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

Tele without ferrules...?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by TheNighthawk, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. TheNighthawk

    TheNighthawk NEW MEMBER!

    Aug 11, 2018
    Hello folks!

    This is my first post, but I've been lurking on here for a while...

    Long story short: I'm building my first Tele and I've gone for a classic Butterscotch SS with a relic look. I'm really satisfied with the result, but as I was putting all the parts together yesterday I noticed that I had forgotten to buy string ferrules. I couldn't wait to play the thing so I just put the strings in without them.

    The guitar feels and plays great, it has the twangy Tele tone which I was looking for.

    So... are there any downsides to leaving it as it is, i.e. without string ferrules? Except for the usual "the ball end might get stuck in the holes" thing.

    Thanks in advance for your opinions!

    AngelDeville likes this.
  2. Smiff

    Smiff Tele-Holic

    Oct 1, 2017
    Only problem I could see would be having to take the bridge off every time you changed strings. I imagine this would eventually strip the threads of the bridge mounting holes on the body.
    nojazzhere and Jim622 like this.
  3. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    If the string length behind the bridge makes a difference to the feel — it will play more like a top loader. (Personally I’ve never played a top loader so I couldn’t comment if there is a noticeable difference or not... there is an argument that the physics mean the string tension is different when bending.)
    So it will be interesting to see if you think it feels different when you get hacked off with the ballends getting stuck in the holes and fit some ferrules!
    igor5 likes this.

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Is it a string though body? If not, did someone change the bridge from a top loader to a standard string through? Then they counter sunk some holes in the body for the string ends to fit?

    If it's a string through body. Buy some ferrules to fit. Not a great expense. Or get a top loader bridge plate.
    MickM likes this.
  5. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    You trying to put the ferrules manufacturers out of business?

    I can’t see any reason not to, but ferrules are so cheap, I think you’re gonna want to eventually try them anyway and compare.
    nojazzhere likes this.
  6. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Why not just drill six holes at the back of the bridge, in the appropriate spots, and make it a top-loader? I promise you, most people can't hear any difference, and I bet you won't either. I've had both top-load and string-through on my Tele, (and everything else stayed the same) and it sounds EXACTLY the same. Just be sure to drill the holes low enough that you get a good "break" angle at the saddle.
    hellopike and Tonetele like this.
  7. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
  8. NothingGoatboat

    NothingGoatboat Tele-Meister

    Aug 26, 2017
    Southern California
    I lost a ferrule a long time ago so I just use a small metal nut I found. No issues so far. I would guess you're fine for now.
  9. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

    May 20, 2018
    Stocks have fallen at the American Ferrule Co. because of this thread
    nojazzhere and tweedman2001 like this.
  10. Badger06

    Badger06 Tele-Meister

    Nov 5, 2014
    Lund, Sweden
    The only downsides are cosmetic.
  11. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    I agree with @nojazzhere- male it a top loader.
    Taking that bridge on and off every time you change strings will make those four screw holes large- too large.
    Jim Campilongo has a toploader as well as others, it was a feature of '59 Telecasters and I don't think you'll hear any difference. It's already in a metal situation so why not save that body/screws from wear from those string holes?
    nojazzhere likes this.
  12. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    I think a bunch of respondents are missing what's going on here. Looks like the OP has a regular tele body with string-through holes made for ferrules, but no ferrules in the holes. The ball ends on the strings are just holding the underside of the bridge versus the ferrules. The strings still go in and out through the ferrule holes just as if the ferrules were there.

    My only concern would be this does change the stress on the bridge a bit, but I've no idea if this will be an issue. With the ferrules installed, the stress of the string pull is placed on the body wood via the ferrule flanges. As the OP's bridge is now I think there is a lot more stress on the bridge screws.

    I'd just put in the ferrules.
  13. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 22, 2006
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Hey, first post. Thanks for joining us.

    I don't have any personal experience with string through + no ferrules. Still have an opinion, though. The only possible problem is the one you ruled out, the string getting stuck in the hole. If that happens, I'd pull the bridge off and pull the stub through the top. You could drive it out the back with a pin punch, but you might end up with splintered wood around the hole in the back.
  14. tessting1two

    tessting1two Tele-Meister

    Apr 13, 2014
    Southern California
    I would play it for the time being and order some ferrules to install during your next string change.
  15. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

    Nov 28, 2016
    IMO Same ballpark as toploader...
  16. 83siennateleguy

    83siennateleguy Tele-Meister

    Sep 18, 2017
    Claysburg Pa.
    I've owned both string through and top loader guitars and I assure you there is no difference in anything having either or.
    59 and 83 had top loaders. You've got several options though. What ever you decide of course, but I'd fix the problem next string change if your going to be playing that guitar quite often.
    Good Luck !
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