What's the deal with these types of bridges?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Stonetone, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Hello All, lately i've been looking at Telecaster type guitars and i've noticed some of them have these type of bridges called staggered 3 saddle brass bridges, are there any advantages or disadvantages to this type of design? from what i've read so far some say they are very hard to intonate and from what i've seen they dont seem to be stable, IE: most dont have string grooves to help keep the strings steady, and the saddles themselves seem that they will move out of place when replacing strings
    so was curious and want to Know if any Strat Talk folks have this design and what are your experiences and or thoughts on this design.

    Thanks all

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  2. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

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    the staggering helps get the strings to intonate, the original design was just straight across saddles and the intonation is way off that way.

    they do make aftermarket staggered saddles with grooves to keep the strings in place, but they need to work with the neck width so the strings are not too close together or falling of the sides of the neck.

    i have a set of cheap compensated saddles on my tele with the saddles kept perpendicular to the strings and they make the take off point of the saddle forward or back from center to help intonate.

    either way they help the intonation a bunch.
     
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  3. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    So its a good Design then ? and can you just replace the bridge with something like this if need be ? these have a center screw to keep them in place and I think they have grooves

    [​IMG]

    Thank you for the Input :thumb:
     
  4. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    The Wilkinson is better in that it allows for more precise intonation adjustment, but honestly, there's not a lot of difference.
    The original Tele used a straight bar, you would simply balance the intonation so one string is a little sharp and the other a little flat... now, look at the difference between any two adjacent saddles on your Strat... split the difference. That's how far out it will be.
    The compensated saddles like the first one you posted, or the Gotoh, where the bars are straight, but have angled cuts, are a step better and allow for pretty good intonation.
    The Wilkinson allows for exact intonation, but is a little more tedious, IMHO, for little benefit.

    As far as how well they work... they all work fine and hold the strings in position just fine. The string position is determined by the spacing where it comes through the body or the back of the bridge.
    Like the Strat, Fender used a couple of different string spacings over the years. If you're going with a top-loading bridge, it's not a big deal, but if you have body through-holes, then the new bridge needs to match (or convert to top-loading).
     
  5. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

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    replacing the bridge on a tele requires the mounting holes to be correct and they have many versions so you have to do your homework when replacing a whole bridge - so i just replaced the saddles.

    those adjustable and locking wilkinson saddles look nice.
     
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  6. CigBurn

    CigBurn Total Hack

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    This is the type of compensated saddle I have on my tele, works very well.

    s-l1600.jpg s-l1602.jpg
     
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  7. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    i have this exact one in my number one hardtail "strat"..the one with the cuts...works just as it should but iam pretty sure the one you showed works just as well with those slants....
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks all for the Input guys Much appreciated :thumb:

    Ill be doing more In depth research

    Cat Reserch.gif


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Boognish

    Boognish Senior Stratmaster

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    I just looked at my compensated saddle on my Tele. They are all straight now instead of compensated. :confused::mad:
     
  10. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster

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    Gotoh make the Wilkinson Adjustable Compensated shown above.
    They now have Tele bridges with a new style of saddle, the "In Tune" series. More than a passing similarity to a certain US make but very good.

    Gotoh BS-TC1
    Gotoh_BS-TC1.jpg
     
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  11. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

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    I have the old-school, 3-barrel saddles on my Teles, and I've always been able to intonate them just fine. So have thousands of other guitarists, including countless pros. We've all probably listened to hundreds of recordings made with Teles with conventional saddles and not said, "Good track, but man, that one guitar is way out of tune."

    I might consider the Wilkinson style if I had a Tele that, for some reason, just would not intonate properly, but those slanted ones are so ugly I'd probably sell the guitar before I'd put them on. I get that some things have to be function over form, but it always looks to me like the bridge is broken when I see those installed.

    Just my two cents, and as usual, worth about that much. Unless, in this case, it prevents someone from needlessly buying one of those ugly-azz compensated saddle sets, in which case I guess it's worth more than that ;)
     
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  12. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yeah...I think that'd work well.

    I have two identical Bajas one with straight brass and one compensated and the compensated make a difference, but I think having the locking pivot would be an improvement. I also have to say I really like the block saddles on my other T-style.

    I'm also looking at the Babicz full contact bridge/saddles. I like the individual locking intonation screws and love their string height adj. system. No screws to chew up your hand.
     
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  13. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    Exactly why the block saddles, and the Babicz, hold some appeal for me. Other than tradition, I don't get why they use the 2on1 arrangement.
     
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  14. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Ahh yes the Babicz is top notch hardware, i know @Believer7713 swears by them and uses them in lots of his builds :thumb:
     
  15. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    The comfort was the main reason that I went to using the Babicz. The first one that I installed was a TOM style that I put on my Charvel Desolation. It is still there and is absolutely amazing as it completely sits on the body just like the saddles sit on the bridge plate. Plus it looks like something from I could have heisted from Area 51. LOL
    20190205_183956.jpg
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    The thing I like about his full sized bridges is that you can squeeze all the saddles together to create a bigger mass that works together.
    20210109_183533.jpg
    As far as the Z series go, I normally just use the Saddles on a normal strat or Tele bridge.
    20181110_235349.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  16. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    That Bridge is Super Awesome ---> Mind you its expensive but then again great hardware is seldom cheap :thumb:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. lbpesq

    lbpesq Strat-O-Master

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    BIG +1 on the Babicz bridges. They will literally double the acoustic volume of a Tele or hardtail Strat and are far more adjustable than any design based on the standard Tele bridge. I use them on all my builds. I prefer their “Z” series bridges. They don’t have the giant “BABICZ” emblazoned on them. And they are less expensive, too! Win win

    Bill, tgo
     
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  18. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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