This is a direct replacement for American Standard or American Deluxe guitars, for those players wanting a vintage 3-saddle-bridge sound. Made of high strength steel, the bridge plate has a lower, cleaner profile than the stock plate, allowing for better muting. The steel plate will dramatically increase sustain, volume, response time, and string balance of an American Standard guitar compared to the stock brass plate. String holes have a full radius edge like the stock plate. The change is as significant as changing your pickups. Please note that American Standard and Vintage plates are not interchangeable.
Fender's pre-2008 factory bridge is a chromed brass plate with cast stainless saddles, and this combination will not yield that great Tele tone that is in most peoples' ears and minds.
It is important to note that a vintage bridge will not fit on an American Standard. The hole pattern and locations are completely different. Callaham is sometimes asked to make American Standard bridges with sides, but they don't offer this. The sides on the original bridge were there only as a mounting surface for the cover, which nobody uses. Callaham notes that they are aware of no guitar that puts an obstruction in the way of the player's picking with the exception of a vintage Tele, and they consider the American Standard plate to be an improvement. Their plate matches the factory plate dimensionally so that a proper setup is easily achieved, providing for a quick, drop-in installation.
It is extremely important that an instrument intonate correctly, and Callaham guarantees this with their saddles. It's equally important that the strings don't touch the height adjustment screws, which can be a problem on Fender bridges and their copies. Callaham ensures that this won't be a problem with their saddles by using smaller-diameter set screws, and moving them out closer to the ends of the saddles. Additionally, they are the only manufacturer that buffs every saddle, by hand, to a high luster. This allows the string to rest on a perfectly smooth surface. They also install height-adjustment screws of the correct length, preventing the screws from protruding up above the saddles and causing discomfort to the picking hand.
Callaham's saddles are available in either brass or stainless steel. The brass has a warmer tone and the steel has more punch and sustain. Two methods of compensation (intonation adjustment) are available: original "slant" compensation, or "enhanced vintage" compensation. The enhanced vintage saddles were introduced for those who want to maintain a complete vintage look, and offer excellent intonation. They offer the same benefits of Callaham's original slant-compensated saddles, but with the 90° (right-angle) look of original '50s saddles.
A problem with some saddles that are currently available is that they touch each other firmly. Some manufacturers state this as having been an intended design consideration, but their logic is flawed, since this design has the consequence of allowing sympathetic vibrations from one string to influence the vibrations of another string, causing dissonant overtones that can drive players crazy (especially at high volume). It's this type of vibration that occurs on acoustic guitars, with their single saddle, and that can contribute to beating tones when certain chords are played, and phasing problems on other chords. Callaham purposely avoids firm contact between their saddles for this reason.
• Country of Manufacture: USA
• String spacing: 2-1/16" (2.062" / 52.4mm)
• Saddles: "enhanced vintage" compensated stainless steel
• Fits: American Series
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