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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:28 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
Posts: 2322
Location: Germany
Cool :thumbs I stubled upon the Mann website, but they only offer brass currently.

I already ordered the Wilkinson though, so I'll try that first. It's all steel with a big sustain block.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:01 pm 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
Posts: 2322
Location: Germany
Update: I cancelled the Wilkinson because the spacing was wrong and ordered just a set of steel saddles. They arrived today and I just installed them.

Wow. You would not believe the difference. HUGE. The original brass saddles sound very warm and every blues player will love them, but the steel saddles make it a totally different guitar. First, it's much louder even unplugged. And then it adds way more punch and pick attack, also the harmonics sound much sharper with a lot more high end overall. Now it's exactly what I wanted it to be, damn near perfect.

What I also found out, the action was much too low and thus bending a string one full step or more was quite hard to do. The height e to E was 1.5-1.9mm. Now I raised it to 1.7-2.25mm and it plays much much easier despite the higher action, feels way better. Raising the action was also required due to new saddles, because when picking really hard, the slight buzz of the string hitting the fretboard while vibrating got much more pronounced with steel. I guess the amplitude is also higher now. The neck relief is minimal, some 0.2-0.3mm at the 8th fret, the way I prefer.

I have to tune up just one last detail, the trem arm height. It's a push-in arm but it goes in all the way, so there's not much room for deep dives before you hit the body. Think almost one inch lower than the floyd arm. I have to insert something into the hole to make it stand higher, but it must be something I can remove later if I should ever think of reselling it. Maybe some paper tissue is the solution, that could be scraped out if I should ever want to remove it.

Anyway the saddles alone made a major difference, so if you should ever be in a similar situation, try playing with different materials, it can totally transform the tone and feel of the guitar.

I got these saddles (like those from GFS linked a few posts back, but with narower spacing) for less then 15 EUR from some british supplier, Graphtech and boutique strat tuner parts usually cost thrice as much.


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