Telecaster Saddle Question

PeteyNaf

Member
Messages
192
I would love to swap out the stock saddles on my telecaster for the classic 3 barrel look. Will I need to modify/purchase a new bridge? I can't tell if the barrel saddles would be compatible.

 

guitarmook

Member
Messages
2,881
You 'might' be able to drill new holes in the back of that bridge, but the standard 3 barrels will not bolt straight-in to that bridge. It might be easier to find another bridge plate...
 

PeteyNaf

Member
Messages
192
I was afraid of that. The only humbucker bridge plates I can find are identical to my current one.
 
Messages
4,759
You just have to drill new holes. I drilled my MIM bridge for a 3 barrel setup. Have a look at this picture. I only had a single barrel on it for my B-bender, but you can see where I drilled the holes for the rest (my single saddles are a little wonky in this pic, as I hadn't yet set them up properly after putting it back together).



Just pull the bridge off and drill it. Put the holes halfway inbetween the existing ones. You may need longer saddle intonation screws, as they tend to sit in different positions. The screw in that pic above is about 1/8" longer than the ones that came with the 3 barrel saddles.
 
Messages
23,963
Petey, I can't tell which bridge configuration (are the mount holes above or below the string through holes?) you have so I can't say for sure, but if you have a four mount hole arrangement, you could have a HB surround as one component, then use a Half Bridge such as the G E Smith has.



If you have 3 mount holes Below the 6 narrower through holes, you're kinda stuck.
 

vortexxxx

Member
Messages
10,975
There is something called 6 to 3 (or something like that) that can replace the 6 saddle version with the 3 saddle. The screw holes on the new saddles are offset in order to make it work without drilling.
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
Petey, I can't tell which bridge configuration (are the mount holes above or below the string through holes?) you have so I can't say for sure, but if you have a four mount hole arrangement, you could have a HB surround as one component, then use a Half Bridge such as the G E Smith has.



If you have 3 mount holes Below the 6 narrower through holes, you're kinda stuck.
If you're planning to keep the humbucker configuration, then this is the way to go. Otherwise, Callaham is a great option for an ashtray style, and there are tons of other options as well.
 
Messages
23,963
Pretty happy with Callaham.

This Callaham is a wee little bit wider than all the other "vintage 4 above 6 wide" plates out there, and it covers conventional "butt crack" if that matters to you, but the routing for this bridge PAF style HB will protrude out each side a ton and IMO it looks awful exposed that way.

Btw I've looked hard at the O.P.'s bridge and it appears it is "4 screws over 6 wider spaced through holes" so it the existing rout was recut around the bridge pickup, the above bridge could fit - nobody is gonna like the giant voids on either side though.
 
Messages
23,963
Oh, I don't know. Who decides how much exposed rout is OK and what just looks dumb?

Here's for example how much Strat bridge pickup rout shows when you install a Tele bridge over a typical Strat bridge pickup rout.



This is just too much exposure for me. And yet, the GE Smith thing works for me. Go figure.
 






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