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Why stick with 3 saddles ?

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

  1. this_grackle

    this_grackle TDPRI Member

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    The whole thing is way overblown. I have teles with 3 and teles with 6 and it honestly makes zero difference to me. Intonating the 3 saddle is perfectly fine. The 6 saddle sound fine. The absolute biggest difference is aesthetic.
     
  2. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    Leo was not a guitar player. I think he thought the 3 way was good enough. The Stratocaster came out and by that time he was more educated.
     
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  3. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    Luckily for me, I can’t hear any significant difference between a three and a six saddle Telecaster bridge that can’t be attributed to other differences in the guitar. My eyes, however, are much more capable, and they clearly tell me that three brass saddles (compensated) look better than six saddles. So that’s that.

    :D
     
  4. Mowgli

    Mowgli TDPRI Member

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    A lot of great comments.

    I have teles with 3 and 6 & one with the Evertune system bridge.

    Avoiding the discussions about different types of intonation about which I am an admitted novice ( the "tempered scale" on pianos, etc.) Here's my personal non-technical totally subjective experience:

    Chords (triads to more complex) undeniably sound better intonated on the Evertune than the 3 & 6 teles. It's not even a contest IMO.

    I have been able to achieve reasonably good intonation on the 3-barrel tele up to about the 14th fret with double stops, triads and 4-note chords on the top 5 strings (without the bottom low pitch E).

    And slightly better intonation with the 6 saddle tele.

    Since the pickups are all different on each guitar they all have different tones.

    FWIW, I really love my 3 saddle tele and the intonation is "good enough" for most things I play with it!

    And it may be subjective but the 3 saddle tele does feel different to the touch... but this perception may be psychoacoustic because its tone is very appealing to my ear!
     
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  5. BFcaster

    BFcaster Tele-Meister

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    I knew it! Everyone said it was just a rumor, but I refused to listen. BTW, I use this term often, to keep it from disappearing from the English language.
     
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  6. TC 57

    TC 57 Tele-Meister

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    with any string gauge or brand ?
     
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  7. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    In defense of the Thorn, they are made for your particular fingerboard radius, so no issue on string height. Intonation is as good as a "lightning bolt" Les Paul Jr or PRS bar bridge. (which in my opinion is as good as a compensated three saddle Tele set-up)
    What I hoped (when I bought it) was that the two points of contact with bridge plate would replicate the effect of a stop-bar bridge, (like on a Jr.) It does NOT.....it sounds just like a Telecaster. (which I admit is not bad)
    My ONLY disappointment was that it didn't improve anything $80 worth. I still have it on my #2 Tele, and at next string change may put it on my #1 that I assembled in 2019. I've used regular barrel 3-saddles, compensated 3 and six saddles, Bensonite Fat Saddles, and the Thorn one-piece saddle.....and they all SOUND essentially the same. IMHO, the inexpensive Wilkinson compensated three saddles are as good as any, and the best "bang-for-buck" value there is. ;)
     
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  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    It comes down to aesthetics. There is no secondary reason to use 3 saddles on a Tele.

    This is simply a case of Leo Did It.

    But consumers forget the more obvious follow up that Leo also did...
    He fixed crap bridge and crap jack on when he made the Strat! If there was any defensible reason to keep the 3 saddle bridge a very budget conscious manufacturer like Fender would have extended it into other designs.

    To be fair, I have compensated saddles because I like the look too. But I’m not so stubborn as to claim the traditional bridge is anything good at all. It doesn’t intonate well and no, it doesn’t, not even yours. But it looks exactly right on a Tele.

    I will also confess after the feel of the neck, the appearance is really what seals the deal when I buy. If we’re honest visual appeal is the top or near the top of any major purchase decision. So yeah, the sardine can junk bridge belongs on a Tele. It looks right. But I would not tolerate it on anything else.
     
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  9. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    The two most incorrect things in your post.

    1.
    Saddles don't intonate. Players intonate. Saddles compensate for our fat fingers. Just because 3 saddles aren't as easy for cavemen to adjust doesn't mean they can't be intonated as well as 6. To a lot of us, they just sound better.

    2.
    Leo didn't invent the tele. He triangulated it from what he stole from paul bigsby (a genius), and the feedback he got from a dense concentration of some of the best players who ever lived.
     
  10. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    They both do the job. My take on it is that all of this nit picking happens because for some reason folks think that they need to justify liking the look of one over the other.
     
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  11. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Holic

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    I have the Gotoh 6 saddle modern bridge on my current Tele, replacing a Fender plate and Callaham compensated saddles. They both sound and intonated fine. If there's a tonal difference, I couldn't detect it. I only made the change to add some ballast to the body - it's is too light and the guitar had wicked neck dive.

    @TC 57 , in addition to aesthetic differences, I think the theory behind 3 (or even 1) saddle bridges having an advantage is that there's greater downforce on each saddle, supposedly improving tonal transfer and stability. Luthiers out there, please jump in if I got that wrong. Again, in practice I didn't notice any tonal difference.

    Oh, and our 3 vs 6 saddle debate seems really small compared to the hollow body archtop world's bridge debate: 1 piece wooden bridge vs 6 saddle metal tune-o-matic.
     
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  12. TC 57

    TC 57 Tele-Meister

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  13. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Three compensated saddles have one distinct practical advantage over six individual saddles: the bridge is easier and quicker to set up. It has half the number of screws to turn, and you set the intonation of two strings simultaneously.
     
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  14. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    You like to think you're keeping it closer to "perfect".
     
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  15. TC 57

    TC 57 Tele-Meister

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    I have something similar but I removed the 6 springs and fastened them with a nut at base of shaft which I loosen if I need to raise one..or more
     
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  16. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Great pun, man. ;)
    I'm pretty much a fanatic about intonation. But the fact is, even a six-saddle bridge won't intonate perfectly up and down the neck. If this single, "compensated" saddle can approximate what you would adjust your three or six saddles to, then yeah....I have to accept it and be "happy". As long as it's comfortable to play (no jagged edges) and doesn't rattle, I'll do my best to make music on it.
     
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  17. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Gosh, if any of you strat players ever find out about the single, non-adjustable saddle on acoustic guitars, we'll need a new forum for it.
     
  18. televillian

    televillian Tele-Afflicted

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    you know what they say about opinions
     
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  19. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    I don't care for six saddles on a Tele bridge. It doesn't look right to me. The three brass saddles & the plain tele bridge have a sound all their own & it's a good 'un.
     
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  20. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    There are some really ****ty designed 6 saddle bridges around , but I dont prefer 3 saddles because of sound. Some 6 saddle bridges are really heavy , and......I dont need them
     
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