Monday, November 14, 2011


Hiroshi Masuda (center)
KTS' President Hiroshi Masuda talks about growing up

I was born in Tokyo in 1954. Soon after birth, my family move to Asaka-City in Saitama prefecture which was close to the center of Tokyo. I had been spending most of my life in this small city.

As long as I remember, there was huge camp where American troops were stationed called Camp Asaka in my city. We called them an occupation army or stationary troops. Big soldiers who have blue eyes were laughingly looking at us and chewing gum. Sometimes they gave us chocolates in which we had never seen the brand names. We could see America over the fence but could never enter over the fence. There were many bars which has fascia written in English aimed at American soldiers. At night, prostitutes called Pang-Pang Girls were wandering in the party town and picking up the soldiers.

The public moral was not good for education in our city. However there was a good atmosphere for listening Western music. Guys started putting together band to play The Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane.... Some modern girls were wearing similar clothes as Janis Joplin and some dudes had cut their hair like Brian Jones. We used to listen the trendy songs from FEN radio that was located in the base.

There was a small musical instrument shop at the west gate of the base. We used to drop by the shop on our way home from junior high school. The Japanese shopkeeper always talked in English with a black soldier. There were many guitars, amps, basses and drums in the shop. Unfortunately they were not Fender, Gibson, Marshall and Ludwig but Guyatone, Teisco and Gracy which are Japanese brands. However they were dream instruments for schoolboys. One day, our band asked the shopkeeper to sell us a drum set by monthly payment. Because ordinary music shops never accepted monthly payment without parents' consent. At that time, most of parents never recognized the Western (electric) music. My parents as well.... So we couldn't ask our Moms or Dads about that... Fortunately, the shopkeeper accepted our offer in the condition that we had to pay off the set within six months. Thus, we finally got the drum-set.

We were believing that we were the number one band in the city. We had copied Jumpin' Jack Flash completely when the seven-inch record has just released. I taught Grand Funk Railroad lines to senior high school students. One day we held a concert in our classroom. There were nearly one hundred people (including teachers ;-)) who could not even enter the classroom and had to watch through the window in the schoolyard. And just past the schoolyard....  we could always see ..
AMERICA surrounded by the fence....

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Does Titanium Rust?

Q: My hands are super sweaty and my saddles are always rusting and smelly. Does titanium rust? My friends won't even play my guitar because the bridge looks so nasty. Will your saddles help?

A: Titanium is well known for its excellent corrosion resistance (almost as resistant as platinum), being able to withstand attack by acids, moist chlorine gas, and obviously hand sweat. It is a light, strong metal with low density (60% as dense as steel) that, when pure, is quite ductile (especially in an oxygen-free environment), easy to work, lustrous, and metallic-white in color. Titanium is as strong as steel, but 43% lighter; it is 60% heavier than aluminum, but twice as strong; however these numbers can vary a little because of the use of different alloys. These properties make titanium very resistant to the usual kinds of metal fatigue and hand sweat.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Are Titanium Saddles Worth the Cost?

Q & A with guitarist Chris Juergensen about KTS

Q: Are Titanium Saddles Worth the Cost? 

A: I would definitely answer yes to this question. Let me tell you a little about my guitar playing. You see, I generally would wear out steel saddles in about two months. What would happen after a few months is that I would have managed to dig a nice groove into the steel saddles and this groove would nip away at my strings when I would bend them or use vibrato. The result is that I would start breaking strings right at the saddle after about 90 minutes of serious playing. I would always get nervous in my second set because I knew that my E string was probably on the verge of annihilation.

I originally tried graphite saddles that were designed to prevent exactly that but I didn't like the tone. I eventually found the KTS saddles sitting on the rack at a little guitar shop in Tokyo. Now they didn't claim to prevent breakage or last a long time but I had heard that titanium was used in airplanes because it was a resilient material with a good balance of weight, elasticity and strength, so I gave them a shot regardless of the hundred dollar something price tag. I wanted to keep my highs and not break strings, not an unreasonable request.

I first tried the PR-11s on my 1960 Strat. What I wasn't expecting was the clear tone and sustain. It is sort of hard to describe but let's say I could hear more of what the guitar really sounded like. I found I could roll off gain from the amp and still get the same sustain. I realized that I had been making up for the lack of the steel saddle's tone by adding treble and gain to my amp settings. By being able to reduce both, I could now get a way more natural sound without losing sustain or highs and could get way more dynamics out of the instrument by simply controlling my picking.

On top of that, no more string breaking and I found that the saddles last me years rather than months so I imagine it's probably cheaper in the long run.  

Devilstone guitar with KTS PR-11 saddles played through a Marshall 100 watt amp run through an Xotic BB plus. All cables by Bullet Cable:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

KTS and Kris Wolinski

Polish guitarist Kris Wolinski plays Autumn Leaves on his  D'Aspiranta arch-top with KTS saddles installed on an ABR-1 Gibson bridge.

Monday, October 24, 2011

David Hinds

Fun and informative video featuring David Hinds of Bounty Hunters

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2012 Catalog

KTS' 2012 catalog is now available for download. Check out our wide selection of titanium saddles and other quality parts.

Download it here >>>

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Introducing the PR-17 Saddles

KTS Tone-Resonant Titanium is proud to announce our newest product, PR-17 bridge saddles. The PR-17 is an ultra high-end block type Titanium saddle intended for Strat-style guitars including the current American Standard, PRS, Gotoh GTC101 and many others.

KTS Titanium upgrades for guitars and basses are the first choice of innovative musicians and quality guitar builders, worldwide. KTS Titanium precision-machined upgrades are unlike ordinary cast or pot metal bridge parts. Titanium delivers far more responsive note-to-note separation and a broader dynamic tonal range, freeing the experienced player to explore more of the instrument’s capabilities.

PR-17 is made by using KTS’s unique and proprietary metal processing technology. Unlike other manufacturers who use random surplus Titanium scrap, KTS utilizes only premium-grade, formula-specific metal. And KTS is the only manufacturer with the technology to remove rolling stress and repair the Titanium’s somewhat damaged crystal structure from the complex manufacturing process. The result is the ultimate tone-resonant material, ideal for bridge saddles and other components.

With PR-17 bridge saddles expect:

       Longer sustain
       Clearer note separation and string-to-string definition
       Improved harmonic response and touch sensitivity
       Greater tuning stability
       Less string breakage

Material: Titanium Grade-2
Width: 10.5mm (.413”)
Height: 4.5mm (.17”)
Length: 19.0mm (.748”)
E-to-E Spacing: 52.5mm (2.067”)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Strategic Tie-up With AP International

AP INTERNATIONAL, a leader in the global distribution of musical products, announces the addition of Japanese precision guitar parts manufacturer KTS Musical Products Inc. to its family of products.  KTS' tone-resonant Titanium “SMALL PARTS” for guitars and basses will be exclusively distributed by AP International effective immediately.

“We are very excited to be working with KTS" said Andy Papiccio, President of API International. “Their line of high-quality Titanium guitar and bass components are second to none."
KTS Musical Products offer Titanium guitar and bass components that easily outshine all other bridge components. No other metal or material comes close to the tone-resonant qualities of Titanium. Since 1957 KTS has built products with passion and superb craftsmanship that will give your guitar more overall tone, natural harmonics, sustain, better response, more stable tuning and less string breakage!

For more information on AP International or KTS Musical Products please call 732-919-6200 or visit or

About KTS Musical Products Inc:

Established in 1957 by Jinichi Masuda as Kyowa Technological Steel Ltd., KTS manufactured high-quality precision stainless steel parts for many top brands of watches, most notably the Seiko®,Citizen®, GUCCI®, BREITLING® and Baume & Mercier®. In 1997, The Titanium division of KTS was launched by Hiroshi Masuda. Hiroshi, an avid guitar player quickly realized the advantages of Titanium and its ability to transfer sound energy. Hiroshi enlisted Dr. Matsumi Suzuki, President of the Japan Acoustic Laboratory and together have created Titanium guitar and bass bridge parts that specifically utilize every advantage that Titanium has to offer.

About AP International:
AP International, headquartered in Wall, New Jersey is a leading global distributor of musical products and accessories. The company distributes industry leading brands including Floyd Rose, Brubaker Brute Series Basses and Pro RockGear Cases, Stands, Gig Bags, and, accessories.