My thoughts on the 3 barrel brass bridge...

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

  1. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    39
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    Central PA
    Thanks, I didn't think about the break angle. It is a very important point. Sooo many things affect the guitar tone.
     
  2. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    39
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    Central PA
    You are right! We are playing naked Teles!! Like removing the pasties.
     
    Owenmoney likes this.
  3. Tone Chase

    Tone Chase Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    356
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Windsor ON Canada
    @junkman510, it is nice to have guitars to choose from, but management and storage are real issues.

    The Peavey set up is really coming along. The next step is a set on strings that have a slinkier feel. I dislike strings that feel too rigid. The humbucker in the neck just seems very right for the moment.
     
    junkman510 likes this.
  4. AndrewG

    AndrewG Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    2,168
    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Exeter, England
    And it still wouldn't be 'perfect'. Any fixed interval instrument has to be tuned using equal temperament in order for it to play more or less in tune in any given key. The blind piano tuner who used to do my parent's upright used nothing but a tuning fork, his ears, and a lot of patience once he had established A=440. 236 strings, and about 32,000 pounds tension!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_temperament
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
    Ebidis, Jim603 and junkman510 like this.
  5. trahx

    trahx Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Timber Town USA
    As a lefty, the 3 barrel brass bridge is right out! I replace mine with Gotoh 6 saddle bridges for better intonation.
     
    junkman510 likes this.
  6. 83siennateleguy

    83siennateleguy Tele-Meister

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    148
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    Location:
    Claysburg Pa.
    Here's my 83 bridge. A whole lot easier to intinate than a 3 barrel in my opinion, but how much percentage wise is the difference in sound just in your head or just to the players ear ?
    If I had a 59 ashtray top loader bridge on my 83, would it make a difference?
    Does an ashtray cover make a difference in sound?
    It's all up to the owner of the guitar and his personal taste.
    I don't see a right or wrong answer really. Just my 2 cents. 20180718_174423.jpg
     
    junkman510 likes this.
  7. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    39
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    Central PA
    You are correct... there is NO right or wrong answer. My original post was just my opinion and I wanted to hear others take on it. Every thing you do will make a difference to a degree...
    But you made me think of the thin ashtray bridge plate. It is only held down by the screws in the back under the adjustment screws and the pickup is mounted at the far end. That end with the pickup will vibrate to a degree which will effect the tone. I have used a thin piece of rubber under that end of the plate when I was having issues with feedback. Having the pickup mounted to a thicker plate and/or having it screwed down at that end will have a big effect on tone... IMO.
     
  8. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    600
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    Location:
    the Telecaster Forest
    I much prefer the look of the 3 saddle bridge though I have 2 or 3 Teles that have the 6 saddle bridge. Can't say that I notice a significant difference in tone except . . .
    I have a couple bridges with Rutters saddles and I think they do make a bit of difference because the strings are not allowed to move sideways due to the grooves. One of my Esquires has Rutters saddle because I noticed that with stock barrels the sitar sound seemed to be too prevalent to my ears. Once the Rutters saddles were installed I noticed an improvement in the tone. It seemed to me the sideways movement and potential change in contact pressure were subtracting from the tone I wanted to hear. May just be me but that's my 5 cents worth. Haven't tried different combinations of saddle material. That's next!
    The fun part is we all hear things differently and have different ideas how we want a Tele to sound. Enjoy!

    BTW, someone mentioned turning the Rutters saddles over. I don't think that will work since they are ground flat on the bottom side. He even designates which saddles goes in each position on the underside of each saddle.
     
    junkman510 likes this.
  9. Jim603

    Jim603 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    143
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Piano won't be perfect either, that's why piano tuners use tempered tunings. Perfect tuning is a myth.
     
    Ebidis, junkman510 and AndrewG like this.
  10. Crashbelt

    Crashbelt Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    460
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2017
    Location:
    Cambridge England
    Leo got it about right by 1953. Don't think I'll upgrade these anytime soon:lol:.
    20180202_141120.jpg
     
  11. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    39
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    Central PA
    Now THAT is a Tele to me.... don't even clean it... looks beautiful the way it is.
     
    Crashbelt likes this.
  12. junkman510

    junkman510 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    39
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    Central PA
    My magic Tele... br.jpg
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  13. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,026
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Location:
    Alabama
    I put a set of the Gotoh brass compensated saddles on my 50s Baja Tele just to try them out, and I could detect absolutely 0 difference in tone from the stock brass barrel saddles, so I left the Gotoh's on. So far (a month later) they work and sound great.
     
    junkman510 and Obsessed like this.
  14. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,026
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Location:
    Alabama
    I think the whole "perfect" intonation thing is a bit overblown. I do not have any intonation problems with a 3 barrel bridge when set up properly.

    This is my Gretsch Jet, with no intonation adjustment ability other than sliding the entire bridge around as one unit. It is as spot on, and plays as in tune, as any of my guitars. Go figure.

    fullsizeoutput_1bd.jpeg
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  15. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,964
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    Thanks for your input. I have just been more curious than needing the Gotoh saddles. To me, perfect intonation is a misnomer, since we can only adjust it to one string or one fret. Besides, I play the blues, so I don't think it is that important, but seems to me that compensated paddles has the potential of getting the best intonation possible in the three saddle configuration with it's inherent limits.
     
    junkman510 and Ebidis like this.
  16. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    35
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Detroit
    I would like to hear (as someone mentioned) the actual RECORDED difference (same guitar, same everything, just different saddles) between 3 saddle brass and 6 saddle chrome plated brass. All I know is the 2018 Mexi-Fender Classic Player Baja Tele (in absolute mint condition) I just scored a couple weeks ago at a pawn shop for $300 has the 3-barrel brass thing going on and it is the worst bridge (and my first of this type) I have ever experienced in 40+ years of playing. Not only is the intonation way too hard to adjust, the string height across the neck radius is all screwed because of these 3 barrels. Before I adjusted it, the 3rd/G string was way too high, B/2nd string was way too low, and the 5th and 6th string were way to high, and the string heights came no where near to making the same shape as the radius of the neck

    Had I known adjusting these saddles were such a major pain in the ass I would have passed this guitar by.

    I don't think there is any way at all to PROVE the better tone of 3 brass barrels opposed to 6 saddles that intonate much better. I do think the better intonation of 6 saddles is very prove-able.

    A couple things come to mind:

    1) tone is in the hands, not in the gear. good sound and notes played are dependent on the person holding the guitar

    2) it is the ol' "red finish is a much better color finish for overall tone" thing...

    Kind of like Eric Johnson removing the screws from a fuzz pedal and wrapping a rubber band around the case to keep it together... claiming it produces better tone that way...

    If all else fails, I have the Husqvarna all gassed up in the garage (LOL), and if this continues to be such a pain in the ass, I am tempted to chop this Mexi-bastard in half and never buy one with a bridge like this again...

    The quality of the 3 brass bridge saddles thing reminds me of the crap 70s Hondo Les Paul copies... I'd expect that level of guitar to have crap string height feel and impossible intonation problems... not a modern-day quality controlled Mexi-Fender
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  17. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,000
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Though many seem to love the 3-barrel bridge, I'm not one of them either.

    I buy my Fender necks and bodies separately so I can assemble just the configuration I desire. And if a body I want happens to have a 3-barrel bridge on it, I buy it and just swap the bridge out for a modern 6-saddle bridge. Not expensive to do. Pretty easy too!

    So I'd say if you love the guitar but not the bridge, just swap the bridge out for what you like. Same goes for anything else about the guitar that isn't quite to your liking, electronics, pickups, pick guard, etc.

    There are only two things about a Fender guitar you're pretty much stuck with and that's the neck and the finish on the body. If those two things are great... all the rest is easily subject to change.
     
    hellopike and Chunkocaster like this.
  18. tomi

    tomi Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    532
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    When I was a young whelp lusting after electric guitars -- still in the yearning and learning stages -- I saw a guy in a band at a junior high dance who was playing an Esquire with the ashtray still on. My feeble little mind was overwhelmed with the apparent paradox: "It's an electric guitar, but ... it has no pickups!"
     
  19. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,857
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    In space with Ziggy
    I like the look of the vintage style 3 brass barrel bridge and i'm so used to playing tele's fitted with one that I feel most comfortable using them due to the familiar location of everything. I have had no problem with intonation using them. Eventually I plan to put together a modern style tele free from restrictions with contoured body and a satin finish, i'll probably try a six saddle bridge then in satin black.
     
  20. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    155
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    Meh.

    [​IMG]
     
    Steve_U1S and El Tele Lobo like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.