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Graph Tech saddles for Tune-O-Matic bridges??

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Macaroni, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I've got a custom made Les Paul and I'm breaking high E & B strings more than usual, and always at the string saddles. I'm considering getting a set of Graph Tech saddles for Tune-O-Matic bridges. It's also happening on my new Les Paul Supreme, so I may get them for that guitar too.

    I'm using SOS strings - Rock Formula - 9 - 46 & 9.5 - 46.

    Has anyone done this upgrade?

    Any and all comments/suggestions are welcomed.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mutley

    Mutley Supporting Member

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    I used to have that problem with my Heritage 535, but it was partly because I had the tailpiece as far down as it would go and the angle up to the saddles was pretty steep. I installed the graph tech saddles and went up to .011s and also wrapped the strings around the tailpiece so the string entered the TP on the bridge side. I went up to .011s to keep the same feel as the .010s strung through the TP the normal way. I also use Snake Oil Brand strings. I haven't broken a string in the six months since I made these changes and I literally beat my strings in my own ham fisted way.

    I also used to break the strings on my H-157 until I began wrapping them around the TP in the same manner. That seemed to do the trick for me.

    Ned:horse

    Just imagine that the dead horse is my strings.
     
  3. theelectic

    theelectic Guest

    Mutley - I'm curious myself, wWith the Graph Techs on a Tune-O-Matic, do they kill your high end like with a Strat? I've only ever used Graph Techs on Strats.
     
  4. Mutley

    Mutley Supporting Member

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    My H535 Heritage also has WCR Crossroads set and the high frequencies are alive and well in that guitar. I didn't notice any loss of highs and I had heard the same thing. When you think about the graphite resins actually being a harder material than the alloy saddles (not sure if standard saddles are steel or some other iron alloy) it is quite possible that the highs would be enhanced. No loss though IMO. Anyone else out there notice that? I have titanium saddles on my DeTemple so I can't speak to the Strat issue.

    Ned
     
  5. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    They're on all my guitars. I didn't notice much of any tonal difference on any of my LPs. I also put the compensated set on my Tele to not much of any difference.

    If you do get them, there's a set for different tune-0-matics. Call the 1-800 number, the people there were a big help to me- but order from somewhere else- it's more expensive to order directly from Graph Tech.
     
  6. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Thanks guys!

    I'm primarily concerned with eliminating the bridge as a factor in string breakage, and it appears that the Graph Tech will help.

    Any recommendations for the best prices?
     
  7. CAFeathers

    CAFeathers Member

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    Email me.
     
  8. mccreadyisgod

    mccreadyisgod Member

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  9. theelectic

    theelectic Guest

    Thanks for the insights. When I put the String Savers on my Strats (replaced the stock stamped steel), I found the tone not dulled, but that high end zingy "ping" sound was gone. Kind of like backing down on the tone control 1 number or so. At first it was annoying but I got used to it quickly.

    I was thinking since the saddles are much smaller on an LP, the difference would be inaudible (it's minimal with Strats as it is).
     
  10. johnspeck

    johnspeck Member

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    I had a Strat, I replaced the stock vintage saddles with Graph-Tech, and also noticed a loss of the aforementioned 'zing'.

    In regards to tune-o-matics, I have two guitars with Tone-Pros vintage AVR bridges/Graph-Tech saddles. I don't notice any loss of highs. I do notice greatly increased string life. I also make sure that my tailpiece is down as low as i can get it, without haveing the string touch the backside edge of the bridge, behind the saddle.
     
  11. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    Have you tried just raising your stop tailpiece?
     
  12. TheRover

    TheRover Supporting Member

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    I have a Les Paul where I replaced the the bridge with a Tonepros tuneomatic with Graphtech saddles. I had a string breakage problem as well(Most always B & High E strings). It has made a difference, I have much less breakage. Tonewise there is no noticeable difference. If there is it is so minimal that most people could never hear it-especially playing live.
    The Graphtechs have slotted sadles where is the original Gibson bridge did not.
     
  13. tac5

    tac5 Member

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    The only problem I have with the Graphtech saddles is that they are pre-cut. Not all guitar necks are the same and precut saddles are cut dead center when this may not be the exact location needed for proper string alignment. I have a new Gibson Les Paul Standard that had the string spacing skewed to the bass side because that's where the cuts in the saddle placed the strings. I had to replace the saddles with uncut ones and recut the slots.
     
  14. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    They're precut for the Nashville but not cut for the ABR-1.

    Just file new slots. If you can barely tell the saddles are notched twice in a picture taken from 3 feet away on a sunny day, do you think someone is going to be able to tell "in a smoky bar?":D

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Point to Point

    Point to Point Member

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    I have had Graph Tech saddles on my Epi Sheraton for about 10 yrs now. I had a Gibson ABR modded to fit and my luthier notched the saddles; never looked back. Great sustain, plenty of high end, classic sound. The pup's are: 57 classic in neck classic+ in bridge. Great go-to guitar, a little heavy but a sweet sound.
     
  16. JC-Tonequest

    JC-Tonequest Supporting Member

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    When you installed the Graph Tech saddles on your LP's did you have to change the ground from your bridge to the tailpiece? If so, how difficult was it to do this?
     
  17. dukeh62

    dukeh62 Supporting Member

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    Just bumping this to see if any other folks have noticed any tonal differences when swapping in tune-o-matic Graph Tech saddles.
     
  18. Primakurtz

    Primakurtz Member

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    Not really, no. I got the whole Graph Tech/Tone pros bridge, and it sounds great.

    Those tiny little stock metal saddles aren't really any more "toneful" than the tiny little Graph Tech ones, IMHO.
     
  19. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    FYI, I've got the TonePro's Bridge and Graph Tech saddles on my Koll semi-hollow and it sounds killer. Plenty of bite and string energy coupling is certainly apparent... very nice.
     
  20. Structo

    Structo Member

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    There may be a burr on the saddle that is cutting the string.
    Or if the saddle is not notched, use a nut file or knife file to cut a small smooth notch.
     

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