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REVIEW IN TEXT

saddle singers floyd rose string break solution

Review written by Martyn Booth from ‘Guitarist’ Magazine

It has been three of four months since I first spotted Dave Beeson’s Saddle Singers on ‘What’s New’.
As a guitarist, repairer and gigging ‘naked without Floyd Rose’ guitarist I could immediately see important advantages if this product really worked.

So I called up DB, put on my best reviewer’s purloining voice and duly received a set of Saddle Singers to try out on my own guitar.

During these three months I have thoroughly tested the claims made for Saddle Singers and can now put Dave’s mind at rest – they’re GREAT !!!


Attention Floyd Rose Users.

a) Do you break strings on every gig?

There are three main causes:

1) Sometimes a groove wears in the top of the saddle and the sharp edges damage the strings at the peak of the saddle.

2) If your strings are breaking at the top of the string lamping block, the cause is a groove worn into the back of the saddle where the clamp has pressed the string into the softer metal.

3) You are a heavy-handed maniac who thrashes guitars to within an inch of their lives.


Problems 1) and 2) can both be solved by fitting Saddle Singers. As for 3) …. Hopeless case.


b) Do your strings (especially the plain ones) constantly go flat? 
The cause again, is probably wear between saddle and clamp which allows the string to slip in the groove it has worn for itself.  Fit a Saddle Singer.

c) Have you noticed a deterioration of tone?
Once you have worn through the thin plating on the saddle, the rate of wear accelerates and this damage can inhibit the natural vibration of the string. Try Saddle Singers!

d)
Have you ever really been happy with the tone of your guitar?
Maybe a friend has mentioned that some locking tremolo systems give a hard metallic sound to guitars. As Saddle Singers are made of brass, they can significantly soften the tone of a lock-trem loaded guitar.



HOW AND WHY TO SADDLE SINGERS WORK?

By inserting a thin brass barrier between the hard steel string and the saddle, wear to both is diminished considerably.
 

Because the Saddle Singer is not rigidly fixed, there is room for a small amount of movement.
It acts more like a protective coating to the string than a fixture to the saddle and has the effect of reducing the amount the string cuts in to the Saddle Singer.

As brass is significantly softer than steel, it is the Saddle Singer that takes the brunt of the wear leaving the saddle unharmed.

In addition, as the string is only in contact with the softer brass, its life expectancy is prolonged.
The laws of physics demand that eventually something has to give, and the Saddle Singer ultimately sacrifices itself to save your saddles.

DB estimates you will get 8 to 12 months working life from a set (cost £x.).
Since replacement saddles cost £15 each and assuming you increase the life of your strings by a third (which has been my experience over the last three months) you won’t need to be an accountant to do your own cost benefit analysis!

Finally, there is literally still one more ‘edge’ that the Saddle Singer gives you.
Floyd Rose licensed tremolo systems usually have rounded saddle peaks to reduce string breakage, although a more desirable tone is achieved if the string leaves the saddle at a clearly defined point.
When Saddle Singers are installed the string to peak angle is approximately 90 degrees.
 
This edge eliminates the dampening effect that a rounded peak has on the string but still does not cause breakage because, as I said before, the brass is too soft to cut into the string.



CONCLUSION


I am a real fan of neat and simple ideas like the Saddle Singer.
With careful installation and minor adjustments to your guitars action height to compensate for a few thousandths of an inch they add to the saddle peak, they will seem like a gift from the gods to many frustrated and anxious locking tremolo users.

Unfortunately they don’t fit all locking systems, but are suitable for the common, true Floyd Rose derivatives.

At £x you can’t really go wrong, can you!
Installation instructions are clearly explained on the pack and if we all buy Saddle Singers it shouldn’t be long before the price comes down even cheaper!