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I was investigating a buzzing sound in my Squier Stratocaster that had started a couple of days ago, and finally narrowed it down to the (hard-tail) bridge. None of the height-adjustment screws was floating, and after I had used a piece of paper to slide between the individual saddles to gauge the distance between them, I found that the buzzing sound had disappeared. In three of the gaps the paper would move freely, but in two gaps I had to use more force to move the paper. So I assume that the buzzing was caused by two saddles being so close to each other that they rattled against each other when their strings were being played.

Which leads me to wonder: are the saddles on a Strat supposed to touch each other? Do they touch on a more expensive Fender model? There's so little space between them on my Squier that it's hard to tell whether they're supposed to touch or not; the outer saddles move on ridges in the bridge, so I can't press them closer together, but the inner four can move sideways freely.

Here's an image I found on eBay of this type of bridge:

Squier hard-tail bridge

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  • I’m not an expert but I don’t think the saddles touching each other is a problem. If the saddle is moving when the string vibrates that seems like a problem. Might just be cheap saddles. – Todd Wilcox Dec 20 '20 at 1:21
  • @ToddWilcox They're definitely cheap saddles, but the problem was fixed by spacing them out evenly by sliding a piece of paper between them, so the buzzing must have been caused by them rattling against each other. – guest Dec 20 '20 at 1:23
  • I’m just saying the fact that they wiggle when you play might be the real problem, not that the wiggling makes them rattle against each other. – Todd Wilcox Dec 20 '20 at 1:25
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    Looking at my Strats and Stratalikes, all saddles are touching, but should be held tight by either neighbour, and the fact that the strings' tensions hold them down tight, and at that point on the string there's little movement anyhow. Check all screws for approriate tightness. – Tim Dec 20 '20 at 8:28
  • @Tim So you can't slide thin paper between them? Then this Squier bridge is definitely badly designed. Btw, I guess I'm dragging the middle four saddles sideways with bends. – guest Dec 20 '20 at 19:11
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I cannot be definitive, as I'm not a Strat guy, but later G&L bridges have a set screw to force the saddles together so they resonate.

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    I guess that suggests that having them touch just slightly is not ideal. – guest Dec 20 '20 at 5:52

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