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Old March 12th, 2013, 06:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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GFS XTrem vibrato Tele Bridge Plate - NOT

Finally got around to finishing a guitar that I've been building, with the intention of putting on the XTrem vibrato and roller bridge from GFS, which has received generally decent reviews.

http://www.guitarfetish.com/Xaviere-...em_p_4418.html

Problem is:





If you look at the ruler, the 12th fret is right at 12.75". The bridge seems to be about 1/2" to far forward to intonate. I tried messing around with the saddles, but there's no way to even get them close.


Here's a shot with a regular tele bridge plate, and the 12.75" mark still on the 12th fret:




I've emailed them and haven't seen any other complaints like mine. So, either the bridge plate is way off. Or I've done something way wrong that I can't figure out. I placed that bridge plate on top of a couple of other teles I've built, and the string through holes don't even come close to where they should be. Do you think they make a bridge for 24 3/4" scale length and that's what I have?


Here's another shot w/ the roller bridge mounted on the plate:



Last edited by tiskit86; March 12th, 2013 at 08:59 PM.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks like maybe this guy had the same problem?

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaste...em-issues.html
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Old March 12th, 2013, 08:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had the same problem, there really isn't enough adjustment.

This fellas had other problems with it http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-tech...olo-house.html
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Old March 12th, 2013, 08:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great. Why on earth are they still selling the bridge plate? It simply is not engineered correctly to fit a telecaster, or any other guitar with a 25.5" scale. Now I got 8 holes in the top of my guitar, no trem, no bridge. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!
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Old March 12th, 2013, 09:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, I had the same problem on the 2012 Challenge build. For me it was about a 1/4 inch off. Fortunately, I hadn't routed the neck pocket yet. So, I split the difference and moved the bridge back 1/8 inch and the neck out 1/8 inch.

It's also a good idea to angle the neck about 1.5° - 2°. GFS recommends 3° but that seemed a little much to me.

Oh, and be mindful of the neck radius. I can't remember but I think the roller Bridge is either 12 or 14 inches.

All in all, the bridge is pretty good. A friend of mine said he liked it more than his Bigsby. GFS would do well to give out better instructions for installation. This bridge will not work as a direct replacement.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 09:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you shimmed the neck to have a 3 deg angle like they say you need? Have you adjusted the grub screws on the posts to slide it back as far as possible? (Not sure how much of a difference this will make but you can check it pretty easily)

Nice looking tele by the way!

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Old March 12th, 2013, 09:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Interesting......................
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Old March 12th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just from my own amusement and to exercise they grey cells a little, shimming the neck to a 3 degree angle will add about .2 inches to the length. (Busting out some geometry!) Not sure how much you'll gain from adjusting the grub screws but that puts you closer (but maybe not close enough)



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Old March 12th, 2013, 09:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Have y'all tried turning the allen screws to set the bridge back on to posts? Or turning the bridge around 180 degrees or reversing the saddles so they move all the way back?

I've used that same bridge on 2 builds (and will use it on a 3rd coming up), each time with posts and bushings instead of the GFS "plate".

Its super adjustable, and an awesome design.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 10:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yup, I tried all of that. And even when I tried the 3° tilt (which pushed the bridge too high for my taste), I was still a 1/4 inch off. I can't remember all of the details, but if I remember right (it's been a year and my blog notes were not that great) I was really worried about the intonation of the A and low E strings.

That 1/4 change made the difference. The big lesson learned for me on this, was that I should buy as much of my hardware and electronics as I could before doing any routing or drilling on the body or neck.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 10:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It’s close to a 1/2” off, even with it set as far back as it will go. I even tried turning the saddles around and trying to “hang” them off the back using the back allen screws. I could get the high E string close to 25.5”, but that’s it. I’ll wait to hear back from GFS, but the only thing I could imagine is if it was made for a different scale length. If I hadn’t routed the bridge pickup cavity I could move it back ¾” or so, but still……


Alright. Time to go into problem solving mode. I figure I have a couple of options.

1. Drill/Tap the bridge for where the studs SHOULD be, solder new ones in and cut the originals off. The problem is that where they should be is really close to where the mounting screws are. Maybe too close. I'm not buying a tap+die set just for this.




2. Buy a Wilkinson 3-barrel bridge and file notches in the back of the bridge plate lip so the strings can pass through unimpeded. This is probably the easiest fix, but I'm concerned it will look like hell. I was really liking the matching vibrato and bridge plate look. I also got some nice chrome knobs to match.


3. Throw the plate away, buy some Tune-o-matic studs and posts, and mount the GFS roller bridge on those studs. This will at least cover the mounting holes I already drilled since they are right where the bridge needs to be. The issue then is a pickup ring for the tele bridge route. I looked for some but they aren't particularly attractive.


I need to sleep on it.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 11:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiskit86 View Post
3. Throw the plate away, buy some Tune-o-matic studs and posts, and mount the GFS roller bridge on those studs. This will at least cover the mounting holes I already drilled since they are right where the bridge needs to be. The issue then is a pickup ring for the tele bridge route. I looked for some but they aren't particularly attractive.

Either use one of these from GFS (in black, white or cream)







Or hard mount it to the body like a G.E. Smith
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Old March 13th, 2013, 12:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yeah, I saw that one. This guitar has white binding. I just don't like that look. Maybe if I could get one in chrome.



How did they get this pic? Did they build a guitar just to fit the plate? Or do the SX/Agile guitars have a bridge pickup rout differently placed than on a standard Tele?






Oh, wait. Maybe they just didn't intonate the guitar when they put it on. I need to stop thinking about this because I'm getting madder each time.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 04:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It really is not a direct replacement - if you use existing screw holes you can intonate. The plate is also significantly bigger than an ashtray in both dimensions which meant it didn't fit with a thinline pickguard.

I found that the roller action really helped the tremolo, but there was a lot of faffing around needed to get the right radius (it's a lot flatter than most production teles).

It would work fine if you were building a guitar around it.

I ended up getting the Bigsby plate and bridge instead from WD. It covers all the existing holes, works just as well and I think it looks a lot better. Unfortunately I've drilled the bridge posts in the wrong place, but that's another story....
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Old March 13th, 2013, 06:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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It would work fine if you were building a guitar around it.
BINGO... and GFS should state that on their website.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 07:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Yup.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Use a stock bridgeplate notched at the rear.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 05:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Use a stock bridgeplate notched at the rear.
I don't remember you looking so much like Bad Bob.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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How do you want your horse?

Blue.




At the moment, I'm leaning toward mounting the roller bridge on some studs like a TOM, and leaving the bridge pickup open. Just seemed to grow on me over the course of a day. I'll probably get another wilkinson or stock tele bridgeplate and put it on there just to see how it looks, though. I can always build another guitar around an unused bridge plate.

No word from GFS.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 10:53 AM   #20 (permalink)
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You guys are killin me. I'm glad that people have seen the power of the other Bad Bob.
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