My Feeling About Tele Bridges is . . . . . (a survey)

If I were building a Tele today, I'd use:

  • Traditional 3-Saddle

    Votes: 79 19.8%
  • Traditional 3-Saddle, Bent for Compensation

    Votes: 16 4.0%
  • 3 Saddles, Machined for Compensation

    Votes: 168 42.2%
  • Modern 6-saddle

    Votes: 71 17.8%
  • Vintage 6-Saddle

    Votes: 8 2.0%
  • Depends on the guitar

    Votes: 56 14.1%

  • Total voters
    398

boris bubbanov

Tele Axpert
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Posts
55,993
Location
New Orleans, LA + in the
I think the survey needs an additional box:
-pick your guitar carefully when shopping.
When you play a guitar and the intonation is wrong, just don't buy it. When the guitar sounds great, buy it. And you'll never spend one second ever again wondering about bridges.

I recommend this approach, when it comes to the nut. If the nut has to be replaced or heavily reworked, just keep looking. Same thing with the pickups.

Some of us just play the guitar, as we find it in a shop. I once did this, but I haven't done this in the last 15 years except on a few occasions (a Fender Custom Shop No-Caster, for one). But most guitars, are shipped with Nines, or sometimes Tens and I tend not to play Nines at all - and normally not so much Tens. Once you change string gauge, IMO you're off to the races. Once you assemble your own guitars, you see a simple and clear path to upgrading "guitar kits" and sometimes that's all the guitar in the store is: A passel of decent quality parts, from which a really nice musical instrument can be refined.
 

MatsEriksson

Friend of Leo's
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Aug 12, 2011
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Location
Sweden
I'd go for the 2-part PRS Vela style. Much brass, and has the borderline between spun and plain strings which it should. Alas, they do not make them 3rd party availabble as PRs still holds patent on it. Regarding intonation: If you DO change string gauges wildly, there's nothing that would do but 6 individuals. I can't even remotely think that a 008 set will fare the same as a 012 set with spun third on any 2 part, 3 part or one part saddle system. One must "yank" the saddles whenever you cross over to plain strings. And if you don't change gauges that wildly, you might think of second hand value. Say, you're a 012 player, and might sell it some 008 dude... go figure. Options are less. There are some added mass in a 2 part brass saddle that each string may take a subtle advantage of. But granted, only the player may detect this, because the differences are so subtle that they are neglible.
 

WelhavenTW

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Posts
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Age
47
Location
Norway
My tele got the Mastery M3 bridge. Is that two saddles? All I know it works.
61CA18B7-90A0-49FB-BB8C-A17D64267524.jpeg
 

ping-ping-clicka

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Posts
7,805
Location
left coast
3, 6 , take the blind fold test and see If you can hear the the difference in a small club.
but that's the first two words my favorite song
3, 6, 9, the goose drank wine...

Three, six, nine, the goose drank wine
The monkey chewed tobacco on the streetcar line
The line broke, the monkey got choked
They all went to heaven in a little row-boat

Clap-Pat
Clap-Pat
Clap-Pat
Clap-Slap

Clap-Pat: Clap your hand, pat it on your partner’s hand (right hand)
Clap-Pat: Clap your hand, cross it with your left arm, pat your partner’s left palm
Clap-Pat: Clap your hand, pat your partner’s right palm with your right palm again
Clap-Slap: Clap your hands, slap your thighs, and sing a little song; go:


My mother told me
If I was good-ee
That she would buy me
A rubber dolly

My aunty told her
I kissed a soldier
Now she won’t buy me
A rubber dolly
 

ping-ping-clicka

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Posts
7,805
Location
left coast
Three, six, nine, the goose drank wine
The monkey chewed tobacco on the streetcar line
The line broke, the monkey got choked
They all went to heaven in a little row-boat

Clap-Pat
Clap-Pat
Clap-Pat
Clap-Slap

Clap-Pat: Clap your hand, pat it on your partner’s hand (right hand)
Clap-Pat: Clap your hand, cross it with your left arm, pat your partner’s left palm
Clap-Pat: Clap your hand, pat your partner’s right palm with your right palm again
Clap-Slap: Clap your hands, slap your thighs, and sing a little song; go:


My mother told me
If I was good-ee
That she would buy me
A rubber dolly

My aunty told her
I kissed a soldier
Now she won’t buy me
A rubber dolly
 

Fenderdad1950

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 4, 2019
Posts
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Age
71
Location
Albuquerque
yeah, lets not forget tradition? The 3 saddle has a long history that goes back , way back to the olden days of the dawn of Fenders celebrated history.
Just because the modern six saddle bridge is an advancement that was long over due, intonates easily and is very stable is no reason to change and abandon a tradition verging on ludditism.
Just because the James Burton telecaster uses 6 modern saddles doesn't indicate that they are superior in any way.
maybe.
View attachment 925910
Disturbing image, please do not show again
 

Sax-son

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Posts
1,940
Age
70
Location
Three Rivers, CA
I actually like both the traditional 3 brass and the adjustable 6 saddle Gotoh bridge. Both are excellent. I like to mix things up a bit.
 

boxocrap

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Posts
1,291
Location
north delta british columbia canada
It's more than just tradition.

The Danny Gatton Signature Tele had three saddles. What does that prove? We could play this game all night.

Since you brought up James:

Q: How many 6-saddle bridges did James Burton use to record the music that made him famous???

A: 0, as in...none.

Hmmmm...
It's more than just tradition..it's a right of passage
 

blue metalflake

Doctor of Teleocity
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ireland
I’ve only ever had traditional 3 saddle bridges, but if I were building from scratch, I’d probably go for 3 saddle compensated, though I doubt that my ears would hear any difference.
 

LOSTVENTURE

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Posts
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Location
Charlotte, NC
Having played since the 50's there was not always a lot of choices. But now I have both 3 and 6 saddle models and I appreciate them both. I would certainly not change out one for the other in any case.
 

oregomike

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Posts
1,151
Age
51
Location
Hood River, OR
Just curious. I've used many different bridge plate and saddle combinations. Personally, the only one that doesn't work for me is the "crooked/bent" look. And I don't like how the strings slip around on those. But that's just me. If I could have only one choice going forward, it might be Gotoh compensated brass on a traditional plate, with ears. Second would be the modern setup.

I've only used one bridge, and it's a Callaham. Works for me.
 

Tone Chase

Tele-Holic
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Posts
519
Location
Windsor ON Canada
”My Feeling About Tele Bridges is…”

Does not matter to me at all. I believe that I have owned almost every variation several times, from the oldest, most modern, specialty, one of, hybrid, HomeBrew mismatched, etc.

I keep picking up new Tele based guitars to try. I wind up selling a couple every so often to just make room for new acquisitions.

I seem to have a floating number of Telecaster guitars, anywhere from three to a dozen, of all price ranges and styles. There is something familiar and endearing about all of them. I am a Stratocaster guy first, Telecaster, then Jazzmaster. Sporadically a large mix of P90 and humbucker equipt anything.

If a guitar feels good in the hands and sounds right at the moment, it’s all good.
 

MatsEriksson

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Posts
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Location
Sweden
I think not only the 3, 2 part, 6 part bridge should play that large a role as opposed to what alloy/material they're made of. That plays a huge part too. If not even more. For example, I detest aluminium bridges and saddles. Especially bridges. Aluminum is difficult or impossible to make a solder blob on to, and isn't magnetic property at all. Bends more easily too. Sturdy stainless steel a la Callaham and the like is my thing. For example the Babicz FullContact bridges which eludes me totally. They have more than aluminium as choices but, no thanks. I have a knack for having saddles and bridges, that facilitates easy string changes too. And that accounts for up at the headstock too. I think Occams Razor in all such things.

The only thing with 3 part saddles of brass, like original, is that if you intonate too far back, the high e-string will touch the brass as the barrel isn't cut off, but rounded, and a sitar like sound will get heard. On spun strings, and on bass guitar strings which are too thick this is unheard of though, but on slinky gauge strings they can be prone to "sitaring".
 




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