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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Best Vintage-Style bridge?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Watersilk, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Without any resonance in the bridge, a guitar for me would not be worth playing.

    I decided to order the Glendale bridge, it's thin, which many of you have said is important, it's made of cold rolled steel, which may, or may not be beneficial, that would seem a debatable subject. I'm thinking of ordering the brass saddles, there is also an option of two brass and one aluminium, the aluminium on the E and A strings... or there is titanium... at a horrendous price!!

    Many comments on this forum have nurtured a curiosity in me to also build a cheap Telecaster using parts like the US$7.00 bridge from eBay, just to compare; but I think it will be more difficult to make a budget build, at lease more difficult for me; that will be the real challenge!

    I'm still looking for a neck, I have read many times that a fat neck is good for sustain, I'm not too keen on the thought of a V shape, boat neck though, I think I will try for a Gibson '59 type profile, that at least I'm familiar with, there is also a round neck but that looks very deep, I only have small hands!

    Thank you to everyone for helping me this far :)
     

  2. rze99

    rze99 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK
    I want to hear about the bridge comparisons please

    My Squier has a thin neck, a heavy body and a thick cheap bridge.
    All the "wrong" things.
    yet it resonates right through the body and twangs more than most of my other teles.
    It cost about ten times less than a custom shop guitar.
    I'm still trying to figure it out.
    I think it's the pine.
     

  3. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Perhaps it's a bit similar to production-line Gibsons, one by accident just happens to have amazing wood... better than a Custom shop model twice the price! I think that it shows that there is perhaps more potential waiting to be unveiled, there are some videos on YouTube on upgrading Squires; perhaps it would be worthwhile to watch them?

    I have to admit, while every aspect of a guitar interests me, I think the bridge can play a major role in tone and sustain, however, if the other parts are not working well, all is lost. Someone here did say that the Squire bridge is actually quite good, a little thicker, but works well. I think most of us consider pine as a cheap wood, but I don't think that matters for guitars, it's just how the wood sounds, whatever the species!

    Perhaps you are just an amazing player, that's why your Squire sounds so good! ;)
     

  4. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Gone ferrule!

    Hello Nick, I bought your bridge, the $7 one! I will only see it in April when I go to visit my Mother in England. Now how is it possible to produce a bridge, with saddles for $7??? And... as you said, includes ferrules!!!!

    I'm going to build a budget Telecaster and a fancy one, both at the same time so I can compare as I go. Selecting parts for the 'budget' model is great fun, a challenge too. Do you have any ideas for budget pickups that do sound nice?
     

  5. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    TONERIDER,amazing pickups.
     

  6. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Thank you Nick, I had seen them for sale on the Net..... amazing price!
     

  7. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    This morning I had an idea.

    I originally joined this forum and asked the question, what is the best style vintage bridge, with a project to make the best '52 style Telecaster possible. I still intend to do that, however, with so much feedback from many members stating that simple is best, cheap parts work the best, especially a lot of input from Nick Fanis, it got me thinking about a third project.

    I had set out to make two Telecasters, one for the indulgent amateur who plays at home, and doesn't mind paying a premium for hand-made parts, and another using parts which are more reasonably priced, the kind of guitar that can be gigged weekly.

    Then from the bridge feedback on this forum, I had another idea which may not prove financially viable, to build an instrument for the advanced learner who wants a good guitar that's affordable, without compromising quality. Parts like an Electrosocket jack cup which screws into the body and will not come lose. Plain, simple, but no compromise on playability.

    I was wondering if I should call this the Nick Fanis signature. Nick, has given a few important suggestions for cheap but effective parts, so I thought it might just be 'correct' to give his name to this guitar.

    Nick, I'm not joking, I'm quite serious, of course I wouldn't do this without your permission. I won't be making this guitar in the near future, I have to make the first two first. I can compromise on the body, it can even be Guitar Fetish, but the neck needs to be decent, and fat.

    Let me know what you think?
     

  8. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 17, 2007
    Virginia
    there is nothing wrong with the squier cv/c bridgeplate.
    they are a tad thicker than a Pat. Pend bridge,
    but are similarly magnetic, and have the advantage of smooth sides
    all around instead of the rough edges of a Pat. Pend bridge.
    Also because of the increased thickness an ashtray fits on one
    more snug.
    The only difference as far as I can tell is the thinner Pat. Pend
    seem to twang more where the thicker one has more beef.
    but this could just be imaginary.
    Its also possible its made out of 'pot' metal but nobody knows
    if this is a bad thing or not. Pat. Pend bridges are not
    cold rolled steel as far as I know. (I assume they arent pot metal either)

    I have on a partsOcaster a CVC bridgeplate with Glendale
    saddles. The ultimate in schizophrenic piecemeal hardware.
    ($10 bridgeplate with $60 saddles) :eek:

    You know what? It sounds like a tele. Go figure.

    But Ill always recommend a Pat. Pend bridge because thats how Leo
    did it and who am I to second guess Leo?
    The way the tele is designed there is some wiggle room,
    as far as parts specs
    but changing too many things you get further away from
    the classic tele twang.


    [​IMG]
     

  9. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 17, 2007
    Virginia
    I think saddles are more important than bridge plate.

    I put a set of glendale compensated brass saddles on my 52RI.
    I was initially impressed by the change in 'tone'
    -chords rang out fuller, they had better note separation, and overall
    sustain increased. But I thought these changes actually took away from
    the teleness. Something was lost from the 'improvements'
    That some thing I think is twang. Teles arent supposed to be sustain
    monsters. Its not unlike a jazzmaster vs a jaguar where jags
    are more percussive, but that is by design.
    When playing surf you dont want sustain, you want percussion.

    I think the improvements glendale saddles provide (other than
    easier intonation) is from the way the saddles all butt up next to each other,
    unlike trad saddles where there is space between each.
    Coupling I think is the term.

    I went back to the original saddles. Besides the fact compensated
    saddles look ridiculous, I just didnt like what most find to be improvements.
    Its kind of like Baby from Dirty Dancing-to me she looked better
    before she got a nose job. Or like when her sister in the movie
    suggests she straighten her hair but then realizes she looks
    better with curly, mop top hair because thats who she is.

    Thats what a tele is-a girl with a big nose and messy hair.
     

  10. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    This what most people are saying on this forum, I'm listening and that's why I want to make a no-frills Telecaster, in making all three guitars I hope to learn a lot too, I think there are no short cuts to learning how to play and make guitars. One thing I strongly believe is to work 'with' the character of a guitar, I don't want to make something that doesn't have the Tele character; which is why I am trying to follow the early fifties purity of design.

    The one clear message I have got from this forum is to keep the bridge plate thin, that's where the twang is, and twang is an important part of the Tele sound. There is one player on Youtube I really think is brilliant, he swears by the Glendale saddles, which he replaces the original Fender with on all his guitars; unfortunately I can't remember his name... he also recommends thicker gauge strings, 11 or even 12's!

    Yes, I agree with you, some of the compensated saddles look very awkward, especially the ones which are not straight and end up at different angles.

    It could well be that out of the three guitars, the cheapest model could well sound most like a Telecaster.
     

  11. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Hahahahaha! I think this is brilliant! This is what fascinates me about guitars, when you think you are making progress and learning, something pops up to make you re-evaluate the basics, somehow something was missed...

    Is your Squire completely original in every way? I sometimes wonder, if a base guitar is already really good, what can a custom shop do that makes a guitar so many times more expensive? Have you tried a custom shop Telecaster? I do believe that the wood can make a difference, any type of wood, even pine.

    It's like the tonewood debate, I think there is a lot to learn from many of the 'discussions' it's best to have an open mind and listen, while being aware that some people are just spouting complete nonsense.

    When I have made each guitar I will post my bridge and other comparisons on here for anyone who is interested :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016

  12. rze99

    rze99 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK


    Totally original Squier CV BSB. The tuners are not great. But they're dead cheap to replace. The neck is too thin but plays nicely. I do genuinely think it is the pine body. I'd like another pine Tele actually.

    Yes I've got two Gibson Custom shop guitars. Both of which are beautifully made and are truly wonderful guitars. The R4 especially.

    I haven't got a custom shop Tele though. To be frank I think they are overpriced for type of guitar though doubtless many will disagree. I can do without the relicing and master builder stuff.
     

  13. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    I also have a couple of Reissue Les Paul's, I'm not entirely satisfied though, for me they are both works in progress.

    It would be interesting to know how your Squire would sound if you changed the body, keeping the pickups and bridge, same electrics too.

    A short time ago I had the privilege of playing a Gibson junior I think, two P90's, tv yellow, it was a '59, not a reissue. Suddenly I realised what the vintage fuss was all about, worn in like an old friend, chips and scratches that told a story of its life, a real life. Faking age by damaging a brand new guitar though completely goes over my head, I just don't understand it.

    My replicas will look like new guitars because that's what they are, when they are 60 they will have their own marks telling a story of their lives through various caretakers.
     

  14. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    I have a Squier Std. Tele I got new in 2007. Excellent set-up and fretwork right off the rack, but the OEM pickups were overwound and muddy sounding. A used set of Fender OV's cured that, $50.00 well spent. The guitar sounded wonderful, straight ahead vintage Tele, but I got seduced by the Callaham hype (Better tone! Better tone!). So, I buy a Callaham bridge and the enhanced vintage compensated saddles. This stuff was gorgeous. Impeccable workmanship, like jewelry.

    Totally changed the sound of the guitar, and for the worse. Words fail me, it just had to go. I put the original hardware back on and sold off the Callaham parts. Now living happily ever after.

    All the parts of the guitar work together to determine how it sounds, reinforcing some frequencies and suppressing others. It's a mechanical network that's analogous to an electrical network. Stiffness, mass and damping are mathematically identical to electrical capacitance, inductance, and resistance. The math is pretty hairy stuff. The point is that all those characteristics just add together to produce the results you hear - no way to single out the body, bridge, neck, etc.

    So maybe I'm just gun shy after that bridge swap I did, but now, if a guitar sounds good, I leave it alone.
     

  15. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    I've learned to loathe the word best in relation to guitars :) Even though I'm one of the cheerleaders of cheap I would only go as far as saying cheap can be your favorite so don't dismiss it and assume more money = better.

    When Fender has one pile of necks and bodies that are used for both MIM & MIA guitars (they did for at least a few years) and then you hear the faux experts talking about the tonal differences based on the political boundary of the assembly locations you have to accept at least some of the experts are complete BS.

    For everything you're reading about thinner plates vs. thicker plates and the tonal difference between brass and steel you can find examples of other experts with a contrary opinion. When swamp ash can be described as scooped by one and mid dominant by another at least one person is wrong if swamp ash has only one sound, if it has more than one sound they can both be right but then it's irrelevant as it could sound like anything.

    If you want to master the tone of your guitar and be able to control it from one room to another don't buy fancy parts, learn how EQ works. Any subtle difference between 2 similar guitars can easily be be overridden with a knob twist. I tend to dismiss anything about tone from people who do things like never tweak amp settings once they find one tone they like. If they don't adjust for the room, other players, air temperature and humidity and the dampening affect of 100 drunks they can't hear the difference in bridge plate thickness.

    :twisted::twisted::twisted:
     

  16. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Oh yes! I agree with this, exactly what I have found, that's why it seems as though there is some kind of magic at play, it's a complicated puzzle of harmony and disharmony... the sum of the parts... Joe Bonamassa says if it's not broken don't fix it :)

    That Callaham bridge must have been a bad match for the rest of the guitar, that's interesting!! It's thicker, even than the Squire bridge, perhaps that was the problem?

    You might get a good surprise by changing the electrics though, that would let the new pickups shine through... my Asian Hamer was improved no end by a set of Seymour Duncan's, but changing the electrics made a huge positive difference, I really heard those pickups for the first time. I haven't tried changing the bridge though, the guitar sounds fine as it is.
     

  17. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Yes, sorry, instead of 'better' I should have written more Tele like. That is something that has come up a lot, use different parts, it will sound different, but most importantly when the differences add up, it might not sound like a Telecaster.

    Ha! Yes, there is often a contradictory opinion, it's sometimes difficult to know what is going to give the most Tele like sound.

    "The dampening effect of a 100 drunks"... oh my gosh! That's a challenge! No, we would not be talking about subtle differences in bridge thickness in that kind of playing environment. I think the opposite to playing in a rowdy bar is the recording studio environment, there I'm sure subtle differences matter.

    I think everyone has a certain sound they are chasing from a guitar, I think Tim Lerch's sound here is bang on where I want to be with a Telecaster. He uses 11 or 12 gauge strings, fat neck, Glendale saddles on a standard Fender bridge...
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016

  18. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    By now you may have noticed I'm a bit of a contrarian ;) So when I see this comment I feel an urge to argue the point.

    Let's take the example of James Jamerson, mythical hook fingered legend in the bass world known for playing on many great Motown hits and often praised for his studio tone. Well here's an example, I think his tone sucks. Notice the huge difference in tone from one string to another, it's just a hideous sounding track as far as tone is concerned to me. Yet the track still gets airplay even today.

     

  19. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    My child you do have my permission....:D:D
     

  20. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    I just thought, many people take good ideas from others on these forums, it would be good to give some recognition where it's due :)

    Your child... ha!
     

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