1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Not compensate saddles

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by ThomasMan_, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. ThomasMan_

    ThomasMan_ NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    24
    Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2020
    Location:
    Italy
    Hi, is it possible to manually compensate a vintage 3 saddle brass bridge? In case it is possible, should I need some particoular tools?
    Thanks!
     
    TokyoPortrait likes this.
  2. capitalbear

    capitalbear TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    99
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Location:
    Somewhere in this Universe
    Sure, a file is all it takes.
     
    bottlenecker likes this.
  3. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    4,204
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    Hello , my Italian friend, and welcome to the forum !

    Let me try to give you a REAL answer , unlike the one you got from the not-helping smart-ass up there !

    You cant intonate any stringed instrument perfectly , it just isnt possible. You can , however get it to be ok for your ears , people also have different hearing regarding tuning.

    We also use the instrument for different things , and for some of Us , the 3-saddle bridge is ok.
    Some cant live with it at all , its very easy to install a 6 saddle bridge , wich will help big time !

    The reason why the 3 saddle bridge is seen as a bigger weakness today by some , is maybe that the g string was often wound back in the 50´s , and not plain like most people use today.

    If you look around on the net , there are guides that show how to set up a 3 saddle bridge , so the intonation gets better. I believe Jerry Donahue have a guide somewhere.

    But , make sure that you have a problem first , i have have never had the need to have better intonation myself.

    Before different , compensating sddles were available , people used to bend the threaded adjusting screws , so the saddles were more tilted than normal.
     
  4. arlum

    arlum Tele-Meister Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    435
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Location:
    O'Fallon, MO
    For the amount of work involved and the less than positive results .............o_O............ I'd just purchase a set.
     
  5. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,079
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    The first response is a good answer. It directly answers the question that was actually asked.
     
    lupowitz and PaulNYC like this.
  6. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    4,204
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    Correct , I'm sorry
     
  7. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,122
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    Low Lands
    People did bend the intonation screws to angle the saddles in the old days. After that you cannot use the screws anymore but if they are set correctly than who cares :)
     
  8. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    464
    Joined:
    May 20, 2019
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have very good intonation on a stock 3 brass saddle bridge. There's a trick to it...
     
  9. capitalbear

    capitalbear TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    99
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Location:
    Somewhere in this Universe
    Thanks, a short answer to a short and specific question.
    The OP didn't ask to read why some guy with an arrogant attitude doesn't see the need to use compensated saddles.
     
  10. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler TDPRI Member

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    99
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2020
    Location:
    Mequon, WI
    I would still purchase compensated saddles and not risk damaging the originals. You can get brass compensated sets for 30 dollars and they screw into any bridge. It would take a couple good files and a couple hours time to rework your current ones.
     
  11. petebrown

    petebrown Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    218
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    No. Cal.
    Filing works for me, my 53 now has perfect intonation, slight angled slots under the strings, dont have to take off much, virtually invisible-
     
  12. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,230
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Location:
    Glen Head, NY
    Since the OP is posting in this section about vintage guitars, let's consider that we're dealing with a truly vintage bridge and not just the vintage-style (but still popular) 3- saddle bridge.

    First thing is to adjust the compensation (OP used the correct term) in the usual effort to get some degree of playable (but never perfect) intonation. Sorry to be obtuse on that issue but there's plenty of guides on how to set up a three-saddle Tele bridge. If you're new to doing set-ups, consider that intonation is addressed last, after the nut slot heights, neck relief, and height of the saddles because all of those things also affect intonation.

    Next, if the normal hardware isn't getting the guitar playable for the particular player's ear, then there are options to try to get more compensation out of the saddles. The brute way is to file the round saddles to create a bevel to move the contact point where the string takes off from the saddle (so if its vintage you put those saddles in the case and file away on a new set of replacement saddles). This way, each pair of strings is not forced to have the same takeoff point.

    You might as well just buy pre-filed saddles with a bevel on them that gets you a little closer to accurate intonation. The ones I use on my non-vintage parts caster are made by Hip Shot but there are plenty of others.

    There are also saddles that mount at an angle but that's just strange looking to my taste. A solution nonetheless.

    I do understand that some players back in the day bent the intonation adjustment screw to angle the saddle, which seems like a dangerous and irreversible thing to do (but was okay back when these things were cheap and plentiful, before collectors clouded our minds with information like this from the internet).

    Oh, and apologies from all of us who have posted so far without saying: WELCOME to the forum! Ciao.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.