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Stew Mac chrome plated brass saddles on newer (post '08) American Standard Bridge?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Ignatius, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Has anyone tried the Stew Mac chrome plated brass saddles (which some believe may be the same saddles from the popular Gotoh modern style bridge) on one of the newer American Standard bridge plates with the non-offset intonation screw?

    As I understand it, the Am Std bridge plates are brass, as is the plate on the Gotoh modern bridge. If the saddles Stew Mac sells are indeed the Gotoh's I'm wondering whether this would make for a nice mod.

    Anyone here tried it?
     
  2. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't own an Am Std and haven't tried what you're considering, but I have bought those saddles from StewMac as well as one of the Gotoh bridges, and they do appear to be the same parts. Compatability in terms of the length and width of the saddles would be my concern. If you already have one of those Am Std saddles, check the spacing of the intonation adjustment screw holes. Those particular Gotoh saddles are made for the wider "vintage" 10.8mm spacing, not the narrow 10.5mm that the earlier Am Stds were made to. And those Gotoh saddles are ~24mm in length, check to see that an Am Std bridge plate is long enough for those, especially on the 6th string.

    Gotoh catalog is here. The Gotoh brass saddles from Stewmac and other US suppliers I've found are the S12 10.8mmx24mm size. Mojo has the S21 steel 10.5mmx20mm saddles. Sounds Planet is the only source I've seen with the S11 brass 10.5mmx20mm saddles, which would be what you'd need if this newer Am Std bridge has the same narrower spacing as the earlier Am Std, Am Series and Am Deluxe bridges.

    I haven't tried ordering from Sounds Planet.
     
  3. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    For Pete's sake Yegbert, can ya please try to not be so darn vague with your responses? ;):D

    Thanks for the detailed info. I hadn't considered the string spacing issue at all, and it's good to know that I can get the S11's - that is, if the plate can accomodate the 24mm saddle.

    I have to ask a dumb question here because I don't have much hands on experience with this sort of thing - but would I really run into problems if I were to use saddles made for 10.8 spacing on a plate made for a 10.5 spacing? We're talking three tenths of a millimeter - can that really make a detectable difference?
     
  4. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Oh, yeah.

    They'd be splayed. It isn't the .3 mm. It is when you multiply it by 5 or 6, it adds up to a funny looking deal.
     
  5. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Got it. Thanks Boris!
     
  6. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow, those S11's are 53 smackers plus shipping from Japan! Yikes!!!
     
  7. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    With this type of bridge and saddle design, using the wrong saddles can make a big difference.

    If the plate was accurately made for a 10.5mm spacing, the intonation screw holes would be spaced for that as well. With a bridge/saddle design like this, the intonation screw holes would be exactly that far apart. If you could fit them into the holes in spite of the saddle bodies being wider, yes they would be fanned out. The ends of the saddles closer to the neck would be farther apart than the ends closer to the bridge lip.

    On the other hand, if you were to use 10.5mm wide saddles on a bridge made for 10.8mm saddles, they would just be a bit loosely spaced. This was in fact the case with my son's Squier Affinity Tele. It came with 10.5mm wide saddles but the intonation screw holes are space 10.8mm apart. I retrofitted it with a set of 10.8mm wide saddles from an MIM Standard Tele and eliminated the loose spacing, the saddles are all snug against each other now:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, Sounds Planet's prices are a bit high. I surely wouldn't order the S12 or S21 saddles from them when I can get them much cheaper at StewMac (S12) and Mojo (S21). I asked StewMac and Mojo both in emails if they could get other Gotoh saddles. Stewmac wasn't even sure that those saddles they sell separately from the bridge were made by Gotoh, and they had no plans at all to try and get other Gotoh saddles. Mojo said they were planning on expanding their line of Gotoh products, but they were not sure which specific additional Gotoh products they might be getting. And the Gotoh saddles they stock haven't changed.

    I might have to bite the bullet and order a set of the S12 from Sounds Planet so I can get them in gold finish for this Squier Protone bridge. I like the way it sounds with these chrome plated S12s, but they would match better in gold:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey Yegbert, I emailed David at Mojo and he explained that while he can't custom order the S11's, he'd be happy to include them in their next bulk order to Gotoh about 90 days from now. He said he'd try to remember but it might not be a bad idea to remind him, which I intend to do.
     
  9. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for that info, Ignatius! I saved my email from them, it was David Shepherd who replied to me in Feb 2009. I might take advantage of that myself to get my gold finish S12s.
     
  10. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    :cool:
     
  11. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    It's entirely possible I'm being dense here, but I notice these saddles, described on StewMac's site as saddles for a Strat hard tail bridge, are 10.32mm wide by 19.84 long. That's awfully close to the 10.5x20 dimensions we were discussing above. If I'm NOT being dense, these should work but they'd have .18mm space between each saddle, no? Which seems almost negligible to me.
     
  12. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good catch there, Ignatius. Yes, that space would be negligible. The force of the saddles being pulled together somewhat given the narrower string spread at the nut would probably close it up almost completely. They may in fact be the Gotoh S11 saddles, other Gotoh saddles I have aren't exactly the advertised width. Even if they are not the Gotoh S11 saddles, they sound like what you're looking for.
     
  13. LawDaddy

    LawDaddy Tele-Holic

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    I have a FMT Tele that I've been considering replacing the saddles on with something more lively, they should work, thanks for the tip.
     
  14. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Yegbert, I was hoping you'd jump in here.

    I think I'll give 'em a try. Cool!
     
  15. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Let us know, I think those might be OK.

    Notice how the saddles say they are for a "2 + 3/32nds" bridge, but then when you follow the link to the bridge, the bridge is called "2 + 1/16ths" inches string spread. If they really are 10.32 mm wide you'd be fine; that's about as narrow as they get.
     
  16. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    So here they are, the Stew Mac chrome plated brass saddles for the Strat hardtail bridge mounted on a "new style" (chrome plated brass) American Standard Tele bridge. The end result, I hope, will be a good approximation of the popular Gotoh "modern style" bridge that fits the vintage screw pattern.

    This is a build in progress and it's still going to be several days before I'll be able to string it up, but it sure looks to me like these are going to work out just fine.

    Sorry for the so-so photography, but a straight down view of these guys shows no misalignment or splaying of the saddles. Everything looks like it's where it's supposed to be, at least to the naked eye.

    (yes, that's Candy Tangerine! Woo hoo!)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  17. big jimmy

    big jimmy Tele-Afflicted

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    Ignatius, how did this work out for you?
     
  18. finkbmx

    finkbmx TDPRI Member

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    Bump. Any pics on the finished product? I am considering these saddles for my Am Std tele as those bent steel ones suck.
     
  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    This does not look splayed. If anything, it looks like there's a tiny bit of space or leeway.

    If the stock bents bug you, at least consider the Callaham Strat saddles in place of the cheapie Fender ones. They're not bad. My thoughts? I am still stuck on the notion that even this improved chromed brass bridgeplate on the 2008 and newer Americans is a pain in the butt. Why not steel, and thinner? Stainless? Something besides yellow pot metal?
     
  20. finkbmx

    finkbmx TDPRI Member

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    Whats causing the problem is the fact that there is no groove on the saddles. Yes i know that i can file them but my tech still thinks that they wont be as stable as something solid like those. Right now I am getting the sitar style harmonic out of the B string and its driving me nuts. So you think those strat ones on stewmac will be good?
     
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