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Saddles, bent steel vs. solid, any difference?

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  • Saddles, bent steel vs. solid, any difference?

    I was just wondering if there is any difference in tone between bent steel saddles or solid steel saddles.



    "You won't like me when I'm angry because I back up my rage with facts and documented sources" ~ The Credible Hulk

  • #2
    That solid steel looks like cheap pot metal that will eventually wear out and bind resulting in broken strings
    Be happy- do what you like

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    • #3
      That solid steel looks like cheap pot metal that will eventually wear out and bind resulting in broken strings


      The pics are just for reference.
      "You won't like me when I'm angry because I back up my rage with facts and documented sources" ~ The Credible Hulk

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      • #4
        I used to always be about the bent steel saddles. Had a lot of strats and almost was always was happy with how they sounded.

        Several years ago, I bought a JV Series Japanese Squier strat. 70s style, big headstock, bullet trussrod adjustment, nice steel block saddles. Probably my second favorite guitar I've ever owned. Thought I'd spruce it up a bit... installed different pickups, pots and switch, mini toggle (going for the Gilmour vibe, cause I'm a fanboy ), different pickguard, shielded it. Played it like that for a couple years.

        Then I bought a partscaster that had a Callaham trem with the short Gilmour arm. I installed the entire unit and LOVED how it felt, but felt the tone took a step back. I thought about putting the original trem back on thinking it was something about the block. They were both steel and attracted a magnet. We took a vacation and I stopped at a shop in Florida and after complaining about the situation, an old timer asked if I had gone from block saddles to bent saddles and like a light switch, I realized that was almost definitely the thing.

        Got home, put the block saddles back on... and I was happy once again.

        So overall I don't know if one type is 'better' than the other, assuming both are quality pieces... but I know on that particular guitar the saddles almost ruined the tone for me.

        But out of 12 or so strats, I think I have block types on two, Graphtechs on two and folded saddles on the rest and I really like how all of them sound, but for the bigger, ballsy, fatter tones, I'd go for the block types.

        And since, 'pics or it didn't happen':

        Block type:



        Bent saddles:

        Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius:

        "When it comes to gear vs talent I'll be the first to admit that I sit in the Mayor's seat in Poserville."

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        • #5
          sound wise i cannot tell a difference..
          Electric Cowbell.. meh...
          http://www.soundclick.com/bands/defa...&content=music

          Scuzzo's Sound Clicks
          Mixed for Headphones only
          all pictures sound the same....
          The"Let Me Hear Your Original Works" please feel free to add your stuff..
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          • #6
            I got the impression from playing a bunch of strats that the bent variety might add a little more twang, but never put them on the same guitar to compare. So, my estimation could be off.

            cratz2, Does that match your experience with saddle swaps?
            Listen...

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            • #7
              I preffer block saddles on teles and strats. Solid and work.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the replies.

                "You won't like me when I'm angry because I back up my rage with facts and documented sources" ~ The Credible Hulk

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                • #9
                  I find that the bent steel sounds a little more open to my ear.

                  I like them both though.

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                  • #10
                    Yup, I find bent steels sound more twangy, jangly and steely. Block ones = more midrange/growly.

                    And whilst we are one the subject, when I removed by Graphtech saddles from a US strat and put the old ones back on, there was a big leap in "presence".

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                    • #11
                      Block saddles have always sounded brighter, snappier and more aggressive to my ear. Bent saddles, on the contrary, are sweeter and more mellow.
                      I'm in a band called Little Sluggers. Signature.

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                      • #12
                        Completely optional. The rest of the bridge and its material, the block will have affect on the string tone, so will the nut and neck which provides the other 50% of the tone to the string. The strings has two ends and they equally affect the tone.

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                        • #13
                          Block saddles have always sounded brighter, snappier and more aggressive to my ear. Bent saddles, on the contrary, are sweeter and more mellow.


                          That's exactly the opposite of my experience.

                          Well... kinda. I'd call the block saddles more rounded, fuller and more ballsy and aggressive. The bent saddles snappier and brighter and twangier.
                          Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius:

                          "When it comes to gear vs talent I'll be the first to admit that I sit in the Mayor's seat in Poserville."

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                          • #14
                            From what I've heard (playability-wise) is that it is easier/more comfortable to play palm muted stuff with block saddles...
                            Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
                            for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

                            -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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                            • #15
                              From what I've heard (playability-wise) is that it is easier/more comfortable to play palm muted stuff with block saddles...


                              A lot of folks say that because the saddle height adjustment screws stick out of the saddle and dig into the heel of their palms. Truth is though, if the neck angle is correct, the screws don't stick out at all, so they're just as comfy.

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