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Graphtech saddles on a strat...

lespaul6

Senior Member
Messages
1,334
I cant get used to the dull tone of these things... anyone else have a problem with these things? uggh... I want my american steel saddles back!!
 

guitguy28

Member
Messages
1,163
Yeah, it's definitely a taste thing... I like how my Strat sounds with them... but jamming with another Strat player, I can hear the loss of high end from the graphite saddles. It doesn't bother me, in fact I guess I prefer the fatter tone. But I suppose, every now and then, I wish there were a touch more twang.
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
I cant get used to the dull tone of these things... anyone else have a problem with these things? uggh... I want my american steel saddles back!!
I think they can be useful on a bright instrument with a noisy trem -- I have a guitar with a floyd rose and the bridge was always pingy and noisy and the tone was bright and the graphtechs solved the problems on that guitar....but I wouldn't use 'em other than to solve a specific problem. They seem to really cut the harmonic content and emphasize the fundamentals of the notes. They are really quiet and never bind though -- no extra pings or clangs.
 

Waxhead

Member
Messages
6,217
I luv em.
Make a big improvement to a Strat imo - fatter, fuller, less trebly on the bridge PUP :D
 

Hwoltage

Member
Messages
9,625
IMO Graphtechs couple well with quality *Early 50's era* (or whatever ) lightly wound single coils. Not to replace or compensate for the apparent loss of high end (seeking a bump up in highs) but to help refine the upper and middle mids of the signal. The hotter the pickup, the higher the mids will boost but they get compressed the higher up they go and you lose the clarity you gained with the graphtechs. Couple that rig with a high quality harness (anything not Fender)and some nickle 11s and you got 20 mins before you have to change your pants. At least for me. :)
 

lespaul6

Senior Member
Messages
1,334
I can totally understand why some would prefer what the graphtechs do for the bridge pickup. I think the "feel" is different when bending, double stops, etc too. As someone mentioned earlier, just feels like I'm missing those swirly things going on in the upper registers- especially on the low e, a, and d strings.
 

mellecaster

Member
Messages
1,125
I've never had any GraphTech saddles that couldn't be dealt with by changing Amp settings....but that's just me ?....The knobs on an Amp are moveable for a reason.
 

Devin

Low Voltage
Messages
4,237
Ive used them on three strats. I like them. I currently have them on an ash hardtail, Im starting to think they might not be good for ash guitars. I changed the ferrules this weekend to glendale. And used a pure nickel string set. The sound is still pretty scooped... this could be the fault of the stainless frets though. I think on alder and mahogany the string savers are great.

I agree its a taste thing. To me the stringsavers make all the pickup selections sound better. I like how evenly voiced they sound and how much i can dig in. There is a sustain increase as well imo.
 

doghouseman

Senior Member
Messages
3,045
Yes tone will be dull with graph techs.

I had a problem breaking my strings and I tried the graph techs but didn't like them. I did find that if I wipe my strings after each set, especially at the bridge, with a SMALL amount of WD40 on a rag, I stopped breaking strings. It was really cool.
 

RGB

Member
Messages
6,237
I've had them on my '83 for years...still roll off the tone on the bridge pup a bit and it sounds and plays great. I also had a graphtech nut on there too, but have since gone to a bone nut.

Very happy here! :)
 

Neer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,723
I used to have them on my Strat, but I think they took a lot of life out of the sound. I now have a Glendale Chimemaster bridge with brass Tele barrel saddles and to my ears it sounds fantastic.

I prefer my Strat to sound like a Strat, therefor I like that bright stock bridge pickup sound--I just need it to sound lively.
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
I've never had any GraphTech saddles that couldn't be dealt with by changing Amp settings....but that's just me ?....The knobs on an Amp are moveable for a reason.
I dunno I find the graphtech saddle seem to really knock down the upper harmonic content produced by the guitar and emphasize the fundamental frequencies and you can't put those harmonics back after the fact even though you can change the frequency balance by letting through more of whatever upper harmonics are there by turning up a passive, shelving treble control like you find on most amps. But it's not quite the same tone.
 
Messages
23,963
I dunno I find the graphtech saddle seem to really knock down the upper harmonic content produced by the guitar and emphasize the fundamental frequencies and you can't put those harmonics back after the fact even though you can change the frequency balance by letting through more of whatever upper harmonics are there by turning up a passive, shelving treble control like you find on most amps. But it's not quite the same tone.
I agree.

There's a lot of individual parts on a Strat, and if those pieces aren't fitting well, there's a powerful impulse to find something that will damp out all the ugly and traishy sounds.

The Squier 51 was cursed with an insane, 6 saddle import top loader bridge where a string under tension pulled up on the string as well as pushing it down - the result you got was "sonic chain mail" and we were ready to try anything to quell these junky sounds.

I tried Graphtechs, both as a substitute for the stock saddles and as a "pseudo-string through" seen here:



What does this have to do with Trem Strats? Well, when you whammy a trem Strat, you unload the saddle and reload it, and whilst it is unloaded I feel you have a probability of the same sort of junky sound, at least short bursts of it.

The question one needs to ask is, before choosing Graphtechs, are there any other solutions that won't rob certain upper mid and upper frequencies that you can't get back? And I think much higher degrees of precision (like Callaham machining, for Strats) or many fewer parts (in the case of the Squier 51) are the better choices.
 

SackvilleDan

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,084
I think they can be useful on a bright instrument with a noisy trem -- I have a guitar with a floyd rose and the bridge was always pingy and noisy and the tone was bright and the graphtechs solved the problems on that guitar....but I wouldn't use 'em other than to solve a specific problem. They seem to really cut the harmonic content and emphasize the fundamentals of the notes. They are really quiet and never bind though -- no extra pings or clangs.

This. Really tamed a shrill Strat I have...
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,191
String Savers = Tone Suckers. Couldn't get them off of my guitar fast enough.
 

Hwoltage

Member
Messages
9,625
Tried em, didn't like em, took em off. Simple ;)
With the same pickups, strings, nut, and hardware setup you prefer for steel saddles? The graphtechs do change the sound significantly, which necessitates some consideration towards the other factors at play.
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,888
I have a set of graphtec string saver classic saddles on my MIM strat and one MIA start. http://www.graphtech.com/products.html?SubCategoryID=56

I didn't notice a loss of highs on either. What I did notice was less string breakage and a bit more sustain. For me it was was worth doing. Though I am not surprised with some people not liking them, it seems its that way with every product. For me I found shielding my pickup cavity with foil tape killed the tone made the guitar sound dead, others love it. I also found I don't like RWRP middle pickups on a strat, reduces the quack in positions 2 and 4 to my ears.
 






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