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High frequency overtone after changing to steel saddles on Baja

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by hypotc, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. hypotc

    hypotc TDPRI Member

    Apr 8, 2017
    I have a problem with high frequency harmonics getting really harsh when I changed to compensated steel saddles on my 2007 Telecaster Baja.

    I first got a guitar tech to install some "Callaham 3 Enhanced Vintage Compensated Tele" saddles and set it up, and it sounded absolutely amazing.
    The problem is when I pick hard. I get some really nasty overtones when I play for example a powerchord (4th fret A-string, 6th fret D-string, 6th fret G-string). It seems like the A-string is the worst and I can hear it really clearly there. I don't use much gain, but if i turn it up it gets really harsh. Later on I tried putting on some "Rutters Stainless Steel Straight Comp" saddles, but the problem is still there.

    This also happens acoustically, and it almost sounds like string buzz. It sounds like something is resonating when I pick the string. I have also tried putting foam between the strings by the nut, so that's not where it's coming from. I have tried setting the saddle for EA higher, but it didn't fix the problem. I also tried thicker strings, but I really want to use 10-46 for this guitar in E-standard.

    Does anyone know what I could try to fix this? My guitar tech told me this was normal because Callaham saddles are very bright, but that buzzing overtone sound can't be normal right?

    Help would be greatly appreciated.

    I'll try to record a clip of how it sounds acoustically later today so you can hear what I mean.

    EDIT: Maybe I should try switching the bridge entirely? I don't mind switching to a six saddle bridge if it fixes my buzz/overtone problem.
    Would this fit right in?
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  2. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    Sep 5, 2014
    Greensboro, North Carolin
    Sandpaper folded in a "V" and gently sand (away from the pickups) the saddle slot til the offending burr or groove made by the tight steel string is flatter and your buzzing is lesser!

    In general I find you usually can't hear those artifacts at gig level, but I have to sand saddle slots 3-4 times a year.
  3. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

    Oct 28, 2015
    If you changed the saddles and it was no help, I would suspect either a neck relief issue, or else some part of the guitar is loose and buzzing. To find the latter, bang, slap, pound, knock, etc on every part of the guitar while your ear is close. You should be able to find a place or part of the guitar where slapping it makes the same noise that is bothering you.
    Parts can be loose, wood cracked, truss rods can buzz, the part of the tuning key you turn can rattle while the string post isn't turning, the bridge plate can have a lifted corner, and on and on....
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