Am. Professional vs. vintage bridge

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by EspyHop, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    What exactly is the supposed advantage of the American Professional bridge over a regular vintage style bridge? Like, why reinvent something that really didn’t need it?

    68C66092-B3DC-4A32-8992-52A0EB4B1796.jpeg
     
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  2. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have one on my American Professional Telecaster, and it works great.

    It sounds and feels different than a vintage bridge. I guess that's my answer to the question.

    "To help the guitar sound and feel different".
     
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  3. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    If I'm correct, the Am Professional bridge's sides are trimmed down. I know a lot of tele players who prefer that over the older style bridge for comfort.
     
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  4. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    I have the feeling that the difference is a marketting ruse to raise the price. Not that Fender has ever needed a reason before....
    I have both, and once I've sat down to play, they both sound pretty much the same.
     
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  5. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    Not sure anyone in this thread is aware that the bridge is in a different location on American Standards v1 (June 2000 or earlier)/American Series (July 2000-2007/American Standards v2 (2008-2016) - the string path through the saddles is shorter because those models used Strat-type saddles (cast through 2007; bent steel starting in 2008) so the holes for the strings are in a different place than on a vintage-style Fender. So when Fender decided they wanted to move to a vintage-type bridge with the American Professional model they were faced with a dilemma - they would have to either reconfigure the location of the bridge from where they were on American Standard V1s/American Series/American Standard v2 so they would accept the standard vintage bridge, or design a new bridge that would fit the "American Standard" location. Fender chose to create a new bridge and keep the string location/path similar to what the American Standards/American Series had.
     
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  6. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Now that is interesting!

     
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  7. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted

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    The American Professional bridge is also compensated for better intonation.
     
  8. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    OP @EspyHop , if you can see the location of the screw holes of the American Professional bridge vs vintage bridge.. they are different locations.. Meaning, you WONT be able to put an American Professional bridge on a body that had a vintage spec bridge and vice versa without modifications to the body..

    @John C is correct with his post.. They work fine with American Pros BUT note that the placement of screw holes and string holes are so tight, it produces a very steep angle coming out of the screw holes onto the saddles.. almost 90 deg..

    Here's mine..

    [​IMG]IMG_1388 by D Y, on Flickr

    The physics of having a steep angle on tension will noticeably felt.. the greater the angle, the greater the tension, THUS, having a "STIFFER" feel compared to a bridge that has a 45 deg or milder angle coming out of the string holes.. This is also why raising the action makes it also feel stiffer, than having a low action that has a slinkier feel..
     
  9. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    See, this is what I don’t understand. If they were doing an overhaul and wanted to move to a vintage style bridge, why not just change the string location to accommodate a vintage style bridge? It seems like they overthought it. Anyway, the original Am. Standards had the three-hole mount, so the Am. Pro isn’t exactly a drop-in replacement.

    But, they didn’t have to deviate from the traditional vintage layout to achieve that. Gotoh makes a bridge with trimmed sides and compensated saddles that fits the traditional vintage layout.

    063BEBDC-B6AA-4D27-9D2A-E9FF3DD941ED.jpeg

    I understand that. I was asking what Fender’s logic behind the Am. Pro design vs. simply going with a traditional vintage when they were redesigning the American Tele.
     
  10. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    I’m genuinely curious about this. I’d love to play an Am. Pro next to a Performer to see how noticeable that is.
     
  11. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    Likely catering to a specific segment of their market.
     
  12. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Am Pro appears to try to 'fix' the issues raised about the vintage over the years.

    I don't see an issue.
     
  13. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    True, it's not a direct replacement - for some reason I thought that the 2008-2016 American Standard bridge had 4 screws but I could be not remembering correctly.

    We're all just guessing as to why they did this, but my guess is that Fender wanted to keep the "feel" of the American Professional close to the feel of the old American Standards, which means keeping that sharp string angle.
     
  14. Bill G77

    Bill G77 TDPRI Member

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    Here is mine on my American Professional Tele,

    I like and prefer the cut down sides myself on the American bridge plate. I also like the two extra smaller mounting screws that are added to the American bridge plate as well as the looks of it. It also has a small groove built into it on each side that you don't see. This groove allows the low E and the high E adjusting screw to ride in it to keep the outside saddles from possibly shifting right to left on the bridge plate.

    I also changed out to a different type of brass compensated saddle design than the stock fender compensated saddles that came with the guitar new. I just prefer and like the string grooves in the compensated saddles that I changed out to in the pic's below. These Pic's were taken when I installed my Lollar Vintage T pickups just a week or so ago.

    Bill G77



    lollar pickups 4.jpg lollar pickups 3.jpg
     
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  15. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    On the Am Pro
    The abrupt drop-off of the string from the saddle through the body is definitely different than the vintage style bridge, whether it's three barrel or 6 saddle.

    Subtle, for those who bend a lot and such you can telll little bit of a difference.
     
  16. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    To experiment, move your saddles super close to the end of the bridge until you achieve an almost 90 deg break angle, tune the strings and try to play it.

    you wont have correct intonation, but thats what it will feel like
     
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  17. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yep.
    A slight tighter feel,
    and the jury is still out if it affects the tone, doing that making it slightly brighter
     
  18. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The American Professional bridge is also wider. Look at all that chrome real estate between the edge of the pickup and the edge of the bridge. If you hook your pinky finger on the edge of the bridge, the spacing to the strings will feel "off" compared to a vintage style bridge.

    The American Elite / American Ultra bridge width is slightly larger than vintage, but closer to vintage than the AP.

    I am sure you would quickly adjust.
     
  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    That might work.

    Only trouble is, the fretwire size on the Performer is dramatically different than the Pro. It keeps me distracted, and I can't really compare the stiffness that's added by the non vintage location through hole locations. Also, the Pro is consistently set up with the saddles quite low (and this means the bridge pickup stays mostly below the plane of the plate) and I don't suppose a Dealership would want me reconfiguring their merchandise.

    What about playing an AO, back to back with it?

    On the other hand, since the AO has adopted a lot of the features that the American Performer might otherwise have, isn't this kind of differentiation required - so the products aren't all cloned of one another?
     
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  20. Little Red Tele

    Little Red Tele Tele-Meister

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    Hi all,

    I my opinion the Performer plays and sounds more like a vintage tele, albeit with the beefier frets and flatter fretboard. Slinky and a less-stiff feel. Crisp, spanky. Sold my Pro and bought a Performer a couple of weeks ago. The pro is good, no doubt, but I never liked its bridge - It's wider overall, the string spacing is, I think, wider, and the bridge was off-center in a way that drove me crazy. The butt-crack was on the inside, if that makes sense. Nothing lined up right, and the extra screws at the top made it hard to nudge into position better.
     
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