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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

Wilkinson bridge question

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by richiek65, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. richiek65

    richiek65 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I've recently acquired a Wilkinson bridge with compensated saddles to replace my six saddle bridge so that i can then install a bigsby. The saddles don't have grooves cut in them. I presume i need to attend to this? What sort of file do i need to buy?

    I noticed that the overall string spacing width on the bigsby is about 3mm narrower thang what the current tele bridge gives me so again, I'm guessing i need to cut grooves in the saddles to keep the finished string spacing as close as possible to original

    Hopefully I'm not showing my ignorance here!
     

  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Nah, not at all. Yes, add the grooves, because as noticed, Bigsby string bars are not spaced to any guitar string spacing that I know of. I use nut files because I have a good set, but a needle file set and and abrasive cord works well too.
     

  3. richiek65

    richiek65 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Thanks for your answer, very much appreciated!
     
    BorderRadio likes this.

  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Or... do not add grooves... not really needed... but either way will be fine...

    Ron Kirn
     
    Vespa_One likes this.

  5. richiek65

    richiek65 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Thanks Ron, that would result in a narrower string span though? Suppose i could try it and see how it feels?
     

  6. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Holic

    991
    Nov 25, 2011
    Perth Australia
    Stewart MacDonald had a "Trade Secrets" item on notching saddles, dated: 8/1/2013 (US date). Sorry, I don't know how to post a link.
    If you don't already subscribe to them now's a good time.
    I get a lot of tips from them. But probably even more from this forum. :p
     
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  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    the strings can be positioned wherever you like, the tension will hold them in position.. but, if you're the least bit concerned, notch the saddle, not gonna hurt a thing.

    rk
     
    richiek65 likes this.

  8. corliss1

    corliss1 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    All the vintage Tele brass saddles in the guitars of yore weren't notched, but kinda created their own in the softer brass after a short time. As Ron said, the strings will stay in place fine with the tension. You could always try not adding them, trying out the guitar, then adding them if you feel the need. It's easy to put notches in, but significantly harder to take them out ;)
     
    richiek65 likes this.

  9. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    With all due respect to Mr. Kirn, I'm wondering if people are thinking of a normal Tele without a Bigsby. Sure, the string tension holds on a normal Tele, but if the B5 break angle is more shallow (mine is), then my picking hand will push strings around. That sucks so I did Notch--Glendale Groovies--Mastery 4.1 in that order. Overkill? You bet but I can't shut up about my favorite Tell-eee, Bigsby and all.
     

  10. Tdel10

    Tdel10 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    31
    448
    Jul 31, 2016
    Wheeling WV
    Nut files would be the proper choice of tool for the notching. But brass is soft, and the exact width of the notch isn't crucial (like it is at the nut). Really, anything with teeth will cut into it. You only need a small divot.
     
    richiek65 likes this.

  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    IMHO .. there is no bigger mistake than using a tremolo with a fixed bridge.... what? are ya just begging for tuning issues? If the bridge cannot move, ala Jazzmaster style, Mastery, etc... it is impossible for the strings to return to anything near correct pitch once the tremolo is deflected...

    and if you are one of those guys that think the correct usage of a tremolo simulates a crazed gorilla trying to rip it outta the body.... you have my sympathy...

    I never notch the saddles... ain't nobodiez komplained yet . . .

    But, as I said, If you wannem notched... it's not gonna hurt a thing.

    rk
     

  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ron, I agree with you, the bridge not only has to move, it will, at least from what I've seen. Too many rabbit holes to go down, after messing with solid bar bridges that rock (Tru-arc) and those that don't (Compton), and even high end roller bridges (ABM). In all cases, the stud posts will rock too, whether they are inserted in the top or on a floating base. Jazzmaster rocking action is good for subtle use, but get crazy and it's not coming back to 'dead center' without an eyeball and a bump.

    Mastery, that's the ticket: it is designed to lock down in a JM style setup, but guess what? It moves around too...doubly so with their Tele 4.1. Mastery markets it's hardened chrome saddle style as the reason for it's tuning stability, and my tuning stability is great with Mastery--my playing not so much. Yeah I might go gorilla sometimes on the JM and Bigsby Tele, but only with a Mastery and their canyon-sized notch.
     

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