Modern Tele Bridge (six indepenant saddles) vs Tradition Tele Bridge(3 bar saddles

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by chemobrain, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

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    I have only played telecasters with the modern telecaster 6 saddle bridge. I see that the
    john 5, albert collins, American elite, jame burton, classic series tele have the modern bridge and other telecasters have the traditional bridge. I don't understand the difference between the two bridges and at the risk of seeming heavy-handed, gauche, impolitic;, inconsiderate, undiplomatic, or impolitic why are both kinds used and preferred by some.
     
  2. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Holic

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    Its all about intonation. The modern bridges are easier to intonate. The traditional bridge has the traditional Tele sound. Some say a Tele with a modern bridge is not a Tele at all
     
  3. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    I had a Fender vintage bridge plate with three compensated saddles and I liked it. Intonation was good and the bridge gave me no problems.

    However, I like my modern six-saddle bridge even more. I'm not certain why I prefer it -- maybe just because it feels better under my hand.
     
  4. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Rosewood/Maple, Ash/Alder, Six Saddle/Three Saddle and Brass/Steel.

    Four arguments that are all opinion driven that will always be discussed and never decided.

    Are you really going to tell me that Brent Mason doesn't sound like he's playing a Tele with a SD Vintage Stack and a six saddle bridge?

    Probably the only thing that saves him is the maple neck.;)

    Isn't it all just personal preference and the nut behind the wheel?:D
     
  5. Peter Rabbit

    Peter Rabbit Tele-Holic

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    I find the three-barrel saddles give me a more 'solid' feel, and increase the sustain a bit.
     
  6. mikeyb

    mikeyb Tele-Meister

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    If you're a "real" musician with perfect pitch, you need 6 saddles. The rest of us are fine with the classic setup.
     
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  7. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    I have both. They each do their thing. Here is what I have experienced.

    Modern, the scale on most modern bridge guitars is just a hair longer so the string tension is lower making them easier to play for bends and lower on hand fatigue. Not so much a bridge only function but it's consistent among my teles. Tone overall seems to be slightly, very slightly, more rounded on the high end.

    Vintage, just have the traditional spank and pop because the string tension is slightly higher. I don't notice any additional sustain but the tone is clearer on the initial pick or finger pluck on the attack of the note.

    Intonation on the moderns is way better. The arch of the modern is more precise against the neck circumference. The next string can be adjusted at just the right height to reduce wrong notes when doing runs, although, most players can adjust to the string height differences, having it arched just right makes it easier moving from one string to the next for runs. The Vintage bridges go up and down but don't angle as precisely for the arch of the fret board.

    I personally like the modern better but it doesn't ruin my day to play a vintage bridge.
     
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  8. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Much todo about this. I think it's far more important what the saddle material is, than the amount of saddles.
    Most six saddles are made from 'mystery metal'.
    Stamped steel would be better to me, and the Musicman company concurs.
    The baseplate is likely as important, as well.
    A thicker plate probably quells energy, yet claims more sustain.
     
  9. IronSchef

    IronSchef Tele-Holic

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    I prefer the old school 3-barrel tele bridge - for the way it looks, but I do have both types.

    I am probably not sophisticated enough to hear a tonal difference, however
     
  10. kanegon

    kanegon Tele-Meister

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    My Gotoh 6 saddle modern bridge (vintage spaced) seems to have more bottom and sustain than my Callaham 3-saddle. But the Callaham is definitely twangier. They both have better projection and clarity than the Barden or stock Fender bridges they replaced. Size matters. The Gotoh weighs twice as much, it's solid brass. The Callaham is some kind of hardened society steel with brass saddles. The Barden weighs the least and has some design issues. Also, the 6-saddles have twice the contact points with the plate, which may also factor. Of course, thicker heavier may not be what you're looking for.
     
  11. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    My 6-saddle Teles all sound like Teles. I wouldn't worry about it.
     
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  12. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

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    thank you all for taking the time and be so considerate to answer my question.
    heck there's a lot of variable that go into how the guitars tone is generated.
    Having tinnitus, this certainly simplifies all those qualifiers that contribute to options anxiety.
    I have a G.C. special tele the is a real good looker clear finish, maple neck finger and board modern bridge with a maple body. It's so heavy, it's heavier than my Squire jazz bass , much heavier than my MIM teles and strats. It has a lot of sustain a snappy attack and the sound is very clear and balanced. it speaks with clarity and authority, It is definitely a jell shoulder pad and padded guitar stap sit down guitar with a sound that I like a lot.
    thanks again.
     
  13. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

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    I have heard a lot about what a telecaster sounds like, what a "real" tele sounds like, what makes a tele a "real" Telecaster.
    I would know if a real tele came up and bit me on the back porch, I'm just curious about the functional differences, will I run out and buy a "real" tele bridge tomorrow?
    I don't think so. Usually in my case it's the dreaded user, error not the tools in the box.
     
  14. macatt

    macatt Tele-Holic

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    All these statements are totally false.
    The scale and string tension is NOT any different in Teles with vintage and modern bridges.

    Intonation is SLIGHTLY better with a six saddle bridge because each string can be individually intonated. A compensated three saddle bridge is quite usable and intonation is pretty darn close.

    Three saddle bridges have two adjusting screws each; one for each string. All six strings can be adjusted to any height individually. There is no problem matching the neck radius.

    Three saddle bridges provide more down force on the bridge plate because two strings are pressing down on each saddle.
    This may help with sustain and vibration transfer (not proven to make much difference)

    A lot of great music has been made on both types. There's really not much difference (my opinion).

    S Mac
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
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  15. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Hear for yourself

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/is-the-gotoh-tele-bridge-twangy-enough.164652/page-2#post-6935647

    IMO if your tele sounds "anemic" or unbalanced on the UNWOUND strings a GOTOH modern bridge will "cure" it (beef it up and restore balance) and it will still be super twangy (especially if you know how to....twang and have appropriate pickups,just ask Brent Manson)

    Modern heavier bridges also work better if you play with lots of gain and distortion.

    It depends on the guitar and what works...works....
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  16. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Who the hell knows.

    I just bought Tusq saddles, 6 barrel style, for a new Tele clone I also just bought. Only got the saddles, because it's a Rondo Tele with staggered ferrules (I know, stupid), so you can't replace the bridge plate on this willy nilly. I'm stuck with the plate until I get crazy again and try to modify a replacement.

    The Tusq is a well known type/brand, an artificial ivory, and is supposed to offer superior sustain to anything out there.

    Do I believe that? Who cares:

    I can impress friends and influence people when I say I have Tusq saddles.
     
  17. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    My first Tele was a 1974 model - all they made in those days were three saddle bridges - as far as I know. I remember thinking at the time that the bridge arrangement was a tad uncomfortable when muting, but just got on with the job. Fast forward to 1989 and I bought a USA Standard with a six saddle bridge, which is the most comfortable bridge I've ever played. It still sounds like a Tele to me.
     
  18. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    I would say, you either don't know what you are talking about or don't have two different era Teles available as I do to know there is a difference. Regarding radius control there are two aspects height and angle much more controllable with the modern bridge.
     
  19. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    I think there're a lot of bulls in the pasture (if you get my drift) when it comes to this subject. I've played telecasters with three- and six- barrel string-through brass and steel and top-loader bridges and am of the opinion that there is no secret mojo-generating power from a three-barrel, string-through brass bridge. My MIM with the modern six-barrel mystery-metal saddle sounds just a teleicious as my Ron Kirn Barnbuster with the three-brass-barrel Wilkinson bridge. Really, the biggest difference is that the Kirn has a four-way switch and the MIM standard has a standard three-way switch, something I hope to rectify in the future.
     
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  20. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    I can see by your username that you are an expert, so I'm with you on this.
     
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