Are the Wilkinson Brass Compensated saddles different than the Fender saddles?.. they look the same

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Webfoot, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Webfoot

    Webfoot Tele-Holic

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    After experimenting with the Gotohs brass compensated saddles (with the slots) I was wondering if I just need to replace my original Fender brass compensated saddles.

    Looking at the Reverend Greg Koch Gristlemaster tele... they say they use Wilkinson... but the Wilkinson's look just the Fender saddles.

    Are they the same or do they sound different?
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    what is your ultimate goal?

    rk
     
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  3. Webfoot

    Webfoot Tele-Holic

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    I made another post that said I swapped out the fender brass compensated saddles (that look like the Wilkinsons) and put in Gotohs compensated brass with they funny slots. The Gotohs seem to intonate better but not as lively sounding (which I miss) as the original fenders (2 year old american professional tele).

    My curiosity was I do a lot of string bending and wonder if I needed saddles with slots. But when I think about it, Greg Koch plays his new Reverend signature line Gristlemaster that has Wilkinsons and he probably bends stings more than anyone on the planet.

    So maybe for intonation and bending, the original Fender compensated saddles are just as good as the Gotohs or Rutters (no experience). But soundwise my ears seems to prefer the original Fender saddles over the Gotohs. Of course I only have one data point.
     
  4. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

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    I have the Wilkinson bridge with compensated saddles. I find they are over-compensated. I flipped them over so they function as standard brass saddles.
     
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  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    If it's not broke don't fix it..

    rk
     
  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Webfoot, if you compare your Professional to the old St. Leo style bridges with the through holes way down at the bottom of the plate, you realize the string has to make a very elongated, round about turn on your Professional. I believe the effective diameter of those Gotohs you are trying to use is much larger than the effective diameter of the stock barrels. I think while the string is making this long voyage around the larger barrel, becoming basically wrapped around it, it loses a lot of its vitality and spark. The Gotoh saddle is damping out the vibrations of your strings to some extent - the ideal setup for Tele (which the Professional can never have) is a string that just clips the barrel and makes all its contact in a fairly small area - some break angle so the string doesn't slide around, but not too much.

    I think that's what you're hearing. Greg's new Reverend is too dissimilar from what you're driving to compare it.
     
  7. Webfoot

    Webfoot Tele-Holic

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    Interesting. Are you saying there is more surface contact (string against the saddle) on the Gotoh versus the Fender compensated (American professional)? They would make sense and impact 'liveliness'. They both have equivalent diameter but differ in contact approach. So maybe a Rutters would not sound that different from a Gotoh?
     
  8. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    See if Marc doesn't have a eccentric slotted but smaller in diameter saddle.

    That's probably the best remedy you have to triage an American Professional Tele. But frankly, I think Fender blew the "Tele" version of this model. The Strat version is really quite good.

    Or, I guess you could put a 24.75 conversion style replacement neck on there, so the saddles could be skootched forward and the stiffness would be eliminated.
     
  9. Clifton C

    Clifton C Tele-Holic

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    I put All Parts compensated saddles on three of my Teles and they work great. I believe it's a Barden design.
     
  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use the Wilkinson compensated brass saddles fitted to a fender vintage bridge as that was the cheapest way to get a quality compensated bridge together for my partscasters. They work fine, any tone differences would be down to the brass weight, purity rather than the brand name. I imagine different brands would intonate in different positions due to slight differences of angles, thickness etc of the saddle. I don't think too much about it, as long as they intonate and sound decent i'm happy.

    The $10 buck china brass saddle bridges work well too. I just went flashy with the Wilkinsons because it was only a $15 buck upgrade and the compensation might have come in handy on a new partscaster if for some reason I had any trouble intonating it.

    My 50's CV tele came with normal brass saddles and I wouldn't swap them out if I had a compensated set given to me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  11. simond

    simond Tele-Meister

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    Compensated old school
     

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  12. Webfoot

    Webfoot Tele-Holic

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    Is this saying the whole bridge assembly and string holes should of been moved back about 1/4"?
     
  13. graybeard65

    graybeard65 Tele-Meister

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    That is truly spectacular advice - +1 all day every day!
     
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  14. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not sure I can agree, Boris. When I put a Warmoth 24.75" conversion neck on mine, the saddles "essentially" stayed in the same position. FRET spacing and neck length does the "conversion" part. And yes.....my guitar plays very much in tune.
     
  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I cannot tell ya how many times over the decades I've had guys cal and ask, "I gotta (whatever) it plays and sounds great, What should I modify first?" and I'm not kidding...

    it's just crazy... guys don't comprehend that if you're safe where you are... don't move.. where ya go might be where the asteroid is gonna hit...

    r
     
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  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    The bridge assembly has to stay where it is to accommodate the bridge pickup. The saddles could be higher but they're in the right place basically. So yeah, just the through hole location is bad. What could be done, however, is to somehow modify the guitar into a Top Loader using the existing bridge. But you impediment there could be the wire binding the ball end on the string getting in the way of the saddle - you might have to use the brand or type of string with the most compact bundle of wire holding the ball end to the string.
     
  17. Mr Scallywag

    Mr Scallywag Tele-Holic

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    Yup, I had a Squier with the ashtray bridge but six individual steel saddles, replaced it with a Fender compensated and it sounded worse.
     
  18. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I found that recent production Wilkinson compensated saddles are less well finished than older sets. The edges where the strings break used to be slightly rounded over and worked fine. Now, that edge is sharply machined and can lead to buzzing. The last set of these, I used an emery type finger nail file to soften the edges.
     
  19. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Holic

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    Did the exact same thing!
     
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  20. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

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    I'm happy with the Gotoh brass compensated saddles but I paired them with a Glendale stainless bridge plate.

    [​IMG]
     
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