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I have a question about compensated saddles.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    Hu guys/doll!


    My Deluxe Nashville has a Wilkinson Vintage Style Bridge with Brass Compensated Saddle's.


    My question is about compensated saddles in general, and it's about whether when placing each string on the saddle, is there a specific, or what I would call a "sweet spot" as to where the ideal position is?


    I notice that sometimes a string is touching a set screw, sometimes it's off center left, sometimes off center right, etc., so any input will be greatly appreciated!


    Jerry
     
  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Once your intonation is set you really don't want strings moving sideways. I've never used intonated saddles but I prefer either threaded or the solid saddles with a groove to hold each string.
     
  3. GFrank

    GFrank Tele-Meister

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    Personally, I just make sure that the strings are as close to the set screws - without touching - as possible. It doesn't take very long for grooves to wear in the saddles - brass is pretty quick - but I have had a few instances where I couldn't wait and I cut some very slight slots with nut files.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  4. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    If a string is coming out the bridge plate string hole, and the string is obviously connected to a tuner, won't it naturally form a perfectly straight line?


    Which makes me question whether it's the saddle, not the string that should be lined up/centered first?
     
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, you do want to align the saddles first, then keep a close eye on them until the string "discovers" its favorite spot.

    They don't always want to stay aligned. Bending can make them move, and the two outboard saddles are slanted and with light gauge strings, they can slide down to the lower points on that saddle - until one touches the height screw. I'm slow to recognize this as a problem for other guys, because I use so many sets of 12s and 11s.
     
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  6. Inkman66

    Inkman66 TDPRI Member

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    Personally, if you’re using 3 brass saddles...you have two choices to avoid string spacing issues:1- file small grooves if you use a lighter gauge strings. Or 2- get pre-slotted version of compensated saddles such as Gotoh ‘In Tune’ saddles (affordable, well-made, and look closest to ‘stock’ saddles) I use these myself and can attest they are a top-shelf product that solves intonation problems, and string-spacing problems. I personally don’t care for the ‘shelf-type’ compensated saddles, as you still suffer from string spacing slippage, if you use a lighter gauge set of strings, due to the lesser tension...and end up having to file notches in them too. The Gotoh in-tune set is only around $25 making it a very affordable upgrade.
     
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  7. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    So you think the Gotoh's are just as good as the Wilkinson's?
     
  8. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi GFrank!

    Tell me more about the filing slots, things like cut as close to the set screws as possible, etc.

    That being said, what about if that slot does not keep the string aligned straight between the string hole on the bridge plate and the nut?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  9. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    At times strings not staying in place at the saddles it can also be neck alignment. If it isn't aligned you will always fight it.

    Eric
     
  10. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi Eric!

    I never said the strings weren't staying in place.

    I was asking about when placing each string on the saddle, is there was a specific, or what I would call a "sweet spot", as to where the ideal position is before tightening the string.



    But.......................................................................................................



    as I'm typing my reply, I wonder if the string will find that spot, regardless of where you initially put the string, once you start tightening it? :)
     
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  11. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  12. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    Bridge plate positioning or alignment is a main cause of string shifts on the neck.
    It doesn't take much "tilt" on the plate to skew the alignment and maybe .005". I've seen new
    guitars out of the carton with misaligned bridge plates. In some cases it is the body drilling
    being slightly off but more often just from production line installation.
     
  13. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi Geo!

    I'll say it again, my saddles ARE NOT SHIFTING :)
     
  14. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I try to arrange them so that (1) each string makes a straight line from the hole in the bridge to the nut; (2) they're evenly spaced at the saddles and up the neck; and (3) none of the strings are touching the screws or their holes. They eventually create their own slots where they need to be.
     
  15. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi Luther!

    That's what I'm asking about :)


    Thanks,

    Jerry
     
  16. speranza

    speranza TDPRI Member

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    I try to run them over the center of the pole pieces on the bridge pickup, but it might not matter all that much....
     
  17. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi speranza!

    It's funny that you say that, but I just looked at my Nashville, and the strings run over the center of the pole pieces on the middle pickup as well :)
     
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  18. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have several Wilkinson and Callaham bridges with the faceted compensated saddles and the strings don't move on them and they do not need a string groove.
     
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  19. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    My reply wasn't about the saddles it was about bridge plate alignment. If the
    the plate is aligned the saddles will position so that strings are straight and
    pass over the center of each pickup pole and be centered on the neck. If the
    saddles are threaded then may will have to additionally move the string into proper
    location.
     
  20. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    No prollem, mang.

    I failed to mention that with my current Wilkinson bridge I had to squeeze the saddles together to meet these requirements. The center intonation screw points straight up the neck and the other two are angled slightly inward.
     
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