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Squire Vintage Modified Jaguar Bridge Qs

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Rick C., Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Rick C.

    Rick C. TDPRI Member

    32
    May 18, 2015
    Piqua, OH
    Greetings. I recently got a Squire VM Jag at a decent price off Reverb(dot)com (It's a keeper).

    'Didn't really know about all the 'jangling' (i.e., rattling) issues that Jags can have. Nor about how the 'threaded saddles' can be problematic with string slippage.

    At any rate, I got a cheap Chinese-made replacement Mustang bridge off eBay ($17, correct string spacing, 9.5 radius, with a nice groove for each string); apparently, at one time only Warmoth had 'em.

    So. I've read & watched about all there is to see on Jag set-ups, which was one reason I got the Mustang bridge.

    Q: 'Seems like a lot of folks (maybe most) put some kind of tape around the bridge poles (that insert into the studs). This makes the bridge stationary, helps keep the guitar in tune, and stops 'rattling'. So my Q is: Are Jags actually DESIGNED to have a kind of floating bridge? (To me it would seem so, seeing as they're made like that).

    My current plans are to use aluminum tape to secure the bridge poles & give the saddles a dose of white lithium grease (since the strings will be 'moving over' the saddles).

    As something of an aside: the Chinese Mustang bridge's intonation screws were a tad short; fully extended, they barely make it half way into the bridge space. I'm going to install some longer screws from a Mexican Strat bridge I no longer use. They're slightly shorter than the stock screws currently still on the new Jag (these screws look as if they may hit the bridge, being pretty long).

    Q2: Do any of you just go with a stock VM Jag bridge? (without securing it stationary in the studs)? If so, do you have tuning issues?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Dr Improbable likes this.

  2. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Holic

    913
    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    Yep, the Jaguar bridge was designed to "float" when you used the whammy bar. It's a little overkill, but it does work.

    If you let the bridge float, the strings don't move that much in the saddles. The tape thing is pretty common though, but I'd skip the grease unless you're looking to mute your strings with it... 'cause that's what it'll do.


    Yep, I have a Jaguar and a Jazzmaster with the stock bridges, and have owned others in the past. I play the hell out of the trem, and they work just fine. A lot of folks complain about them because they don't know how to set 'em up.
     
    Cliffyg62 and Dr Improbable like this.

  3. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    Actually a lot of people hit the strings really hard so the strings change slots.
     

  4. Rick C.

    Rick C. TDPRI Member

    32
    May 18, 2015
    Piqua, OH
    beyer160,

    Thanks for your reply. I'm going to go ahead & use the slotted saddles (possibly with the stock bridge, will do fit checks on both bridges).

    As far as keeping in tune, I used to solder the ball ends of the strings (Carlos Santana's guitar tech did that years ago; this was a trick I learned in Dan Erlewine's "Guitar Repair Guide"). I did DEEP dives on my Mexican Strat & it kept in perfect tune. I may try this again if I have tuning issues.

    Something's rattling on my Jag now. 'Can't tell if the trem spring is loose, but will check it.

    Otherwise, I'll go with 'no tape' (as you do) & see what happens.

    The guitar definitely needs a set-up. I like low action.

    Oh-oh! I've run into another problem! The guitar came tuned up to G! (like standard but 2 notes too high). I tuned it & waited a couple days. The neck was bowed a bit much for my liking.

    I just tightened the truss rod. Wanted to go about 1/4th of a turn but it tightened all the way after about 1/8th of a turn!

    Plus, I want to use heavier gauged strings than are on it. Oh no! I hope I don't have to put washers on the truss rod! (Something I've never had to do).

    In any event, I'll let it set a day or so & see how the neck looks. I don't have access (and/or funding) to the tools I'd need to clamp the neck.

    Push comes to shove, I may try to use weights. Not sure if anyone's done it that way (hang weights on the neck, straddling it, like).
    ===============

    Then again, I might be getting ahead of myself. The intonation is off & the strings are pretty high. Once I get to tweeking, things may work out.

    Thanks again!
     

  5. Rick C.

    Rick C. TDPRI Member

    32
    May 18, 2015
    Piqua, OH
    radiocaster,

    I don't usually play real hard, about medium. However, I had the high E slip with only about medium playing. (Again, I'll use the replacement slotted saddles).

    Thanks!
     

  6. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Holic

    913
    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    Shim the neck with a business card or two to raise it, then raise the bridge to compensate. This increases the downward force on the strings, keeping them in the slots. I wail on my Jazzmaster like Pete Townshend, and the strings stay put. If you really have a problem you can just file the slot a little deeper.

    The trem spring does like to rattle. If you haven't put loctite on your bridge hight screws yet, do that too. The Jaguar trem/bridge design overall has all kinds of weird resonances and rattles but in the end, if you can't hear the rattles out of the amp, I don't worry about it. The resonances are what make the Jaguar sound so cool to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    Cliffyg62 likes this.

  7. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    I didn't say I have that problem, did I?
     

  8. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Holic

    913
    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    I was using the editorial "you."
     
    radiocaster likes this.

  9. Rick C.

    Rick C. TDPRI Member

    32
    May 18, 2015
    Piqua, OH
    beyer160 -- I saw your other post on another thread about Jags & Jazzmaster & posted the following link (StewMac has neck shims at a decent price -- I'm gonna buy some): http://www.stewmac.com/Materials_an...itar_Necks/StewMac_Neck_Shims_for_Guitar.html
    I also noted the Premier Guitar article on setting up Jags & JMs. Good stuff!

    Otherwise, I think that with the shim(s) my neck should be OK. The nut slots need filing for one thing. Which will lower the action.

    I've also noticed that even with the action currently quite high, I can play leads fairly easily. I have slightly short fingers & this is why I went for the Jag & it's shorter scale length. Till now all of my electric guitars have been 25.5". Can't WAIT to get this baby set-up! (but am gonna order shims first).

    As far as the trem spring rattling, I'm thinking: maybe insert something real small. Like for Strat trem springs, you can wrap a rubber band around them (not tight, just snug). I'll lube the trem spring & screw too.

    Thanks!
     

  10. Rick C.

    Rick C. TDPRI Member

    32
    May 18, 2015
    Piqua, OH
    Addendum, re: Loctite. I probably won't need it since I'll be using the slotted saddles.
     

  11. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Holic

    913
    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    The locktite is for the grub screws on the bridge saddles and the bridge height adjustment screws- those SOBs rattle like nobody's business. Locktite blue dries clear and can be "broken" if you need to adjust the screws later. Some guys use clear nail polish, I prefer locktite.
     

  12. Rick C.

    Rick C. TDPRI Member

    32
    May 18, 2015
    Piqua, OH
    Here's a pic of the Mustang bridge I got off eBay. But actually, it's not exactly the same as the one I received (which has shorter 'grub screws' -- if that's what 'intonation screws' are?). Am hoping I can get away with the slotted saddles & no Loctite or nail polish.

    [​IMG]
     

  13. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    106
    Dec 27, 2007
    Albuquerque
    Play it and if there isn't a problem then it is solved.

    I did change the bridge on my Son's Jag to a Tuna-Matic, and I like it better that way and so does he.

    I have videos on youtube about the change over, search my username.
     

  14. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Holic

    913
    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    These are the screws you need to locktite. Back one out, squirt locktite in the hole, reinstall, then do the next one. Just don't get it on your strings. The intonation screws are the ones that come out of the back, parallel to the strings. You shouldn't need to do anything to those.

    iu.jpg
     

  15. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    149
    Aug 14, 2015
    Wisconsin
    Did you get that jag off Reverb? There was a VM on there for $250.00 but I passed because it was missing some bridge parts...
     

  16. Rick C.

    Rick C. TDPRI Member

    32
    May 18, 2015
    Piqua, OH
    Yep. Reverb. Actually it was $399. I got mine coz I liked the finish (sunburst, kind of reddish, have never had a sunburst guitar).

    Depending on what bridge parts were missing or if there's any damage, $250 might be OK.

    The (Mustang) bridge I got was $17 off eBay. Replacement trems aren't real expensive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017

  17. Rick C.

    Rick C. TDPRI Member

    32
    May 18, 2015
    Piqua, OH
    Thanks some more, beyer160! (OK, I admit I didn't really know what grub screws were). 'First time I've had anything at all to do with Jags.

    I'll be using Loctite. Those screws do rattle. Only thing about that is: Would you mark the screws somehow to make sure you have the correct depth? WAIT. Duh. I have some StewMac Luthier Calipers (will just measure them).

    Only thing I need now is a neck shim. I'll caliper a few business cards to decide on thickness. StewMac says .5 degree are the most versatile. One guy used a 1 degree on a Jazzmaster & said it was a tad too high.
     

  18. Rick C.

    Rick C. TDPRI Member

    32
    May 18, 2015
    Piqua, OH
    Thanks, AD, but I've decided on the Mustang bridge.
     
    AngelDeville likes this.

  19. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    106
    Dec 27, 2007
    Albuquerque
    It's cool you found the 9.5 radius, I couldn't find one when I was looking for one!
     
    Rick C. likes this.

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