Graphtech String Savers TEST comparison

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by BIGRIGG, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. BIGRIGG

    BIGRIGG SS.org Regular

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    Hey there,
    I'm about to install a set of 7 string saver classics on an OFR. Curious if anyone is interested in a comparison between OFR steel and the Graphtech?
    I would use new strings, play the same exact gear, same chords etc and planned on recording DI with Pro Tools and using a freq analyzer to look at the EQ and spectrum results. See if there is any tonal change like a "spike" at 2khz and bla bla. I believe with the Classics, Graphtech claims there should be little change. Less string breakage and more tuning stability. Not much in the way of freq response or "tone."

    Any interested in the results? I don't want to go to the trouble if it's just for my own twisted interest. I haven't really seen this done or compared.
    Thanks
     
  2. AwDeOh

    AwDeOh SS.org Regular

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    Definitely - any LM&C regular will be interested.
     
  3. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Comparisons on materials, alloys et al are few, so it'll be interesting.
     
  4. sandalhat

    sandalhat SS.org Regular

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    Yes! Please do it, I'm very interested. I'd like to hear the recordings too, because I think it's highly possible that you'll notice some tiny differences on the spectrum analyses and then wonder - "OK, but can I hear that?"
     
  5. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Interested in seeing this, too. I did the change a few months ago on my Squier (from pot metal to the SS's), and I did notice a more mellow, fatter sound. Hopefully this'll show that there was an actual change and not just my ears playng tricks. :lol:
     
  6. Yo_Wattup

    Yo_Wattup Kick the Butterfly

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    Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
     
  7. mikolo

    mikolo SS.org Regular

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    got a much fatter cleaner sound when i swapped out the poopy stock saddles on my 7321
     
  8. BIGRIGG

    BIGRIGG SS.org Regular

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    Hello Everyone!

    Forgive the length of this post, but I want to be as thorough and fair as possible.....

    I hope you will like this review of my experience and testing with the Graphtech Classic Saddles VS the OFR. I have no affiliation with Graphtech and no hidden agenda. Just want to help any of you interested to make a better informed decision. Below I have attached photos of the Graphtech saddles installed, their parts vs the OFR side by side and a screenshot of Pro Tools testing showing Waves PAZ Frequency Analyzer.

    I will start with the Frequency Analyzer tests. I used brand new Elixer strings 0.10 - 0.56. Guitar was a Guerrilla Massacre 7 string. Recorded with all the same levels DI into Pro Tools. There are 4 VS. tests on the screen shot. I played ALL strings open in a strumming pattern. I played only the open low B string. I played only the open G string. I played the high E string fretted at the 12th fret. Standard tuning.

    All were done with the Graphtech Classics installed and with the OFR steel saddles. Everything was the same in the tests. I chose these to give a wide spectrum of frequencies from low to high. To my ears, they were very similar and I believe they have no negative effects on tone and sustain etc.
    I don't believe I noticed any enhancements, but Graphtech isn't claiming any with the Classics. They are just claiming less string breakage and improved tuning. So I believe they live up to their claims and "sound" wise are good.

    HOWEVER, this is where things get ugly.....
    as you can hopefully see in the photos, there are many issues with their retrofit qualities. I will list them and describe inherent issues:

    1. The Graphtech saddles are 14/32" wide and the OFR are 13/32" wide.
    This is a small difference however it does cause them to be slightly misaligned, throws the high E and low B strings out of center with the pickup poles and most importantly, causes the tremolo arm to be JAMMED tight against the high E saddle. It is NOT possible to turn the adjustment. You can't install or remove the arm. It's jammed in place. Once you add up seven saddles with an extra 1/32", you've got approx another 7/32" of width on your bridge. Way too much of a tolerance spec. issue.

    2. The Graphtech saddles do not have an angled back, lower edge to match the backing plate. They are at a 90 degree cut. The OFR has an angled back to match. This allows for more intonation range and fine tuner range. This would be a very easy fix for Graphtech OR you could take them to a grinder yourself??

    3. The Graphtech saddles do not have an open end cut out for the intonation at the front of the saddles. The OFR does. This again limits the intonation range AND you must fully remove the lock down screw to remove or install the Graphtech saddles.

    4. The Graphtech string lock blocks are larger than the OFR. Too large. I could not install either the low B or low E strings at 0.46 and 0.56. I did however swap the blocks with the OFR's and this worked. Again, not a good retrofit.

    5. The Graphtech saddles are more forward at the actual contact point with the string than the OFR. This once again, caused an issue with LESS intonation adjustment moving away from the fretboard. A very common adjustment needed on 7 string and lower tunings.

    6. The Graphtech saddles contact is HIGHER than the OFR and raises your action. I believe you could lower the pivot posts to compensate, but still another PIA for a retrofit.

    To summarize, the tone, sound etc seemed fine and I really wish these would have been more accurate in tolerances for size and function. Almost all of these issues could be simply fixed by Graphtech.
    Unfortunately I will have to return them as the issues are not acceptable and have left me with a guitar I can't properly intonate and a jammed tremolo bar. :noway:
    I may try to contact Graphtech to see what kind of response they have and level of service.
    I have no crazy hatred or bla bla towards Graphtech. I am definitely dissatisfied and disappointed. I really wanted these to work and I liked their concept.

    If you have any further questions I may not have answered, I will try to respond in a timely manner and I hope this helped.
    Now I've got to go back and install the OFR saddles. :wallbash:
    [​IMG]


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  9. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Very interesting, thanks.
     

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