Brass saddles

Discussion in 'Squier Telecasters' started by JurnyWannaBe, Apr 6, 2021 at 12:56 AM.

  1. JurnyWannaBe

    JurnyWannaBe Squier-holic

    Feb 14, 2019
    I’m just getting into Telecaster’s and this has probably already been beat to death. Do brass saddles make enough difference in tone and sustain to use them?
  2. Twostratsfornow

    Twostratsfornow Squier-holic Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2020
    Ontario, Canada
    I put a set on my Affinity. The tone did become fuller, the same I also changed strings from the nine gauge Ernie Ball Slinky’s that were on the Tele when I bought it, to ten gauge D’Addario nickel wound. How much of the difference in tone can be attributed to the strings, I don’t know. Not much help I know, but that’s all I got.
  3. MrYeats

    MrYeats Dr. Squier Platinum Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2017
    South Texas Coast
    Think density.
    Plastic, wood, bone, steel, brass, lead,
    Tone is more affected by density on the nut and saddle.
    Brass and steel are not so different.
    Bone and steel are a bit different.
    Lead would not be desirable at all.
    I have made nuts from mesquite wood which is very hard.
  4. Luvs2yoko

    Luvs2yoko Squier-holic Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2014
    Brass is suppose to be less harsh and eliminate some of the ice pick found in telecasters. I have many Tele's with both kinds, I think there is a subtle difference.I also have a telecaster with a top loading bridge and graph tech saddles that has a great traditional tele sound.I would encourage you to buy as many different telecasters as possible.
  5. Atlen

    Atlen Squier-Meister

    Jul 19, 2019
    I put Wilkinson 3-barrel bridge on my MIM Telecaster and noticed a slight difference in tone (did not change strings).
    I would say the difference is smaller than fresh strings vs old strings.
    Looks a lot better imo though ;)
  6. MrYeats

    MrYeats Dr. Squier Platinum Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2017
    South Texas Coast
    This one has a Wilkinson with brass saddles. I like it.
  7. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    This is my opinion. I think brass saddles do make a difference. Whether that’s a good or bad difference is up to the player’s own preference. I do agree that it is a small difference. I also believe that the nut material makes a difference. Again, it’s a small difference. You can have the same discussions about body wood, types of bridges, bolt on vs set neck, etc..... All those things in my opinion make a small difference in how a guitar sounds and plays. But when you add up 3 or 4 small differences, they start to become a big difference.

    So my advice to you would be to try brass saddles if you haven’t already. See if you like them. Every guitar I build I try something new. It’s a journey to figure what sounds and plays good to me.
  8. Twostratsfornow

    Twostratsfornow Squier-holic Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2020
    Ontario, Canada
  9. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    It could affect the tones. My guess is, If your going clean, probably more of an advantage, than with overdrive or a processed amp etc. I put brass Saddles on my homebuilt Franken Squier Strat which I took off an old 80s Ibanez Cimar prototype guitar. Photo enclosed.


    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021 at 9:38 AM
  10. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    Think about this: Fender switched from brass saddles to steel in 1954. I wasn't around at the time, but I doubt many players complained about a loss of tone or sustain.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021 at 6:06 PM
  11. beagle

    beagle Squier-holic

    Nov 19, 2017
    Tone? Brass makes not a lot of difference. Is it a Tele without three brass saddles? Not for me.
  12. pgsdixon

    pgsdixon Squier-Meister

    Jul 26, 2020
    Aurora, IL
    They won't make you sound different, but they'll look different. If you like the brass look better then go for it. If not, don't bother.
  13. Leo Jazzmaster

    Leo Jazzmaster Squier-Meister

    May 14, 2020
    West Tennessee
    I prefer the look of the brass saddles, and when I changed out the steel ones for brass on my CV tele it did (to my ears) alter the clean tone to be a bit fuller and less icy. Whether that percieved change is all in my head or real, I don't know. It is subtle, though, the change in tone. I like the wilkinson compensated saddles for the better intonation and the look, though. An eq pedal or just dialing in your amp to add or take away frequencies will yeild a more pronounced change to your tone, IMHO.
  14. fender4life

    fender4life Squier Talker

    Feb 18, 2016
    Like everything it depends on the player and how sensitive he hears. In my case it's not just a matter of brass vs steel, it;s brass vs brass too., In have used a bunch of them and every brand sounds different. Some VERY. Steel also varied between brands and different sets within a single brand at time. And because also like everything, it's 100% subjective. So i hate to say it, but getting THE answer for YOU is impossible. I will say however that ifu look at the stats it seems the vast majority of people prefer brass so it;s probably the one you will more likely prefer. But the big question IMO is WHICH brass. Theres a huge difference between some of them and to my ear at least some between all of them. My personal fav is fender compensated because to my ear more then any other saddle they don't color the sound They have no major peaks and valleys and because of that sound most balanced and full. It's possible however that with everything else in you guitar and rig that a set that IS colored might be better. But in most cases i always end back at the fenders after trying many sets because most teles i have had just have a fuller more balanced sound with them. Again, YMMV depending on your ear.
  15. surf green

    surf green Squier-holic

    Jul 15, 2014
    DSCN4809.JPG Brass saddles, brass nut, brass slide makes a difference.
  16. Zman

    Zman Squier-Meister

    Jan 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I owned both the 60s and the 50s CV teles. The 3 tone 60s classic had 3 metal saddles, and the 50s Butterscotch has 3 brass saddles. I never really liked the tone of the 60s and eventually sold it. The brass saddles made a difference to me. I am not sure if the pickups were a factor but they were both set up the same way by my guitar tech with D'Addario strings. I really like the 50s. Butterscotch. I was able to buy the first one that was available in our area. The owner of the store had to double check the price. The guitar looked like something 3 times the price. 349 Can. In 2011. I can't believe it is 10 years old already. Intonation still spot on.
  17. Paul McDermitt

    Paul McDermitt Squier Talker

    Jan 19, 2011
    I had brass on my tele with texas specials. The pickups seemed dead to me. I was digging down the rabbit hole of pickup replacements but everyone seems to love texas specials. I switched my brass to threaded steel and my tele came to life. It's an American Special 2011, it has been my main gigging guitar for ten years.

    Give it a try. It's a cheap and easy swap.
  18. Shaman

    Shaman Squier Talker

    May 18, 2020
    Middle Island, New York
    All of it...
    MrYeats, dbrian66 and JurnyWannaBe like this.
  19. driver8

    driver8 Squier-Meister

    Jun 19, 2020
    It's one of those things that you won't know if you prefer until you try it. Brass will take away some of the icepick high end (if you have it), but it can also take away some of the "zing" while adding its own overtones. I prefer steel to get more of the "bite" and attack, it just feels better to me. But a lot of it is guitar-dependent, meaning brass might sound better on an overly bright guitar. Saddles are pretty cheap and easy to change, so it doesn't take much to test it out and see if you like it.