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Old December 3rd, 2012, 05:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bridge string spacing question

Ok, I am new to the forum. I recently got the opportunity to buy a very nice 2008 Lite Ash MIM Telecaster in natural finish. I love the look and feel, but have a question. The bridge string spacing is currently 2 3/16, which puts the high and low E strings fairly close to the edge of the fretboard. My old mexican strats had 2 1/16 so this was never a problem. Is this the correct spacing for this guitar? The guy before me put graphtech saddles on it so they are not original. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Last edited by Skippy38; December 4th, 2012 at 02:49 PM.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 05:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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IDK if that is correct for that model, but it is certainly pretty wide. Look at the string through holes, and see if the strings are lining up as the come out of the holes and over the saddles.

Another option would be to install a vintage style bridge with threaded steel saddles. That way you can line the strings up in the grooves of the threads to make your own custom bridge spacing.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 08:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks. I think that I am going to take the strings and saddles off and take some careful measurements to see what I am working with. This is my first real Tele, I have been a strat man thus far.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It appears that this bridge: FENDER Bridge for MIM Telecaster / Mexican Tele 0053354000 is what is supposed to be on there. Can anyone tell me what the string spacing is for this bridge?
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Old December 4th, 2012, 12:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Fender p/n 0053354000 plate measures 3.932" x 3.148" x .097" thick. E to E 2.222". Manufactured by Ping in Taiwan.

The often quoted figure for string spacing is 2 3/16" or 2.1875" so it's pretty close.
The Graphtech Tele saddles also should give you an E to e of 2 3/16"
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Old December 4th, 2012, 02:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks Tux. A call to Fender regarding part number 0053354000 got an answer of 2 1/16 string spacing for that bridge which is what I am looking for. I guess that I will know in a few days if it fixes my problem.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 03:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The strings must pass over the centre of their bridge pickup poles.
- the important spacing.

I have had Graphtech saddles on a strat, imo they sounded like they were made of hardened chewing gum (on the bedpost overnight). No great loss.
Brass, steel or aluminium.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree. The graphtech saddles sounded kind of dead and are going to be no big loss. As it turns out what I thought was a stock 2008 Lite Ash Special Edition is really a 2008 neck on a 2010 body. You just cant trust craigslist people these days.....
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Old December 4th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Skippy38 View Post
Thanks Tux. A call to Fender regarding part number 0053354000 got an answer of 2 1/16 string spacing for that bridge which is what I am looking for. I guess that I will know in a few days if it fixes my problem.
Not sure why they told you that as it is 2 1/8". The US std bridge is 2 1/16".
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Old December 4th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Graphtech makes saddles for both 2 1/16 and 2 3/16 spacing. Previous owner may have used wider saddles to open up the spacing or just ordered the wrong ones.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy38 View Post
It appears that this bridge: FENDER Bridge for MIM Telecaster / Mexican Tele 0053354000 is what is supposed to be on there. Can anyone tell me what the string spacing is for this bridge?
I got that MIM bridge off of ebay to replace a Chinese modern style bridge. The string spacing E-e is 2 1/8 inch or 54mm (that is center to center) . The saddles it came with are 10.8mm wide. All-in-all, very nice fitting bridge and covered all the warts from the chinese bridge I had originally.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 07:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The Gotoh GTC 201 and 202 bridges are also 54mm with 10.8mm saddles and, imho, better than the Fender Pings
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Old December 5th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks Tux. Since now it seems that I have a partscaster instead of an original Tele, I am not afraid to experiment a little with it. If the Ping bridge does not work out I am going with the Gotoh.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The strings must pass over the centre of their bridge pickup poles.
- the important spacing..
I'm not sure I'd look at it that way. The important spacing is where the strings can be properly aligned with the neck. In an ideal world the strings would pass over the centers of the polepieces, but they don't. You'll still have a signal from the pickup if the string is a little off the polepiece, but you won't if the string slips off the edge of the frets.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 07:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Graphtech makes saddles for both 2 1/16 and 2 3/16 spacing. Previous owner may have used wider saddles to open up the spacing or just ordered the wrong ones.
I took a look at the Graphtech saddles and you are correct, 2 1/16 or 2 3/16 string spacing.

The Modern bridge that came on my tele had the 2 1/8 spacing for the string holes and the saddle mount holes, but the saddles that came with it were the narrower ones (10.5mm) which worked but tended to leave spaces between the saddles. I like the fit of the saddles that came with the Ping bridge, no space between the saddles but not over sized that causes them to splay-out. As far as I know this would be the same for the Gotoh or Ping bridge, I believe the Gotoh is chromed brass where the Ping is chromed steel. I haven't made a side by side comparison but the Gotoh is generally preferred.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 08:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm not sure I'd look at it that way. The important spacing is where the strings can be properly aligned with the neck. In an ideal world the strings would pass over the centers of the polepieces, but they don't. You'll still have a signal from the pickup if the string is a little off the polepiece, but you won't if the string slips off the edge of the frets.
You do get a poor signal (weak note) if the string is off centre on the poles.

If they go over the centre of the pole, chances are they will go up the neck correctly. Pickups come with different pole spacing too.

Best way to check alignment on neck, as used for initial positioning of the bridge plate, is to use string on 1st and 6th down to the tail.

It is also possible to adjust the neck angle up or down, there is enough wiggle room to do this.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 06:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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OK, so I got the bridge today and it is exactly the same spacing as the old one. I guess that I am stuck with this spacing, although it just doesnt look or feel quite right.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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OK, so I got the bridge today and it is exactly the same spacing as the old one. I guess that I am stuck with this spacing, although it just doesnt look or feel quite right.
Oh dear. But they do come in different spacing.

52.5mm spacing Fender http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Modern-Fend...9-0807-200.htm

http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Modern-Tele...dge-s/1898.htm

52mm spacing http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Axesrus-Mod...xetele-mod.htm

54mm spacing "import"
http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Modern-Impo...er-p/bt004.htm
http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Modern-Impo...p/bt002-cr.htm
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Old December 7th, 2012, 11:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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OK, so I got the bridge today and it is exactly the same spacing as the old one. I guess that I am stuck with this spacing, although it just doesnt look or feel quite right.
One thing we failed to do was have you post a picture of what you have. Maybe what you have is an aesthetics problem. Anyhow as Jefrs posted there are many options.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm not sure I'd look at it that way. The important spacing is where the strings can be properly aligned with the neck. In an ideal world the strings would pass over the centers of the polepieces, but they don't. You'll still have a signal from the pickup if the string is a little off the polepiece, but you won't if the string slips off the edge of the frets.
+1. IME, polepiece spacing is less important than it seems like it would be.
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