Why stick with 3 saddles ?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by TC 57, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. TC 57

    TC 57 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    160
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Location:
    England
    No doubt this has been raised before, but it's worth discussing now. Why have some people stuck with the 3 saddle bridge ? and why is it felt 3 saddles give a better 'Tele sound' than 6 - where did that come from ?
    I've seen 6 saddles with an ashtray bridge, I've seen two piece units -6 saddles & ashtray plate holding the pickup.

    Overall, 3 saddles don't intonate as well as 6. Modern ones are compensated but it's still a compromise.
    The original Tele design from 1950 came from someone who was not even a player (Leo) and people feel that was right all along-even now. The Stratocaster that came a while later had 6 saddles-supposedly seen as an improvement. Why not 3 saddles on a Strat ? you never see that and yet it's the same bolt on neck and scale length...
     
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    97,965
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    They work well, intonate well (with compensated saddles), and are simpler (with fewer moving parts).
    The older bridges do sound different, IMO.
    "Livelier" would be how I'd describe it.
    I own both.
    I like both.
    I prefer the older, 3 saddle because they behave the old way.
    Sometimes "better" ain't!
     
    RadioFM74, PeteWaller, MickM and 35 others like this.
  3. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,630
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney
    My Nashville originally had a six saddle bridge. It felt cheap and the AUD was good snd I felt the guitar had a better tone in it that hadn’t come out yet. So I bought and installed a Wilkinson compensated 3 brass saddle bridge. I did this something like 8 years ago.

    I have never once considered swapping back. Nor have I thought of putting another bridge on. This s not to disparage others choices or other bridges. Just to say I’m very happy with my choice.
     
  4. JRtele

    JRtele Tele-Meister

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    230
    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Location:
    Ontario
    I won’t get into a debate over sound (seems to be somewhat subjective...).

    But at least as far as my last build goes, I prefer how the 3 saddle looks.

    You do you.

    EFD28327-07F2-491C-B0AE-A8ABCEC4F7E5.jpeg
     
  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,901
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Godzone
    If you don't get it you don't get it. Nothing anyone says will convince you.

    Play what you want. Three saddles, six saddles. You don't have to justify your preference to us, and vice versa.
     
    Skip D, pi, beninma and 29 others like this.
  6. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,337
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    It's like asking why people want vintage features on a car. It's just part of the vibe.

    They intonate well enough not to cause problems, otherwise we'd have to erase most music up to the 70s.

    Don't worry about it.
     
  7. Sasquatchwisperer

    Sasquatchwisperer Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    122
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2021
    Location:
    New York
    I’d say it’s the jangle you get from the traditional tele bridge, It’s got it’s own thing.
    The Callaham and Glendale bridges are non magnetic and the saddles are superb but the cheap fender bridge and saddles have their own thing as far as “jangle”.

    Ive noticed you lose the jangle with the better made parts.
     
  8. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,676
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere Over The Rainbow
    I’ve never owned a six saddle Telecaster. I’ve owned Telecaster’s with the traditional saddle and compensated saddles. It doesn’t affect my playing one way or the other or my ability to play songs in tune. So, for me, it’s not an issue. The only telecaster I currently own is a three saddle and I’ve never considered changing to compensated saddles or a new bridge/6 saddle assembly.
     
  9. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,688
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Location:
    London
    Telecasters have three saddles and Stratocasters have six. So sayeth the lord known as Leo.
     
  10. NorthenLights

    NorthenLights Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    283
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Sweden
    I've got one tele with three saddles, and one with six. Doesn't notice any difference in intonation or feel. If anything, the six piece saddle sounds pretty thin in comparison when played unplugged, but it doesn't affect the amped up tone, so I've kept it rather thsn going through the trouble of changing bridges. If it aint broken, don't fix it.
     
  11. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    2,609
    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    Most, if not all, of the music I like that was recorded on a Tele has 3 saddles. Sounds good to me. The white guard in my avatar intonates spot on with non compensated saddles. The black guard has Rutters compensated saddles which I highly recommend. It’s all good.
     
  12. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,894
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Because that’s the way they did it in the ‘50s so it’s best and cannot possibly be out done or modified to be better in any way.(eyeroll)
     
    bluesguy62, Maguchi, Greg70 and 7 others like this.
  13. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,703
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Augusta, Maine
    Because that's what the guitar came with.
     
  14. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,604
    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Three saddles are more than enough for me. I don’t even have a horse! ;)
     
  15. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,634
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Location:
    10-uh-C
    I prefer compensated, but my theory (completely un-scientific) is that two strings on a saddle that is otherwise floating gives greater coupling and, hence, sustain than a six saddle. Plus, I like brass.
     
  16. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,212
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    North of Toronto
    Because it works.
     
  17. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,979
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney NSW Australia
    My Squier tele came with a six, bought a Vibramate tele bridge (for a future bigsby install) and installed the Wilkinson compensated saddles. I know it's psychological but that 3 saddle bridge makes me very happy

    I also have a killer partscaster whose 6 saddle bridge doesn't bother me in the slightest, so I've got the best of both worlds
     
  18. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,979
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney NSW Australia
    Makes sense to me!
     
    bluesguy62 and Fendereedo like this.
  19. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    38,073
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    3 saddle bridge is cooler. duh
     
    Clifton C, MickM, bluesguy62 and 13 others like this.
  20. perttime

    perttime Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,015
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Location:
    Finland
    Because Leo designed it that way.

    Sorry. That's the only thing I can come up with. The closest thing to a tele that I have has 6 bridge pieces.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.