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That ol' vintage 6-saddle bridge...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by jamester, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

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    I've been looking and learning a lot about bridges lately, and I've become kind of puzzled by the vintage six-saddle. Seems to be the "black sheep" of the Tele bridge world, and I guess I'm wondering why?

    I'm also trying to find out exactly when and on what models it was actually used; these days I only see it on the James Burton and Nashville models, which are obviously not historic.

    I understand those who say only a three-barrel bridge will do, and I understand those who say the modern style six-saddle construction is superior...but I don't get why both camps seem to shun the vintage sixer??
     
  2. bokeh

    bokeh Tele-Meister

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    the vintage six is my favorite tele bridge
     
  3. kinkstah

    kinkstah Tele-Afflicted

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    As far as I know, the vintage 6-saddle bridge was introduced during the 70's. I think it was factory installed on some models around ’74 (e.g. the Telecaster Custom -equipped with a Wide Range bucker) and was otherwise available as an option intended as an upgrade (I guess that’s why they are part of the ‘case candy’ with both AV52 and AV62 Teles). Lots of folks tend to dislike this feature, though. Personally, while I prefer the 3-saddle design, I have one Tele with a 6-saddle bridge. I don’t have any problems with it, although they can rattle when not set-up properly.
     
  4. telideli

    telideli Banned

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    To me,...the 3's are solid & substantial......

    .....while the modern 6's are accurate and rigid,

    .......the vintage 6 = flimsy and unattractive.
     
  5. Twang Tone

    Twang Tone Friend of Leo's

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    Beats me. Scotty Anderson uses one on his tele, and he's got a great tone. I guess most folks looking for a vintage style bridge would prefer 3 brass saddles for the extra tension that 2 strings per saddle adds. Of course, the six saddle bridge has only one string per saddle, and therefore less downforce on the saddle as it contacts the bridge.

    Me? I like 'em. I never liked the 'other' six-saddle bridge with the cast aluminium 'block' saddles - just something too generic-looking to me. I think they still come as a retro fit part with the American Vintage '52 Telecaster (not sure about the '62RI).

    My teles both have vintage 3 brass saddle bridges, and I can get the intonation near spot on, which, I guess, is the reason most folks would want to switch to a six saddle bridge to begin with.

    Thanks,
     
  6. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    It first appeared on 1975 Tele Customs (though not all Customs). As was previously said, it was also available as an optional part.

    I don't care for it. Saddle stability and string alignment issues, height screws tend to loosen and vibrate... Blah...
     
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  7. Rhomco

    Rhomco Friend of Leo's

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    Some guy named Albert

    Collins used the old sixer with "some" success.
    Oh yeah,
    Rob
     
  8. pagecaster

    pagecaster Tele-Meister

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    IFIND the sound changes with different bridges, i use my 3 saddle brindge for twang leads, and i usemy modern 6 for indie and strumming
     
  9. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    Me as well...although I also use the vintage 3...I think it is the perfect stylistic, aesthetic, evolutionary compromise.
    I have no problems with tone.
     
  10. d10msaclassic

    d10msaclassic Former Member

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    I'm new here and I don't know if I'm posting this in the wrong place or not. I have an American made standard Tele and the low E string sounds sharp when I note it and I have set the saddles and intonation correctly and I have made adjustments on the string highth...is it possible that the string gauge is causing this, its a gauge .038. I also have the 3 saddle bridge.
     
  11. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    Well... it could be the string gauge (.038 is onthe super light side) 'cause if it is sounding sharp the intonation is not correct...if it's sharp then the bridge needs to go back further.

    I have seen situations where the spring behind the saddle has to be removed or made shorter to allow the saddle to move back more.

    To get the most responses you need to start a new thread with this question.
     
  12. New2Teles

    New2Teles TDPRI Member

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    If it's intonated correctly, you may be pushing down too hard, causing it to go sharp. .038 is pretty light for a low E - try a .042 and see what happens; there shouldn't be a world of difference in feel or tone between the two gauges, but it might increase the tension enough for you to comfortably employ a lighter touch.


    As for the vintage 6 saddles - I fitted them to my Lite Ash Tele last night and i'm pretty pleased so far. I like the ashtray (I rest my hand on the lip) so I knew I didn't want to put in a modern bridge, but I have been struggling on and off with the factory standard three saddle and the compensated saddles i'd had on there previously. Sometimes the intonation was fine, but when I was playing with horns it started to sound a bit off. I think the vintage 6's are a bit ugly, and I agree with the instability issue, but i'll probably keep them on for a while and see how I get on.
    FWIW, I have noticed a *slight* thinning of the tone - especially on the high E, but not enough to really bother me. Fortunately the polepieces and strings lined up perfectly, so that's a bonus.
     
  13. crockes00

    crockes00 Tele-Meister

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    I have both the 3 saddle on my 52RI and the 6 saddle it came with on a build I did. They both work ok but I will only use 3 saddle from now on.
     
  14. fenderguy

    fenderguy Tele-Meister

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    I dont know about you guys but i like em.. In fact im looking for 1 if anybody has 1 they want to eliminate let me know.. It will go on the ole baja
     
  15. moparmutt

    moparmutt Tele-Holic

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    :?:
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  16. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    Since it first appeared in 1975, and was never standard on regular Teles... That would be a no. Lemme guess, the Tele is natural finish, too? ;)
     
  17. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

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    AFAIK it's only offered as case-candy on the '52, at least according to Fender's website. Of course, what sense does that make anyways when the bridge is a 70's design and the guitar is a "reissue"??

    Not to go off-topic on my own thread haha, but has the Albert Collins Tele been discontinued? Not many signature Teles on Fender's site it seems - no Collins, Muddy, Gatton...

    Thanks so much for all the responses guys! Part of this is in trying to decide which way to go for my new Warmoth build; I'm leaning towards 3-barrel but I am picky about intonation. At the same time I want some "real deal" classic Tele tone which my American Std (which I do love) just does not deliver IMO.

    It seems Trussart uses the vintage six, I consider that a pretty big endosement. Unless it's an aftermarket model, but it doesn't look like it and I've never even seen a replacement/upgrade of this style bridge (meaning true "ashtray" style).
     
  18. moparmutt

    moparmutt Tele-Holic

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  19. Ramblin Ray

    Ramblin Ray Tele-Afflicted

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    On the vintage 6 saddle, the srtings don't travel in a straight line from the anchoring hole. When they wrap around the spring, it can cause buzzing and weird sympathetic vibration problems. I also found string bending to feel a bit stiffer, for some reason. All that being said, I had a G&L ASAT Classic with basically the same design, only brass saddles, that worked and sounded great. As with all bridges, a diligent set up, and having the string height follow the fingerboard radius are key. Also, a little blue Loc-It thread locker will keep those allen height screws from coming loose and rattling.
     
  20. d10msaclassic

    d10msaclassic Former Member

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    Thanks everybody...I've got some heavier gauge strings ordered so I'll give that a try.
     
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