Anyone use Graphtech saddles? Thoughts? (Strat warble)

mjh36

Active member
I have an Fender American special hss, I don't really have string break issues, but I got this G string warble I'm trying to diagnose. I know it's common in strats but I feel it shouldn't do it as much as it is. On open G and all of it's frets up the neck, even on a couple other strings on like the 20-22 frets. Like a sitar sounding warble. Sustain is ok though, so I wouldn't say it's fret buzz, action is good, fret clearance, nut seems ok (lsr roller) etc. Thought about magnetic pull, so pickups are decked.

Only thing I can think of is replacing some hardware as it's been 10+ years. Probably a new lsr roller nut, and I was looking at Graphtech saddles, the all Teflon ones like $50 bucks. I was hoping for any opinions? Or any other ideas would be welcome thanks.
 

music6000

Well-known member
Can you turn the Roller to a different spot on the G to determine if there is a wear spot causing the Buzz.
If you hold the G on the first fret & have String Buzz, it is not coming from the Nut.
 

mjh36

Active member
Can you turn the Roller to a different spot on the G to determine if there is a wear spot causing the Buzz.
If you hold the G on the first fret & have String Buzz, it is not coming from the Nut.
Ya you're right, it does it all the way up even up to the 22nd fret. I just figured no harm in getting a fresh one on anyway.

Also, today I noticed a tiny groove where the string sits, so I tried sanding the groove in the G saddle with wet/dry 220/500/1000/and 1200 grits. Looked good to me under a magnifying glass nice and smooth. Warble still persists though.

It's gotta be bridge/saddles, magnetic pull of pickups even though they are decked, or sympathetic vibrations, perhaps?

If it's sympathetic vibrations I'm selling it lol.
 

Ralfg

New member
It might be the springs for the trem and how the string resonates through them.

I’ve had a similar problem, I think I remember it just being an acoustic thing that didn’t get picked up by the pickup. Even if that’s not exactly the problem try padding the springs temporarily and see if that is the problem, before going through the hassle of replacing your saddles.
 

mjh36

Active member
It might be the springs for the trem and how the string resonates through them.

I’ve had a similar problem, I think I remember it just being an acoustic thing that didn’t get picked up by the pickup. Even if that’s not exactly the problem try padding the springs temporarily and see if that is the problem, before going through the hassle of replacing your saddles.
Hey thanks or the reply. Ya I tried that to no avail... so far here's my check list.

Depress string behind nut? Done, warble still there

Tuning higher or bending to higher pitch - Done, warble still there

Saddle screws - everything is making tight contact

Tremolo springs in cavity - I have foam to dampen them, warble still there.

I just adjusted the micro-tilt in the neck heel up, so I raised my bridge and saddles a bunch to compensate. Making the strings even further away. Still warbles, just quieter. So I dunno but ill probably lower the tilt back and the bridge down because I never had to setup a guitar like this.
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yazooligan

Member
I use the black Graphtech saddles on my Strat. No complaints, but it didn't have any huge tuning problems before putting them on.
 

mjh36

Active member
I use the black Graphtech saddles on my Strat. No complaints, but it didn't have any huge tuning problems before putting them on.
Hey thanks, even if I don't really figure out this sitar sounding buzz, I'll probably get a set of those saddles anyway to try.

Tonight I'm taking out my 2 single coils completely and leaving the humbucker, to see if it's coming from the magnetic pull or something else. Fingers crossed.
 

music6000

Well-known member
Put a piece of soft plastic (Doubled up Glad Wrap) between the G string & Roller saddle and see if it absorbs buzz
This is an Unwound string, Yes?
 

mjh36

Active member
Try checking that all your height adjustment screw for the saddles are all making solid contact to the bridge base. Or just try raising all the saddles in general and see if that helps.
Last night I gave that a go. I adjusted the micro-tilt for more angle and raised the bridge and saddles a bunch with pickups still decked. Same warble just quieter since the strings were like 1/2 inch from the top of the pole pieces.
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Here's a picture of how high I raised my bridge to get the action good after the micro-tilt shim adjustment. So far from the pickups and still a warble. On top of that, after resetting my action and bridge to what I had before, it now does it up and down the A string too.

Went to guitar center today to get strings while I diagnose this. Tonight I'm taking the singles out and leaving the humbucker. I played a couple strats at the store, a Schecter and a Fender players strat. Totally normal action, pickup height, etc. No warble on G string, well a tiny bit on the 14th fret like most strats. Nothing like mine. And the guitar I was playing had similar action/bridge height/etc. As my guitar at home. I will update after this pickup thing to rule out magnetic pull.
 

mjh36

Active member
Put a piece of soft plastic (Doubled up Glad Wrap) between the G string & Roller saddle and see if it absorbs buzz
This is an Unwound string, Yes?
I will try that. Unwound G string yes. It does do it on every fret 1-22 as well so I'm thinking it shouldn't be the nut, but you never know. I'll replace all hardware piece by piece if I have to.

Tonight I'm taking the single coils out and leaving the humbucker to see if it really is magnetic pull or something else.
 

FScan

New member
As someone who has had lots of Strats I'm sure the warble isn't caused by magnetic pull on the string. Stratitis, as it's known, can happen on the low E and maybe low A if the neck pickup is adjusted too high. A plain G string doesn't have the mass to be affected by the pickup.

If you haven't changed the G string I would try that. Also, make sure sure both height adjustment screws are touching the tremolo plate, it is possible for one of the screws to barely touch.
 

mjh36

Active member
So went to guitar center and got some strings and played a few guitars, like this Fender players strat:
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It played great. It was setup good, pickups and bridge all normal. All notes rang true and clear. A little warble on the 14th fret that's fine though.

Got home and took off the bridge on my guitar and took out the single coils. Changed the humbucker to a Seymour Duncan Full Shred because I was going to anyway.
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Got everything put back and setup with new strings and one humbucker. Still warble on the G string going up all frets, even the 22nd. Now it's creeping into the A and D strings, up all frets. Actually since last night after I raised and lowered the bridge I noticed it on more strings.

I also tightened everything, nuts, screws etc, but they were all secure.

It's hard to hear the warble acoustically, or on a clean channel, but you can. It's when using overdrive/distortion it really stands out. Sustain is ok though, notes aren't dying out.

So, not magnetic pull for sure. It's gotta be a bridge/saddle area issue but I don't know what. Everything's rock solid. Either that or it's some weird resonance that I will never fix.

I don't know what else I can do but see a good tech or start buying hardware with crossed fingers.
 

mjh36

Active member
Hey guys this is a long thread at Strat-talk, these are a couple posts from there I copied just to see if anyone has ideas about my guitar. If you are interested and like reading (a lot), here's the link, there's sound clips:


Graphtech saddles did not help. Problem persists, warbly sound on every string somewhat except high E. Even on 22nd fret, so nothing but string and saddle after that.
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Even if I pluck the string very gently, I can still hear it. This is with overdrive on so I can hear it better. Notes ring out fine, duration-wise, just not a true constant tone, warble continues as the note decays.

Tightened baseplate screws, they were fine as is. Went up and down guitar listening for buzzing. Everything is tight nothing abnormal. Action is high enough not to have fretting out of notes, they all clear the next fret as you go up the neck. I dunno my energy is spent on this. I guess I'll try a new bridge but not hopeful.

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So sent Graphtech saddles back and took it to a tech/luthier for a few days. He said it's my hot bridge pickup magnetic pull, that I use too much gain, and that I'm being too picky. He suggested taking my humbucker out and try that, since I tried removing the single coils.

So here's with no humbucker and heatshrink wrapped around a few strings at the ball end and up thru the baseplate just as an experiment. Warble persists.
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Listen ya'll I'm no tech, but remove bridge pickup and I'm too picky? Single coils almost always have more pull. The G string sounds horrible! Other strings sound horrible 12th fret and up.

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Ordered a Gotoh 510, didn't work.

At first I put just the bridge on without its hardware, and I thought I heard improvement. So proceeded to swap the bridge assembly hardware. I wanted to change everything, so the trem claw/screws, springs, bushing and studs all got put in.
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I could say there's a very tiny bit of improvement, but its probably the new strings. Every note on the G string sounds just as before. Also the a, d, b strings in that 12th fret and up still have that shaky warble.

I will say the Gotoh bridge is pretty nice though. Fit perfect, just barely with zero filing. Tuning stability is better. It sounds good tone-wise. The slightly larger string spacing of 2 1/8" is barely noticeable and I like it anyway.

So I'm left to think it's literally the body or the neck. I tapped up and down on the neck with my ear against it with no strings, and it sounds solid. I've done that all over the guitar trying to find something. But I can't help to think there's some sorta truss rod/neck/body resonance issue.
 

music6000

Well-known member
I tried 9 to 42's on my Tele's & Maya Strat years ago when it was in Vogue.
I was getting similiar issues to what you describe & I went back to 10 to 46's & never looked back.
Neck relief plays a big part on strings buzzing & choking too!
If you are Detuning, this will only be exaggerated in my experiences.

Other members can chime in if they have their thoughts on this.
 

Gordo

Well-known member
My tele was doing a similar thing and I never did sort it out. I went from 9's to 11's (normally played 10's) and it disappeared. I like the feel of the heavier strings. I have a tendency to death-grip the neck and it makes my tuning accuracy a lot better. Plus making silly faces when you bend strings now happens for a reason :)

Couple of things you could try. Do you use the tremolo? Might be worth blocking it to see if that corrects it at all, at least temporarily. Also straighten the neck or even overbow it to tighten the truss rod to see if you're getting any weird resonances from it. While you're at it stuff some foam or a sock or something under the strings behind the nut to rule that out. Did your tech check the nut to make sure the slots are angled from front to back? You can usually hear them buzz at the nut but maybe it's subtle enough.

Good luck, it's a maddening process, especially on a guitar you don't want to walk away from.
 
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