Chrome covered brass saddles?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by horax, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. horax

    horax Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jul 1, 2011
    colorado springs
    Will chrome covered brass saddles sound like standard brass saddles?

    MIM thinking about using four brass block saddles and two steel block saddles on a six block saddle bridge.
  2. Kmaxbrady

    Kmaxbrady Tele-Meister Vendor Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    Dayton, Oregon
    Thats an interesting question. I wouldn’t think so. Chrome plating is extremely thin, like around .0004 inches (for reference a piece of paper is about .003 inches thick). But I think chrome also has a layer of copper and a layer of nickel underneath. But still even all of that won’t add much. So it’s hard to imagine that it could drastically alter the tone. But who knows...
  3. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    "Sound like" is an interesting phrase. You can clean corrosion off a saddle, or wipe crud off a saddle, and there will be some change in the sound; a spectrum analysis will show very slight variations in wavelength. Can anyone hear that? Maybe one person, maybe you dog? Probably not. But we love to argue about that here.

    I think the question is "Will there be any significant change in sound?" Probably not. I find with new saddles, you tend to change your approach because saddles feel different; there is more change in sound because of that than the saddle.

    There are some materials that do change sound regardless; chrome plating over brass is probably not one of them.
    boris bubbanov likes this.
  4. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    Marc Rutters sent me some "mystery metal" saddles, with chrome plating over the top, and the plating (to my ears) disguised what the saddle was made of. Marc asked me to identify what the underlying metal was, and I couldn't say. So the plating is changing something. One thing, I think, is the contact between the string and the hard chrome is more superficial. Whereas with raw brass, the string can bed down into the softer metal, and take a set.

    However, most folks who have used the stock saddles on Highway Ones, can tell you, those saddles work and sound different. The import source took base pot metal, and did the chrome plating over that. Which IMO took the sound of the guitar in the direction of those worthless Graphtech saddles. yes, the Highway One saddles are a smaller diameter, but IMO that can't explain much of their weakness.

    So, IMO you cannot plate just any material. IMO you need to start with something substantial. I think a quality chromed metal saddle might work great on a Bender, or with a trem. A behind the nut bend might feel different, because there will be less resistance at the saddle break point.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
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