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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
    Peltogyne I will listen to this when I get home, I can't access Youtube in the office it's blocked!

    I've heard lots of bad tone on recordings, yes, you are quite right, many of them are played regularly. I didn't mean that 'all' studio recordings have good tone, I just meant that tone 'should' matter in the studio because that is a controlled environment. Playing different venues is quite another matter, like you rightly said, the amp's tone needs to be adjusted to compensate for each venue, and full or half full of people, of course that will make a huge difference.

    There are some though that are just tone deaf, they are not able to find good tone even though they have every pedal and amp setting to play with. A great example of that is a guy who made many videos he posted on Youtube, dictating to us that we should stop debating the tonewood issue and concentrate upon our playing, then he plays his guitar; at that moment, it's clear why he is so irate about the subject of tone, he can play, however his tone 'to me' sounds awful.



    I think it's easier to detect when an instrument is out of tune, but tone, I think tone is something that you really have to train your ears to recognise and truly appreciate.
     

  2. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia

    Yes, this sounds awful. I started out playing bass, probably a lot worse than this, I don't think i understood tone either. The guitar was probably Chinese, a Fender Presision copy, it had a kink in the neck so the action was terrible, but everyone has to start somewhere. Not an easy instrument to play solo.
     

  3. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    I think you are probably right about the bridge. Thick polished stainless steel, had to be much stiffer than the original bridge. I remember the difference I objected to as much stronger highs and upper mids. Oh well, lesson learned.

    I'm definitely staying with the guitar as it is now. That guitar with my tweed Deluxe clone absolutely nails one of my favorite Tele sounds, Steve Cropper early Booker T and the MGs. Killing it!

     

  4. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    The Callaham bridge would have been cold rolled steel, and... thick. I'm going to try the Glendale CRS, with a small cuttaway for finger picking, it's supposed to be approximately the same thickness as the Fender bridges to retain the twang, with that I will use their brass saddles. It will be interesting to compare this bridge with the Wilkinson and also a Sodial bridge from China costing £3.75... complete with brass saddles (with groves to stop the strings slipping) and ferrules, recommended by Nick Fanis... the funny thing is that out of those three bridges, it's not the Glendale I'm excited about trying, it's the Sodial, because it's so cheap! How on earth is it possible to manufacture a complete bridge for that price send it half way round the world and throw in free delivery and ferrules!!!!????

    Tweed Deluxe clone, is that a Victoria? I've heard good things about the Victoria Fender Tweed copies. I'm wondering if I should try one of those Tweed amp kits....?

    It's a good feeling when you finally get a guitar to play the way you want :) One of my guitars was perfect straight out of the box... frightfully perfect, it's just impossible to think of anything that could make it better, but all the other are ongoing projects.... and that's how we learn...
     

  5. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 29, 2011
    Philadelphia
    Personally, I love the Callaham vintage compensated saddles and bridge. It's the single best upgrade I've ever done to an electric guitar, and I've done a lot. I've never regretted doing it, and always thought it was worth the price.

    For these reasons:

    1. It's absolutely much better quality hardware than what you'd find on a CS Fender. It improves the guitar's tone and playability, and nobody except the most extreme Tele nerd will know it's not the bridge that came with the guitar.

    2. The bridge plate is made from thicker, smoother steel. Importantly, it drops in without any drilling or modification and it lies completely flat with the surface of the top of the guitar. The corners are smooth and not bent like Fender's cheap Tele bridge, Callaham uses cold rolled steel. I also like the fact that the cutout on the high E side of the bridge is nicely done. These things improve sustain and playability. You don't need to use the two little screws at all, I've found. Just drop it in and use the already-existing screw holes. The bridge plate is stiff without them, and another advantage is that if you don't like it for any reason you can remove it without any modification to the guitar (no drilling).

    3. The brass compensated saddles are awesome; they work as advertised and unlike stock saddles they are completely smooth and polished. Solves the intonation problem right away. No nonsense going on with your G string, and string spacing will be totally uniform (the same between each string). No bending screws with a pair of pliers and such to intonate, no slanting of the saddles necessary, and string length and height are easily adjustable. A lot of rock players don't care much about intonating a Tele bridge and say that "close enough" is good enough. That's fine until you have to play with more instruments than just a typical rock guitar-bass-drums-keys ensemble and you're in a large group of instruments. Tuning becomes an issue. But not with this bridge. Also, the strings will not touch the saddle height screws, which is a major annoyance I have with the stock Fender bridges.

    Essentially, the Callaham improves a Tele a lot on intonation, sustain, and string spacing.
     

  6. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    I have a Glendale CRS bridge on my #1. It's virtually identical to a Fender ashtray, just much better quality.

    There's a tweed Deluxe owner's thread here on TDPRI. You could read through it, good info scattered throughout. Here's a link:

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/amp-owners-clubs/166053-5e3-deluxe-owners-club.html

    It's an immensely popular design, considering that it dates back almost 60 years. The Victoria 20112 is a very nice version. I built mine from a kit by Mission Amps about 9 years ago, and it still makes me grin every time I play it.
     

  7. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Wyclif thank you for your input on this subject, the members on this site are really good at posting!

    There seems to be quite a difference of opinions on the Callaham bridge. I think this is because we are chasing different sounds, what is perfect for one person is too twangy and thin for another. It's all particularly difficult for me because my experience so far is with Gibson type guitars, where you are usually chasing rich, warm tones. From my 'theory' experience, the Telecaster bridge is very important for the Tele sound, and the twang is part of it's character; the question for most of us is, how much twang do we need?

    For me, there is nothing more beautiful than a guitar that is in tune (with itself and the other instruments) has wonderful tone and played with feeling and expression through a good amp, I think there are and have been too many sloppy guitarists! I also believe that the genre of music is no excuse to sound awful.
     

  8. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    So are you saying that the Glendale looks and feels better than the Fender bridge, but sounds just the same?

    Thank you for the Tweed link, I can see I will have to get one, in some form for the Telecaster.. :)
     

  9. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    Ι also have installed 2 of them and they are "pieces of jewellery" construction wise,they also sit flat on the body (not all Fender plates do,even though this can be easily fixed),since they are the same thickness with the original Fender plates and are magnetic they DO "sound" the same (they also have non-magnetic versions that don't sound the same but more "modern")
     

  10. Amby

    Amby Tele-Holic

    As far as I'm concerned there is not a lot wrong with the Fender Pat. Pend. bridge - it does the job. Mine is perfectly flat too - no problem there. Spend your money on a set of Callaham vintage enhanced compensated brass saddles, they are awesome imo.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016

  11. PaisleyAddict

    PaisleyAddict Tele-Meister

    156
    Dec 12, 2015
    Springfield
    some thoughts that come to mind:

    1) his tone is fine. that track is a perfect example of what a precision bass sounds like with bridge foam and flatwounds.

    2) the precision bass isn't much of a solo instrument, i've noticed. it shines when played live or on a recording. it cuts through the mix like a knife through butter and then you really understand what the precision is about. the only instruments that come close are the other ones designed by leo fender.

    3) the difference in sound between individual strings is only audible on an isolated track, and it's minimal at the worst. the track was never meant to be isolated, so it doesn't really matter. the reason they sound different is probably because jamerson only changed individual strings when they broke and left the unbroken ones on, so he had a mix of old and new strings on his bass.

    4) the track gets airplay because it's an excellent song played by excellent musicians.

    5) please provide us with an example of what you consider "good" bass tone.

    on another note, this thread has inspired me to buy a cheap telecaster bridge and be happy with it. chasing snake oil with overpriced parts really isn't my bag.
     

  12. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    Looks better, feels and sounds about the same. The one I have was a gift from Mrs. D., but my next build will be a Fender part. The flat bottom is the important part IMO.
     

  13. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    I thought so, I guessed that they are meant to sound the same, I didn't realise that these bridges were magnetic, that's interesting...

    On the subject of 'magnetic' do you use shielding under your pickguard?
     

  14. kennl

    kennl Tele-Holic

    965
    Feb 6, 2007
    Moon Township, PA
    metal composition and thickness will vary, with thin steel plate imparting more "ring" to the sound than thick stainless steel plates. A Cabronita bridge will sound different, Choose a plate that suits you style.
     

  15. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    Magnetic has nothing to do with shielding.Anyway I don't use shielding in any of my guitars since I don't have problems with noise.
     

  16. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    It's funny how in a thread discussing the tonal differences perceived between basically the same piece of metal made by different people that completely mis matching old and new strings can be dismissed so easily as tonally irrelevant.

    http://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=698960&
     

  17. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Tonerider's...

    Nick what are your favourite Tonerider pickups? Like you, I prefer low output pickups, the Blues set is their lowest output, but I think they sound a bit too thin, I think I like the Vintage Plus, the neck sounds great and the bridge has that twangy Tele sound. The Hot Classics seem to lack depth... Too hot?

    Do have a set? I'm just listening to YouTube demos, not the ideal way to choose a pickup.
     

  18. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    I like the thin sounding pickups, once you get them with a band and a bass with a strong midrange it works for me. A vintage wind paired with a nice Jazz Bass sounds killer.

    We should take this tone thing a bit farther and go beyond a single guitars tone to include what it's paired with. Like wine and food.
     

  19. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

    152
    Jan 15, 2016
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Ha! Yes, in a way you are right, a holistic approach, if you don't know where you are going the journey will certainly be a quick one..

    I've become quite a purist, low output pickups, ones which include plenty of the ambience of the instrument, not just the magnetic interaction of the strings with the coil and magnets... through fairly clean amplification... so far, no effects... perhaps a small drop of reverb...

    I think I'm still at the peeling and scraping vegetable stage, preparing the right ingredients for the dish, and it's a dish cooked with pure valve/tubes, over a handwired simple fire, served through a good couple of 12" speakers... I'm thinking of getting a Vox AC30 handwired combo with the blue alnico speakers... for clarity, at least as a first 'real' amp.

    I know this sounds a little unconventional, but I started with an acoustic amp because I was playing a Yamaha electro acoustic, and decided to stick to the AER for my first electric, a Hamer with humbuckers which of course sounded awful; so, I upgraded the guitar and 'better' is most definitely the operative word here, then bought an (electric guitar) pre-amp...

    The AER is a lovely natural-sounding amp, of course the pre amp section is no good for electric guitars, unless you only play jazz, so I use a Line6 Floor Pod, I plug that directly into the power stage of the AER, it gives a good sound, but, I want a real amp!

    I think the Line6 is good for hearing the differences between different amps, but I think it is a bit like listening to videos on YouTube, I wonder just how close these sounds are to what they sound first hand.

    Peltogyne, have you tried the Tonerider pickups?
     

  20. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    I have put the Vintage Plus in a few teles and they are great low output
    pup the Hot Classics are also killer and even though they are hotter they do sound like real tele pups.
     

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