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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Replacing 6 saddle bridge with 3 saddle bridge

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Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

There's no money like old money
Feb 18th, 2016 02:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Ahhhhh, that's better. I know it's easier to precisely intonate the 6 saddle bridge but in my mind, only a brass 3 saddle bridge *looks* right on a Tele, at least those of the vintage style.

I'm finally completing a parts tele with an old white blonde, ash Stewmac body, Tele neck off my old MIM Standard Tele, Nocaster bridge pup, and standard neck pup.

A picture (along with a few other guitars) of the uncompleted guitar here:

Top right on the sofa

Viera
Contributing Member
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Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Feb 18th, 2016 02:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"only a brass 3 saddle bridge *looks* right on a Tele"

Agreed with regards to otherwise vintage style tele's.

I prefer 6 saddle bridges on "modern" Tele's like the Aerodyne.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

There's no money like old money
Feb 18th, 2016 02:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My problem with Teles (as well as Strats) is I only like the vintage versions of them. While I've got a couple modern style Strats (like my two FDP LE Strats) and they're easier to play, they just look wrong to me. But with Strats, it's a variation of the 6 saddle bridge between new and old. Teles, not so much.

This parts tele has a modern profile neck and at some point, it will bug me enough to replace it to keep the whole thing in a more vintage vibe. Silly, I know. ;o)

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Feb 19th, 2016 09:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Silly, I know. ;o)"

This is how we are with our instruments. We want what we want. A certain look, a certain feel and a particular sound.

Except for a AVRI '62 Jazzmaster I can't think of one Fender guitar I've owned I have not modded in some way. Oh, I have an '81 Bullet that remains untouched too.

Thinking of my stable of Strats for example, I enjoy the way each one sounds and feels. I will select a different instrument however depending on what type of music I plan to go out and play. Surf gets the Am Std in Surf Green or the Am Dlx in sunburst. Blues or more classic rock stuff calls on me to pull out the '68 RI in gold or use my recently completed Gilmour.

My '71 Tele is far from Stock and the only electric I own that has seen me through all of my Bands (guitar anyway, not drums). I've owned it for 35 years. I bought it as a basket case. Had it refined in Sonic blue, replaced the 6 saddle bridge with another 6 saddle, repaired a route someone started to make it a Nashville and completed the Nashville mod. There is more but I really don't remember what. This Tele is always on stage with me at a gig. Some nights #1 some nights #2 but I typically don't leave home without it.

Stratmanx
Contributing Member
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Memphis, TN

Feb 19th, 2016 03:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

There's better acoustic coupling with the 3 saddle bridges.

I've replaced one on my Nashville Tele and the difference was most noticeable.

But like others have said in other Tele topics, do yourself a favor and get the compensated saddles. Warmouth and Callaham, as well as others have them. It makes intonation easy.

Viera, I also have an Aerodyne Tele, and love the look of it, as well as the look of the six saddle on that model, but want to look into replacing it
with the three saddle for improved tone.

I know most folks like the brass saddles on those units, but I prefer the steel saddles. A lot more bite and definition over the brass.

But that's just my preference, I also like white cheddar cheese-its and black coffee for breakfast..


Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Shake your groove thing!
Feb 19th, 2016 04:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've had no major trouble getting reasonable intonation with the stock Fender 3 saddle bridges and am, generally, abhorrent to us non-Fender parts on guitars other than the body. I want Fender necks, pups, parts.

Then again, I'm shallow; I started a Fender fanboy site and I want to look at Fender guitars (even if two of mine have either a WD or Stewmac body).

Doc Sarvis
Contributing Member
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USA/Salt Lake City

Tuned Strings and Tight Lines
Feb 19th, 2016 08:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I like both and have owned several of each but admit that three of my four current Teles have three saddle bridges.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
*********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Feb 20th, 2016 01:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I used compensated bridge saddles for three saddle bridges. There are three styles available that I've seen...slanted, angled and Wilkinson's adjustable. I've used the slanted, but the ground angled versions look a little better to me.

I'd have no problems putting these on a vintage Tele...just keep the originals in case.

When I used uncompensated saddles, I'd just average the two strings, and didn't really have a problem.

rmfrance

France

Apr 29th, 2016 05:00 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have both 3- and six-saddle units, but plan to replace the six (ashtray style) with a three - not for aesthetics, but for the classic Tele bark.

The six-saddle units just don't seem to give you that, and for me at least, that's what I love most about a Tele.

davywhizz
Contributing Member
********

Redesdale UK

"Still Alive And Well"
Oct 7th, 2016 07:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I also went from six to three (compensated) and am convinced it makes a noticeable tonal difference.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Oct 8th, 2016 10:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just acquired a MIM Std Tele and I'm happy with the 6 saddle bridge (sounds like a tele to my ears) but curious what 3 saddle units you guys are using for replacement.

I've read there are some compatibility issues with the vintage replacement ashtrays regarding bridge pickup route.
Who makes a "modern" 3 saddle bridge?
(NOT that I'm going put one on my standard. Just expanding my knowledge base) ;^)

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Oct 9th, 2016 09:24 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have an American Tele from the late '90s (it came with those six "block-style" saddles). After experimenting with it in a number of ways, I found it sounded best to my ears (a classic Tele sound), with the Callaham bridge plate and the Callaham compensated 3 brass saddle bridge. A thicker steel plate than the Fender version with no issues of compatibility with the pickup mounting.

See my profile for a photo.

HeavyDuty
Contributing Member
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Oct 9th, 2016 10:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a recent AmStd, so changing to three compensated saddles isn't a trivial job. I'd pretty much need to switch to a Callaham bridge to putt it off unless I'm willing to drill holes for another brand bridge - which I'm not.

davywhizz
Contributing Member
********

Redesdale UK

"Still Alive And Well"
Oct 9th, 2016 10:49 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Mick - you don't necessarily have to change the six saddle bridge. I got some GT623 saddles which fit through 3 of the 6 holes on the modern Tele bridges. See link below. The string length adjustment screws are offset, that is they don't go through the mid-point of the saddle. Simple but clever.

GT623

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Oct 9th, 2016 11:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Interesting that their demo photo on the linked site shows the GT623 saddle conversion on a Stratocaster bridge!

Charlie Macon
Contributing Member
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Austin, Texas

Yeeeehaaaa!
Oct 9th, 2016 04:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Am still lovin' my GraphTech 6-saddle set up on my '83 Telecaster. I especially love the fact that I don't break strings constantly, like in the bad-ol' days with the original 6-piece steel saddle....dang wire cutters, and I was constantly de-burring them to help.


Scotty D
Contributing Member
*

USA

Put on your red shoes & dance the blues
Oct 13th, 2016 05:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I like the compensated saddles. If your guitar is too mellow, try the steel saddles. If it's too bright, try the brass

HeavyDuty
Contributing Member
**********
****

Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Nov 4th, 2016 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Somehow I missed out on a Glendale bridgeplate and saddle set that was being sold here, but I'm still looking at this as an option. Has anyone tried the Glendale bridgeplate that's made for the AmStd (longer with three anchoring holes?)

Glendale Doublecut Blackguard

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
***

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Nov 5th, 2016 05:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just put a Wilkinson 3-saddle (brass) compensated bridge on one of my MIM Standards. (see my recent "NUTD" post)

I now have two Standards. One with the stock 6-saddle, and now one with the 3.

I mainly did it for cosmetic reasons just to set the 2 guitars apart. However, once I got it all back together, set up and intonated, I did notice a difference in the resonance acoustically.

The Wilkinson was a direct drop-in for the MIM's for anyone that's considering a swap.

I still like the 6-saddle one and think it sounds great (and sounds like a tele). I don't think I'll be changing it, but you never know...


herbman
Contributing Member
*********

West of Boston

Just workin' part time.
Nov 6th, 2016 06:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The Glendale 3 saddle set is the way to go. Now available in many configurations and metals so you can choose as much twang as you want. I have them on all my Teles. I use the steel E-A, and brass D-G, and B-E. Gives you twang on the low end.

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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Replacing 6 saddle bridge with 3 saddle bridge




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