Barrel saddle vs tuneomatic individual.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Varmonter, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. Varmonter

    Varmonter TDPRI Member

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    Apologies I'm sure this has been discussed. Vintage tele bridges have these threaded barrel saddles or plain
    Flat brass saddles 3 of them 2 strings per.
    I hear all sorts of things about bending the hight screws to adjust intonation
    To filing to move a string back or foward.
    With modern six saddle bridges one can
    Adjust each string individually. Why would
    You want a barrel saddle( other than mojo) as a opposed to the individual
    Tunimatic type..?? New to this and I'm building a tele...deciding on what bridge
    To use... thx.
     
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  2. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Don't discount the mojo.......
    My first Telecaster was a MIK Fender Squier Tele, with six individual saddles. It intonated well, but was a "rattle trap". I went through four or five different bridges, (top load and string through, as well as three and six saddle) and my preference ended up being a top load, three saddle one, with Bensonite compensated Fat Saddles. Intonation is good, and the Bensonite are more comfortable (on my right hand) than anything else.
     
  3. RobDaglish

    RobDaglish TDPRI Member

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    Logic suggests everyone would go for six saddles. But people convince themselves that the brass barrels sound more authentic to the original Tele...

    Both mine have brass saddles, and to be honest, they intonate pretty well anyways so individual saddles wouldn’t benefit me - as always, your mileage may vary!
     
  4. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister

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    I have 1 tele with brass barrels (CV Tele custom) and one with individual saddles (Fender Player). I replaced the stock steel barrels with compensated brass ones. It intonates pretty close but its not perfect. Very subtle and really not noticeable in the real world. If pressed I prefer the saddles because the bridge doesn't have the sides on it digging into my hand.
     
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  5. Varmonter

    Varmonter TDPRI Member

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    Interesting so is it that the two strings
    Occupieing the same saddle just intonate close enough they can be set
    And its "close enough"... or do you guys
    generally have to raise,lower or bend adjusting screws to get it to sound good?? I certainly dont want a rattle trap.
    Also I was wondering if there is a preference or a difference between the
    Flat metal barrels or the threaded metal
    Barrels ...the threaded ones I think have
    More mojo..but is there issues with these
    That the flat ones dont have or vice versus.
     
  6. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    There's a lot to unpack, here. Some of it is subjective, some objective, though some will object to my classifying these.

    === The Subjective

    The saddle material *may* change the tone slightly depending on the individual guitar. I have experienced very slight increase in treble when changing from brass saddles to steel.

    Threaded vs. smooth makes no difference with tone.

    I prefer the cheap, stamped sheetmetal bridge plate. I feel it's a component of twang tone, but that varies by individual guitar.

    === The Objective

    Generally, with 3 saddles, the pairs of strings can be made to intonate close enough. If not, compensated saddles can be used. Nothing needs to be bent.

    Using 6 saddles, intonation can be set more closely, but understand that with either bridge setup you're setting it to intonate properly at the 12th fret, relative to the open note. Everything in between the nut and the 12th is a little bit "out" because that's the the physics of the instrument. The number of saddles doesn't change that.

    My James Burton Standard came stock with 6-saddles on a vintage plate. There's a reason these are known as "rattle hammer" bridges. The saddles touched each other and vibrated from that. The offset intonation screws would push all saddles laterally and the strings would be misaligned with the neck. I couldn't change out the bridge assembly fast enough, but some folks think these bridges are fabulous.
     
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  7. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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    Three Wilkinson compensated brass saddles on both my Telecasters. Each string benefits (apparently!) from the 'double mass' of metal on the traditional set up, and although you are intonating in pairs, the guitars sound in tune to me. The steel versions are considered to give a slightly brighter tone than brass. I dunno -- whatever floats your boat.

    20200804_221433.jpg
     
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  8. M2roadwarrior

    M2roadwarrior Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I have a player series and a 50’s (Ge Smith) Tele , wont change anything on the smitty
    However, bought all road worn appointments for the player except the brass bridge, on the old “if it ain’t broke don’t fiddle with it” train of thought, now just have to make the bridge not shiney!
     
  9. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I have individual saddles on my avatar Telecaster. They don't vibrate or rattle but comments above about the six saddle design may be true in some cases. I found that the saddles wanted to move the strings toward the high E side when I tuned them. I found a simple solution that eliminated the wander and put the strings exactly in place. I cut a 1/4" piece of black zip tie that was just the right thickness and wedged it between the high E saddle and the lip of the bridge. I don't think about it any more. It's been there for years and has never failed me. For me, I don't believe in replacing what works. I believe in fixing what doesn't and replacing it if it can't be fixed. If I were building a new Telecaster, I'd either use what I have now or use a bridge with compensated saddles. For what it's worth, my Gretsch Anniversary has a floating roller bridge that allows adjustment forward or back on either side. It has thumb screws for height adjustment. I don't notice any intonation or adjustability problems with it at all.
     
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  10. Varmonter

    Varmonter TDPRI Member

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    These are even more confusing.
    Since your intonation for each barrel or
    Duo of strings is now compensated by
    What I would think a considerable amount. Take for example the high e and b strings
    .
    Still adjustment to one is the the same
    as the other.. so if the b is flat and the E is spot on then you still need a happy medium.. I may be overthinking this.
    Let me try to recap what I've picked up
    From the replies here..thank you by the way for your quick responses..here we go.
    There appears to be generally 3 types
    Of saddles not excluding material.
    1. Standard tune-o-matic types with six
    Individually adjustable saddles one for each string.
    Pros are obviously each string is adjustable and no ashtray sides to dig
    Into your palm.
    Cons.. may or may not "rattle hammer"
    2. Solid 3 barrel brass or steel either threaded or smooth.
    Pros great mojo.. if your intonation allows these can be adjusted "close enough..
    Cons if your intonation is bad between
    Strings no amt of adjustment will cure
    And you may need #3.. ashtray sides dig
    Into your palm..
    3.. compensated barrel
    Pros if your intonation is bad between
    Strinfs these may or may not help.
    Cons.. still adjustment is for both strings. Ashtray digs into hand.

    I've looked and haven't seen any
    Flat plate style bridges without sides
    That have barrels..surprises me actually.
    If the ashtray is that uncomfortable one
    Would think you could purchase something like this. ??
    .
     
  11. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    IMO people can convince themselves of anything. I can say no one is wrong because I both enjoy a properly intonated guitar and acknowledge that I have guitars that aren't even close to being properly intonated that I also really enjoy.
     
  12. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Afflicted

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    I love strats but can't play them i just hate six saddles, as someone has said already it's a "rattle trap" i'm really o.c.d i mean really o.c.d one of those freaks and saddles need to be locked down as much as possible. i saw someone who built a guitar on this forum recently, they had this bridge thingy and i just love this idea qk4hlmk47iwsu7lsx3cq.jpg
     
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  13. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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  14. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    All the saddles have their own quirks and pretty much do the job. I like the Gotoh compensated brass saddles for my teles.
     
  15. Varmonter

    Varmonter TDPRI Member

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    Well that's different. Looks more like
    An acoustic bone bridge design that's
    Somewhat more adjustable. I suppose
    If that flows with the neck radius it could
    Work assuming the compensation works for you..very cool appearance too.
    Who makes these??
     
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  16. Chandlerman

    Chandlerman TDPRI Member

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    I think you're referring to my tele. The saddle is a Brass Knuckle made by Pete Thorn. I love it.
     
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  17. Tall-Fir

    Tall-Fir Tele-Meister

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    My G&L ASAT Classics each have six brass saddles. No problems yet of which I am aware.
     
  18. Tele Jr

    Tele Jr Tele-Holic

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    When people like James Burton started to prefer using lighter strings on their Tele's it made them more susceptible to adverse intonation effects, hence the call for the 6 saddle option. James went to the 6 saddle pretty early. Many other of the great historical Tele players have also gone 6 saddle.
     
  19. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Afflicted

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    https://reverb.com/item/7524056-thorn-brass-knuckle-1-pc-compensated-brass-saddle 9.5" out of stock though i have asked him to make some more
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  20. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Afflicted

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    yes thank you very much for enlightening me! this is the only thing ill be using from now on with any tele i build or buy. shame they are not in stock though.
     
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