Rolling saddles vs. the stock slidin' grooved saddles

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Jena, May 5, 2019.

    The stock 12" radius nickel/nickel steel bridge has the grooved saddles . . .


    . . . jus' wonderin' if a bridge replacement with roller saddles would make much difference (?) either theoretically or in reality/ practical experience. (They are a few bucks cheaper, so maybe these rollers are a cheaper material than the slider grooves ?)



    The afterlength after the saddles will be longer and less steep after the mods, fwiw.
    Thanks in advance for critique or comments.
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  1. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    It will help, but so will reducing the break angle behind the bridge (Biggsfix). The strings also don’t slide so much as ping/ratchet along the grooves. Before that, the standard TOM will rock on the posts at any point along the way before the strings slide. Same with a roller, except the wound strings will roll instead of getting hung up, once past the ‘give’ point.

    I prefer the ABM, it’s a quality machined roller but hard to find in the States it seems. I should of kept my extra ABM but oh well.
    hcsterg and benjwri like this.
  2. Thanks for the input.
    That break angle off the saddles will be less steep as the strings past the bridge will be seated farther back with the mod, so about where the middle of the B50 is now. And mentioning that tremolo, I'd imagine that the roller saddles would be counter-productive to a Bigsby (?) - just rolling on the whanmy bending.

    I found titanium saddles (?) . . . hmmm.
    A bottle of Zinfandel can maybe help me decide here.

    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  3. Heck with the money I'll save on going without the titanium saddles . . .
    I could buy at least one and maybe two boxes BOXES of Franzia Rhine or Zinfandel . . .

    The ebayer seller that I have been ordering some parts from sells Allparts stuff, and they undercut Allparts online price with this Gotoh part no. - if they are the same as Allparts this time.

    Hmmm . . . I might need another glass of white grape juice before I pull the trigger on new parts.

    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Just going on experience. I've been down a few rabbit holes and tried many bridges. The hands down best Bigsby experience I've had (sensitivity+stability) was with a B6c V-cut and a secured post ABM roller bridge, 7 degree break angle, and a Rev soft spring. The nut was stock on a Fairlane G5420T. The tone/sustain resembled a solid bar bridge. Worked for me, but there are many ways to skin a cat.
    MentalTossFlycoon and Jena like this.
  5. I value all youse here on the forums experience, advice, and critique . . .
    I just came about that roller saddle and was not planning on posting and am jus' looking for any experts' opinion on them.

    And maybe it's patent things or trademark, but they also change stuff on each knockoff part - little stuff - to avoid a lawsuit ? I'm being picky I know - lol.

    And for what it's worth . . . wouldn't the Gretsch space control bridge be a kinda roller too (?) - maybe not perfect for using the tremolo. I dunno.

    I am not doing the lefty Bigsby on this practice guitar, but I still have enough righty stuff in the way that this B50 ultimately will be unscrewed out of the sides of the space centre block.
  6. benjwri

    benjwri Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2011
    Central ON Can
    w/wo a Bigsby roller bridges make playing easier...esp bending!
    Jena likes this.
  7. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    hey @Jena .. just an FYI
    I always liked a roller bridge when a Bigsby is involved .. Round string should " roll " across the bridge as opposed to round strings " scraping " across a blade
    hcsterg, 5120mantis and Jena like this.
  8. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    I have an ABM on my 6128 and couldn't be happier. It always seemed that the shorter scale produced more tension and made it harder for strings to return to pitch on a regular tune 0 matic style bridge. They can be made to work of course, but a good roller eliminates the need for that effort altogether. When it comes to bridges and saddles, the cheaper stuff just isn't worth it. On my 6119, I have a Compton.

    As for roller saddles being counterproductive to a Bigsby, it's not an issue for me. Keep in mind, a Bigsby is your best friend when you don't have properly sculpted nuts or bridges as it allows you to equalize all the forces momentarily and thus encourage return to pitch.
    MentalTossFlycoon and Jena like this.
  9. I am only finding the large post bridges with roller saddles part nos. that are for a 14.5" radius . . . so far.

    Some of the saddle ones I've found with 12" radius have saddle blanks where you file the slots / grooves, to get custom size slots for each string.

    I doubt filing of nickel or -lol- titanium saddle slots is VERY much fun.

    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  10. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2011
    Roller bridge, or even a rocking bar though the intonation with a rocking bar won't be as accurate.
    I use both.
    Jena likes this.
  11. MentalTossFlycoon

    MentalTossFlycoon Gretschie

    Dec 22, 2018
    I recently installed a ABM roller on my 5420 and couldn't be happier. I know there are a lot of low $$ roller bridge offerings out there that make one pause at spending 130 bones for a roller bridge, but the workmanship and finish alone of the ABM make it more than worth the price of admission.
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    Jena and MotorCentaur like this.
  12. The correct metric size bit to re-drill the stud post holes - 11mm - was just ordered on ebay from Hong Kong over the weekend - so I won't need to decide for a few weeks at least.

    So this area is covered right now by cardstock and the stock bridge is held down in position by string tension.
    Jpg below is just after tape, etc. pulled up after sanding top of plugs flush.
    Glue was messy and while most on newspaper etc., clean-up was needed at that near right side of B50 - I am sure glad I didn't use epoxy with the the rosewood plugs.

    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  13. Well, I have found the aftermarket replacement bridge with roller saddles - at Stew-Mac in a normal price range . . .


    Brass rollers in chrome, nickel, gold, and black finishes on a 12" saddle radius. But many mods wouldn't be able to use this as it comes with the smaller stud / post bushings, although I am re-drillin' . . . hmmm


    Looks like this decision calls for a consultation with a glass or five of Merlot . . .
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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