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REVIEW IN TEXT

saddle singers floyd rose string break solution

Review written by Dave Gladden of ‘Guitar’ Magazine

Saddle Singers are the brainchild of Dave Beeson of DB Enterprises.
Frustrated and annoyed by the alarming frequency with which he found strings breaking on his Floyd Rose trem equipped guitar.

Dave remembered the old maxim – when the going gets tough, the tough get inventing.
His solution to string breaks at the saddle was this – a set of specially shaped brass shims that install in seconds and dramatically increase the life expectancy of strings fitted thereafter.

To understand how Saddle Singers work one must appreciate that plain guitar strings and the cores of wound strings are made of extremely hard steel – often considerably harder than the metal used for the bridge saddles themselves.

In time, the clamping surface of the saddle begins to wear, and clamping efficiency is reduced.
(Ever had trouble with your plain strings slipping out of tune?)
The contact point between the top of the saddle and the string is also subject to wear and tear, and again a little groove eventually appears in the top of the saddle.

At each side of this groove a sharp edge develops, and it is this edge that proves to be the string killer.
The thinnest plain strings and the thinner wound strings are obviously the most vulnerable, but once saddle wear starts to occur any string is liable to premature expiry.
The idea behind Saddle Singers’ brass shims is that they provide constantly renewable surface at both the contact and clamping points.

The beauty of brass is that it is soft enough to allow itself to deform, effectively smoothing out the points of wear and conforming to the perfect shape to hold and support the string securely.



SOUNDS

Saddle Singers do alter the tone of your guitar and in a very positive way.
You will still be able to pull all of your favourite split harmonic squawks and chirps but with Saddle Singers fitted your rhythm tones will sound noticeably richer, fuller and a lot more commanding.

This to me is the real surprise – that things so small can have such a big effect on tone.
That each string is now sitting on what is effectively a brass sleeved saddle will make some difference, but it’s noticeable also that the break angle (the angle the string takes downwards over the bridge) becomes more acute, and this also seems to contribute to an improved tone.

Given that some players are abandoning trems altogether purely to maximise tone, Saddle Singers offer a far less radical solution.



STRING LIFE

Having given the Saddle Singers to several guitarists for extensive field tests, TMG found that a set of strings was still going strong – at best – nine months after fitting (this being in line with Beeson’s own claim of an 8 – 12 month working life).
 
The general experience is that the strings are more likely to suffer a slow natural death than suddenly break from fatigue. Interestingly, the players with the most tortuous trem technique felt they got the best value from these devices.



VERDICT

No more broken strings, better tuning stability and better tone….and all for £x.
These Saddle Singers are considerably cheaper and more convenient than replacing an entire set of saddles.
(assuming you can find someone prepared to order new saddles for you) so they have to come highly recommended.

What are you waiting for ?