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replacement saddles?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassix, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. bassix


    May 1, 2000
    Denver, Colorado

    I've been playing for a long time,, and have quite a few nice basses, but I've seen references from time to time on TB about saddle upgrades and I'm curious about them. I might want to replace the saddles on one of my Fender 5's to some threaded ones to help center my strings between pole pieces. (Yeah, I know,, "it doesn't matter". Well, it does to me.)

    If heard that different saddle materials can affect the tone and response of the bass. I know that my Stingray has large, heavy saddles and I'm sure that contributes to it's excellent tone. I'm looking at the the KTS Titanium saddles,, but they are pricey, and if they don't have 5 string sets,, they get REALLY pricey! Does anyone know how just the standard 'vintage' replacement saddles that Allparts stocks would affect my tone - if it would at all?
  2. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    IMHO, if you didn't know which saddles were more expensive, you wouldn't be able to hear any difference. But, since the imperfect
    spacing between the pickup poles is so bothersome...
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    polepiece spacing mattered enough for leo fender to get a patent on it!

    IME, if you play lightly and/or have the pickups a little further away, it doesn't matter much, but if you hit it harder and have the pickups closer the way i do, there's a difference in the attack and evenness of the notes. (same principle with staggered-height jazz bass pickups, it makes less or more of a difference depending on how close the strings are.)

    as for the saddles, i think big-dollar titanium might be a little silly. the allparts threaded-rod ones are fine (i think they're gotoh, actually). they're plenty hard, but not magnetically attractive, so stainless, maybe? the fender threaded ones are regular steel, but they're a bit more expensive.

    with them, i hear a subtle improvement in sustain and clarity over regular single-grooved saddles on vintage bridges, but that could just as easily be from the way they get pressed together by the strings, eliminating side-to-side play.

    what kind of bridge would they be going on? the stock 5-string bridge might not have the exact same saddle spacing, in which case all this is moot.
  4. bassix


    May 1, 2000
    Denver, Colorado

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