Ashtray bridges are best and most comfortable

lowatter

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Posts
1,047
Location
SC
The ashtray bridge is my biggest beef with conventional Teles. There, I said it.
Hurts like hell and it's in my way when pickin' near the bridge.
 

wildOGpizza

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 22, 2020
Posts
62
Age
47
Location
Laguna Beach, CA
I swapped the ashtray bridge for a Kluson brass 6 saddle bridge on my Jimmy Page thinking I'd get better intonation, but the change in tone was unacceptable, and I immediately changed it back. I'd only roll with the vintage bridge on a Tele going forward.
 

Dadzmad

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Posts
145
Location
East Valley / SoCal / USA
I like an ashtray bridge on my tele but it has it's pros and cons. How about something totally different - this is my recent Kalmazoo made Harmony Juno that has a stock three barrel shorty bridge. I put one of the narrow covers from an American Tele on it. The cover was too wide but I glued on some cut up chair leg felts and it fits really snug. Note that the cover is clear and lower than the saddles so I can play normally with bridge muting or rest my palm on it for finger style. I think it looks good too.

Zemq1sO.jpg
 

ABetterTelePlayer

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Posts
158
Age
46
Location
USA
I swapped the ashtray bridge for a Kluson brass 6 saddle bridge on my Jimmy Page thinking I'd get better intonation, but the change in tone was unacceptable, and I immediately changed it back. I'd only roll with the vintage bridge on a Tele going forward.
I'm guessing it sounded more strat than Tele maybe? Took away some of that snappy-ness? I know nothing about it but I looked it up just now and it definitely looks more strat-like than Tele.
 

Lonn

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Posts
5,369
Age
60
Location
Indiana
The covers are cool, but fairly impractical for most, too.
After 20 years of playing I finally picked up a used Tele that had an ashtray in the case. I popped it on just to see what it was about and loved it! Very comfortable for my playing style. Mater of fact I need to get one for my current Tele. It's a nitro relic though so I'll have to take that into consideration.
 

wildOGpizza

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 22, 2020
Posts
62
Age
47
Location
Laguna Beach, CA
So how did it change?
So to preface, I'd changed the steel saddles previous to the bridge change to Gotoh brass saddles which gave it more warmth. The Kluson bridge, it's hard to describe, but as ABetterTelePlayer says, it lost a lot of the tele twang and snappiness. Trying to remember the perception I had of it, like mellowing the tone, it lost the sort of reed-like raspiness. I guess the density of the cast bridge plate and the saddles being more substantial, it sort of deadened the sound, shifted focus to lower mid range rather than mid to upper. Just a more generic guitar sound, so I guess more like a strat.
 

StoneFaceGrin

TDPRI Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Posts
60
Age
47
Location
Grand Rapids
I’ve never played a Tele with the cover on the classic bridge, so I don’t have an opinion. But I’ve got one each of the classic and modern bridge. I find the classic bridge to be helpful, rather than obstructive, (someone else said it helps them place their hands), though I’m not enough of a player to declare a preference.
So many people have strong opinions on this - I find myself ambivalent. The classic bridge looks better to me and some guitars look great with covers. But my modern Tele with six saddles is my go-to all the time guitar and people always compliment its looks.
Now I have to go play one with a cover and report back. You know, for science.
 

itstooloudMike

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Posts
218
Age
71
Location
Knoxville, TN
Looks like it was designed to inflict pain. I think that’s why Leo said “let’s cover that with something”. He didn’t supply the chrome “ashtray” just because he was a nice guy who liked to give things away. He knew the bridge was a problem, and the cover was his band-aid. I vastly prefer the modern 6-saddle block bridge.
 

Papa Che

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Posts
37
Age
48
Location
Denmark
91F5C622-F5B7-4BBF-8280-3ADABA7BBE91.jpeg


Can’t stand the 6 Strat style saddles on a Tele. Especially that long ugly metal plate. Ugh! Gives me creeps. Much respect to those who love 6 Strat saddles on a Tele of course. It’s all matter of personal feel and taste.
 

Southpaw Tele

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Posts
2,916
Age
50
Location
The Golden State
I’ve owned two MIM Teles over the years and changed both out to a 3 saddle bridge. It feels, looks, maybe even sounds better and they’re a nice drop in fit. I also change out tuners to vintage split shaft Kluson style ones.
image.jpg
 

Matthias

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Posts
4,225
Location
Third rock from the Sun
Having, for a long time, only owned one Tele with an ash tray, it took me many years to register the fact only the front portion is polished on a lot of vintage ash tray bridges. Perhaps because the rest would be hidden by the bridge cover? Once you see it, it's obvious. Along with the rough corners, they were definitely function before beauty.
 

pbenn

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Posts
1,615
Location
Toronto
The rough rippled inner corners are what actually hold the cover on, I believe.
Cheaper vint bridges without ripples won't work with cover.
 




Top