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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Highwood Contoured Vintage Saddles?

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Apr 9th, 2018 11:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

These come recommended from a trusted source that put a set on his Strat. Allen screws hidden below palm level-yay! Also has a string groove.

Anyone try these?

From the Stoomack

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Apr 9th, 2018 12:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

A Strat neck set (adjusted or shimmed) to the proper position won't have the screws sticking up.


That's a lazy repair in my book.




Peegoo
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Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 9th, 2018 12:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

I haven't tried 'em, but they are a definite improvement over the Fender original design--in that they have a double layer of threaded stamped steel.

Cast or machined saddles are even better (from engineering and application perspectives), but if you want cast/machined performance and feel in a stamped steel saddle to preserve that vintagey look, these are the bee's knees.

They certainly ain't cheap though.

DrKev
Contributing Member
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Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Apr 9th, 2018 12:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

Great idea. The long string slot is a bonus for tuning stability and reducing string breakage.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Apr 9th, 2018 12:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

"That's a lazy repair in my book."

Well, I've had a fair amount of guitars that I've felt were set up well save for the one little niggle of high saddle screws. I know shimming is "a" solution but call me crazy, I don't like the idea of some card, pick, spacer etc. correcting neck angle. I understand that this is the way it's been done and I have done it. With it's other design offerings, I think it's a nifty idea. Pricey, and shipping is currently a deal breaker, but I'll keep my eye on these.

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Apr 9th, 2018 01:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hey, if they turn out to be awesome be sure to let us know.







Signed,
A Guy With 5 Strats That Don't Have The Little Screws Poking Up.

Peegoo
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Buena Buena
Apr 9th, 2018 01:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, I also grind off any 'extra' screw length from the saddle height screws.

Tip: grind and polish the bottoms...not the tops!

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Apr 9th, 2018 01:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Tip: grind and polish the bottoms...not the tops!"

But it's the tops that are sticking up too high!

:-p






Peegoo
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Buena Buena
Apr 9th, 2018 01:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

A-hah! Seems pretty self-evident, however:

That's why I mention this.

I've had guitars come in where the owner (or some tech) has ground down the tops, and that leaves little room for the hex wrench in the recess. Doy!

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Apr 9th, 2018 01:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

Interestingly enough, those things are less expensive than Graph Tech saddles.




Leftee
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VA

Apr 9th, 2018 02:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

No experience, but I like the idea.

I don’t need any on my guitars.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Apr 9th, 2018 04:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm a steel block saddle guy, but I don't own anything that's truly vintage either. (nor do care about that too much)

I have done the grind to length trick, but also keep a few different length screws in my parts drawers.

Just switching to a shorter screw usually abates the offending shredder :^)


wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Apr 9th, 2018 10:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

McMasterCarr sells stainless steel adjustment screws for both American and Import saddle height screws. They are quite inexpensive. All you gotta do is order the length you want.

I'm a fan of stamped steel saddles but some time in the 1970s, Fender degraded the quality of steel used to make them. The originals are really good and they'll last forever. I do believe that better quality steel makes a tonal difference if its the original strat tone that you're looking for.

I often make my own Ferra-Glide string saver style saddles from modern steel stamped saddles by cutting a 60 degree vee into the saddle and inserting a vee of graphtech nut material and super-gluing it in place - usually only for the plain strings. On an early '60s saddle, I can't get the file starting to cut without using a dremel and a cutting wheel.

The better quality of the steel in these saddles may make a difference but I don't like that they are slotted. Without a slot, its a nice flat rounded break point without a designated and constant stress point to develop a divot or have a breakdown of the plating.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Apr 10th, 2018 10:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Mark, my bud is actually going to mail me a handful of different length Allen screws he bought from McMasterCarr. Of my 3 Strats 1 shows the excessive length fairly extreme. Yesterday I shimmed the neck with 3 tapered levels of sandpaper. It made a difference but I still have some length exposed. Seems to me to totally correct this would required some aggressive shimming. Probably fodder for another thread but I guess I don't fully understand what angle geometry is correct and how to measure it.

Back to the Highwoods, I ordered a set for giggles. The friend who recommended them said they tamed an annoying ring/tonal issue he had with a set of some "booteeky" saddles (*cough-Callaham-cough-cough*).

We'll check 'em out and opine later.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Apr 10th, 2018 10:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Good idea.

With the standard design, the set screws have to be exactly the right length in order for the tops not to poke up but still have good thread engagement in the saddle. And once you're over 3/16", set screws are only available in 1/16" increments. The Highwood design gives you a lot more leeway.

uncle stack-knob
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united kingdom

Apr 13th, 2018 04:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

Back in the day the original Stratocasters had a bridge cover on them,still available,and also pretty annoying because it used to fall off all the time if you didn't "bend it" a little,remember those?
Those new ones answer the problem straight off the shelf at a price though.
Stack-Knob.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Apr 15th, 2018 12:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

I received my Highwoods and initially tried them on one Strat with a no name trem that was sold to me as vintage specs. Just a bit too crowded and the high e ran askew. Ok, swapperoo. Onto greeny with Callaham block/top plate. Ahhh, beautious. I will say threading the string length screws is a bit more wonky than standard Fender saddles. A couple wanted to cross-thread.

Smooth height adjustment, solid string vibration. I would like to say they are tonally better than Fender stamped saddles, but I'm afraid my pants would start on fire.

:-P

I do think they're sexy though.

(image migrated to photobucket after 4/19/18 site issue)

External link

(This message was last edited by littleuch at 01:02 PM, Apr 19th, 2018)

Peegoo
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Buena Buena
Apr 15th, 2018 01:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the review...that's a nice close-up pic. They do look like they're high-quality parts.

Leftee
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VA

Apr 15th, 2018 02:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Highwood Contoured Vintage Saddles?




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