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Another Tele Bridge Question - I know....

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by jayhawknavy02, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. jayhawknavy02

    jayhawknavy02 TDPRI Member

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    Alright forgiveness in advance for what I know is another JV question. I have a MIM Tele, I put in Fender locking tuners, had it set up + fret level, and threw in Cavalier Fat Lion bridge and Fat Lion King neck with a tone bypass mod. Overall pickups are terrific, but sometimes I'm wanting just a small bit more "twang / brightness" but not anything crazy. From reading through the forum it sounds like the good old standard Fender bridge is just fine. I believe the OEM MIM saddles are made from zinc and may be why I'm having some tone loss.

    I was able to find 3 OEM Tele bridges with brass saddles (assuming all - maybe incorrectly are compatible with my 4 hole MIM Tele).

    1) Fender American Vintage Tele Bridge (Chrome) - Model 0990806100
    2) Fender American Professional Tele 3 Saddle Bridge Assembly - Model 0992005000
    3) Fender American Vintage Hot Rod Telecaster Bridge Assembly - Model 0091114049

    Any recommendation on a bridge, the American Professional seems to be the most different with two additional screw mounts at the front and the plate height reduced.

    Thanks,
    Jay!


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fender American Vintage Tele Bridge (Chrome)
    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts...caster-bridge-assembly-chrome/0990806100.html




    [​IMG]


    Fender American Professional Tele 3 Saddle Bridge Assembly
    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts...tele-3-saddle-bridge-assembly/0992005000.html


    [​IMG]

    Fender American Vintage Hot Rod Telecaster Bridge Assembly
    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts...od-telecaster-bridge-assembly/0091114049.html


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
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  2. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater TDPRI Member

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    You could just swap to brass saddles on your current bridge, you don't need to get a whole new plate if you don't want to.

    Also, maybe try lowering your pickups a bit if you haven't already? Might be enough to get you where you want to go without more hardware changes.
     
  3. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Turn up treble on your amp? ;)
     
  4. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, fishing for consistent tone changes any place but pups, pots, or amps is fishing without a lure.

    No jazz has it best, turn up the amp treble. Sounds simple but us people often miss the simple. Experimenting with pup height likewise is a good start. It really all starts with the pups you have. They aren't going to put out what they can't put out.

    If the amp and pup height doesn't get it, switch to 500k pots and you will get more brightness as less highest are cut.
     
  5. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Personally, I would just raise the treble side of the pickup a little.
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you already have a three saddle bridge, just replace the saddles with brass.
    I doubt those saddles are zinc though.

    You chose a bridge pickup that Rob himself states is "not meant for twang tone", so there's that.
    Lowering the pickup will make it a little less meaty but you have the wrong pickup for twang.

    I hear all the attack and tone things related to twang as influenced to some degree by many parts of the guitar, but here the answer is too clear to bother with bridge plate.
    Maybe if your setup includes more neck relief and lower saddle heights for weak break angle, maybe it would help to straighten the neck and raise the saddles.
    But the "serious rock and blues/ butter smooth treble" pickup is what it is.

    For me, amp EQ in no way compensates for a hot pickup sounding fatter bassier more middy and less twangy with smoother attack.
    Treble you dial in either way, and that pickup is not simply about treble.
    Clarity and attack is more what Tele bridge twang comes from.

    EQ can make a LP twangy, but not make it sound like a stock Tele bridge pickup twang.
     
  7. jayhawknavy02

    jayhawknavy02 TDPRI Member

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    Already down the path of pickup height and amp tweaks. What I haven't tried is switching the tone pot.

    The bridge that came with my Tele is a six saddle like the one below.

    [​IMG]

    Understood, I was hoping for a subtle change like the video below, but with the Fat Lion (aptly named) I may not be able to draw that out due to the pickup design. Not an issue as the pickups do what they were advertised to do and what I asked Rob for and I'm exceptionally happy with them. It looks like I have an excuse to get another Tele to cover some different ground...A Nocaster Lion bridge and Lion King neck might be in order for Tele #2.



    Yep, I expect that's what I'll find with the EQ pedal so good to know ahead of time.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Whole new Tele is a way better idea than just a new bridge!

    I'd replace a six saddle thick plate though if I was keeping that guitar, or sell it and buy a vintage spec Tele.
    Modern works fine too though, just not my choice.

    I think that MIM plate is a three screw?
    None of the pictured bridges fit the three screw body.
     
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  9. jayhawknavy02

    jayhawknavy02 TDPRI Member

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    Love the pickups so I'll keep them in this Tele. I inherited it from my father who was a musician and had it reserved as a "project guitar" that he never finished.

    Gotcha, if I'm going to replace the thick plate, which bridge would you recommend? The bridge is a 4 screw so I'm assuming, maybe incorrectly that I can use the vintage style bridge, please let me know if that's incorrect.

    https://www.callahamguitars.com/tech_compatibility_tele.htm

    From Callaham Vintage Guitars

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    "Look carefully at the above pics and notice the clear difference in the mounting/string hole configuration. The vintage mounting is on the top, and the American Standard on the bottom. The vintage bridge plate fits any Fender guitar that came/comes with the original 3 side ashtray bridge. This covers a lot of models. It also fits Mexican Standards and G&L ASAT Classics as a direct replacement. Look under the saddles and count the number of mounting screws and their relationship to the string holes. In the Fender line of guitars, their Mexican Standard model Tele is an example of this situation. Mexican Standard Teles take our Vintage T model bridge as a direct replacement."
     
  10. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    A 500K tone pot will brighten it up noticeably, and that's simpler and cheaper than a bridge replacement. If it was mine, I'd try that first.
     
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    IDK what all Fender put on all the models, and what looks like the Am Std three screw but has four screws might be the same as vintage.

    It's nice to have a Rock oriented thick toned Tele, so not much reason to change it for less of what it is.
    Fender makes stainless saddles but IDK if the MIM saddles are good or bad.
    Tell Callaham your MIM model and send them a pic.
     
  12. jayhawknavy02

    jayhawknavy02 TDPRI Member

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    Okay, so a deviation from the thread origin, but related....

    I'm going to build a Tele (Nocaster) based on the advice above, Sassafras body from our farm, maple neck, Cavalier Holy Grail Lion bridge and The Lion King neck or Fender Custom Shop '51 Nocaster pickups, maple neck and fretboard with nitro finish, and Fender locking tuners. So, need a bridge for the Nocaster build. My Luthier recommended either the Fender American Professional or Fender American Vintage Hot Rod Telecaster Bridge. What say the expert on TDPRI?


    Fender American Professional Tele 3 Saddle Bridge Assembly
    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts...tele-3-saddle-bridge-assembly/0992005000.html


    [​IMG]

    Fender American Vintage Hot Rod Telecaster Bridge Assembly
    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts...od-telecaster-bridge-assembly/0091114049.html


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  13. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    Do not use the am pro.

    It has a different footprint than both the vintage 4 screw and the modern 3 screw.

    Notice that the screw holes and string through holes are flip flopped from normal.


    I recommend the classic 4 screw footprint.
    You can use a vintage style three barrel or a modern 6 saddle.
     
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  14. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a set of those "American Vintage Hot Rod" saddles, and I'm not too impressed with them.

    The design looks pretty impressive, supposedly allowing you to get virtually "perfect" intonation (never happens;)), but in reality it's just some small parts screwed together.

    A real "Nocaster" would have a vintage type bridge plate, and for myself I'd add compensated saddles.

    The Fender bridge plates work great, but I'm sort of partial to the ones that Philadelphia Luthier Supply sells - they are better quality than Fender and made in the U.S. You can get them with the full-length sides or with the sides clipped off.

    No reason to overspend on this stuff either - a good bridge plate is a good bridge plate, and compensated saddles are just that, no matter how much they cost.


    These are real nice -

    Vintage Tele -style Bridge Plate w/ stagged sides - Half Satin Nickel - Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supplies, LLC

    The way the corners are fabbed and the quality of the finish is much nicer than the comparable Fender fender bridge plate.

    Plus, they don't have any weird name or markings on them - better for the guitars that I build :)

    They're made in Nashville TN.


    edit: I like the Sassafras wood plan ;).

    I worked with a lot of it when I was younger; there were a lot of nice mature Sassafras trees where I grew up.

    You never forget that Sassafras smell :).


    .
     
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  15. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
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  16. jayhaknavy02

    jayhaknavy02 TDPRI Member

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    wow, good to know thank you. Forum has been a great resource as always.

    Hooyah! I like the bridge and price is reasonable. I also like the trimmed portion. Price is very reasonable.

    https://www.philadelphialuthiertool...idge-plate-w-stagged-sides-half-satin-nickel/

    [​IMG]

    Thank you. I’ve read (on the forum) that the Callahan slanted / compensated saddles are very good. They’re not crazy in price either.

    https://www.callahamguitars.com/tele_body_slantsaddle_catalog.htm

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I recommend standard Fender bridge, and steel saddles.
     
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  18. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    My opinions follow.

    Like @moosie standard Fender bridge and saddles. That cheap, stamped sheetmetal plate has been a component of twang for the last 70 years. Steel saddles a bit brighter tone, brass saddles a bit less. Standard saddles have intonated well enough for that same 70 years, but a $15 set of compensated saddles works fine, too. The bridge is where you don't need to spend huge bucks or go esoteric.

    Darren Riley has them in stock.

    The Calaham and Fender Hot Rod bridges are excellent, but have thicker plates, thus have characteristics that don't support maximum twang.
     
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  19. jayhawknavy02

    jayhawknavy02 TDPRI Member

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    Rob at Cavlier like the Wilkinson / Gotoh WT-3 Adjustable Compensated Tele Bridge

    From the description:

    "The saddles are the same dimension as the original, as is the thin gauge steel base plate, (the base plate has to be steel as this affects the magnetic field of the pickup it surrounds, brass, stainless steel or aluminium will not have this authentic effect). It is the design of the saddle that makes this bridge unique. Unlocking the screw in the center of the saddle will allow you to adjust it through any degree of rotation that you need to achieve perfect string-to-string intonation. Simple isn’t it? So if you have an original Tele or any other version of this great guitar you can have all the original tone and features and play in tune as well!"

    https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-h...n-adjustable-compensated-bridge-for-tele.html

    Thoughts?
    [​IMG]

    Looks like these saddles are also popular, everyone seems to like the Rutters Brass Straight Comp Saddles

    https://ruttersguitars.com/rutters-brass-straight-comp-saddles

    [​IMG]

    I saw Philadelphia Luthier also makes brass saddles, but no experience to judge is any one works better than the other or they're all the same and the only difference is price. Not sure if it affects tone in any way.

    COMPENSATED TELECASTER SADDLE - BRASS - 1/4" OFFSET BARREL - SET OF 3

    https://www.philadelphialuthiertool...ster-saddle-brass-1-4-offset-barrel-set-of-3/

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
  20. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    They're all good. I prefer Rutters straight compensated, the 5/16" cold rolled steel.
     
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