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

How important is the bridge?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Vespa_One, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. daddyplaysbass

    daddyplaysbass Tele-Holic

    Mar 19, 2003
    Chandler Arizona
    Real important in the "60's candy-chord tunes, "Angel Baby", "Sleepwalk" etc.
    Vespa_One and Chicago Matt like this.

  2. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    As for bridges, I've used cheap ones and been perfectly satisfied, but I have also used very nice ones and have also been perfectly satisfied. There is a level of fit and finish and beauty that a cheap "produced by the gajillions" bridge will never match. For certain instruments, an expensive bridge is the right choice, for others it isn't. There is form and there is function, but there is also comfort which is another important thing.

    In short, I will use whatever bridge fits the styles, usage, and design goals of an instrument. For me, that tends more and more to be higher end prototypes. I build a lot of my hardware nowadays. However, sometimes that cheap bridge is just what the doctor ordered. That decision is purely up to you.

  3. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2017
    Denver, CO
    It's amazing how little attention they pay to finishing the vintage style plates. The modern ones are easy with just one bend, but the corners on Fender brand vintage plates are laughable. The tops of the corners are jagged and the tooling on the press brakes must be crap considering the deep gouges on the sides. That, or they don't buff before plating, not sure which is worse. I could have done better as an 8 year old in my garage! Slap it on a $1500 guitar and you're done!

    Discomfort and/or ugliness is why I've often changed stock bridges, Fender isn't the only culprit.
    I_build_my_own and Vespa_One like this.

  4. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    May 11, 2011
    North of Boston
    Maybe they figure the vintage style is getting an "ash tray" cover and it doesn't need to be as finished? The guide on the tour went out of his way to point out that this press has been in use at Fender since the '50s! Leo was a frugal gent...There were war surplus (WWII) drill presses in the shop there!
    Barncaster, Vespa_One and Sconnie like this.

  5. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    I have used the Wilkinson compensated three saddle bridges on several guitars and though available in the sub$25 range, I find them excellent, in every way - fit, appearance, performance. etc. Snobbery (no offense intended to anyone - it just seems like the right word) seems the only justification for spending more on a vintage style bridge.
    My last build was for a friend who have me put a Gotoh modern style bridge (vintage spec holes) on it. It was beautiful, solid brass and lovely nickel finish. Cost around $55-60 IIRC. But the darn thing weighed over a half pound! It was a nice bridge though. I can't say how its sound would have compared to the Wilkinson...

    Vespa_One likes this.

  6. raito

    raito Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Nov 22, 2010
    Madison, WI
    Unless you're muffling a snare.

  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    still... after all these years....

    a part, any part can only bring to the "table" what the laws of physics allow. that can go either way...

    when you change a part, the composite of the guitar doesn't know or care if it's a 500.00 hand tooled from unobtanium beauty or a 4.00 asian hard tail ... the only way one is "better" than the other is if YOU like the results better than the other one... but it CAN go the oher way...

    Dollars spent mean nothing... the only defining criteria is do YOU like what you're hearing... seems like ya do, .. I'd leave it alone...

    Ron Kirn

  8. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    I thought so too. I thought, 'Hey another Minnesota company making cool guitar parts'. So I emailed them a couple of weeks ago - still no response.

  9. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    Would you mind sharing his name? I know a bunch in Turkey but none with only one bass guitar.

  10. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    They have a pretty tight sales network, did you try a reseller?

    I heard only great reviews about their stuff and nightmare stories about their pricing ;)

  11. kLyon

    kLyon Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    Mar 21, 2011
    Feryin Kaya. (And like I said, he has two now))
    Are you in Istanbul now? I'm coming to play a show at Zorlu on October 13th..

  12. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    Stock Fender Tele bridges are very inexpensive, have been on Teles that have defined Rock and Roll and as pointed out above are still made on the same equipment as they originally were 65 years ago. If someone can show me a guitar part with this much authenticity and street cred for $15, my hat is off to you. For the perfectionists out there, take a few minutes to true their bottom on a piece of granite and a little abrasive and there are no down sides. I still don't know why some idiot Isn't buying these things up and charging $100 a piece for them. C'mon people, there's a market to be exploited here!
    Vespa_One likes this.

  13. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Could Leo have possibly made a cheaper, less fancy bridge? I mean the whole thing was fabricated out of commonly available stock, using a stamping press. He was so embarrassed by it that he went to the trouble of the ashtray, which almost everybody took off. The original was just stamped steel and threaded brass rod, then later--in my favorite example of Leo's genius for cheap--he went with threaded bar stock.

    If you want to fancy it up and you fancy you hear a sonic improvement go for it, but I think the original tele proves conclusively that expensive bridges are not a necessary thing.
    Vespa_One and Barncaster like this.

  14. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Precisely. IMO the $25 Wilkinson with the compensated saddles is about as fancy as one needs to get. If it has to say "Fender" on it twice the coin will hook you up. Intonation will be trickier, but it will say "Fender" on it. So you got that going for you...

  15. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    I'll meet you half way Rex. A Fender plate and compensated Wilkinson brass saddle set can be done for right around $25 on the bay of e for a traditional Tele look with good intonation. For the half bridge at a reasonable price, the Wilkinson has got that locked.
    LutherBurger likes this.

  16. Tommyd55

    Tommyd55 Tele-Meister

    Sep 25, 2013
    Southern Missouri
    $200 holy moly... That must be some heck of a bridge..

    There are many very excellent bridges in the $50- $100 range.. and yes, I would say the bridge is a critical component in the big picture. It is responsible for several jobs.

    As you said, if it ain't broke..... see how it works out after a couple of months..
    Vespa_One likes this.

  17. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Holic

    Feb 14, 2017
    Could you elaborate on the specifics of your locktite method? Which kind to use and how to apply. Are you still able to adjust saddle screws later?

  18. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    I bought a Fender plate from Musicians Friend and a set of brass compensated saddles on eBay. I think the total cost was $22 or $23.

    My favorite bridge, though, is the Fender MIM Standard 6-saddle "modern" bridge, which Chicago Music Exchange sells for $16.75 with free shipping.
    Vespa_One likes this.

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