Monday, July 19, 2010

A Lifetime of Stunning Tone

We artists of the tone are a rare breed of musician. The ability we tone hunters hone to pair up our ears and instinct to create rare and unique sounds is second to none. It is through our long careers in the studio, our contributions to the gigging scene, or from lots'n'lots tweaking and experimenting that we create our talent for what's beautiful. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, there are only two factors that make up a stunning guitar, bass, or amp tone.... Our hands and our gear. I am not one to ever pass anything by, and at the same time am not hypnotized by the "hype" that comes with certain products. The only way I've ever hunted down great tones is through getting my hands dirty. Lord knows that when we get in the zone we can go for hours and hours trying to mold and shape a specific guitar sound. We try anything and everything. Then every once and when comes along something so simple and direct that it absolutely blows out minds! Discovering KTS was exactly this type of experience. KTS has shown me that sometimes it is the little that make the biggest differences. If you're a sucker for top notch tone lay back and read on. Class is in session.


Tone Resonant Titanium

Some benefits of titanium components

Longer Sustain
Clearer Note Separation
String to String Definition
Improved Harmonic Response
Beautifully Touch Sensitive
Greater Tuning Stability
Weight Relief much (lighter than steel)
Less String Breakage
Wider Range of Dynamics
Lasts and Lasts
And Much Much More!!!


Vintage ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Bride Saddle

Designed to match Gibson®'s original bridge, “BR-010”. As with the original parts, the string groove is not filed. After applying saddle to bridge base, trim it to match strings pitch. You can use regular file for trimming but we recommend using a diamond file.

4/40 thread

I will start with the KTS PR-02 saddles, which by the way live in my Hagstrom Viking and will live there forever more. These stunning vintage style ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic saddles are unlike anything I've ever heard or used before. KTS has definitely created a saddle with a sound of it's own. Along with these saddles I have also worked out a handful of other great tweaks and mods for my Viking which have helped me achieve a unique and original sound. When hot-rodding my guitar the goal was carve out a sound that lived somewhere between the rich, dark, and beautiful sound of yesteryear, mixed with the clarity, response, and aggression of today. Getting the first of these two sounds was actually not too tuff. I threw in a pair of vintage voiced buckers, true to the old school PAF design that rocks so well, a pair of Grey Tiger replica caps, CTS pots, Switchcraft switch and jack, and that took care of the round and warm side of things. Next came pulling out as clear a tone as possible, something that would give me great string articulation, lots of range, and great response. The first thing I did was pop in a graphite nut, but the magic didn't start until the installment of the KTS PR-02 saddles. Swapping in these saddles was like removing a dull, flat blanket from my tone! It gave my sound a slight boost in all the sweet spot frequencies of my EQ, brought everything to the surface, and blended perfectly with the rest of my components to give me exactly what I wanted. Without even plugging the guitar in I could hear a difference. I can remember when I first installed the saddles strumming the guitar and thinking how powerful and present the sound was. The first test I ran the saddles through was just plugging directly into my amp without any other gear in-line. The PR-02's made my root tone much more focused and balanced. This created the perfect starting point for building on top of. I was actually able to pull out tones from my amplifier that previously had not been possible. It didn't end with the amp either. Because the saddles had my root tone sounding better it made anything else I through in the mix work beautiful. I was able to add a little life to just about everything I stacked them up with. They especially sounded great with my pedals, and being that I rely on my boxes for most of my dirt tones when gigging this was fantastic. Overall the KTS saddles just worked great and gave me an entirely new sound to work with. Installing them and setting them up was as easy as any other saddle, but unlike most saddles these babies will probably last forever. I found these to be a great component for balancing out the perfect blend of warm and defined.


Block Type Titanium Saddles

This block type titanium saddle can be used on most Strat type guitar bridges including the current American Standard, PRS, Gotoh GTC101 and many others.

Material: Titanium Grade-2
Width: 10.5mm (.413")
Height: 4.5mm(.177")
Length: 19.0mm(.748")
E to E spacing: 52.5mm(2.067")


Now, if you're looking for the ultimate performance saddle, this is it! Everything about the KTS PR-17 screams the finest in high-end, class, and quality. Right from the get-go I was able to hear, feel, and see a difference in my guitar's performance. My overall sound was clearer, the sustain and response was much stronger, and I saw a lot less string breakage. These block style saddles are a perfect upgrade for your American Standard Strats, PRS, and many other "Strat" style setup guitars. I had been working on putting together my own "Strat" style guitar right around the same time these saddles had arrived. I was going to put together the ultimate gigging, golden toned, rock and roll machine I possibly could and therefore had been hunting down the finest in guitar components. In the end I turned up what ended up being probably the best sounding Strat I have ever heard, played, and owned. A huge part of that great tone I owe to these saddles. Before finally landing on the PR-17's I did try a handful of other saddles, from stock cheapo's to top quality pure steel saddles. Each different saddle I tried had it's own sound and character I liked about it, but it was the KTS PR-17 that finally made the cut. I was able to get a broader, clearer tone, while able to maintain all the things I love about a great vintage tone. Like the PR-02's (which we looked at above), I instantly heard a positive difference in my tone. We all love that classic signature tone that a great playing Strat can produce right? That snap and pop that is almost impossible to get from any other guitar. The PR-17's took this awesome sound and magnified it to an almost magical level. Through clean tones my guitar sang with immaculate richness and sparkle. Through overdriven tones my string separation was flawless. Then through screaming distortion tones I was able to dial in some of the most exciting lead tones I've ever put down. My guitar had all of the traditional playability, tone, and feel of a classic Strat only with much more of everything behind it's delivery. The string articulation, definition, and high/low balance was beautiful! I imagine it is the saddle's design and titanium construction which gives it mojo. Luckily I had a chance to A/B these saddles with some factory style zinc pot metal and copper nickel plated saddles. One wouldn't think there would be much of a difference but there is. This is me saying this, and I'm probably one the most tone crazy, tone conscience guitar players out there. When it comes to my tone it's always been about a few key points. I need something that I won't fight with, something gives and doesn't take, long lasting is important, and looks is always good too. I mean look at these saddles, the sheer look of the KTS PR-17's are enough to draw you in and make you want to play them. I highly highly recommend these saddles to you guitar builders, gigging cats, studio musicians, hot rodders, or anyone looking to upgrade their sound. This is hands down one of the easiest and quickest tone improvements I have ever experienced.


For more info on KTS products go to You'll find a handful of different style saddles perfect for any build or upgrade. We will continue bringing you guys more on this awesome company so make sure to stay tuned. Peace!!!



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