!? How is does it work compaired to the vintage fender trems?


     
  5. Anchoret

    Anchoret Friend of Leo's

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    I discussed this with someone at FMIC many years back.

    It's very complicated, but the bulk of the "tone" issue (here) is about component mass and point loading. The point loading on the screws of a 6-saddle is not much different per string than with the three-saddle because the screws are smaller diameter and have a smaller footprint on the bridgeplate, so even though there are twice as many screws suspending the six strings and their saddles, they have about the same overall PSI loading at the points of contact, thereby giving approximately the same effect in terms of mechanical coupling.

    Fender spent a LOT of time and experimentation developing the new-style bridge to give improved intonation without sacrificing the original sound, and for the most part I think they did a pretty good job.

    Subtle changes can have noticeable effects on sound -- simply taking your existing bridge completely off, disassembling it for a darn good cleaning and then reinstalling it will frequently make a noticeable difference in the way your instrument sounds and it may take a while for it to "settle" back to your recognizable tone...if ever.
     
  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    This is the "first" version of the Chimemaster and it is kinda rare.

    I am not comfortable making big claims for this trem as a whammy because the Fender style arm threads into a (chromed) brass block and I'm not sure how much use/abuse that brass can tolerate. I usually leave the arm off and just do a little palm shimmer as needed. The sound is really cool. This block is 11 ounces and produces a big sound with plenty of mid range.

    What aspect of the usual vintage bridge did you want to compare?
     
  7. twang75

    twang75 TDPRI Member

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    The thinking (which may be ridiculous) is as follows:

    shared saddle = more classic tone, especially important for Burton-style high notes

    individual saddle = easier adjustment, especially important for middle strings (wound vs unwound).

    It sounds good imo.
     
  8. tubescent

    tubescent Tele-Meister

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    i think some of it can depend on how you play as well.
    when i was younger i used to use a pick and i think my right hand was more strummy. I used to get a bit hacked off with my palm hitting the roughness of the vintage style 3 saddle bridges and i subsequently saw the telecaster as a bit primitive and played a strat for years, loving it's smoother (feeling) 6 saddle bridge.
    however the last 5 years i've been playing exclusively with my fingers and i now can't do without the old vintage tele bridge. i use the bottom edge as a kind of guide/support for my right hand fingerpicking.
    overall i'd choose function over any sound changes as i'm a bit skeptical about anyone hearing a definite difference. but i only own one telecaster : ( so i can't compare anyway.
    ron kirn says that it doesn't make any real sound difference and i tend to trust that opinion as he probably gets to sample more guitars than anyone on here.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  9. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    yup, yer right - all this stuff is near ridiculous because there are SO many variables and the common denominator is the player. in the best of all worlds, you want to correctly intonate and set the height of each string. the reason for a tele 3 saddle bridge is just uncle leo being his usual business cheap self.
     
  10. noname_dragon

    noname_dragon Tele-Holic

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    I had an "upgrade" 6 saddle bridge on my '70 tele for years and it sounded fine and intonated well. One day in 1994 out of curiosity I changed back to the original 3 saddle steel bridge... and wow: there was that doinky cowboy twang that had been missing. It surely had more punch and tone, but I don't know why. I've kept it that way, with the 3 screws kinked to get the tuning right. I like the way it sounds and it has alot of personality somehow.
     
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