Converting traditional 3 barrel saddles to compensated saddles

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by jayroc1, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. jayroc1

    jayroc1 Tele-Meister

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    What's the steps involved for converting a traditional barrel saddle that's straight across to a compensated one? Is this possible? I'd like to try on an old set before moving on to my graphtech barrel saddles that aren't compensated

    Cheers
     
  2. telenoob0925

    telenoob0925 TDPRI Member

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    There's a tut here
     
  3. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've experimented with five or six different bridges on my Telecaster, from two or three six-saddle "modern"-style, to three or four three-saddle, brass ones....non-compensated AND compensated. I've settled on what I consider my "keeper".....a Wilkinsen compensated model. Sounds good and solid to my ear. (and intonation, for which I'm VERY particular, is very good)
     
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  4. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Holic

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    You just need to get get a set of compesated saddles, I've used graphtek, there are also brass ones available.

    Take strings loose, unscrew old saddles. Put the new ones in close to where originals were; then fine tune for height and intonation
     
  5. Black guard FSR

    Black guard FSR TDPRI Member

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    I wondered if there is any difference with USA Tele saddles and MIM ones...size or fitting issues. I have a MIM FSR ash Tele, and want to try compensated parts...


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  6. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Converting? Take off the old saddles, put on the new saddles, then intonate the guitar. Nothing tricky is involved, unless I'm not understanding your question.

    Ok... I reread your question. You can grind flats, at an angle, on each barrel. It can also be done with a hacksaw, cutting angled grooves. Here's the Calaham Enhanced Compensated Saddle set that shows the flats...

    https://www.callahamguitars.com/enhancedbrass(3).jpg

    It's your time and your life, but I wouldn't do it. The amount of trial and error filing to get the correct angles would not be worth my while. I do understand you're triing to get compensated Graphtechs, in the end. Do you actually need compensated saddles, or is this something that the Internet has convinced you is necessary?
     
  7. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Meister

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    Remove and replace. As long as you use the intonation screws that come with the new saddles, there should be zero issues.
     
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  8. Black guard FSR

    Black guard FSR TDPRI Member

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    Thanks. Looks like I might try the Gotoh In Tune model units in brass... They look solid.


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  9. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    I use both the Wilkenson and Gotoh compensated saddles on different guitars. They are both very good. Good enough to set the intonation within a couple of cents, which sounds pretty dang good to me :).

    The Wilkenson's are a heck of a good deal. Although the Gotoh's look a little different, they do the same thing as the Wilkensons. The Gotohs look a little fancier and they have a string groove as well.

    There are some very expensive compensated saddles out there, but I really can't imagine that they do a better job than the cheap Wilkensons

    Making your own by converting a regular set of brass barrels would definitely be possible, but when ya consider how cheap a set of Wilkensons is . . . . . . , :).

    There is also the other style of compensated saddle that angles the barrel, which is another way of achieving the same effect.

    The Tele compensation thing started when someone grabbed a pair of pliers and twisted the barrel by bending the intonation screw in an effort to get better intonation. That was the original "intonation fix" for Tele's.




    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I do it by jumping on ebay, finding a set of Wilkinson brass compensated saddles for around $14 bucks delivered and when they arrive you just unscrew the old ones and replace with new. Set height and intonate. It's very easy.

    Take note of the position on the originals and set the new barrels the same, intonate from there.
     
  11. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    You can make an old-school power move and bend the intonation screws with pliers. That's how it was done before we had easy access to intonated saddles that could just be swapped in. Hint: set your intonation ahead of time, hard to do with bent screws. :)
     
  12. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

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    Everyone is forgetting the last step:

    - Realize that the change did not make a big difference in when you actually play music.*

    *assuming you’re not OCD.

    :D
     
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