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Old June 26th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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American Vintage '52 Reissue vintage six-saddle bridge

Hi Folks,

Per the Fender webpage, their American Vintage '52 Reissue comes with "A vintage six-saddle bridge and a modern wiring update kit are included".

I'm making an assumption, which is that Fender would only include an alternative bridge that matches the screw and string through holes already drilled in the vintage '52 reissue body. Correct?

I have a parts caster project in progress, body & neck from Musikraft (in progress there as I type) and owner Jim Jamerson told me that I will need a vintage bridge for it. I'm not a Blackwatch purist and prefer being able to adjust intonation one string/saddle at a time so I'm looking for the vintage six-saddle bridge that comes with Fender's American Vintage '52 Reissue.

Anyone have one in new condition that they won't be using that I might acquire?
Else, anyone have one that they can provide the Fender part number from?

Please advise,

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Old June 26th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old June 26th, 2009, 09:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Someone may sell you one from their 52Ri, but it's part of the 'case candy' that comes with the guitar so a lot of guys don't like to split them up.

It is exactly the same part as a 70's one which was available as an option - so it won't fit modern American Standard 3-hole mount bridges and has different string ferrule positioning.You can buy them as a part through Fender, and you see them turn up on ebay all the time. Angela Instruments also has them.

It will fit any Vintage Reissues from America or Mexico and possibly Japan that have string-throughs and mounted a 4-bolt bridge originally.

You will lose a degree of 'vintageness' without a three-barrel, which might not matter to you if you want a modern tone like many do or play through lots of gain-enhancing devices. A six-barrel Tele just tends to sound like a generic electric guitar with single-coils to me, YMMV.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 09:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've decided to keep the three of mine I never hacked up for pickup surrounds.

I'll include them if I ever sell a couple AV 52s, as part of the case candy package.

Besides, you don't actually USE the things. They're terrible. They force you to employ a wider, undesirable string array, and they're rattly and junky sounding, if you ask me. The strings don't fall as well over the pole pieces; at least a few of the height screws will back up and maybe fall out as the saddle is trapped against its neighbor. The screws that don't fall out rattle against the bridge plate itself. Most of all, all six strings make significant contact with their respective saddle length springs, generating all manner of ugly little sounds, IMO = 100 % mean and nasty, bad deal if you ask me.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can get a Gotoh 6 saddle that will fit perfect.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 11:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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You can get a Gotoh 6 saddle that will fit perfect.
What Mark said...and the Gotoh 6-saddle is vastly superior to the Fender, but it is the Modern Flat style if you care ?
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Old June 27th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks to all for your help.

I a bit confused by Mellecaster's comment "but it is the Modern Flat style if you care ?"

Is there a Gotoh 6 saddle Modern Flat style bridge that will fit a Tele body with vintage pickup placement and string-through holes.

Also from Mark Davis "You can get a Gotoh 6 saddle that will fit perfect"
Are you referring to Gotoh's 6 saddle Modern Flat style bridge? Or Gotoh's Traditional Tele Bridge with 6 grooved saddles?

Please advise,
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Old June 27th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I always thought the modern six saddle bridge was included with the AV '52 case candy only as visual/hands-on confirmation as to how much more superior the vintage three brass saddle bridge is.

Has anyone actually mounted it on their '52?
;o)
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Old June 27th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitebeard View Post
Thanks to all for your help.

I a bit confused by Mellecaster's comment "but it is the Modern Flat style if you care ?"

Is there a Gotoh 6 saddle Modern Flat style bridge that will fit a Tele body with vintage pickup placement and string-through holes.

Also from Mark Davis "You can get a Gotoh 6 saddle that will fit perfect"
Are you referring to Gotoh's 6 saddle Modern Flat style bridge? Or Gotoh's Traditional Tele Bridge with 6 grooved saddles?

Please advise,
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Old June 27th, 2009, 01:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The base plate of the Gotoh modern bridge is longer and puts the pickup in a different location than the Gotoh vintage bridge correct?

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,...s.html#details
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Old June 27th, 2009, 01:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I sold mine right after I got it.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I always thought the modern six saddle bridge was included with the AV '52 case candy only as visual/hands-on confirmation as to how much more superior the vintage three brass saddle bridge is.

Has anyone actually mounted it on their '52?
;o)
The case candy 6 "hammer" saddle "ashtray cover compatible" bridge is best not referred to as "Modern". Modern means the flat, thick plate such as the A) MIM Standards and B) American Series and Standard guitars. Even though the 3 barrel is much older than the 6 "hammer" style.

Anyway, I bought a GC return AV52 where the previous trier had robbed the 3 barrel plate with the serial number and returned the guitar with the 6 "hammer" style on there. (I got the guitar for under $ 600; I'm not whining)

Anyway, I dutifully replaced the saddle height screws with better lengths, set it all up as best I could. Lousy. So I put a spare AV52 bridge on there instead and the guitar burst into flames. I mean, pretty sweet result.

Notably, with the 6 hammer bridge on there, the treble E was really too close to the fretboard edge. But the big E was pretty close, also. The installation of the 3 barrel bridge solved that problem, no sweat.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 07:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boris bubbanov View Post
The case candy 6 "hammer" saddle "ashtray cover compatible" bridge is best not referred to as "Modern". Modern means the flat, thick plate ...

Notably, with the 6 hammer bridge on there, the treble E was really too close to the fretboard edge. But the big E was pretty close, also. The installation of the 3 barrel bridge solved that problem, no sweat.

Oops! You're right, Boris. How about "moderner"? (than the three barrel) ;o)

It didn't occur to me that it would spread the string spacing too. Just another reason not to use it.

I wonder where the serial numbered plate ended up...
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Old June 27th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boris bubbanov View Post
They force you to employ a wider, undesirable string array
Quote:
Originally Posted by boris bubbanov View Post
Notably, with the 6 hammer bridge on there, the treble E was really too close to the fretboard edge. But the big E was pretty close, also. The installation of the 3 barrel bridge solved that problem, no sweat.
Isn't the vintage spec 10.8mm string spacing and 54mm string spread, whether vintage 3 saddle or vintage 6 saddle?

I don't mean the numbers Fender advertises, I mean the real world measurements you will get with Fender parts or other parts that meet the same specs as Fender parts, and when allowing the strings to follow a normal straight path across the saddles.

My Fender and clone 3-saddle vintage style bridges have that same spread/spacing, both as measured from the bridgeplate's string through holes, and as measured from the strings, when the strings are allowed to follow a straight path.

I have a set of the Fender vintage 6 barrel saddles on a clone vintage style bridge. Those Fender saddles are 10.8mm wide, so they are made for the 10.8mm string spacing and 54mm string spread. The string through holes in that bridge plate are also made for a 10.8mm string spacing and 54mm string spread.

I don't have one of the real Fender vintage stlye 6-saddle bridgeplates, but given the size of the saddles and the intended compatibility of that bridge with the Fender 3-saddle vintage spec, I'm skeptical the string spacing/spread is any different between the 3 and 6.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I did just measure the 6-saddle bridge that came with my '52, and it's 55 mm from E to e slot, and measuring on my Tele with the vintage three saddle from E to e, the same.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 09:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree...in my little world the 2 1/8" or 54-55mm if you wish, string spread at the saddles is fairly consistent no matter how many saddles.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 12:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I can't squeeze any of the 6 hammer saddle types, not the Fenders and not the G + L, down to 2 + 1/18ths inches. I don't know how ya'll are getting that number. It isn't a full 2 + 7/32nds like a vintage Strat but it is at least one 32nds inches over the number ya'll are using.

Now, you can manipulate the strings on a 3 barrel saddle arrangement to 2 + 5/32nds or even more if you please, but you can also keep 'em down around 2 + 3/32nds (American Standard is 2 + 1/16ths). With the 6 hammer version you have no choice. So unless you wanna remove each hammer and carefully file it down a little, you are 2 + 5/32nds on center(or wider, since they get all cockeyed) or bust.

55 millimeters, 54 millimeters? I haven't figured this out in millimeters but that's not important. What I'm saying is I can get the string Away from the Edge with the 3 barrel and I could not do so with the 6 hammer kind. There's no leeway, you use the saddle groove or do what?

Just turn up the amp. Don't worry about it.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Not doubting your own experience, Boris. Perhaps the smaller hammer saddles don't stay close enough together, in actual use? (I haven't tried that bridge on my guitar, so...). But when squeezed together, the slots are actually just a hair narrower than how the strings naturally lay on my three-barrel bridge.

Maybe it's just one of those mysteries of the Tele Universe?


"Moderner" bridge @ 2 1/8"



Vintage bridge @ a hair over 2 1/8"
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Old June 28th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
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You might find the conversion tool here useful. The digital micrometer I have is switchable between showing the measurement in metric or inches, but when it shows the measurement in inches the fractional part is in decimal form, to the granularity of thousandths of an inch.

2 1/8", 2.125" and 53.97mm are equivalent.

The string through holes in the Fender vintage style 3-saddle bridgeplates and all the vintage spec clones that I have, are spaced for a 2 1/8" or 54mm string spread. Not 2 3/32". 2 3/32" is equivalent to 53.181mm.

With necks that have the edges more rounded, a vintage 54mm string spread may make the strings seem too close to the fretboard edges. I've heard folks here say the American Standards and other Fender Teles with the same narrower 52mm string spacing/spread bridge have more rounded fretboard edges. That combination makes sense. I can see how using an American Standard or equivalent Tele neck combined with a vintage spec bridge and its wider string spread, would make one want to squeeze the strings a little closer together. And if you can keep the strings from slipping on 3 saddles that don't have grooves or threads requiring you to stick to the 54mm spread, you could try to pull them in a little closer. If you let them follow a straight string path on smooth ungrooved saddles and you're using a bridge made to the Fender 54mm string spread spec, I think you'll end up with a 54mm or 2 1/8" string spread, same as I get with the Fender 6 vintage barrel saddles as shown on the picture attached.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Hey yebert! You're pretty fancy with that space-age electronic measuring/digital doohicky.

But my Stanley tapes have never let me down ;o)

We did come to the same conclusion, after all... 2 1/8"
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