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

Player Tele Bridge Issue - My Experience with Fender CR

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Ziggy587, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    15
    Feb 10, 2019
    Long Island, NY
    Hey guys. First time poster here. I thought I would share my recent experience with the Player Series Telecaster bridge saddle issue because others might find this info useful. The several threads this forum has on the matter were very helpful to me.

    I purchased my Player Series Telecaster in August of 2018. As such, it came with the bent steel saddles. I was aware of the restring issue as soon as I got it (it was ordered online) but I wasn't bothered enough by it to do anything.

    What did annoy me was another issue I was having with the bent saddles. The height set screws would actually back themselves out as I played the guitar. I suppose the vibrations is what did it. This would obviously lower the string, which made it go flat. I had to constantly tune up the guitar while playing it. And by constant, I mean every few minutes all the strings were flat. Eventually, the strings would be so low that the guitar became unplayable to do "fretting out" issues. I would then have to raise all the saddle back up, only for them to lower again. This made the guitar very unplayable.

    I would Google for info every so often to see if it was a widespread problem. Sure enough, it was! Well, at least the restring issue was. I haven't seen any one else complain about the height screws working themselves out. Either way, since others were stating that Fender was replacing the saddles, and that Fender would ship the saddles directly to you, I decided to go through the warranty service.

    What took me so long to make this decision was my aversion to having other people service my things. You see, I'm a proud DIY'er. I take such satisfaction in doing things myself that I wouldn't want someone to rob me of that satisfaction. That, and I just don't like strangers touching my stuff. I guess it's a trust thing.

    Anyway, my first thought was just to get replacement saddles myself. Even before I knew this was a widespread and well known issue, I've thought about just replacing the bridge. But, the principle of it. I just spent $675 on this guitar, I shouldn't have to spend more money to make it playable. So without making this too much of a wall-o-text, I couldn't decide what to do.

    Fast forward to present, I decided to email Fender Customer Relations. I sent an email on January 21, 2019 and did not get a reply until the 29th. I was actually about to email them again because I was unsure if they even got my first one. I didn't even get a "we got your email" auto reply or similar. Once I got a reply though, all future replies were speedy (within 24 hours).

    To make a long story short, Fender will no longer send you the replacement saddles, you have to bring it to an authorized repair shop. I was told that, "early on we may have been sending out saddles before other issues arose. This is why at this time we require a consumer that may be having saddle issues get in to an authorized service center." I speculate that "other issues" is if the bridge is drilled out on the wrong spot, as people have said in other threads.

    I decided it wasn't worth my time or hassle to go through the warranty service. From a little guesswork, I was quite sure my bridge was located correctly. I decided to purchase a MIM Telecaster bridge off eBay, apparently from an authorized seller of Fender parts. My MIM bridge came in the mail, and I have successfully transplanted the saddles onto my Player Telecaster. I setup the string height to my liking, set the intonation, and it's playing perfect! $18 well spent, I just wished I did this months ago before I decided to let the principle get in the way.

    Now, I'm not suggesting to anyone to NOT go through the Fender warranty service. Rather, I'm just stating that Fender will not ship the saddles to you anymore. So if that's what you're hoping for, you're better off grabbing the MIM bridge off eBay. That is, if you're sure your bridge is located correctly. The only option Fender will give you is to take it to an authorized service center.



    Since I had both saddles out, I thought I would take a picture of them side by side for reference.

    [​IMG]

    You can see easily how the bent steel saddle covers the string ferrule. I have a MIM Strat, and the saddles seem to be identical. However, the screw is significantly longer on the Telecaster versus the Strat. I mean, just look at how long it is in the above picture. It has to be that long to get the intonation right. But it's WAY out there, which makes it kinda unstable.

    Anyway, just wanted to post this info in case it can help someone!

    edit: I forgot I had a picture showing where the string ferrules are located on my guitar. This will be helpful for anyone that might want to swap the saddles themselves. I was able to simply swap my bent steel saddles for the MIM block saddles, as seen in the above pic. So if your ferrules are located where mine are, I think it's safe to assume you can swap to the MIM saddles without any issue.

    String Ferrules Measurement.jpg


    String Ferrules Zoom.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  2. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Sep 20, 2005
    Kansas City
    Nice photo that clearly shows the saddle issue! Yes, Fender actually stopped sending out the saddles over the summer - they probably only sent them out in July; by the time I got around to doing something about it with my original Player Tele they wouldn't send me the saddles - probably because there is the possibility that just changing the saddles won't fix every one.

    My original Player Tele was one where just changing the saddles wouldn't fix the problem - the cast saddles still covered the hole for the strings - so they had to send me a full replacement guitar.
     
  3. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    28
    886
    Jan 3, 2017
    Poland
    Post photos of whole guitar :D
     
  4. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    15
    Feb 10, 2019
    Long Island, NY
    Sure! I just happen to have two pics of the guitar on my cell that I took when I first got it. It's a little smudgy in the second pic, but oh well!

    Also, I've edited two pics into my first post that show the location of the string ferrules on my guitar.

    Butters (1).jpg Butters (2).jpg
     
    howardlo and RoCkstAr256 like this.
  5. Ydwen Jones

    Ydwen Jones Tele-Meister

    Age:
    47
    276
    Jan 2, 2019
    Amsterdam
    Welcome to TDPRI and thanks for this post. Might be useful for others, although I think I'd take mine back to the store. But then I'm not a proud DIYer. I'm just lazy.:)
    Nice guitar, btw! So how do you like it, now that the saddle issue's fixed?
     
  6. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    This made me cringe, as I absolutely understand why Fender did that. I can all but guarantee that there were a number of scheisters that would buy a number of Player Teles - probably from Guitar Center - contact Fender for replacement saddles, then return the guitars a few days later under the two week no hassle policy. Hey - sets of saddles for EBay! I bet Fender started to notice the same serial numbers coming in for replacements, and updated the policy.

    Don't you hate how a few bad apples ruin it for everyone? The things some people will do for a few bucks.

    I'm glad you were able to resolve your issue with minimal investment / hassle.

    Just for fun, I measured my 2013 Baja - a MIM - and it shows 5 1/8 from tail to the middle of the ferrule like your picture above.
     
    Ziggy587 and howardlo like this.
  7. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    15
    Feb 10, 2019
    Long Island, NY
    I bought it online, so returning it would have had the annoyance of shipping. Honestly, I feel like I'm the lazy one. I'm too lazy to bring it back and forth to repair shops. I'd rather stay at home and have the replacement saddles delivered to my front door. :D

    It's a fine guitar. It feels very much like a telecaster. After setting the string height with the new saddles, it plays very nice. The tuners feel very nice, including the fine tuning I did when I set the intonation. It stays in tune very well, and I'm a pretty aggressive bender. My only nitpick would be the pickups.

    The Player Series have new pickups. On Fender's site they say, "Designed for authentic Fender tone—with a bit of an edge—the Player Series pickups keep a foot in the past while looking to the future." That's actually a pretty good description of them. They're pretty bright, and pretty hot. Maybe too hot. I'm impressed though. The stock pups in my MIM Strat were very dull sounding, so I was surprised how good these sound. But as good as they sound for stock pups in an import, I feel like they could sound better. I may want to replace them at some point. I'll have to see. I've only played this guitar through my small combo amp so far. I'll have to see how it sounds through my half stack, and how it sounds in the mix.

    In the end, I suppose that's all that really matters. Truth be told, because of the bridge saddle issues I haven't played this guitar since early September of 2018. So it's kinda like getting a new guitar all over again!
     
    Ydwen Jones likes this.
  8. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Thanks for the thread, @Ziggy587.

    If you'll indulge me, I'm curious... how does the Player bridge plate differ from the MIM Standard bridge plate that you bought? Dimensions, material, ferromagnetism?
     
  9. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Mar 17, 2017
    Massachusetts
    It sounds like he just swapped the saddles and didn't install the MIM Std Bridge.

    I bet the bridge plate is the same.

    This whole situation was still ridiculous.. it reeks of some marketing guy deciding at the last minute to make a production change for change's sake. If they had sent someone to play a prototype for a few weeks before going to production they surely would have found this issue without having to ship them out to retailers/customers and then have to do all this warranty work.
     
    JodanOrNoDan likes this.
  10. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Yeah, that's what he said he did.
    I hope we'll soon find out.
     
  11. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    15
    Feb 10, 2019
    Long Island, NY

    They seem to be identical from a quick inspection. I didn't swap the plate, just the saddles. But while I had the saddles out, I laid the MIM plate over the other one. All of the mounting holes seem to line up, as well as the string ferrules and pickup cutout. It also appears to be the same shape and dimension.

    Yeah, they put Strat saddles on a Telecaster and used slightly longer screws so the intonation would be right. Whatever the reason these guitars shipped like this, it's super strange.
     
    LutherBurger likes this.
  12. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    28
    886
    Jan 3, 2017
    Poland
    I have had same PLayer Tele in BSB, however i sold it because i want Tidepool. Mine was a little more amber. I did hesitate between Arctic white MN and BSB Mn. Ended up selling bsb for Tidepool which is coming soon to me
     
    Ziggy587 likes this.
  13. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Thank you very much.
     
  14. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    62
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    You know what else is nuts?

    Thousands of these guitars are still hanging in guitar stores and boxed in warehouses ready for sale.

    What else can they do? They’re not going to recall the entire inventory, are they?
     
  15. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    England
    Quite disgusting situation imo, they still and won't come clean and admit to their 'design' mistake here.
     
    BrandonIke and JodanOrNoDan like this.
  16. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    15
    Feb 10, 2019
    Long Island, NY
    Awesome! How did you like yours?

    Yeah, that is pretty crappy. They should recall them.

    I wonder if it was a mistake, because how is that even possible? I wonder if they were short the parts but someone approved putting the wrong saddles on there with a "get it done and fix it later" attitude.
     
  17. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    England
    I think it's unnecessarily misleading, people will get caught out and its quite unfair for the consumer imo
     
    JodanOrNoDan likes this.
  18. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    28
    886
    Jan 3, 2017
    Poland
    Much better than standard, liked rounded body. Really nice in hands. However sold it cause want tidepool
     
  19. JodanOrNoDan

    JodanOrNoDan Tele-Meister

    Age:
    51
    117
    Jan 2, 2019
    US
    I have had my own issues with Fender customer service as of late. There are more models with issues and not just MIMs. They treated me like a moron. They lost a customer and pretty much made it clear to me that they don't care. I'm glad to hear you got your problem sorted out.
     
  20. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    15
    Feb 10, 2019
    Long Island, NY
    Yeah, you know, I wasn't going to say anything but I wasn't exactly pleased with Fender CR. Not that the rep was rude or anything, but at the same time I also got the feeling that they didn't really care about me. I actually gave them a pretty lengthy email on my third reply, and went into some detail about how I felt and how this is a huge inconvenience for me. I understand why they might not want to deal with the consumer for warranty service, but I was hoping for at the very least a standard, "we are sorry to hear that" response. A simple apology would have went a long way. I was thinking about demanding a T-shirt or a hat or something, but I wont bother.
     
    JodanOrNoDan likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.