Does a Tune-O-Matic bridge work on a Telecaster??

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by John Nicholas, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    Working on my build, thinking of different ideas and I came up with this. Of course it was right after seeing the Stewart McDonald video about making the wood pick guard for the Jerry Garcia replica, which had a Tune-O-Matic bridge.

    Do you have to tilt the neck? Or is there different lower bridges?

    Has anyone done it?

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can also recess the bridge to get it to work.
     
  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Quite a few have put a LP bridge on a Tele. You don't need an angled pocket. You will need to consider the fret plane above the body and the bridge location.
    One on the left benefits from a thick neck and the reverse tuners at a drop angle instead of the drop tail piece. The one on the right has a slightly recessed bridge. The amount of work to install a LP bridge is considerably more than a standard Tele bent plate bridge.

    travel guitar I built last year Another I built later last year

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  4. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt TDPRI Member

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    The tune-o-matics are designed for a neck with a larger radius fretboard. Like a Gibson's 10-12" radius and they don't have individual saddle height adjustments.

    It might be weird with a 7.25" or 9.5" radius fretboard on a Fender.

    EDIT: after further reading, most tune-o-matics come with a 12" radius. It is up to the installer to file the string slots deep enough to accomplish the proper radius.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  5. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    jvin248 - first of all, awesome guitars!! I love the "backwards" Tele!!

    Could you explain what you mean by the fret plan above the body? How deep did you have to recess the bridge?

    Thanks!

    The plan on this build was to use a 12" radius.... thanks for the tips!
     
  6. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Gibson string spacing is a mismatch with a Fender bridge pup

    some say no biggie, but there it is

    I have a wraparound bridge, 12" radius, 2% pocket tilt, plays great

    image.jpeg
     
  7. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt TDPRI Member

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    I didn't even think of the spacing!

    Some tune-o-matics come completely unslotted. So slotting it yourself could solve your radius problem, as well as your string spacing problem (there's enough width on each saddle to adjust spacing to Fender spec.)
     
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  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I used a 12" radius fretboard and recessed the TOM in the body with no neck angle and a standard neck pocket depth.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I countersunk the TOM mount bushings and adjustment wheels.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Nah, ya can't do that... not allowed... ;)

    Ron Kirn DSC_2093.jpg DSC_2100.jpg
     
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Gotoh tunematic .439" from bottom of adjusting nut to top of bridge, not counting saddle height.

    http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and..._Tune-o-matic_Bridge_with_Standard_Posts.html



    Traditional tele bridge .400 " from bottom of bridge plate to top, not including saddle height.

    http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...aditional_3-Saddle_Bridge_for_Telecaster.html



    That's a difference of a hair more than 1/32" according to those specs. It sounds like it would be worth a shot. A small shim in the back of the heel would do the job if need be.
     
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  12. Grabsplatter

    Grabsplatter Tele-Holic

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    rossi_1986_close-up.jpg Status Quo think it works.
     
  13. TeletasticX

    TeletasticX TDPRI Member

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    I looked into this years ago, still need to implement it, and I think the rule of thumb was to shim it with one or two thin or medium guitar picks cut to fit.
     
  14. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    70mm neck pocket bevel has been my solution in the past. I feel like the whole point would be to retain the height and, therefore 'feel' of them TOM as meant. Palming the bridge higher than the flat o.e..
    Angling the neck around you, not parrelel to body, aides in comfort overall.
    I do this even on stock appearing builds. The 'sleeper' mod.
    Babicz allows any radius in a TOM style.
     
  15. JazzHands

    JazzHands TDPRI Member

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    When you say 2% pocket tilt, do you mean 2 degrees? If so, do you recall which end of the neck pocket remained the same height as the plans call for? Meaning, is the front of the neck pocket (closest to headstock) the same height as the plans call for and the back of the neck pocket is higher than the plans call for due to the 2 degree tilt, or is the back of the neck pocket (closest to pickups) the same height as the plans call for but the front of the neck pocket is lower due to the 2 degree tilt?
     
  16. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    2 degrees, yes, sorry -- slopes back away from the body
     
  17. JazzHands

    JazzHands TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply, ndcaster!

    I hate to be so detailed oriented, here, but I'm trying to get a clear understanding of the pocket depths involved. I realize that it is tilting away from the body, but which end of the neck pocket is at the standard depth according to the Tele plans? Would it be the end of the pocket closest to the pickups, or the end closet to the headstock.
     
  18. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    On mine I did not want the neck tilted back, I wanted it to feel more like playing a Telecaster. When you tilt the neck and mount the TOM at full Gibson height the strings are higher off the body as well. This is why I chose to countersink the TOM mount bushings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  19. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  20. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Why have a TOM if you set it up like a Fender?
    Seems pointless to me. It's not like a tom has a lot going for it anyways.
    The people I've done work for are of two camps.
    TOM height, for comfort. Plate bridge , for comfort.
    Some like to get more hand around the bridge.
    Some like the seamless transition from flattop acoustic to plate bridge electric.

    I don't see much point in confusing the two.
     
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