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Cabronita Thinline Bridge Replacement

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by nervous, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. nervous

    nervous Tele-Meister

    Jul 1, 2016
    Beautiful Central NY
    I picked up a 2013 MIM Thinline Cabronita, fully stock and like new, with plastic still on the pickups and PG. I have since added a treble bleed circuit, an electrosocket jack mount with a Switchcraft jack. All good there. I also replaced the maple stock neck with my favorite rosewood 22 fret, 12" radius MIM neck w/ Fender lockers and a Hipshot extender.

    The last issue to tackle was an awful buzzing around the stock bridge and after a little research I found that it's a fairly common issue with the stock bridge. A bit more research showed that there were really only 3-4 good options and three direct bolt on for this model. I guess there ware some changes in 2013 to the hole pattern that limited the options. The one most often discussed is the Rutters La Burrito Bridge, but as a three saddle style I did not prefer that. Others had pointed to the Axecaster UK Hipshot style bridge with solid results. And lastly the real deal Hipshot bridge. When it came down to it the Hipshot was the easiest option to try. So I thought I'd share that experience and result here for future reference for someone in the same spot.

    The model I saw used with the greatest frequency was the 41060C Hardtail Fixed Bridge with the .125 floor height so that's what I purchased and installed first. The three mounting holes were a perfect match. The only area of minor issue was the string holes. The outside ones sit a tad wide, then next two in the same but less so and the middle two just right. For me this was a very easy fix by simply using a Dremel tool and a small tapered grinding stone to angle those 4 holes in the right direction. Touch them up with a black sharpie and you'll never look twic

    HS 41060C .125 (8T).jpg

    With that successfully mounted I strung it up and set about doing the overall setup. In that a couple things became immediately evident. One I had read about often and one I had not. The first one was the length of the saddles when setting the intonation. I knew low E might be an issue, and it was, and the G was also similar. You can see the overly compressed springs on those two in the above pic. And these were still sharp. Many folks have simply removed the springs with success and that was where I was headed until I stumbled on a second option I'll get to later. But the second thing I discovered with the .125 version, at least in my case, was the height of the saddles after things weer set up as good as they could be for the time being. For reference I discovered a high 22nd fret that hadn't been addressed so teh best action height I could muster was 5/64" and was still having some choking out on the middle strings in the higher range. That's within spec in some cases but just a bit high for my liking but I'd remedy that later by dressing that fret but this pic represents the saddle height required for that.

    HS 41060C .125 (6T).jpg

    I found the point on that saddle to be a bit annoying and uncomfortable when resting my palm there, which I do often. So in a little more searching for info I stumbles upon a single post with two solid bits of useful info I found no where else. One was that he used a .175 floor height version of this same bridge (P/N 41065C) and that he had purchased shorter saddled directly from Hipshot for this same bridge. Both made perfect sene to me so I promptly ordered up a .175 floor version and sent an e-mail off to Hipshot for the availability of the saddles. On a side note, Hipshot is one of the finest customer oriented companies I have dealt with. They are always just fabulous to work with and this was no exception. They did have the saddles and got them out the same day. Now, they ain't cheap at $6 ea plus shipping but big picture I love having things as right as I can and it's all good fun form me from the hunt to the solution. And, you do not have to buy 6. You can buy one if that's your preference. I did the full set. Everything got here today and I got to work. Here are the results.

    First off, these are the original long, and separately purchased short saddles:
    HS Bridge Saddles (1).jpg

    That difference is just enough to get you in the correct range of intonation on this model. And, to address another area that is often discussed around the stock bridge, this is also the new string spacing relative to the pickup pole pieces. There is an improvement. The E string is not as far off as this pic makes it appear. It was hard to correctly capture. This is how it looks now, correctly intonated. I still cut one spring to use with the low E and the G. A couple springs are compressed but not as badly as before. I could trim those as well during the next string change but honestly I'll probably never look at it again. Intonation is now perfect with adjustability in both directions as it should be.
    HS 41065C .175 (12).jpg

    And the new string spacing at the neck:
    HS 41065C .175 (8T).jpg

    The shorter saddles did introduce one potential new area of initial concern. The area within the saddles is obviously smaller so the access to the string hole is much tighter, especially the low E as you can see here. I could have Demel-ed that larger but it was already mounted so I let it go for now. It turned out that in my case that saddles final resting place once set for correct string length did not choke that string out but the potential was there. Maybe I got lucky.

    HS 41065C .175 (10T).jpg

    So, the last bit of the puzzle was indeed solved with the .175 floor height model. That extra base thickness was the perfect offset to the .125 model high saddle height. The thicker floor, coupled with the correction of the 21st and 22nd fret heights has yielded a much more comfortable and playable 3/64 - 4/64 string height, and clean buzz free playing everywhere. This is what it looks like new, about perfect like it came that way.

    HS 41065C .175 (13T).jpg

    Really happy with this one so far. Hopefully it remains a keeper. Here's a couple pics I took last week before the latest round of changes

    Cabronita (1).jpg

    Cabronita (2).jpg

    I hope this thread helps someone in a similar situation make the correct and informed decision for them. Happy playing and tweaking.
    richey88, doguitar and Shango66 like this.
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