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Saddle rattle

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Subro, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Subro

    Subro TDPRI Member

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    I have these Callaham steel saddles on my tele for a bit over a year and I always really liked them, I remember being quite surprised with the difference between the Callaham ones and the stock Fender ones. A while ago they started to rattle and a couple days ago I noticed that it got a lot worse. At first I thought that the screws came loose but tightening them up doesn’t seem to improve much and when it does stop for a bit the rattle comes back after playing for a minute. Then I thought that it could be the saddles rattling against each other, so I manually separated them more and I think that it helps, but the string spacing gets all wrong and they go back to their place after a few seconds of playing.

    Any ideas?
    Only the E-B and the G-D saddles rattle and, as you can see, it stops if I touch them.

     
  2. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Friend of Leo's

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    • use heavier strings
    • use clear nail polish to lock them and screws in position
    • shim the neck and raise the saddles to get a greater break angle over them
     
  3. Subro

    Subro TDPRI Member

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    I use 12-54 and my saddles are quite high already so that shouldn’t be an issue.

    I’ve read about using clear nail polish or blue loctite on the screws, but if the problem was the screws coming loose, wouldn’t it stop if I tight them up a bit? As far as I know the clear nail polish was to just stop them from coming loose again, no?
     
  4. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    Whenever I've had a problem with saddles rattling, it was possible to rock the saddle side-to-side as usually one adjuster screw had vibrated itself out, and so the offending saddle was standing on one leg and leaning on a saddle to one or the other side. Try moving your saddles apart again and see if any will rock.

    As for keeping your saddles from vibrating against each other, you could put little bits of a matchbook cover or discarded pasta box slipped in-between the saddles. As long as they are the same height or a bit smaller, nobody will notice, and the tension of the saddles from the strings will hold them in place.

    If that doesn't remedy it, maybe something is loose in the bridge, and you putting your finger on the saddle also damps the bridge vibrations. Maybe try putting your finger on just the bridge plate or the pickup after strumming and see if that works the same, and tackle the problem from there.
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If both height screws are firmly contacting the plate, I am thinking it may be the 3 intonation screws rattling - particularly the springs. Instead of pressing on the saddle, try lightly touching the springs to see if that stops it. Or take a piece of duct tape and run it across the springs and see if it changes anything. If so, you may need a good spring-stretchin'.
     
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