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Old October 17th, 2013, 09:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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MIJ Bridge Replacement

I've got an 88 Fender Made in Japan Strat that is in need of a new bridge. Just didnt' know if I should get the US or The Mexico version of the bridge. Will one fit better than the other? Current bridge is just a standard tremolo.Thanks for the help.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 10:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Before buying anything - especially over the web - measure the existing bridge as accurately as you can and ask for precise measurements of any new parts you are getting.

I have one of the early MIM strats which used Japanese hardware which I found out was measured in metric using conversions from the US imperial sizes. So a US or 'vintage' style bridge, saddles or trem block can't be a simple swap over as the very small differences between the imperial and metric sizes just don't allow for that.

I think you'd find that if you tried to install a US bridge assembly on an MIJ body, the screw holes just wouldn't marry up so you'd have to fill the existing holes and redrill for the new ones.

I'd suggest looking for Callaham bridges as they're excellent quality and they do both US and metric versions of all parts.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 12:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What's wrong with the bridge on the guitar you have? As Del mentioned, the spacing on the MIJ bridge will be different than a USA vintage spaced bridge ( except for the vintage RI's )
The one in your picture looks like a MIJ Std Strat which should have the narrow spaced bridge.
Also you can't easily swap between the 6 hole mount plate and the more modern 2 point plate bridges.

Gotoh makes some real nice new replacement Strat bridges and there are lots of used parts out there cheap.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 07:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm guessing that the saddles on the original bridge will have become notched with the pressure of the strings biting into them over the years and this causes strings to break on a very regular basis - that was the problem I had. It's all but impossible to remove these tiny grooves with any sort of tool or sander/sandpaper and easier to replace the saddles.

Unless the strings have also caused notches on the edges of the holes of the bridge plate it's probably not necessary to replace the plate unless you want to.
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Old October 20th, 2013, 10:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I second the recommendation of Del Pickup above:

http://www.callahamguitars.com/partsstr.htm

He also has the narrow spaced bridge. If you're not sure what will fit, call them. They're extremely helpful. I have their bridges on 2 Strats and they are fantastic.
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Old October 20th, 2013, 11:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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And I'll second Del's second recommendation-look into getting new saddles, if that's the problem-much cheaper and easier to do than a whole new bridge (assuming the tremolo is in proper working order). Another trick, if the tremolo is kinda grinding on its screws-turn each of the tremolo screws 1/2 turn up, this will give the bridge a fresh pivot, and restore free and easy movement of the tremolo. Of course, this trick only works once... but it can buy you a few years...

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