Danelectro Serendipity Bridge

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Dan German, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Well, this isn’t going to help keep me from squirrelling away parts “because I might need them sometime.”

    I have been playing my Danelectro Convertible more lately, and got to thinking that the bridge was holding it back from being the best that it can be. If you’ve never seen one, google it. It’s silly even by Danelectro standards; only a tripod of set screws connect the rosewood block to the top, under string tension. Of course, any changes I make need to be non-invasive; the guitar has survived 54 years without being butchered, so it’s not happening on my watch. I pulled out the random bits and pieces of arch top bridge I have laying around, and all of them are way too tall to be of any use. Then I looked at just the saddle assembly from a Vox Super Lynx I owned in the deep dark past (I bought the Danelectro in ‘84, and I already had the Vox bridge then). Without its base, it’s just a tiny bit taller than the stock saddle. I swapped them. Immediately, there was more sustain, and the kind of clattery tone of the Convertible tightened up. The saddle assembly doesn’t contact the tone across its width, it has an arch to it (which almost exactly matches the fretboard radius), but it certainly has a more solid contact with the top than the stock bridge. The Danelectro has little pin heads in the top to show where to position the bridge, and those made the Vox bridge not sit flat, but some quick clear ancient (bending) took care of that. Even better, it now actually sounds like something as an acoustic. Something funky, but at least it’s something. I may need to shim the neck to get the action just so (no height adjustment), but it’s very very close as is. Close enough for what it is, anyway.

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  2. nico

    nico TDPRI Member

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    Good on you for not drilling into it, looks awesome!

    Couple years ago, I picked up a Companion (sort of a DC2 meets Convertible) and someone had made the permanent installation of an aftermarket bridge.

    Not sure this happens with the Convertibles, but the bridge area was noticeably depressed, and so a piece of mahogany was placed below the bridge to even things out, which greatly improved sustain.

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  3. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I certainly like that much more than the piece of rosewood on a cheap metal platform...which bent inwards on mine after 25 years.

    I like it more than the "upgrade" offered by the 'new' danelectro...
    [​IMG]

    It's rubbish really, very poorly designed (note the intonation screw position, then the manner in which it is applied), made with the cheapest pot metal known to humankind. Better still, if one doesn't have the foresight to check first, the three screws included with it will penetrate completely through.

    I needed to shim the bridge and the neck in order to prevent the aforementioned perforation.

    I've stumbled upon some aftermarket bridges, some of which look very nice. But...I think the fellow who made them died because at the time I couldn't find one.

    After this rubbish from dano showed up, I thought seriously about using a cheap fender hardtail bridge modified to fit, but in the end just accepted crap as our new normal.

    I mean, it's a danelectro after all. What's not to love?
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  4. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Wow. The Companion is one I would kill for. Not the most sought-after, but I don’t think there are very many out there.

    I have never had any issue with the top sinking, and I don’t think there’s a huge difference in construction. Maybe a previous owner used really heavy strings? Just a guess. Anyway, the little pin heads that show where to put the stock bridge caused me some trouble until I realized that there was no need to keep the saddle assembly in original condition, so I bent it outboard of the holes on both sides to clear the pins. I also had to twist it a bit to get it to sit totally flat. Trial and error, but in the end about half an hour’s work. The compensation adjustment is not accessible once on the guitar, but since the Vox had the same scale length as the Danelectro, I assumed it would already be correct, and it seems to be.
     
  5. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have had two Korean RIs, and I liked them as much as I like the originals (minus the mojo, of course). I do agree that the bridges are far from their strong suit, although I like the one pictured more than the “metal block with rosewood” version. If I got another RI, though, I would be looking at options, and would have no concern about permanent mods. One of the nice things about a reissue. (A Wilkinson Tele half-bridge seems like a possibility...)
     
    rolandson likes this.
  6. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I put one in my sons Danelectro 56 U2- no problems. Try the intonation screws on a Gibson tunomatic- now that's a nightmare.
     
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