Is the Titanium that much better than steel?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by daveg777, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. daveg777

    daveg777 Member

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    I am building the Strat of my dreams and the debate rages within me about using steel vs. titanium saddles. How much tonal improvement can I expect? In your mind, was it worth the money? I am going to use a real steel block and stainless springs for the rest of the trem assembly.

    Thanks for all replys!

    Dave
     
  2. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    If it was at all affordable I would personally go with Titanium because of it's inherent properties, but then again I am pretty rediculous about my tone most of the time..:crazy
     
  3. rooster

    rooster Member

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    Depends on what you mean by tonal improvement. I put titanium saddles on a naturally "dark" guitar, and it added a bit more chime in the high end, just enough for me to say, "aaaaaahhhh." But, strats are normally a bit bright. Don't know if that would be an improvement.

    rooster.
     
  4. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    In my mind it was worth the $75 upgrade. Alder Strat body, maple/maple neck, Suhr V60LPs, BPSSC, Earvana nut, locking Gotoh vintage tuners. It sings like an angel - it impoved the ring and sustain as well to my ear.
     
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  5. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    Dave, use both and report your findings so we (and you) will know.
    Sell the ones you like least
     
  6. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I am building the Strat of my dreams and the debate rages within me about using steel vs. titanium saddles. How much tonal improvement can I expect? In your mind, was it worth the money? I am going to use a real steel block and stainless springs for the rest of the trem assembly.

    I replaced the stock brass saddles on my tele with titanium (3 piece)
    Big improvement.
    Replaced the cheesy "small" block and graph-tech saddles on my friends
    humbucking strat with a steel block and titanium saddles, and that was a
    HUGE improvement in every way.
    Had titanium bridges and nuts made for one of my Fender steel guitars,
    and that was an insane step up for that axe. Huge improvement in the
    sustain and the attack, not an easy combination to hit with just one change of material on an already proven design, imo.
    So I changed the steel saddles on my main guitar, a '60 strat with lipstick
    (dano-silvertone) pick-ups and a set of 14's, to titanium, and I HATED IT!
    Everything that I found unique and beautiful about that guitar was erased
    by the titanium saddles...3 outa 4 ain't bad I guess!
    In every case, the titanium saddles improved the clarity and sustain.
    If you're playing a humbucking strat,and using lots of gain, you will
    probably love the increased articulation and sustain that the titanium
    has.
    It only didn't work for me on a very quirky set up on a vintage instrument
    that has been my main guitar for 25 years.
    Hope this helps, titanium is neat stuff!!
     
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  7. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Interesting!
    You replace the saddles on your Tele w/Titanium with a big improvement, then you replace the saddles on your Strat w/Titanium with bad results. I would assume that both of those guitars are generally played with the same basic tonal structure? What do you attribute the difference to? Thanks, M.E.
     
  8. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    I believe that since the Ti saddles brighten things up, the already bright sounding "lipstick tube" pickups could not bond quite well...


    btw, old Strats don't need such gizmos... :D :D :D
     
  9. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    I tried titanium saddles with my tele and hated it as it sounded very plink/plink and hard/bright to me...went back to brass Callaham saddles which I love...

    Out of curiousity I'm gonna shoot out some tele saddles this weekend to include...Callaham...GDS and Glendale brass...hardened steel and brass with an aluminum E/A for a more twang on the low strings...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  10. blues

    blues Supporting Member

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    Does anyone here know if the titanium saddles are alloyed titanium,or pure titanium?Ive been working with titanium for 20 years.There is a difference.
     
  11. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    I'll be very interested in your results.... is your bridge a vintage style Fender or a Callaham type?
     
  12. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    so, steel is denser than TI so it has slower transmission of vibrations, but steel has a greater modulus of elasticity, so it has faster transmission of vibrations?:confused:
     
  13. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    It's a Callaham bridge!

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  14. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    Hmm. I'm going through a similar sort of tone hunt right now. The standard tele bridge's do have a certain twang factor all by themselves. More info in a week or so.
     
  15. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    just to follow up the shootout is complete and it was tough as they all sounded great but the clear winner for me was the Glendale set with a hardended steel E/A and the rest brass...I think I will go ahead and order the Glendale bassplate as well...they make a real innovative quality product!!

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  16. Champlifier

    Champlifier Supporting Member

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    I bought a chambered Strat here on TGP a while back looking for a lightweight guitar following shoulder surgery. I picked up some Titanium saddles on ebay and found a member here selling a Ti block w/trem arm threads stuck inside. After getting the piece of broken trem arm out of the block, I installed this unit in the chambered body. As most everyone says. the difference in tone is mainly more high end. I installed some Kinman Blues pickups that tamed any high end zinginess. Sounds good, really resonates, using .11's. It also sounded good with the Callaham steel saddles and block . I was going for a lightweight axe so I tried the Ti setup.
     
  17. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I think the difference was mostly just me, and the rest of the difference was just two different guitars. That Strat has been my main guitar for most of my life, so when I changed it, it really freaked me out. Think "physically ill" and you'll start to get an idea of how anxious and worried I felt when it didn't "do like it used to".
    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you heard it differently, not having the benefit/handicap of a long personal relationship with that guitar.
    Those other instruments that benefitted from the titanium saddles/nuts,
    all needed a little help to begin with, for lack of a better word they were dogs. The titanium saddles moved them all to the front of the pack.
    So anyway, if you think your guitar needs a little help, in the clarity, sustain, and definition at high gain area, try the titanium.
    If you've been playing the same guitar for 30 years and you're still diggin' it, don't mess with it....
     
  18. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Maybe I don't have the right pots for those pickups, or maybe the lipsticks you've heard are different from the ones in my guitar, but a standard strat pickup has a bazillion times more high end than the Dan-o's in my guitar.
    Old Strats don't need such gizmos...+1,000,000,000.02!!
     

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