Product Test - GraphTech 'String Saver' Saddles
I'm very keen on product testing as many of the items I plan to offer on the store. There are a few good reasons behind that thought, with the main one being that I like to have a personal experience of a product. Try it for myself, not just read what the tech specs say and relay that onto others. Also, see if they are as good as they look! 
One of those items I wanted to talk about in particular, was the 'String Saver' Saddles made by GraphTech. I'd seen a few well known players swear by them, and fit them to each guitar they use. Players like Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Simon Neil for example both equipping each and every guitar they play with these very saddles. So I thought I'd check them out for myself once I secured the opportunity to offer them here at Home of Tone. I've had these fitted for a couple of months now, with daily use, so I felt now was a good time to share my thoughts.

First Impressions:
First of all the material and quality struck me first. The Graphite material unique to GraphTech really does look purposeful and is very smooth to the touch. I also liked the recessed saddle height grub screws, a nice touch. Quality of finish was bang on, no nasty factory mishaps, so a nice clean product all round really. These came with different length screws for use on a Tele also, if you wanted to convert your three saddle bridge to become a 6 saddle model. 

As simple as can be when it came to fitting these saddles. Obviously a single screw per saddle removed the old units, and popping these on required the same in reverse. You can reduce a little bit of set up time here by marking using masking tape, where your old saddles were positioned before removing. But I knew this guitar needed a bit of attention with a full set up anyway, so a simple out with the old, in with the new for me. 
Adjusting both intonation and string height is the same as usual saddles, with a Philips head screw at the tail end of the bridge for intonation and a small Allen key (also supplied with the saddles) to adjust the string height. 

How do they sound!:
After getting the guitar strung and tuned up, the first thing that hit me was the difference in volume and resonance. Wow! This Strat had the usual standard Fender steel vintage style saddles, which of course are a staple design to this day. But these are notably louder over the stock saddles, making the guitar feel very lively. Acoustically I could notice some lovely harmonics introduced, which is always welcome to my ears. Plugged in, there was a difference in tone, but not a bad thing. Those acoustic harmonics were of coursed transferred through the pickups also, meaning there were some lovely mids that weren't there before. I personally didn't notice a drop in treble that some people report, not one worth mentioning anyway. The bass end sounds very full, which for the strat tone I go for is perfect. Although not a direct part to affect tuning stability, I do feel that because of the material, whilst using the trem bar it seems to settle in tune a lot better than before. One thing that used to drive me crazy with the previous saddles, so I'm glad I can now use the trem and trust it'll stay in tune. 

Overall I'm really impressed! I think they look great, even on a vintage style guitar like my no.1 Strat that I tested them on. Okay, if their styling isn't to your taste, then perhaps looking at an uprated cold rolled steel saddle swap may be better suited to you, but If you're not fussed about looks and just want them for the tone, then you will not be disappointed. They make a nice & noticable improvement to the tone of the guitar, and help with tuning stability whilst using the trem (in my experience). What's not to like!
So as a result, I decided to offer these here at Home of Tone, a GraphTech product personally used and tested by myself and one I'll happily recommend to my customers.

Thanks for reading our first 'Product Test' blog posts, keep checking by to read more!


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