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Highwood vintage strat saddles review

AaeCee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,701
Nice review.

Love your guitar, BTW. It's great when you can get an already good guitar like that to sound even better.
 

Shark Sandwich

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,621
I need to try these, I hate how the adjustment screws dig into my palm on my stock fender saddles. This seems like a great solution.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
Excellent review Seljetnoma -

They look great, I've got a set on the way to demo myself. I think they're an excellent design solution to the old exposed screws.

Hey Buddahstrat - again, excellent playing on the vid. what guage strings are you using there, and around how low is the action? Are you at like 4/64 treble side and 5/64 bass side, or just a tad lower?

Thanks a bunch both of you, Dana O.
Hi Dana. I use .010's-.046 but you can hear too much of a ratty tone in that video from the action being too low. I remember I was experimenting with setups and I tried it low for a few days. I've got my action a little healthier now and the tone is much better. I hate the tone of that video, too buzzy/ratty to me.

Sorry I don't have any idea on measurements. I've got it setup real nice right now, it sounds so good and plays well with a medium action. I hate to change it up, but some saddle experimenting might just be in it's future! ha.
 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,863
A practical innovation! They should offer some w/o the notch and some with nickel plating. I like 'em.
 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,863
Yes mine are nickel plated too, actually I think the notch is a great idea it keeps the string from slipping away sidewards during bends.
I didn't realize they were nickel. As for the notch, I've never had a problem with strings slipping during bends. It wouldn't be anymore work, just leaving out the notching step. Some folks might like this option, or not. Still a great product IMO.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
I went and bought some Raw Vintage because like gmann, I really would prefer not to have a string notch in the saddle but these look really nice and almost went with these new ones. See how these do over the Gotoh's I have in my strat now. I like the Gotohs but curiousity got the best of me!
 

Highwood GuitarP

Active Member
Messages
60
I dont know about the notched saddle though. I look on my strats and I run the two E strings are ever so slightly in a bit more inwards, because I use a 1.65" nut width and a vintage spaced trem. You have to watch those E strings and fall off. With a notched saddle, I'm stuck with those E's being wherever it ends up and can't adjust it.

Thanks everyone for your kind comments.

The reason for the notch in our Saddles is just the opposite to what is described here, and that is NOT ( ! ) to fall off the fingerboard with the high E string - which indeed does happen with the original vintage Saddles, especially with the original 2-7/32" width.

One can set these original saddles a little inwards and close against each other...but the tension of the strings will line-up the saddles after a while by using the tremolo and one has to constant correct their alignment.

Our HG Contoured Vintage Saddles don't have that problem.

Wishing you all a happy 2014!
Piet
 
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buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
Thanks everyone for your kind comments.

The reason for the notch in our Saddles is just the opposite to what is described here, and that is NOT ( ! ) to fall off the fingerboard with the high E string - which indeed does happen with the original vintage Saddles, especially with the original 2-7/32" width.

One can set these original saddles a little inwards and close against each other...but the tension of the strings will line-up the saddles after a while by using the tremolo and one has to constant correct their alignment.

Our HG Contoured Vintage Saddles don't have that problem.

Wishing you all a happy 2014!
Piet
No. trust me, I would not like my E strings dead center, that puts them CLOSER to the fingerboard's edge compared to how I set them. I prefer them in a tad. No matter how much bends or whammy, they stay put and do not realign for me. The strings stay seated and NEVER move because there's enough tension on them. This is with the Gotoh wide saddles, that sit tight together, and actually seems more natural as far as spacing then dead center. It may be due to the saddles are actually wider than a true vintage strat and that allows them to sit tight. The E's sitting in the middle would not be good at all for me. So this works best for me.

I think you have a nice product and lots of folks will like it. I happen to prefer the look and design of the vintage saddle which allows me to do what I describe.
 

Highwood GuitarP

Active Member
Messages
60
No sweat.

Not long ago I talked to a die-hard Strat player who said he play'd with a piece of rubber band around his hand to protect it from the protruding saddle screws

:)

Different strokes for different folks.
 

Fons

Member
Messages
537
I still really dig my Gotoh vintage trem. It's got beefy saddles and a full steel block an cost about $75 new. The saddles are a bit bigger so they couple nicely and sit straight. Fender's saddles don't line up so well and especially the high E tends to sit out there all by itself sometimes.
Hi Budda, there is something I don't quite understand about what you are saying. In your quote here you say the Gotoh vintage (and Raw Vintage) saddles are wider and are better snug against each other and strings sit straight than with the Fender saddles. For the record: I presume you talk about 2-7/32" saddles.

I'm sure they are but how come then you say you don't want your strings to sit straight because your want your high E saddle (string) set inwards / further away from the edge of your fingerboard with the Gotoh's. ??? Besides that...isn't only just the opposite possible with Fender vintage saddles because they have a little more space between them? Please excuse, but this doesn't make sense to me.
 
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hudpucker

Member
Messages
6,454
Not much of a fan of 'notched' saddles in this application either.

Perhaps a non-grooved set of saddles should be a future option...?
 

Fons

Member
Messages
537
Hi Budda, there is something I don't quite understand about what you are saying. In your quote here you say the Gotoh vintage (and Raw Vintage) saddles are wider and are better snug against each other and strings sit straight than with the Fender saddles. For the record: I presume you talk about 2-7/32" saddles.

I'm sure they are but how come then you say you don't want your strings to sit straight because your want your high E saddle (string) set inwards / further away from the edge of your fingerboard with the Gotoh's. ??? Besides that...isn't only just the opposite better possible with Fender vintage saddles because they have a little more space between them? Please excuse, but this doesn't make sense to me.
Excuse me hudpucker, but I would love to see my questions answered :)
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
Fons, I like that the saddles on the gotoh and RV are a little bit wider and don't have any wiggle like Fenders. But I usually don't have a problem with them just the same even if they move. I'd prefer the saddles not to move around. The strings seem to stay put for me. My only reason for trying different saddles is tone. I like to position the low E in a little bit on these wider saddles, it actually matches the string spread of the smaller saddles. It doesn't seem to ever move, I keep it in tune, and everything works well.
 

football

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,762
They look great, I've got a set on the way to demo myself. I think they're an excellent design solution to the old exposed screws.
Hey Dana, looking forward to hearing what you think of these when you get them up and running.
 

seljetnoma

Member
Messages
43
It's been a week now since I installed these saddles, I need to say I'm extremely pleased by the Highwood saddles.
Today I played my strat for nearly half a day, couldn't lay it down, this strat is great, but the new saddles made it perfect.

kudos to the nice people at Highwood for making a great product!! :D
 

DGTCrazy

Mod Squad
Staff member
Messages
16,179
I just installed my Highwood Saddles into a '65 AVRI Strat. Here are my initial impressions. 1st: No more Saddle Screws grinding into my palm and/or right side of my picking hand!!!!

2nd: I'd swear that it now sustains even better than my other '65 AVRI Strat. Maybe it's my imagination, but by looking at the two sets of saddles, perhaps it's due to more contact area with the Highwood saddles, and that there's a sharper angle into the String Block.

I can physically feel a difference when I strum each guitar, and use my palm of my left hand to feel the back of each guitar after a strum each string. With the Highwood Saddles, the "B" String resonates the body more than my stock AVRI. I know it's not a Scientific Test by any stretch of the imagination, but it was something shown to me by an old pro to gauge how resonant a guitar is.

Anyway....I really happy with these. Now I've got to figure out what Strat I'm going to put the second set in! I really want to thank Highwood Saddles for all their help and offering to let me test the saddles. I plan on posting a Video Review, but only after I healed from my neck surgery I have planned on 1/20.
 
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K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,523
Got a set installed on a guitar for NAMM and then had to pack it in the crate. I will get some feedback at the show.
 




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