My thoughts on the 3 barrel brass bridge...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by junkman510, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

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    There are three things about them that makes a Tele sound like a Tele IMO.
    1. Brass has a unique tone all its own.
    2. Having two strings pushing down on one saddle increases mechanical contact and note sustain.
    3. The large radius of the barrel gives a slight 'sitar' tone as the string vibrates leaving the wide contact point and radius of the barrel. Compensated saddles that are cut to a sharp point defeat this unique tone.
    Plus: They look cool and match the bare bones design of our favorite guitar.
    Also: A regular guitar will NEVER be intonated everywhere on the neck. It is always a compromise. The 3 barrel bridge (compensated or not) doesn't affect this compromise much.
     
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  2. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

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    Me playing my 3 barrel bridge Tele with a Lindy Fralin in the neck...
     
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  3. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    For the most part I agree with this. I put Rutters saddles on my 52 thin skin. I got the set with 2 brass saddles and aluminum E\A for brightness. Intoantion is a little better but it was never that bad with the stock saddles. The guitar over all is brighter but it probably has more to do with the guitar as a whole.
    Now my Masterbuilt Nocaster I'll leave exactly as is. The stock saddles intonate perfectly. Easily as well as the Rutters. The tone is perfect the way it is and is very different from my 52 which justifies having them both.
     
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  4. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    I'm not a tone snob by any means, but I changed the saddles on my CV double bound to brass and it was an instant improvement. Brighter, clearer, more "there".
     
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  5. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    They may get some resistance from many - but I love them - one has to have them burnished about every 6 years to keep them from getting those deep grooves in 'em, but once you do that they're my favorite sounding bridges I've ever used.
     
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  6. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Brass on the high E, B, G and D strings. I went Nickle on the Low E and A. Works for me.
     
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  7. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

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    I noticed that the Rutters have a groove in the saddle. This will affect #3. I wonder if you flipped them over, would you can hear a difference?
     
  8. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    My newest tele-like thing uses threaded steel barrels and wow does it ever "sound like a tele" - it's cool to sweat the details if that's your thing, but in the end it really doesn't make too much difference to the sound. I would love to see if someone could ID compensated versus noncomp saddles on a recording, that would be a feat.
     
  9. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm with ya, with the exception of #3. No sitar sounds through the Marshall!
     
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  10. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    I would doubt it. The only way I can tell that my MB Nocaster is slightly better than my 52 is to put them on a tuner and compare.
     
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  11. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    My name is paratus, and I am a heretic.

    I come from Tune-o-Matic land, my first Tele is a '52 AVRI. I was a member here, and learned about the tricks necessary to get a three barrel bridge to intonate better, then tried compensated saddles, and different materials (I do like aluminum on the E/A).

    I play a lot of double and triple stops up and down the neck, and although I readily admit a lot of great players can do that with a stock bridge, I am not one of them. I put a Gotoh six saddle bridge on my '52 and am much happier. The sound with the OV pickups is plenty good enough for me.

    I also have a 50s Baja that I sometimes put a Bigsby on. I use a three saddle when I have the Bigsby on it, sometimes I take it off, and pop a Gotoh six saddle on it.

    Confession is good for the soul. :twisted:
     
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  12. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think the biggest factor is double the downward pressure on the saddles. Brass material is second biggest factor-- steel, aluminum,
    titanium, whatever floats your boat....all sound a little different.
     
  13. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

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    #3 is a VERY subtle difference in tone and with any distortion it would be hidden.
     
  14. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    +1

    I love my Tele with 3 Fender compensated brass saddles like these.

    brass saddles.jpg

    But... I also love my other Tele with the Gotoh modern 6 saddle bridge that replaced the original 3 barrel bridge. The Gotoh is chrome plated brass. It still sounds great, sounds like a Tele, and intonates the best and the easiest. Much less difference in sound than in looks from the original 3 brass saddle bridge IMO, perhaps a little better sustain, not even noticeable in the mix.

    81Z1BQcdNCL._SL1500_.jpg
     
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  15. capt pearl

    capt pearl Tele-Meister

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    That’s some really nice playing there! Thx man.
     
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  16. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

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    Like A LOT!
     
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  17. sockgtr

    sockgtr Tele-Meister

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    This is actually my favorite part of trad brass saddles! However, I don't really think of it as a "sitar" tone but more as a "rattle". It's part of the sound I like. I also like the squeak of round-wound strings, builds character :)
     
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  18. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    Please post your measurements.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  19. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the kudos Capt... very much appreciated.
     
  20. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the kudos GW... very much appreciated.
     
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