OMG...Has anybody got the JR Kohler Saddles yet?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by duanesworld, Jun 25, 2012.

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  1. duanesworld

    duanesworld TDPRI Member

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    Building a new Tele so I'm looking for parts. Stumbled on these saddles. I've never heard of them before but they are very different. Scotty Alexander is doing a demo, some amazing pickin. Anybody using them?

    www.jrkohler.com. Here's a screenshot I pulled off the site.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    The green color Tele is purdy.
     
  3. kubiakl

    kubiakl Tele-Meister

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    They look really well designed, if I hadn't just bought a set of Glendales these would have my attention! Thanks for the heads up, might have to give these a whirl on a future build.
     
  4. blargfromspace

    blargfromspace Tele-Afflicted

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    Except that they're made from metal, are in three separate pieces, each piece supported by two screws which then contact a metal plate which sits on the body. I see how they made that connection.
     
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    They LOOK well designed, but are they?

    These appear like a single bar, except of course you can articulate the saddles so one is closer to the pickup, another further away and this is supposed to take care of adjusting for intonation.

    But the interlocking shape means what ever amount of curvature or radius the bridge is supposed to have, is locked in stone and you can't adjust. So this bridge might work for a guitar with a 15" board radius but then it will be wrong for a 9.5 inch radius (could be vice versa). Mis-matched string heights would be the consequence of a wrong neck.

    Further, some guitars' strings have different trajectories we cannot control absolutely. When the barrels lock like this, you could have a locked in alignment issue you cannot fix - just like on the 6 "hammer" saddled bridges. You cannot mix these saddles with others. If you change to a high-lo set (supposing these saddles as is work for regular sets) or if you choose a wound G string, you are out in the cold.

    Too many other choices that make more sense to me.
     
  6. kubiakl

    kubiakl Tele-Meister

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    Not having experienced them myself I can't say, but they claim it can be adjusted for any typical neck radius ("7.5 to 20" the website states). Maybe they don't "lock" so much as fit - less like a Lego piece and more like a bone joint? So the heights could be adjusted and the tongue of the saddle would still contact the groove of the next, maintaining the connection.

    But you're right Boris - there are other choices that are already tested. I hadn't looked at the price earlier, they are more expensive than Glendale and Callaham and we already know those work well. :)
     
  7. Hiflyer

    Hiflyer Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh yes, purdy !!
     
  8. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

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    Amazing
     
  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I hadn't bothered to read the sales pitch. 7.5 to 20 would cover just about everybody, and I have said previously the radius at the bridge is not a 100% correlation with the radius at the nut (it is flatter, and "muted" if you will). But these interlocking shapes either lock or they don't, from an engineering standpoint. This "one size fits all" or "here, let's just pull on this real hard, we can make it fit" works on Ikea stuff and on a child's WalMart bike, but doesn't make sense here. If the interlocking feature is so critical to the special "tone" these saddles offer, then why is it OK if some saddles are a little cattywompus one way and on another guitar, a little cattywompus the other way? Can you really have it both ways?

    I hadn't noticed that these cost more than the Callahams, Rutters and Glendales. I think Dale Clark (Glendale Guitar) makes the coolest press in jack cup ever, and I love the "Chimemaster" and I've bought thousands of dollars' worth of his stuff, but I was never 100% sold on the "needs to act as one" aspect of the 3 saddles fitting together. This JR Kohler product pushes a couple steps further, into total non interchangeability, off in that direction I don't want to go in. So, you buy these new saddles, you pray hard, you install them and you hope the string heights are what you like and that the saddles lock at those string heights - and if they're not really suited for your first guitar, you try them on another and another and then they go on E-Bay. I guess what I'm saying is, don't take away my Constitutional Right to Tilt my saddles as I see fit! :D

    However there is one thing I do like: The JR Kohler barrels are less slanted than many. I've got a passel of these (import) Joe Barden saddles, and more and more I am finding they're TOO SLANTED for optimal intonation. I have to shuttle the Barden's around, looking for a flatter board radius guitar or a guitar with high-lo strings it will work better on, or a lighter string guage could work sometimes. The JR Kohler slants, but not a large amount. I made a bunch of (over) slanted saddles myself, and I'm finding fewer and fewer places they genuinely are needed. Less (slant) is more. And to put this in perspective, I can see wanting these JR Kohlers before I'd want those GT saddles from Ontario, or a Babicz or this self tuning mega-bridge that's coming out now.

    Maybe this product should come in 3 "forms"? One for vintage board guitar; on for the "middlin" boards and one for the 10-16 conical radius, 15" straight radius fretboarded guitars? The dimensions of the interlocks are subtly changed to enable the saddle to lock at a slightly different angle. To create different radii at the bridge.
     
  10. tape

    tape Tele-Meister

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    idea: one of those Copperburst MIM Teles with these copper saddles.
     
  11. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    And what happens when you adjust them for intonation or string height? The entire purpose (which sounds ridiculous to me anyhow) is lost once adjustments are made. And showing a picture of a violin and talking about Strads being so great because they use a one-piece bridge is laughable. A $10 Chinese violin also has a one-piece bridge. They look cool in advertising shots, but hold your money IMO.
     
  12. Zagnut

    Zagnut Tele-Meister

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    This forum is just freakin' amazing, I love it! Where else on earth (or space) could you get this much input in 13 1/2 hours on three pieces of brass for a guitar designed over sixty years ago? I wish them the best of luck though, it's nice to have players and inventers alike still interested enough to keep trying. Choices are good.
     
  13. duanesworld

    duanesworld TDPRI Member

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    I took the plunge and bought two sets. Two things made my decision.
    I watched/listened to the Alexander demo over and over on some very good monitors. I just loved what I heard. I had first checked them out on my computer that has less than stellar sound.

    But the final straw was I heard from a great Tele buddy who got the Cold Rolled and Copper sets. His rave review was all I needed to hear.

    I ordered the Brass Set w/ the Alum. E/A like in the video demo and a Cold Rolled Set. I will report in once I get them installed.
     
  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Well, he's got some nice words from Johnny Isaacs. That could easily be our TDPRI member, and my impression is Johnny is for real, so that's good.

    But Copper? Maybe some bronze alloy? Most forms of copper are gonna wear right through in weeks. I did a lot of testing with Bronze and I was still looking for the right alloy. Copper, as in what pennies used to be made of before 1982, that's too soft, IMO.
     
  15. kubiakl

    kubiakl Tele-Meister

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    Zagnut - Good point, it's nice to see someone try some innovation on a 60-year old design. And who knows, they may be as amazing as the website says.

    Duanesworld - I look forward to hearing your review!
     
  16. doublee

    doublee Tele-Meister

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    They look like......Tele saddles.....what am I missing?
     
  17. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    OMG - I'm having a Vintique flashback...

    There's always some "new" improved version of somethingthat once you really look closely has possible flaws (which have been described already).

    And I must say after working on and using different intonation systems (from slanted saddles to bending adjustment screws) since the early '70's the violin/Tele connection is, to me, nothing but a very good marketing ploy.

    I see several adjustability issues. I see a very high price. And heck, if I want 3-screw intomnated saddles I can get 'em from Stwmac for under fifteen bucks (I have never seen a reason to purchase boutique saddles, and having done "taste tests" of several along with other techs when I see these and read the marketing pieces I just hear P.T. Barnum's famous quote - again...

    Facts:

    1. Where are the scientific studies proving the Stradivari (the correct spelling of the man's name) bridge design - which was not his, being predated by Amati among others - one-piece "feature" is a critical part of the tonal equation?
    2. Add to that the missing studies proving 3 pieces of metal (in varied alloys - and not even ncessarily the same ones in a particuar set) touching (I wonder at what pressure-per-square-millimiter they actually contact, whether that contact is consistent, and whether contact transmits vibration consistently - or even that it's desirable?) and elevated by adjustable screws contacting a bridge plate have any affect one way or the other on "tone".
    3. What affect does the adjustment screw fit (tightness of the threads) and contact with the plate (are they flush? if so - how do you get non-vertical screws to fully contact a bridge plate?) have on the "one piece bridge" claim? One CRITICAL item in violin bridge fitting is absolutely flush contact of the feet, which takes quite some time to "adjust". That factor seems completely missing here:

    Hmmm - so Stradivari got "one piece of wood" right but apparent blew it when it came to contact with the "top" surface. Or maybe that contact isn't important? Except it IS part of the "break angle" being the "fulcrum". And by lightening the adjustment screws, they add weight to the saddles.

    Anybody read the years of debates regading saddle mass?

    Are those little adjustment screws going to be able to hold up under tension/pressure? And just what is the difference between mass in the saddles and mass in the "fine thread" adjustment screws, which would appear to be an integral part of the entire "bridge" - after all, they are connected to the saddles - and evidently with a larger contact area than the individual saddles (add up the area of the fine threads.).

    That's enough to think about for me.

    Next.
     
  18. Lee Harvey

    Lee Harvey Banned

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    I see the same thing you do..
     
  19. dirge59

    dirge59 Tele-Meister

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    Well they are the most expensive I've seen,,, so they must be the best!
     
  20. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Really? You attribute all that tone to just the saddles? What I see and hear is a very talented player playing a great Telecaster, well set up with a super set of pick ups and recorded nicely. With sound compression nowadays, regardless of what monitors you use, the video clip is unlikely to do justice to the original recording.

    I hope you're not disappointed because investing $150+ in a set of saddles to achieve "that" tone may prove to a bit of a let down.

    Yes, me too.

    :neutral: Peter
     
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