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The Campy Forum

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compensated saddles?
  • Not being the world's foremost expert on the subject, I will offer my two cents worth of what I might know. Off hand I can't think of any cons, other than aesthetics. The compensated saddles on a three saddle Tele will be canted a bit, the non's will set at 90 degrees to the adjustment screws. The pro's is,,,, your intonation will be a lot closer than with non-compensated, though not perfect (Is it ever perfect?) because the angle on most compensated saddles is 'Fixed" and cannot be "sweetened". A guy named Trev Wilkinson makes compensated saddles that I think "swivel" allowing one to get the intonation a bit closer. He makes other saddles too that appear to be ground brass and look something like a compensated saddle on an acoustic guitar, I like those. Most compensated saddles are the round, smooth, brass barrel looking ones. I also like the threaded one's like Jim Campilongo uses because the string is not prone to slipping across the saddle and you can quickly eyeball string spacing, but I dont think you can get those compensated because the threads would be at an angle and would probably chew the strings up quickly.
    All this being said, I've seen guys play some great stuff on guitars that are total trash and no where near being tunable and other guys make perfectly adjusted great guitars sound like ten cent, plastic, wind up ukulele's with rubber band strings. I tend to be the latter.
    "You can tune a piano but you can't tunafish"
  • I just heard something today about John Lennon that kind of relates....

    Apparently sometime in the early seventies a musician John Lennon was playing with noticed him de-tuning his G string just a little bit right after tuning up for a tune. When asked he said that he used to do that with the Beatles so that his Aunt could tell which guitar parts he was playing....

    ....Thats just what I overhead today in the studio. Thought it was amusing and immediately reminded me of this thread.

  • Been lurking for a week or two now, glad to finally post something!

    Anyhoo, there's lots of info over at the Telecaster forum (www.tdpri.com). There's apparently an offset tuning method (I believe, if memory serves) from Jerry Donahue somewhere out there (maybe the Seymour Duncan site?) with instructions on creatively tuning a Tele to sweeten it up with non-compensated saddles...

    I hafta say, I'm kinda hooked on comped saddles, personally. There's lots of great ones out there, but I found that the ones Marc Rutters makes look good (can't tell they're compensated!), sound good, and are reasonably priced.

    Hope this helps! Also, thanks Jim for starting a forum here! Really digging it!

    -J Howell
  • Thanks for the reply,what I really should of asked is why jim does not use compensated saddles?
  • Have to admit, I'm a little curious too! That said, I've played a few Teles that really didn't need them. One of my brothers has a Thinline reissue that I'm not really all that fond of, but even with the stock saddles, it's pretty spot-on all the way up the neck. Sometimes they just seem to work, I guess?

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