The bridge saddles are an extremely important component of your guitar. They’re necessary for precise intonation, of course, but if your saddles aren’t efficiently transferring the energy from the string to the body, you’re not getting all you can out of your axe. Enter KTS Musical Products. They create titanium small parts for guitars, including bridges, saddles, and even truss rods and reinforcement products. The company’s aim is to enhance sustain, harmonic content and the touch-sensitivity of your guitar or bass.
I gave KTS’s 6-piece Telecaster saddles a test-drive on my beloved old home-made Telecaster. These saddles can be installed onto Tele 6-way vintage-style bridges including USA and Japanese models. Other Telecaster models include PR-08 Quattro ’68 Style Tele saddles with grooves for the strings; PR-08 Tele Barrel Saddles for Fender Japan Telecasters; and PR-08WD Tele Compensated Saddles which are designed for better intonation.
(Other saddles offered by KTS include individual saddles for Tune-O-Matic style bridges (for original Gibson ABR-1 and Nashville-style bridges as well as variants by Gotoh and Tokiwa); complete ABR-1 and Nashville-style complete bridges; Syncrhonised Tremolo saddles for Japanese, Narrow Size, US Size and American Standard Strat (offset) models; and even Mustang/Jaguar/Jazzmaster, Jazz Bass plain and threaded saddles, and block inserts for Floyd Rose style bridges. Finally, there’s a complete Jazz Bass style bridge available.)
I installed and intonated my new Telecaster saddles within about 30 minutes. It was as easy as removing the old saddles and screwing the new ones in. It’s got to be the easiest tone-enhancing mod I’ve ever performed.
So is there a noticeable difference?
You betchya! Although I’ve always loved my Tele for its vibe and solid, woody tone, I certainly didn’t love its lack of sustain or detail. Before the upgrade, notes seemed to suddenly swell up after the initial attack, then rapidly fade away. I’d just learned to live with it, and adjusted my expectations of the guitar accordingly. After the upgrade though, the guitar took on a whole new character. It acquired sharper treble, tighter bass, and a warm, bright upper midrange. The tone went from a clumsy ‘thunk’ to a pronounced ‘braaaaaaang.’ I find that now I’m more likely to play ringing open chords and arpeggios as well as pedal steel-style country licks – techniques I never really performed on that particular guitar before. I also noticed that sustain was dramatically improved, as was note volume from string to string. These saddles have unlocked the inner awesome of my beloved Tele. Check out the Sound Analysis page of the KTS website for a visual explanation of exactly what these saddles will do for your tone.
As I said, this has got to be the simplest, easiest, yet most beneficial ways to improve your tone. You might even fall in love with your guitar all over again, like I have with my Tele.