Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Melita saddles

1

I'm pretty sure the saddles on my old Electro II (6192, I think) , are Bakelite.\ Has anybody made/experimented with different saddles? I know they might contribute to That Great Gretsch Sound, but I also have no problem keeping the nylon ones from my '69 ES330 where they belong...in the case compartment. What are on the repro Melitas? Do they fit in the original?

3

Hard to choose between buffalo horn and cow bone! ;) Anybody have any experience with any of these?

4

Why yes,I use the bone on my Penguin...to my ears with Dynas it’s a very nice tonal blend.

5

In my very non-scientific, uneducated opinion, original Melitta saddles were not Bakelite. There is a fibrous brittleness to Bakelite that is not present in Melita saddles.

6

surprised you don't like the nylon tune-a-matic saddles. I think they're great.

7

I think a lot of people (myself included) have used "Bakelite" as a generic term to describe early plastic stuff. Not always chemically accurate, but it differentiates from other, more organic materials common to that period.

8

I have an Embiematic bridge on my white Penguin with Bakelite saddles and it’s sonic bliss! I called a spoke with Matt about the different choices and he recommended the Bakelite. My original bridge had some sort of plastic saddles and well the whole think was a tone suck.

9

Bakelite is a cast phenol resin that predated injection molding. There were other similar proprietary products, such as catalin that came about after its patent expired in 1927, but many use the term Bakelite as a shorthand to refer to this type of product as opposed to later plastics.

10

The stock ones sound great and work well with the Bigsby. I experimented many years ago with aluminum and brass, but it didn't improve the tone or sustain. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the stock plastic, and it doesn't bind the strings when using the Bigsby. I've never seen bakelite used...it would be too brittle. Those thumb screws have to be discarded immediately though. Nobody ever kept them, even in the 50's.

11

I bought a real NOS Melita (in the box) from Fatdog at Subway Guitars in Berkely in the early '80's and it worked great. The gold one that came on my '59 Clipper had off-gassed onto the top leaving burn marks under the base feet and was a total tone-suck. The ealier versions of the Melita seemed to made of a harder plastic, maybe something like bakelite.

12

You talked me into leaving it alone. The question came on the heels of installing a sound post as an attempt to cut down on feedback. I haven't plugged it in and cranked it up yet, but it sure sounds like feces acoustically now.

13

You talked me into leaving it alone. The question came on the heels of installing a sound post as an attempt to cut down on feedback. I haven't plugged it in and cranked it up yet, but it sure sounds like feces acoustically now.

– charlie chitlins

That’s always been my issue with the stock saddles.I like to play unplugged a bit and to me,just my opinion the stockers sound dim and dull,no bite but great plugged up.


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