J.R. Kohler Saddles!! Amazing!!!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Bill Hullett, Sep 20, 2012.

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  1. hongaku

    hongaku Tele-Afflicted

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    At first glance, perusing the Kohler website, they don't appear to differ drastically from Glendale saddles; what are the features you feel make these superior enough to replace the Glendale saddles you were previously using, Bill? Did it change the tone in a way you liked that significantly over the Glendale ones? I've just recently discovered Glendale stuff (to clarify, I knew it was out there, but never used until recently), after only using Callaham saddles prior to that (which I also still use); I have loved the Glendale stuff so far and wish I'd tried it a long time ago.
    It's all so subjective though - but it provides yet another reason to add to the list of reasons to own multiple telecasters :D I want to try some Rutters saddles at some point, and now I'm intrigued by these Kohler ones...so I need at least two more teles now, right? ;)
     
  2. Johnny Isaacs

    Johnny Isaacs Tele-Afflicted

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    Well I've had my sets since May and I can tell you from my personal experiance, that I'm really happy with these saddles. Just like Bill pointed out, I think they are the next step forward in improving Leo's original design. In the old days (pre-compensated saddles) alot of us would just bend the whole screw on the bridge to get the saddle more in-tune. Then along came Danny Gatton with his angled saddles, Callaham & Glendale, Wilkerson, MannMade, StewMac and now the Kohler design. And yes, I think they're an improved design. I'm not pushing anything, other than a fabulous product and improved tuning and tone! ;) I think the benifits, quality and craftsmenship more than weigh out the cost (Which I know some people take issue with). I'll just further repeat a few of my points from my previous posts about these from June:

    "Wow... How quick some are to judge something new that they've never tried. I play an LsL Tele and a Nash Tele... I learned all about them from the TDPRI. My guitars have Ron Ellis & Don Mare pickups in them - again, from the TDPRI. I used Robbie Wallace pedals, RGW Bad Bob's, because I learned about them from the TDPRI. I've been hear a very long time, since '97 when it was the TDP. I remember when Glendale and everyone else came out and it was the same stuff "Leo invented the wheel - Next..."

    I have several sets of these saddles and I can tell you that they live up to what the website says. I know, I've tried them. People are more than willing to pay big bucks for a Klon, but by some of your arguments, a $29 Rogue overdrive is the same thing as a Klon. Strymon makes great pedals, we'd all agree, that all start at $300 bucks. Yes these saddles are more expensive - because they're worth it. A Hipshot and an Evans Pull-String both bend the B string but one is $100 bucks and the other is $1000+. I think an investment in saddles is cheaper than buying a new guitar or replacing pickups. Some people are being very quick to judge something new without trying it.

    What is it about them that I like? Well, the saddles sit upright on the screws, flush against the bridge plate. To my ears, it makes a difference. They look great too. One poster talked about the intonation... Well they are machined in a way that make them intonate better than any other set of saddles I've tried and I've tried just about all of them. Fender, Glendale, Callaham, etc... I have the cold-rolled steel on my LsL. That plus the Ellis pickups make it sound even more amazing than it did already. The Copper saddles sound like no others. It's an acoustic, woody, yes, almost piano-like tone that I hear with them on my guitar. I would say my Tele's with them on there are 25% louder acousticlly as well. They're very resonate sounding.


    I think in these times, people don't have a lot of money to go out and buy new guitars everyday. One thing about most of us Tele guys, is that we love to tinker and try new things. Saddles, are cheaper than a new guitar or pickups. Why not try them if you're curious?

    I've bought many things based on reviews I've read on the TDP. I would hate for somebody to miss out on something, which I happen to think is great, because of some bad reviews by people who've never tried them. That's why I spoke up. And yes I paid for mine...


    Johnny Isaacs
     
  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I'll go ahead and set up some Teles with no radius whatsoever at the saddles.

    And try and determine after a few hours, or maybe days if I can actually play a guitar set up like that.

    I really expected hoots of derision when I did that 2 barrel version, as it very slightly compromises a natural arc or ellipse that the strings like to carry over from the fretboard (even from my dozen 10-16 compound radius necked players). My design also compromises the tiny natural arc the EAD and the GB little E break points often utilize when intonation is optimal. (mostly the 2 barrel just looks funny). But here we have a design (Kohler) that eliminates the natural arc completely. Both for playing purposes, and on the straight bar design, for intonation purposes. Superb players can, we well know, get used to anything, and the bar like this never seemed too much trouble on my '66 Student Steel, but this is a dramatic re-ordering of priorities in this design for an ordinary six string electric.

    And you can try protos of this sort of thing to be sure (I've done some pretty unusual designs ya'll have not seen) but IMO you don't actually need to play such a design from the promoter to be able to anticipate the characteristics you'll find. You can even make your own straight bar - that's a walk in the park. The cost of a new set of saddles is not spare change - I made some saddles like those Project GTs out of Ontario and it didn't take long for me to see why the real ones don't sell.
     
  4. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for the info Bill. Personally I've had a long relationship with Dale at Glendale. His saddle designs are still innovative today. I see a lot of Dales design in these new saddles. I've been around long enough to know that Callahams design came from Budz saddles, it's the nature of the biz.

    For me, there's nothing about Glendales products that make me want to look elsewhere, I find satisfaction in long standing biz relationships. Old fashioned notion, I know.
     
  5. Johnny Isaacs

    Johnny Isaacs Tele-Afflicted

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    You don't have to set the radius flat for them to work. I have a set on a 9.5 Tele and a vintage 7.25 and these saddles out perform these others I've used, and I've used just about all of them out there. Sounds like you should try them out for yourself and post a review. If you don't like them, I bet somebody would buy them quick!
     
  6. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen TDPRI Member

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    Hey StephanT -

    I love Glendale's saddles too, and most of his products. I have a Chimemeaster Strat bridge and saddles too, plus, Dale's a pretty good guitar player himself - that's a big plus IMHO.

    The Kohler saddles as Boris points out in the post above are different than the Glendale saddles. They're optimized differently, or I should say, for a different result. Boris, I really hope you get to see a set of these Kohler saddles in person - the work is very precision and beautifully done. Yes, the edge cuts are not perfect for all radii, but they do fit together very very well within a certain range of adjustment, like other side angle cut saddles such as Glendale do within a certain range of adjustment. In either design, once you're very far outside of "normal" (normal being whatever radius the saddles are optimized for), they don't touch with as much surface area.

    I just wanted to chime in here (pun intended) to this thread just to give Bob Kohler some props too. I think he's done a great job with his design and his implementation, and the proof I offer is that they sound different than other saddles I've tried.

    We live in a great time for Tele modification/ personalization. Kohler saddles are a unique and beautiful product with excellent build quality that sound fantastic. As I wrote before, they may not be for everybody, but they're definitely for some folks.

    ALL the saddle makers you mentioned in your post are improvements over the stock Fender saddles IMHO. The Kohlers are another excellent choice.

    This gear stuff is so much fun!

    Thanks, that's about all I've got, Dana O.
     
  7. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've read a few of Bill's post on various topics.. I'm left with he feeling that he knows what he's talking about. His first post in the thread does read a little bit like a promo, if he wasn't a regular poster I might be inclined to agree with you. what I take out of his post is he likes the product. Figure if he likes em enough to put on a Nachocaster there has to be something to them..
     
  8. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    One thing is agreeing/disagreeing with someone (I've been in refreshing discussions with Bill myself about the various shades of Blonde;)), but please don't question his motives! He has the same right as any of us to be thrilled about a product, and given his experience and professional skill, he's always worth listening to IMHO.

    Personally I don't like the esthetics of those saddles, but that is another matter altogether.
     
  9. caliban335

    caliban335 Tele-Afflicted

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    Bill, thanks for the review. I wasn't aware of Kohler saddles before reading this thread. I may never buy a set, but it's nice to know what options are available.
     
  10. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    We're lucky as hell that guys like Bill post here. Rebuttals like this one are, IMO, unnecessary, and bring the tone of the forum down. It also tends to chase away guys (and gals like Blue Water Girl) that give us a view to the "inside" of the business.

    I too run my saddles flat. The reasons are simple: Best tone out of a flatpole bridge pickup, and for bending on a 7.25 guitar.
     
  11. Hoopermazing

    Hoopermazing Tele-Holic

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    The huge brass compensated saddles that I got from StewMac do the same thing (i.e. touch, not fit flush)... and they only cost $15 for the set. :D

    However, my saddles follow the radius of the neck and my pickup poles are staggered.
     
  12. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    No question they look great.

    Always great to have another choice and I love hearing from other folks in the field about new products they've found and used.

    I do think there are other effect ways to "create an interactive response between the strings(') vibration",.. decent amount of string downpull with quality saddles and bridge plate will go a long way.

    Thanks for the posts and info gentlemen!
     
  13. Redd Volkaert

    Redd Volkaert Tele-Holic

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    Boy-oboy-oboy

    There are allot of proof slayers on here.

    Has anyone checked the price of new car tires recently?

    I have a few sets, and I agree with Bill, especially about the A & E
    saddle not walking away from the others

    I posted a thing on the gearpage awhile ago;

    I have a set on my new Tomkins
    and my newest Asher T guitars.

    Right now I've got a set of cold rolled on a custom built Aronson,
    ash tele, that I'm still on the fence about, but
    the machining on Bob's saddles are amazing.

    I love the rounded ends and even more,
    that fact the E & A, and B & E saddles are wider than normal
    NONE of the strings ride the edges of the saddle nor
    rest on the adjustment screws so they can buzz and sound dead

    Yipee!

    Redd Volkaert
     
  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Oh, I think a guy would have to be crazy to question the motives of the players who are liking this product. That's what has me torn - I have the utmost respect for the fine players that are liking this product - and their results conflict with the experimentation I have done.

    But this a new way of looking at the whole deal. We've been putting all our resources into optimizing intonation while retaining traditional string radius, and I see plenty of cases (especially TB 5140, 5125) where the height screws are treacherously close to the string or are actually partially in the way of the string's correct position. And I just don't put the hundreds of hours of play into every configuration I try, not like many players here have, to see how well things stay put and further, I normally use 11-49s and saddles tend to stay put but as for 9-42s or something, I simply don't know. It could be, that having those aspects right should get more attention and less attention to being inexpensive or easy to intonate or to retain traditional string radius.

    And another disclosure, in fairness: Every saddle product I've used, priced below Dale, and Bill Callaham, and Marc Rutters, I have torn down and rebuilt with better hardware, usually 6-32. Filed the ends sometimes to get saddles to sit alongside one another, etc. And I've not even tried Budz or some other USA sourced products.
     
  15. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My post was just a reaction to this post:

    I never said he was crazy, but if you say so ... :D
     
  16. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's goes Bill spending my money for me again ;) Redd's endorsement doesn't help either. Thanks for the tip!
     
  17. Bill  Hullett

    Bill Hullett Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    To Sum Up....

    Someone in the thread asked why I switched from the Glendales...well all of my reasoning is stated in the original post....They are great bridges and they might be just what the Doctor Ordred !!!!! :lol:

    Bill Hullett
     
  18. Johnny Isaacs

    Johnny Isaacs Tele-Afflicted

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    Bill Hullett, Redd Volkaert, Danocaster and now some LsL guitars are using these saddles.... 'nuff said! Great stuff! I bet if people actually tried them before writing a review about them, they'd be pretty convienced too!

    YMMV,
    Johnny Isaacs
     
  19. hongaku

    hongaku Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, I'm 100% sure that I will in fact eventually have a set of your saddles Vegas Bob. I'm also 100% sure that a large (very large) number of TDPRI members will also be placing an order for them at some point.
    I may find that I really like them a lot and want to put them on all of my teles, or I may find that I actually prefer Glendale, Callaham (or Rutters, or something else entirely that I haven't yet tried), or that I like them just as much. Either way, you're going to get at least some of my money at some point ;)

    The fact that you've got reputable and respected tele slingers singing their praises here on TDPRI tells me that it is a good, quality product and worth having a go at if nothing else. Thanks for giving us more options and ways to drive our spouses and other loved ones crazy with our insatiable desire to spend money on teles and tele related gear :D
     
  20. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've had a lot of questions about the demo video. The Seafoam Green Tele Scotty Alexander plays in my demo video is my #1. It's a 9.5" radius neck with the saddles set to match the 9.5". This recording was just the guitar going directly into a 1964 Fender Vibrolux Reverb. The guitar is a partscaster I built years ago.

    I would implore Mr. Kohler or anyone else who might know: What is the bridge pickup in that guitar? Thank you in advance.
     
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