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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by duanesworld, Jun 25, 2012.
You are a wise man...
Too bad many are easily fooled by the " snake"
Well, it's something new so some folks have to slam it.
That tissue paper with brown baggie thing is so Tiffany and Co.
I found the best improvement you could make to a brand new Telecaster was to plug it into an amp .It didnt seem to matter after that.I know snake oil when I see it and frankly all this saddle nonsense is just that OMG,
I think what makes this snake oil is the somewhat high price, OK, super high price. To make this thing fly and make this company far more successful, they need to bring price way down and have it be the type of thing somebody would buy in a GC and not have to special order at high price (like boutique pickups).
I don't have my doubts that these saddles work and sound different and could very well be an improvement over any three barrel design out there, but who wants to pay the same price they would for a nice set of pickups? They kind of fall into the ultra-high price category (and snake oil territory) that the Seymour Duncan Zephyr Silver pickups do being several times the price of other stuff in similar category.
This thread reminded me of this:
In retrospect, just about all of us are guilty for trying various pedals, amps or strings, and even different guitars...thinking our tone will be better, and spent hundreds, if not thousands doing so. Why so tough on a guy trying to make some money on a new saddle design?
While I just ordered a 25 dollar set of CJ Tooling saddles, if I thought it might help, I'd give these new ones a shot. They can always be returned.
I've played Teles almost exclusivly since 1972 and I will say this
1. As hard as I've tried....I've never been able to get a stock three way bridge to tune up well on todays professional level. ie: well enough as to not get called down at a recording session sitting next to a freshly tuned grand piano
2. As a big supporter of Glendale bridges I IMMEDIATLY heard a world of difference both in tuning and tone (both are very interconnected) and would be very interested in trying a set of these based on Johnnys experience.
3. Having a world class Tele is like building a race car....They all are gonna scream and perform well, no doubt...But it's attention to the minute details that will separate the good ones from the drop dead killer ones .....
The product might work fine. On some guitars. I have found NO product that works perfectly on every Tele.
But still, they look well made and it is a somewhat unique approach to a commonly manufactured item (i.e. compensated saddles).
It's the marketing claims I find outrageous. The comparison to Stradivari bridges is (IMO) nothing but a name-dropping marketing game - Stradivari did not invent that particular style of violin bridge, but he has a familiar name (that's often mispelled).
But if you're going to use something like a violin bridge as a technical comparison, if you "cut it off at the knees" you negate your entire claim - and the "feet" of a violin bridge are *extremely* critical.
How many pay attention to the "feet" of their Tele bridges (i.e. the adjusting screws)? How many players have made changes in the way the adjusting screw sits on the bridgeplate? Not many - yet that's a huge contact point for transfer of string vibration to the body.
They use little ones with fine threads. Fine threads make sense. Does size? Mass? Shape of the contact point(s)?
Same with the contact between the saddles themselves. Is there proof that it's important - or is it something players who buy the product "hear" because they spent a lot of money on something (dollars can b a huge motivating factor in apparent tonal improvement)?
Where are the simple scope images showing the difference in frequency response and signal transfer? That's about the simplest scientific test to do, photograph and explain. The lack of such simple "proof" is another thing that bothers me about the marketing.
I test dozens of products a year - some I buy, some I'm sent to "test drive" and return, some I'm given. I have no problem with new products and have used many in my builds and personal guitars.
But marketing claims are NOT technical data. You can SAY anything short of "will improve tone, fix intonation problems, butter your toast and take the place of toilet paper" and in a small market probably won't get popped for false advertising.
But I used the "Vintique" comparison for a reason. Probably only me, Rob and a few others in this thread remember THAT one. And others that have come and gone.
I see absolutely no proof that these saddles do what the makers claim. Until I do there's absolutely no incentive for me to buy them.
Another ancient advertising term comes to mind: "Where's the Beef?"
All I see are vegetables.
I think that could be said of a high end violin or a D'Angelico archtop guitar with tight spruce top.
But part of Leo's genius was that he didn't want to have to pay attention to details like precise wood, expert luthier work setting glued in necks into bodies, binding, inlays, etc. and wanted something quick, inexpensive, and practical. His design for Telecaster and Stratocaster was so darn sound that even inexpensive copies, but utilizing Leo's ideas, still end up being pretty good guitars.
Leo's genius is in that you can buy a rather inexpensive MIM Classic tele, a mid-priced '52 reissue, or an expensive Fender Custom Shop one of a kind tele, but then be the end user playing it and tweak it just enough to make it amazing. The overall big picture design and adjustability make the tele and strat perfect from the get go without worrying about details.
Sure, since then Fender has come up with teles with expertly set necks with highly inlaid ebony fretboards, gorgeously hand rubbed flamed maple tops, and oodles of binding galore, but the idea was to make a plank of wood bolt onto a one piece maple neck and kick the butt of the then dominant Gibson and Epiphone electrics of the early 1950s.
Good stuff Bill.
I'd be interested to get your thoughts on this thread:
Are you plagued with tuning problems in the studio?
The $14 Stew Mac brass compensated saddles are perfect for me.
Ok day 2 with the JR saddles. I like em'. And some guys on here keep bringing up "price" and saying these are as much as a set of boutique pick-ups. Really last I checked a set of Pick-ups from Mare or Ellis are over $200.00. These saddles are $69.95. Man even a set of Duncans are over $100.00 new. They are $11.00 more than Glendale. We are not talking about $200.00 for saddles here.
If you're happy paying $70 for three pieces of metal with 9 holes tapped in them then you don't need to justify it to anyone.
I just bought a Gibson 490T humbucker for $80 and feel happy paying that. Shelling out $280 for a couple of TV Jones hurts bad though, man. Sometimes it's gotta be done.
I would take time to address your post Rob, but I am busy tilting at windmills.
If there is a vid of the copper or the aluminum barrels I would love to see those.
And your ancestors travelled everywhere by foot and ox cart. So why do you both (probably) own cars. I mean if ox carts were good enough for the pioneers who are you to think you know better. The guy who invented the ox cart got it right the first time I'd say.
That means no cargo shorts allowed...
Works fine for me.
No saddles intonate perfect.
There's just degrees of improvement, perhaps "optimization" but no way perfection.
But I do see too many saddles that are "overcompensated" and could stand to be a little straighter. People are having to raise their 2 outboard-most strings (the Es) higher than they might like, to try and get closer to decent intonation.
fwiw, perfect *playing* intonation on any fretted instrument is the equivalent of finding hen's teeth.
guitars are deflected string instruments that are further complicated by speed bumps called "frets". frets force precise string lengths, unlike fretless stringed instruments (where the player learns to compensate intonation during playing). we guitarists don't have that luxury or difficult task.
the act of depessing a string to meet a fret sharpens the note in the process, which is why intonation via harmonics isn't such a good thing - instead, *always* intonate by fretting.
if all six strings can be intonated precisely for both open and octave notes, it will be rare to find a guitar that will chord in perfection pitch across the length of the fretboard. what's needed to be done is "compromise", or what's usually called "temperament". which is where compensated *nuts* can somewhat help.