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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Callaham or Rutter saddles, any real differences?

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

You DESERVE an Ibanez Iceman!
Jan 3rd, 2019 08:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

The 60's Tele bridge on my project guitar has steel grooved saddles and the string spacing gets a bit "widgey" on the B string. If I leave it next to the post, it buzzes, if I move it one slot over, it's too close to the E; and I can't move the E any further over without falling off the fretboard!
So looking at Callaham or Rutter just for saddles, probably going steel compensated. I play with a lot of distortion, so not needing the brass 'warmth' or 'twang' out of a typical Tele.

Anyone else sell just the saddles?
Did it make a big tonal difference?

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jan 3rd, 2019 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Search for "steel compensated saddles telecaster" on ebay. Several options, including ramp type and offset barrel type.

Contributing Member

Vancouver, Wa.

Jan 4th, 2019 05:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a MIM Cabronita with a Rutters La Burrito bridge which has the compensated brass saddles and I have to say, they really brought the guitar to life, in both how it sounds and feels.

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Jan 4th, 2019 06:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

Callaham makes really nice parts.

There's also Graph Tech.

Contributing Member

Ocala, Florida

pwn me like it's 1999
Jan 5th, 2019 08:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's funny, I have a Tele build I've been reworking that's based on a 66. It has brass saddles that function/sound/look fine. But I've been tempted to try the era appropriate threaded saddles.



Mar 3rd, 2019 08:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Like most everything else, you can't get opinions on saddles and use them to decide what to get and expect results that will be any better then flipping a coin. This is because while they all sound different, none are good or bad, just different. And the ones you like best will depend on 2 things...YOUR ear and YOUR particular tele. The guitar itself has it's own tone that varies from one to the next even on the same model due to wood variance, and then you add in the pickups and YOUR ear and asking is really no better then drawing names out of a hat. I have a drawer full of sets, probably 7-8 and they all sound different, some to a huge degree. Best thing to do is buy some inexpensive sets and see what works best for you. I can give you a few descriptions as i hear them. Fender brass, the compensated ones (sure they are the same brass in fender NON compensated) are what i like best on most teles. They are full range and balanced. No particular peaks or valleys. They are bright because they don't attenuate highs, so you hear everything the guitar is putting out. Full range. If you have a overly bright tele might no be your best bet. I just like the way they give the entire frequency range and in a balanced fashion and therefore i refer to use them almost on every tele and if it;s bright i try other ways to compensate for that. I just believe in taking the guitar's full range and compensating for any peaks or valleys later on at the amp. That just e Anyways, thats the way i hear them and they are my fav by far. Callaham brass are harder to describe but i would call them "refined". Like someone EQ'd your tone to be more polite and therefore they sound smooth and lack the full on tele brashness. Great for someone who wants a smoother more refined tone than teles tend to offer IMO. Stew mac i plain don;t like. Don't even know how to describe them but i find them weak sounding. Stay away IMO. I have a few steel sets but i find them to be lossy compared to brass, like there are frequencies that are too attenuated and they tend to sound more compressed. My fav tho are the pure vintage ones like they used on the 58 AVRI. But in the end i always feel brass just delivers the full range much better. The only steel that seems to deliver the full range of frequencies but are just much too bright are the fender steel threaded saddles like in the 60s RI's. Brightest i have tried, don't like em.

Anyways thats just all based on what I hear. You may feel different but i would suggest trying fender compensated brass, as to my ear thats your best bet to get the guitar to give it's full range of tone in a balanced fashion. The TRUE sound of the guitar if you will. (just MO) Then if they seem too bright EQ the amp or use your tone control etc etc.You may or may not like them but I think they are a good starting point. Like i said, i tried a bunch of sets and even tried each many times in the same guitar and in others swapping back and fourth till i got a clear picture of how they all sounded. A lot of trouble but in the end it was worth it to me.

Contributing Member

I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Mar 9th, 2019 02:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

You could always check out this site. $25 for titanium compensated.

Guitar Fetish

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Callaham or Rutter saddles, any real differences?

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