Who’s using a Mastery Bridge with a Bigsby B16?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by PeterUK, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I’ve got a B16 Tele project close to completion and I’d decided to go with the traditional bridge supplied with the B16 kit (although I had to buy the bridge as it wasn’t supplied with my used B16) but I managed to win another (I have two other Mastery Bridges on two other guitars) new Mastery Bridge on eBay for not a lot of money.

    I already have the longer posts (I had this idea ages ago so I
    ordered a set of some times ago) but I’m interested to learn from your experiences.

    I found a picture on Google images of a blue Thinline with a B16 and a Mastery Bridge (apologies if this is your guitar; I’m happy to acknowledge your rights to the image) and it looks as though it hasn’t been shimmed too high (the supplied Bigsby is HUGE).

    I’m more interested in playability versus traditional looks and compromise intonation, but I’ve heard a couple of B16 Teles with the Bigsby ‘Sorkin’ bridge and they sounded great.

    Please share your thoughts. I can use the Mastery Bridge on another project, but I sense it will give a more manageable guitar.

    Thanks in advance.

    :) Peter
     

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  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Unless one is using a wound G, I can’t think of any situation where a Mastery wouldn’t help a vibrato out. I’d go for it.
     
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  3. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I agree. But I don’t want to miss out on the ‘classic’ B16 tones and vibe.

    What I may do is try the Sorkin and if it falls below expectations I can add the Mastery. I really don’t like the idea of that HUGE shim (I have made timber equivalents) but I suspect the Mastery may require less of a dramatic shim.

    I’m hoping B16 Mastery users will come by and give their feedback.

    This is one of Mastery equipped guitars.

    :) Peter
     

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  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Good idea, you might be able to reduce the neck pitch with a Mastery, so it might be worth drilling the thimble holes. Mastery bridges do have a coloration, they don’t sound like aluminum. More like steel maybe—or maybe just as they are constructed, hard chromed brass. Tighter lows on the wound string IME. I’m a user, owning both the M4.1 Tele/Bigsby combo and the M1.

    I’m not sure the height you’ll need, or the minimum break angle you can live with. The Tele with Tru-Arc has the metal shim and about 8 degrees of string break. The JM has a 1 degree wood shim and about 7 degrees break behind the Mastery. The bridge height is much less on the Mastery JM, it’s basically the same as the height of the Bigsby string bar. I’m thinking a 2 degree wood shim might work.

    9350B1F2-1DBE-4D68-81BB-1F50C62853A0.jpeg
     
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  5. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Meister

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    J Mascis has one on a Bigsby Tele.


    ........So it must be OK......
     
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  6. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    What spec is your Tru-arc bridge. I’ve had a look at their ‘website’ (not really a website) and I have no idea what I would need to order if I went that route.

    Any advice welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

    :) Peter
     
  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I requested an aluminum SerpenTele for the Tele above and a stainless steel SerpenTele for another, both rocking bar bridges with 7.25” radius and a 2-13/16” post spacing and plain G compensation. Shoot Tim Harman an email, he’s very helpful, and I don’t think the Tele B-16 bridges are posted on the web page. I would think any option is available by order, just have to ask.
     
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  8. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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  9. caliban335

    caliban335 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Ditto on the Tru-Arc. Tim Harman is very helpful and the product is excellent. I have Tru-Arcs on two of my Gretsch guitars and couldn't be more pleased.
     
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  10. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I've emailed twice but sadly no reply from the email address at this website: http://www.truarcbridgeworks.com/

    Has anyone else had a recently reply from Tim?

    Thanks in advance.

    :( Peter
     
  11. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Success!

    My emails reached Tim but his replies (3 of 'em) were mashed by the my ISP and never reached me. They weren't even in Junk or Spam folders.

    Anyway, @BorderRadio suggested I contact Tim through the Gretsch Page and we completed the discussion via my work email address. What a lovely guy!

    I've ordered an A-LU-MIN-I-UM (Tim's spelling :)), SerpenTele AL-725/1316 which is a 7.25” radius and a 2-13/16” post spacing with a plain G compensation, if anyone else is interested.

    It's going to take 6-8 weeks but I'll be able to compare the Sorkin to the Tru-arc and keep the Mastery Bridge in reserve if I don't like either.

    Thanks for @BorderRadio and @caliban335 for their help and support.

    :) Peter
     
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  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Glad it worked out. I saw Tim was active so it didn’t make sense—stupid ISP!
     
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  13. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Well the bridge arrived at my Atlanta address but I won’t be there until the New Year.

    :) Peter
     

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