Am. Professional vs. vintage bridge

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

  1. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    717
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Yeah it just seems like Fender wanted to hinder the aftermarket, otherwise it's mostly a solution in search of a problem to me...

    The cut sides are nice, but I just buy vintage bridges that have that done by third party sellers. The compensated brass barrels are nice, but nothing new. Adding two mounting screws to the front for better bridge to body connection is a common mod. The only real "improvement" is the wider width to prevent the "butt crack", not sure Fender needed to design a whole new bridge just for that.

    I think it really comes down to deliberate incompatibility with the vintage bridge aftermarket.
     
  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    52,389
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    The Professional is, in many ways, the successor to the American Standard. That means a narrow string array, through holes higher up the body.

    The Performer is the successor to the Special and the Highway One. Wider, AV52 style string array, down lower on the body like Leo did it in 1950.

    So, I am misunderstanding Little Red, or he has it backwards. My choice would be a Performer, with a huge section neck with 6125 fretwire - that would be my dream choice. Wide string array is much preferred, for me.
     
  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    52,389
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    Sometimes I think FMIC did that Ultra heel for a while, just to bust up all the basic rules of thumb we used to be able to tell people.

    Yeah, this "Half and Half" bridge does create a bunch of confusion, and it seems calculated to distract people from just exactly how different the models are at the core level. Some guys want a modern guitar, except they think they want 3 brass barrels - a sort of vestigial nod to the designs of yore. There's no doubt, I agree, that doing this "Neither Fish nor Fowl" bridge throws sand in everyone's faces and people lose track of what is even going on.
     
    Little Red Tele and jamester like this.
  4. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    4,991
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    virginia
    Is the American professional bridge thicker? I recently used a 62 reissue bridge and I notice it is thinner than the 6 saddle American standard ones. I think bridge thickness can affect tone- thinner ones seem brighter to my years usually
     
  5. Little Red Tele

    Little Red Tele Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    131
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I think the Pro went back to the vintage, wider string spacing. The bridge itself is wider, not necessarily the saddles. But on mine, the wider string spacing didn't quite match the way the fret ends were beveled, it was hard to get the strings spaced evenly and still leave enough "real estate" on the edges of the fretboard. I've never had this problem with vintage bridge teles or with american standard teles. So something didn't match up. I do also agree that the Performer is reminiscent of the specials and Highway 1 teles.

    Edit: I also have to add that the compensated saddles have this annoying chamfered edge around the grub screws, and the A and B strings often got caught in the divot. Messed with string spacing and clarity of notes on the B string especially.
     
  6. Little Red Tele

    Little Red Tele Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    131
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    it is thicker. Chrome plated brass. beefy. Mine had the plating chip off around the intonation screws.
     
  7. BigPapaK

    BigPapaK NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Monday
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Do the grooved saddles improve the intonation? Who makes them?
     
  8. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    52,389
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    Marc Rutters hit the market first, with eccentric slotted saddles. His are made in California.

    Gotoh came along later, with an interpretation of Marc's product. They're made overseas.

    No "compensated" saddles are perfect for every guitar. Different strings sets (like 9-46, like sets with a wound G) require different choices. Among the different types of compensated saddles.
     
    BigPapaK likes this.
  9. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,306
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    NC
    The break angle of the strings before the saddles does not make for a "stiffer feel". The break angle coming off the saddle (raising it) would. Everything has to do with the set up. The neck angle, and its relief, in relation to the strings at the bridge saddle. I had to use the tilt adjustment to raise the neck angle a bit and would not consider my American Professional Tele a stiff playing guitar; actually just the opposite.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020 at 10:17 AM
  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    52,389
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    The reason IMO that more American Professions don't feel more stiff, is because the kind of guy who buys one also sets his guitar up much lower than finger picking kinds of players do. You know, guys with pedalboards and people who play power chords and so on. Or "Keef" or "Joe Strummer" type players as opposed to Vince Gill. The guitar setup is "slammed"; strings low to the pick guard plane, and the bridge pickup is mostly buried below the plane of that pick guard.

    When things go wrong is when someone tries to raise the bridge pickup and the saddles to approaching their limits. So they can get fingertips under the strings and really pop them. These are the guys who are in a position to notice the stiffness as they raise their saddles to some of the higher levels out there.

    That's the reason I respectfully disagree with you. These "Modern" designs that FMIC has come up with are engineered to be set up for "Modern" ways of playing. If you play in a more traditional way, that's when the location of the through hole makes such a difference.
     
  11. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    826
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Location:
    Midwest
    Mine doesn't have grooved saddles.

    I think the post about grooves referred to grooves in the bridge plate.

     
  12. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    826
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Location:
    Midwest
    Interesting thoughts about a stiff feel and modern playing styles

    I play my AmPro a LOT ( for me ), that means every day, a few times a day, for varying lengths of time, sitting on my couch trying to get inspired, in between bouts of re-configuring my pedalboard.

    I have a Gibson ES-339 that I'm starting to actively dislike for its floppy, loose feel, and on my next string change plan to slam the tailpiece to increase the break angle. Next stop is searching out higher tension strings I guess.

    I notice little difference in feel with my stock AV '64 using the same strings - GHS Boomers, 10-46, unwound 3rd.

    I'm a finger picker exclusively.
     
  13. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,655
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    just like what Boris said...

    AND like I said before the break angle increases the tension. If you have your guitar set up lower, the break angle decreases, therefore reducing tension (slinkier feel), raise the action up and the break angle increases, thus the tension increases. Its just physics sir. You are dealing with forces, on both ends, both fixed ends, and you are modifying the Point where in the string is putting pressure on.

    i disagree respectfully with your post about break angle not having anything to do with tension/stiffer/slinkier feel, but I agree that it depends on the set up of the guitar.

    but we are talking about the bridge, string hole placement, and in this case, the design affects the feel of the guitar.

    :)
     
    boris bubbanov likes this.
  14. Little Red Tele

    Little Red Tele Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    131
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Boris Bubbanov, let me ask you - as I mentioned I just swapped out my Pro for a Performer, the modern 3-saddle for the vintage-style. I've got a nice, low action, a smidge above 4/64ths all the way across. It certainly does feel slinky! When you talk about a "finger picking" setup, are you talking about a higher overall action set at the bridge, or are you talking about raising the angle on the neck, making it necessary to to raise the saddles but keeping the fretboard action the same? Also, not ever having touched or seen one, how is a real 50's telecaster set up - with low fretboard action and a flat neck angle, or otherwise?

    Very curious about this and your expertise.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.