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Professional Telecaster bridge cover purpose?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by PDX Guitar Freak, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. PDX Guitar Freak

    PDX Guitar Freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    4
    Jul 24, 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    Hello Tele-enthusiasts! After playing guitar for 35 years, I finally bought a Tele (the Fender American Professional in butterscotch blonde). I can't remember the last time I was so inspired by an instrument. Buying my first Strat or first LP was also exciting, but they did not have the same impact on me...I'm in love! Reading through this forum was very helpful in the decision process, so thank you!

    Okay, on to the point of my posting. I've searched through this site's message boards, and others, and I see quite a bit of debate over the purpose of bridge covers or ashtrays on Teles. Some say it's purely aesthetic, and others claim it was originally intended for shielding purposes of the bridge pickup. Either way, what then is the purpose of the new mini-bridge cover on the Fender Professional Telecasters? It's quite small, and just barely covers the end of the bridge... it only covers the heads of the intonation screws, but perhaps that is the purpose? That is, to clean up the appearance slightly?

    I really appreciate any thoughts the more experienced Tele players have on this. By the way, if you have not tried one, the new mini-bridge cover does not prevent right-hand palm muting, which is a question I have seen others ask. In fact, at least for me, it seems to provide a nice comfortable spot at which to anchor my palm. minibridgecover.jpg
     
  2. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Decoration?

    I've NEVER played with one in place...it's always been removed while playing.
     
  3. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Long notch cuts on the bridge plate, and a cut cover to match the aesthetics?

    This one is for looks, that’s it. Aggressive palm muting probably push the thing off:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  4. PDX Guitar Freak

    PDX Guitar Freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    4
    Jul 24, 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for the reply! If I had a standard size ashtray cover, I would definitely be removing it too given the obstruction it appears to create. In the case of the new mini covers, it does not seem to create the same dilemma.
     
  5. PDX Guitar Freak

    PDX Guitar Freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    4
    Jul 24, 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    Hey BorderRadio, thanks for the reply! It fits rather snuggly, so I don't think any amount of palm muting is going to push it off. Perhaps it may get nudged a bit... slowly :)
     
    BorderRadio likes this.
  6. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    62
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    I keep my vintage cover on my partscaster Esquire all the time, for looks AND because I've learned to use it as a palm rest for fingerpicking.
     
    Fiesta Red, Dadzmad and Ricky D. like this.
  7. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I do a lot of "palm-mutted" playing -- both melody and chording -- often to mimic percussive bass notes where ANY cover is a hinderance.
     
  8. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Meiners Oaks CA.
    I don't recall getting a cover when I bought my new Tele back in 1977. But, I may be wrong.
     
  9. PDX Guitar Freak

    PDX Guitar Freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    4
    Jul 24, 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    My apologies to the community here, and perhaps I should have done this before posting... I contacted Fender's consumer relations dept and they said it is intended for cosmetic purposes (such as hiding the ends of the intonation screws) - it's supposed to be a bit of a nod to the original design, but made much much smaller for practical purposes. Any other benefits gained from it (such as tone alteration, which I am yet to hear of), are not intended. I'm still glad I asked the question here, as perhaps other newbies such as myself may find it beneficial... or if anyone does find any other benefits of using the newly designed smaller bridge cover, it would be great to hear from them too. Thanks everyone!:D
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  10. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    It’s ended up being similar to the old Jazzmaster bridge cover, which similarly covers the bridge only - saddles and height adjustment screws. My AO Jazzmaster came with one and I tried it: looks pretty but gets in the way of palm muting at the bridge, was my conclusion. So back into the case it went...
     
  11. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    62
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    I seriously doubt that Fender's answer today is very based on the reality of yesterday.
     
  12. AndrewG

    AndrewG Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    May 15, 2007
    Exeter, England
    It's as pointless as the original, and gets in the way of playing just like the original. It isn't as useful as an ashtray though...
    I daresay, like the originals, these will eventually get relegated to the depths of a parts box somewhere, never again to see the light of day.
     
    1955 likes this.
  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I'd like to see a shorty one made available for a '52 style bridge.

    I see no point in trying to adapt to this overall design. The through holes are in the wrong place, the saddles can't be hiked up without choking the strings off and giving the guitar excessive tightness (the strings plunging directly down off the barrel and directly into the holes in some cases) and this means the bridge pickup can't be raised much anyway. So, a modern guitar with a couple of half-measures towards vintage. I don't have time to try to adapt to still another sub-variant.
     
  14. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 30, 2011
    U.S.A.
    That's for looks – and a nod to the old bridge covers.

    I kind of like it.
     
  15. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    I wouldn’t expect it to alter the tone: too far away to cause eddy currents in the bridge pickup, provide any shielding, or affect string vibrations.

    Shouldn’t interfere with palm muting, and the cut-down bridge sides are a plus in that department. The Gotoh bridge on my Thinline has that feature, and I quite like it.

    Bottom line: at worst, it’s irrelevant, and can be left off. At best, it provides a nice smooth anchor for chicken picking near the bridge PU, and looks pretty slick.
     
    Ira7 likes this.
  16. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    62
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Hell:

    If you had an Elite, you wouldn’t be able to put the damn thing on.

    It’s packed separately, and was a Fender production problem. It didn’t freaking fit.
     
  17. Revelation

    Revelation Tele-Meister

    135
    Aug 4, 2018
    PA
    [​IMG] I think the bridge cover is just for looks. The mini one is nice as you can still dampen the strings. It just hides the screws so it has a little more elegant look.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

    597
    Oct 27, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I believe the bridge cover was originally used on the Tele because it mimicked the cover used on the Fender pedal steels which preceded the Tele.

    So, it’s use on the new model is a shoutout to the old Teles which used the cover as a shoutout to the pedal steels.
     
  19. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jan 1, 2014
    UK
    I've never seen these before, they look cute. However they would need emptying of old cigarette end much quicker than the vintage style cover. :D
     
  20. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Holic

    927
    Aug 17, 2013
    Essex UK
    I, like you, bought a Butterscotch Blonde Tele a few weeks ago. And, like you have been inspired more than ever before. How can a guitar bring about such emotion. It’s almost spooky....................ashtray? No idea either, cover the screws? Shield the pup? Put mine on, lasted 10 mins, back in the case.
     
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