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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Compensated saddles



Dec 16th, 2016 04:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 78 Neck / 76 body Tele with the steel barrels. The tone is perfect, but I would like to experiment with compensated saddles so I can play live and not worry about the intonation being off when playing with other players. I see a lot of brass saddles, but I do not want to change the tone. Anyone have experience with compensated saddles? What do you like and/or not like?

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Dec 16th, 2016 05:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you like the tone you already have with the steel saddles, you can get compensated saddles made of steel. (also aluminium, titanium, graphtech...)
Callaham and Glendale are just two mfrs that make them.

Also if you do a forum search with "compensated saddles" (tick the telecaster box in the search page) and there's enough threads there to make your head spin!

Hopefully someone with 1st hand experience between steel/brass will chime in here...


Tiki Hut

Dec 19th, 2016 01:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

I prefer the brass compensated saddles. Fairly inexpensive from StewMac

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Dec 19th, 2016 02:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

@ andrewd41,

It's been discussed here numerous times, but I'll re-post it anyway...

Compensated saddles may not be your only solution, but rather a "compensated tuning" when setting your intonation. (and it costs nothing!)

Here's an article with Jerry Donahue on the technique. FWIW I have used the JD technique on "regular" 3 saddle bridges with excellent results.

JD explains...

Contributing Member


Dec 19th, 2016 04:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Lose the steel saddles. Get some brass ones and deal w/ it. It will sound great!!


usa metro detroit

Dec 23rd, 2016 06:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have steel on one Tele and brass on another. I like both. Both have their strengths. IMO what's more important is staying with the 3 saddles. I'm a firm believer Leo got the bridge system right the first time. The main thing about a telecaster is that the bridge pickup sounds unique. With a Telecaster, u can copy other guitar tones, but other guitars can't copy that Telecaster bridge pickup. The 3 saddles set up (along with the plate and the windings of the pickup) are what does it.

Contributing Member

Redesdale UK

"Still Alive And Well"
Feb 9th, 2017 11:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

My experience is brass gives a mellower sound than the steel. So for me it's less of a choice, more what your guitar needs. I had to take some brass ones off a rosewood board Tele (mellower than maple) with quite dark pickups as it needed the extra bite from the threaded steel saddles.

Contributing Member

Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Feb 9th, 2017 01:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

I did notice a tone change when I switched from the OEM six saddle bridge to a Glendale bridge with three brass compensated saddles on my AmStd. And it was a good change!

Contributing Member

Memphis, TN

Feb 21st, 2017 05:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've got the Callaham compensated saddles in my Tele's.

I prefer the steel because I wanted a lot of bite.

My buddy's got the Callaham compensated brass in his Tele and I like that as well, a bit more subdued than steel but a nice tone as well.

Comes down whether you want a biting tone or a bit more mellow sound.

Your pick !

Compensated saddles are as marvelous as sliced bread.


Columbus, Ohio

Feb 27th, 2017 09:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have Rutter compensated brass saddles and the are nice.


Columbus, Ohio

Mar 7th, 2017 08:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have Rutter compensated brass saddles and they are nice.

Contributing Member

I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Mar 7th, 2017 08:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

How about some compensated titanium saddles for 25 bucks?



United States

not today
Jul 18th, 2017 08:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have seen rutter compensated brass saddles. I must say they are really nice.

Contributing Member

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jul 19th, 2017 06:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 64' AVRI with steel saddles. Never an issue with intonation. I also have Tele's with 3 brass saddles. No intonation issues there either but I like the "softer" tone of the steel saddles better.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Compensated saddles

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