Graphtech saddles..?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Grateful Ape, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    The top-end plink of my AmPro is driving me nuts. Thinking about the Graphtech saddles to try and tame this. Anyone used them? What did you think?
     
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  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have used them on a Strat I had with minibuckers that had a bright top end. I didn't think the change was much at all. Have you considered changing the tone cap? Is your tone pot normally dimed or...?
    Here's where that gets confusing to me:
    "the smaller the number capacitor value, the less highs it rolls off as you turn the tone knob from 10 to 1. But the larger the value, the more quickly the tone changes."

    So here's the problem, with a higher value cap, which should cut the brittle highs, the taper may be too fast and you cant get where you want to be. With a high enough value cap, now the pot is almost acting like a switch with a rapid transition from bright to mud.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  3. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The change was not tremendous. It may be just the ticket...I swapped the nut out too, and the string tree. Then some locking tuners...that Tele doesn't budge tuning wise.
     
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  4. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Holic

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    Most of my guitars have them, they don't seem to have a big affect on the tone. With brass saddles I always get corrosion and string breakage where the string contacts the saddle.
    Graphtek solved that problem for me:)
     
  5. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    Yeah... I added hipshot lockers after one of the tuners failed, plus an electrosocket and a Reverend triple tree. But there are still tuning issues. Bone nut - might need to change that.

    This is my utility guitar. It just needs to do a job. But- having changed so much if it, I'm starting to think I should just get rid of it.
     
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  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    What does 'top-end plink' mean? If it's that almost harmonic note that sounds when you pluck (usually) a plain string, that usually turns out to be the precursor to buzzing. Meaning, the string is not ringing clearly. Assuming you've had a perfect setup and your frets are level, try just raising the action a bit more. You'll gain clarity and the 'top end plink' will go away.

    If you haven't had a good setup, then in addition to too low action, it can be unlevel frets, or a badly cut nut (if it's an open string plink). Or sometimes a saddle issue.

    The G string on Fenders is often a culprit plucked open, because of the lack of downward pressure on the nut. I've resorted to a triple-tree once. Mostly though I am able to solve it with a better nut slot. But it's definitely a weak area for Fender, IMO.
     
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  7. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have GraphTech Classics on my Strat. They work as advertised.
     
  8. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

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    I've installed a couple of their saddles, nuts and string retainers on a few different guitars. If there is a difference in tone, it is very small. The material is really brittle (I've had the strat saddles crack on installation). Trying to find the right part on their website can be frustrating. If you get the wrong part, the returns can be frustrating (international shipping, they are in Canada). When I had to send them an email regarding a return, I got a reply....6 months later. Those black saddles/nuts look cool on certain guitars but I'm not using them on any more guitars. My luthier doesn't recommend their stuff and neither do I.
     
  9. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Interesting. Obviously going to be subjective. I tried them, and removed them after five minutes because they took away all my top end, sounded like to me. I think regarding tone, ya just have to try them.
     
  10. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

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    Yanno Moosie, as I sit here trying to verbalize the change in tone that I think I detected....the best I can come up with is that it sounded a bit more piano-like with the graphtech stuff. Maybe that isn't the usual experience?
     
  11. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    No idea, and probably dependent on the rest of the guitar. But I suspect we're saying something similar here. More fundamental tone (that's how I think piano tone sounds in a guitar), less lively highs and harmonics.

    I tried them on a Strat back in my SRV days, to avoid breaking strings, etc etc, but couldn't take the tone change.
     
  12. hooby

    hooby TDPRI Member

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    Me too.... no corrosion/breaks at the saddle anymore. Had the Graphtech saddles for at least 8 years now - marvellous rarely break strings and no tone loss !
     
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  13. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Holic

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    Yeah I think my sweat and dissimilar metals create the corrosion. The string would turn black at point of contact with saddle, wound as well as unwound.
    I think they are great!
     
  14. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Meister

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    I'm going to swim against the current on this one. I don't like how they deaden the tone. Flame me if you must, but the saddles aren't for me. I'd rather have the right cap in a properly adjusted tone control. I don't have a heavy right hand so string breakage isn't something I have trouble with.
     
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  15. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you made guitar saddles out of old used, dried chewing gum, they would end up sounding like Graphtech saddles.

    This product is for chronic string breakers and extremely heavy handed, high gain pounders. For them, the tonal change is not relevant.

    +

    What's strange is, Graphtech in the form of nuts, or string trees is harmless. These locations can be the source of "trouble" but they're not the locus of where the sounds of the electric guitar come from, really. This is true with the strings sounding out open, and much more so once the left hand comes down and cuts that area off from where the action is.

    I'd raise the saddles up, perhaps combined with a fresh (higher) set up. Free those strings up so they can produce some sound.
     
  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Pardon me, but you're not swimming against the tide. The Graphtech Crowd is vocal, but small. People try to humor them, but Graphtech saddles cause mayhem. I'm gonna respect the people who use them but I promise I will give them a hard time. Unlike most, I made the mistake of ordering 3 whole sets of them through Stew-Mac and I got to experiment with them a lot. A lot, on a passel of guitars played back to back against nearly identical guitars. To summarize, with fresh strings you get a hour, maybe two hours of pleasant use and then the strings reach maturity and they are dead. Just like you say. Unless you have some inventive way of changing out the saddles and keeping those strings. Unusual but can be done and the strings spring back to life.

    Graphtech users know, or reasonably should know, that when they recommend this product to others, with all due respect they are doing those people a disservice. There are products out there that I use that I may continue to use but I do NOT recommend them to others unless I think they can actually help others. This "misery needs company" approach some people use just flummoxes me.
     
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  17. PARCO

    PARCO Tele-Meister

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    I bought a Strat from a friend of mine because it had a certain tone that I liked. It had Graph Tech saddles. I changed out the saddles to the original stamped steel type and that tone I liked went away. I changed back to the Graph Tech saddles and the tone came back. Also, I have never broken a string on this guitar.
     
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