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Graphtech replacement saddles 2005 FLY

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 3:59 pm
by Thomerz
Hey

I have a 2005 refined Fly deluxe (majik blue #dreamguitar) and bought it used 2 years ago.
The low E and A saddle had some wear in that the finish was going and the copper underlayer is showing. It seems stabilised as it didn't get worse whilst I have the guitar.
However, Graphtech still makes replacement parts, thus I would like to buy them before they stop production and mine get corroded to bad.

Can anyone confirm if the graphtech is a drop in replacement? Graphtech already did that via mail, but just want to ask the experts to be 100% sure ;)

Re: Graphtech replacement saddles 2005 FLY

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 4:49 pm
by vjmanzo
Hi @Thomerz and welcome!

The saddles themselves are similarly-sized to the existing saddles, and many users here have had great success with them as replacements. The piezo elements are affixed to the saddles just like the OEM saddles you have, however you may want to replace the Fishman Powerchip with the companion Graphtech Ghost preamp. There’s a guide in the electronics section as well as a USM-era technical bulletin notice explaining why they recommended Graphtech saddles toward the end there.

If you’d prefer to keep the Fishman power chip, you’ll need to get the Graphtech saddles to the existing summing board. Some players here have described that mixing and matching saddles and preamps can add noise or artifacts, but it’s certainly not wrong or impossible to mix those components.

Congrats on your dream guitar!

Re: Graphtech replacement saddles 2005 FLY

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 9:33 pm
by billy
Congrats! Agree with VJ.

Fwiw The graphtech saddles are my favorite. I personally haven’t had issues using powerchip with them. Some do feel the ghost preamp is noisy though.

Re: Graphtech replacement saddles 2005 FLY

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2022 5:15 am
by Thomerz
I've done some more research and don't get how you can ground the strings with these saddles.
As the Graphtech saddle do not conduct and the rest of the bridge doesn't seem to do either, how do you ground the strings?

Re: Graphtech replacement saddles 2005 FLY

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2022 8:04 am
by vjmanzo
Hi Thomerz,

Just to confirm: are you trying to use the Graphtech saddles with the Fishman Powerchip?

Re: Graphtech replacement saddles 2005 FLY

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2022 1:10 pm
by mmmguitar
@Thomerz, You can run a ground wire from the blob of solder where the Fishman elements were previously summed on the underside of the trem to the back of a pot or other common grounding. The strings ground via the ball ends being seated in the bridge. Over the years, I've read anecdotes about some older D'Addarios with painted ball ends allegedly failing to ground in Parker bridges, but haven’t seen any complaints since anodizing became the standard.

Re: Graphtech replacement saddles 2005 FLY

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:30 pm
by Gregsaab
billy wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 9:33 pm Congrats! Agree with VJ.

Fwiw The graphtech saddles are my favorite. I personally haven’t had issues using powerchip with them. Some do feel the ghost preamp is noisy though.
I have been considering trying these out, mostly for the claimed added sustain. Do you feel that they positively affect sustain?

Re: Graphtech replacement saddles 2005 FLY

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:59 pm
by vjmanzo
Gregsaab wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:30 pm Do you feel that they positively affect sustain?
FWIW—my personal view is that claims about aftermarket mechanical components adding sustain are difficult to quantify. The original Fly has a lot of sustain because it was built a certain way, and the materials Ken chose, at best, subtract only a little from the sustain that the instrument wants to do. I think the Graphtech saddles also subtract very little. The Graphtech as a replacement that “adds sustain” to an instrument might be more noticeable on other guitars like Fenders and Gibsons where they often skimp on part materials to keep costs low, but I don’t think you’ll notice anything significant in the sustain department by replacing your saddles on a Fly—I don’t. I replaced the saddles on one of my Strats with the Graphtech saddles and I did notice added sustain.

A good setup with a well-cut nut and the right action will, in my opinion, be more noticeable as far as sustain goes.

Re: Graphtech replacement saddles 2005 FLY

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:19 pm
by Gregsaab
vjmanzo wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:59 pm A good setup with a well-cut nut and the right action will, in my opinion, be more noticeable as far as sustain goes.
Thanks for saving me! Can’t wait to send the mojo off to Patrick…