Hey Jazzmasters! saddle replacement?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by winonatele, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. winonatele

    winonatele Member

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    Do any of you Jazzmaster players use the Graph Tech saddles? If so, how are they? Any other options out there as well - steel, brass, etc? Thanks!
     
  2. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Well, why are you looking to change? Just something to do, or because you're having trouble with action, buzzing, strings slidding off... The change probably won't affect those issues.

    So what's the story morning glory?
     
  3. Fripperton

    Fripperton Member

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    Get a Mustang bridge. It's an direct replacement and you don't have those funky threaded barrels to deal with.
     
  4. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Obviously not a jazzmaster owner.

    :rotflmao

    I have the Graph Tech saddles. MUCH improved. I tucked the original gold(!) saddles from '62 safely away. The main issue is that, if your JM is vintage, it's probable that the tailpiece isn't grounded, and that the bridge only is grounded. If this is the case, then your strings will NO LONGER BE GROUNDED with the Graph Tech saddles. I ran a little wire between a pickguard screw (contacting the aluminum shield) and the tailpiece, blue so that it blends in with my guitar color. It's just held in place by screw pressure so there was no modification. Click the link in my sig and you will see it.

    No more string breakage! No more strings flying all over the place and popping out of the saddles and moving to other grooves and going out of tune! Didn't notice a change in sound at all.

    My particular saddles slipped when I put them on... the screws that held the action/intonation would slip... I had to loc-tite them in place. Don't know if that is across the board with Graph-Tech JM saddles or not.

    Enjoy!!
     
  5. winonatele

    winonatele Member

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    Why change? Well, it's not because I'm bored with the standard saddles. The strings don't always stay where I would like them to and if there's a better way, I'd like to try it.

    Thanks for the info guys! A couple of good choices...I never thought of the Mustang saddles. I certainly don't have a vintage one...missed the boat there.
     
  6. johnmfer

    johnmfer Member

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    I have the graph tech saddles and will never again consider a mustang bridge. Graph tech got it right - one channel for the string to sit in and individual height adjustment. Not to mention I haven't ever broken a string since installing them. On my Japanese JM there is a bit of a gap in between a couple of the saddles, they don't fit as tightly together as the stock saddles. Doesn't seem to affect anything.
     
  7. mezcalhead

    mezcalhead Member

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    A good setup, .010 gauge strings or above and a shim if needed and most string-jumping problems are solved .. having said that, if I wanted to replace the saddles on one of my JMs I'd use Graphtech .. the only downside being that they aren't quite as wide and have room to shift sideways if you really slam on the strings.
     
  8. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Ummm... what about "or because you're having trouble with action, buzzing, strings slidding off" makes you think I don't own a jazzmaster:moon I was trying to find out what the problem was because it's a good idea before offering suggestions to fix something. I run a buzz stop on my 62 RI. No fuss, no muss, 45 bucks from Allparts and no problems. a lot less work than replacing saddles.
     
  9. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    I agree. I use one on my '59 and it works great!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. fatback

    fatback Member

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    I tend to play pretty hard, so I went with both the buzz stop and the Graph Tech saddles. The guitar now sounds and plays great. The GT saddles also made it a breeze to setup the bridge for the 9.5 radius replacement neck.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Just kiddin' around. I don't like the idea of the buzzstop for me personally because it's just more extra hardware on the guitar, and I think the shallow breaking angle over the bridge is a big part of the jazzmaster's slinky feel. I am able to use .013s and still bend with no problem... try that on your strat! Well, you might be more man than I am but you know what I mean.

    Bear in mind that the jazzmaster likes .011s at the lightest. Anything below that and you start having more problems with the bridge and setup. BUT in any case, if you play hard then the strings will jump out of those grooves and into other grooves and eventually cut the string. Most jazzmaster owners who play rock or blues really hard will notice increased string breakage. That's where the "obviously not a jazzmaster owner" came from.

    Glad the buzzstop works for you. I don't know if they make it in gold anyway and I'm vain about guitars! :)

    I don't know about the reissue JMs, they could be different/less prone to those problems for all I know.
     
  12. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Hey, just kidding over here too. I play modern surf rock type stuff, hard with 12s and 2.00mm dunlop picks, and the buzzstop is all I've needed. No shims or other shenanigans. As to the reissues, believe it or not the Japanese ones seem to suffer less than the US ones from the normal Jazzmaster issues. It was explained to me that the US are actual reproductions, while the japanese are a little less precise, the word used was "interpretations", and therefore perhaps less prone to the old problems.

    As to the string break angle, the buzz stop theoretically should provide a more direct transmission from the bridge to the body for "more tone". Note I didn't say better tone, because the best tone for a jazzmaster is the unaltered tone of a vintage one imho...
     
  13. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I play pretty hard, with flatwound 11s, and I've not had a problem with breakage or strings flying free. I've got a fairly new AVRI '62, no buzzstop, stock saddles. I found my CIJ JM to be far more finicky, even after being set up, than my AVRI.

    I do recall that Warmoth sells a JM replacement bridge that's based on a Mustang bridge, but has the proper neck radius & height adjustment screws. That's probalby what route I'd take, if I had those problems.
     
  14. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Is that like being kinda pregnant? One either plays hard or one doesn't. If you qualify it with the word "pretty" you probably don't play "really" hard. Nothing personal, there's no prize for playing hard, it's nothing to brag about, in fact, the less hard you play the less physical problems you'll face down the road... Believe me. But when talking setups, one needs to be clear about hard...
     
  15. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I'm not much of a Jazzmaster lover, but I've long said the String Saver Saddles are the best $30 in gear you'll ever spend.

    I do have much disagreement with this:
    I play "pretty hard." I've seen people play much more aggressively than myself, but I have a ham fist. D strings have an excessively short lifespan for me. This is part of the reason I no longer own a Jazzmaster or Jaguar, the strings popped out of the saddles too much for me- this is before I heard of the BuzzStop. While there is "no prize for playing hard," there is equally no prize for not playing hard. It's personal preference and I've never seen a long term care facility for those who have played their guitars too aggressively, although several of those players may have used a few more band aids and superglue than the average shoe-gazer.:)
     
  16. winonatele

    winonatele Member

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    That's sweet! It must have a unique sound.
     
  17. winonatele

    winonatele Member

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    Is the shim you are talking about go under the saddle screws to raise the saddles to create more downforce for the strings? How many millimeters? That may be all I need.
    Also, is Mezcalhead a Swervedriver reference? They're one of my favorite bands! Thanks!
     
  18. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    Nope. It's a neck shim. It changes the break angle over the saddles, as well. I've heard from business card to guitar pick, in terms of thickness.
     
  19. winonatele

    winonatele Member

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    Gotcha. Thanks!
     
  20. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Yeah you can alter things at the neck, or at the bridge/tailpiece. I'm one of those freaks that feels the optimum number of times to take a neck of a guitar is zero, zip, nada... I know some folks take 'em every other string change, but that just gives me the shakes... Hence my preference for the buzz stop... Saw one on Ebay for $39 and $4 for shipping.
     

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