A bridge's relation to tone

FuzzWatt

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So I noticed recently that changing the bridge can really change the tone of a Tele.

I did some work on a guy's Tele which included swapping the stock thick heavy bridge for a lighter, thinner one. Really changed up the sound.

He didn't want his old bridge so I put it on a Tele I had (just sold it) and the heavier bridge seemed to.. I dunno.. make it less lively?

Anyone else find this to be the case? On paper I like the idea of a thick steel bridge, but when it comes to the sound, there's something a little more enjoyable about the thinner ones. At least in my limited experience.
 

boris bubbanov

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Sure, but there's lots of other factors as well. Depending on how a fellah plays, the tone may be changed a little, or a fair amount. I like to use different bridge types on different T projects, to make up for apparent weaknesses or emphasize strengths that may be more obvious on this guitar, than that one.
 

JDB2

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I changed out the original thin plate six hammer-saddle bridge on my ASAT Classic with a heavy Gotoh six saddle bridge and immediately heard and felt the difference. Original was brighter and twangier with a “clang” to it and the Gotoh sounds deeper, more controlled with much longer sustain.

I think this change was close to one end of the spectrum to the other, and wow did it make a difference.

Both have their place but for now I’m enjoying the Gotoh.
 

pedro58

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Sure, it matters. I have a basket-case 70's Les Paul that I played for quite a while with a standard tune-o-matic setup. I fiddled with the TOM retainer spring, tried a Nashville bridge, and so on. I took a chance and put a wraparound bridge in place of the TOM and stop tailpiece. It made a big difference in sound. It's livelier. More zing and top end, but it still sounds like a LP. So, bridge material and placement are a big deal, IMO. Whether you like one or another is a matter of preference.
 

TunedupFlat

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The only telecaster I have never changed the bridge on is my 96 flametop telecaster.( don't feel like trying to plug and refinish 3 fugly holes on the flametop cap)

The thin bridges sound more open to my ears. In my hands I can feel a difference in how the guitar behaves. If I need more sustain I can always just add more volume at the guitars knob..
 

fender4life

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The heavy modern ones sound middy to me. They don't seem to have the lighter airier chime that i like. I can see some people liking them if they aren't concerned with traditional tele tone and want a more generic sound, but for me if not for that traditional tone i wouldn't be playing a tele to begin with. I guy who uses a tele for hard rock or metal i can see the modern bridge being more accommodating of that tone.
 

ndcaster

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I have a thick Rutters bridge: it's perfect for .13 flats; the tele sounds like a piano

I also have a Winomo knockoff Fender toploader bridge, i.e. same material, thickness, and design as Fender's -- its tele twangs and twangs

too many variables, and I don't know how to do the regression analysis
 

RobRiggs

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I’m the guitar equivalent of a climate denier. I’m a tone wood denier. I have noticed changes to electric guitar tones when changing the bridge, the nut or the string type. Other than pickups I think these are the most significant changes you can make.
 

zencat

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california
I changed out the original thin plate six hammer-saddle bridge on my ASAT Classic with a heavy Gotoh six saddle bridge and immediately heard and felt the difference. Original was brighter and twangier with a “clang” to it and the Gotoh sounds deeper, more controlled with much longer sustain.

I think this change was close to one end of the spectrum to the other, and wow did it make a difference.

Both have their place but for now I’m enjoying the Gotoh.
Similar scenario: changed my six saddle Tele bridge to a Gotoh "In Tune" three barrel brass bridge. Warmed the sound up noticeably, which normally I would be happy with. Except with this Tele. Took away the "spank" aspect which was pleasing to me as well as my band mates. I'm thinking about going back to the original that came stock with the guitar. Tone is subjective. To each their own?
 

MonkeyGym

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Sure, it matters. I have a basket-case 70's Les Paul that I played for quite a while with a standard tune-o-matic setup. I fiddled with the TOM retainer spring, tried a Nashville bridge, and so on. I took a chance and put a wraparound bridge in place of the TOM and stop tailpiece. It made a big difference in sound. It's livelier. More zing and top end, but it still sounds like a LP. So, bridge material and placement are a big deal, IMO. Whether you like one or another is a matter of preference.
I have a preference for wraptail LPs, and wonder how did you put a "wraparound bridge" on a LP? Fill the holes for the bridge studs and redrill for the wraptail? That is a significant bullet to bite...I commend you. Or is there a wraptail that fits on TOM stud spacing?
Thank!
~jim
 




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