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Has anyone found a replacement bridge for the bullet tele?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by fender4life, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Or for any non CV squier i suppose because they all likely use the same bridge. Anyways, i have heard the MIM standard bridge fits but considering the MIM standard strat bridge is THE worse strat bridge i have heard via a ton of experimentation, i have little hope the MIM tele bridge is any better. So i'd like to hear what other bridges anyone has found that is a drop in. If anyone has use ONLY the MIM plate but with the same saddles you had on the bullet whether they are stock or aftermarket, then i'd like to hear about the MIM. Otherwise if you changed the whole bridge saddles and all for the MIM it does me no good because it could be the different saddles u r hearing. And the stock bullet saddles sound horrific. I don't expect anyone had changed ONLY the plate to MIM so i'm really mainly interested if anyone has found some other drop in replacement. My research tells me there isn't one but i had to ask as last resort before i sell this thing. It's the only part left that is suspect in what i don't like in the tone.
     
  2. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    A MIM Standard bridge won't fit a Bullet. The screw and string holes are in different places.
     
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  3. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Hi, @fender4life Help me better understand what's going on. What have you changed on the guitar, so far? Has it been set up properly, including pickup height? What is it about the saddles that sounds rong to you? How have you identified the problem as only the saddles?
     
  4. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, trust me. I've been working on guitars since the 70s from refretting to simple setups so i know all that. Of course i adjusted pickup height and even tried 2 others that are very different sounding pickups and the same inherent tonal thing that bothers me stiff persists thru the very different sounding pickups. I can hear what is inherent in the guitar and it's hardware vs pickups. This is not pickups or height or setup etc. This is either body, neck, or hardware and the only hardware that could cause it is the bridge plate. I think i mentioned changing to the brass saddles which was a great improvement in fixing sonic flaws that it had like dead spots and dullness, but the more subjective voice itself is what i'm not quite happy with.

    So with that out of the way, i'd just like to hear what anyone has found with replacement bridges if any. By the way, i know a lot of people thing the nut only affects the open strings, but thats just not the case which is why i put a bone nut on it and i bring that up as a PSA....if u own a bullet do it ! That itself was a noticeable improvement over the crap they use as a nut. It's a soft plastic that's just horrible and bone was a noticeable difference, and NOT just on open strings. Changing to bone and installing the brass saddles together are such a huge improvement it was like buying a much better guitar. However, as i eluded to it's now not so much tone quality i am trying to change but the voice itself. Could be the laurel board or the basswood, i dunno. But the bridge plate is the only part of the equation left that i can do anything about so thats why i asked. I have owned about a dozen teles of all sorts since i got into teles about 10 years ago, and this thing sounds way different than any other them. Almost not tele like to my ear compared to all the rest. At this point i'm torn....i like it to a point but theres just that little bit of something different it needs in the mids.
     
  5. megalo82

    megalo82 TDPRI Member

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    You can put a vintage bridge with some modification:

    new holes for the string, new holes for the bridge and fill the 3 holes in the back

    I wish to find a bridge without string holes, only top load and then make the holes in the correct position

    0B47D8EF-4D7A-46F9-B7E4-72AC21631570.jpeg
     
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  6. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, thats not gonna happen for a few reasons. But i really wish someone would make a modern bridge>vintage bridge conversion. They do for the opposite (goto modern 6 saddle bridge that fits vintage body) so i don't get why no one does the opposite. Considering how popular the gotoh has been i think it might be a gold mine for someone willing to do the manufacturing.
     
  7. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I've often wondered why no one has done this.
     
  8. Strebs

    Strebs Tele-Meister

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    I like the Bullet bridge. It's solid. I haven't seen an ashtray replacement, but drilling holes for barrel saddles shouldn't be hard if you want to go that route. You could also put individual brass saddles on it easily.

    But to specifically answer your question, I looked at first when I had a Bullet and didn't find any. After a while, I decided that it was a decent bridge and didn't care or look anymore. YMMV.
     
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  9. JeffBro

    JeffBro Tele-Meister

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    I have a bridge that fits modern tele, but has saddle placement for vintage that just sitting around from a build I never did. Did someone need one?
     
  10. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I think callaham rutters and glendale all make vintage bridges that fit modern bodies.
     
  11. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    Wow, with all your experience and expertise, and your incredibly fine-tuned ear, why are you playing and upgrading a Bullet to begin with?
     
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  12. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I won't answer condescending rhetorical questions.
     
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  13. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I just looked but all i found were bridges that cost near as much as the guitar and none really suggest they'd fit a squier which has a different hole pattern then USA spec. Too much $ in any case unless there was a way to be 100% sure of the improvement which of course there isn't. Not really worried about getting a 3 saddle type either, as i like the brass saddle i got for it. So it's really just the plate that I would need.
     
  14. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a bullet and a squire standard. Both have good setups, and they sound and play great. One thing I noticed is, the bridges on both seem to be identical. Thickness seems to be the same, holes drilled in the same places, etc. The saddles are different however. I replaced the fat saddles on the bullet with some off a spare squier standard bridge that I had. Now I can keep my #1 string from getting too close to the edge of the fretboard. Anyway, the bullet bridge seems to be of decent quality, but like the standard bridge, it's thick. Thick bridges can sound muddy with overwound pickups, but if your pickups sound thin and ice-picky in another guitar they'll probably sound great in the bullet because that bridge will fatten up the tone. Only way to find what sounds best is to experiment. What kind of sound are you looking for? Vintage? Modern?
     
  15. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I do like vintage tone and vintage style bridges. Never liked the tele modern bridge sound but i have tried them before (the gotoh that fits vintage bodies) and i agree they sound less chimey and bright which is what i hear in the bullet. It sounded muddy at first but the brass saddles eliminated that, tho theres still a certain small amount of what i can only describe as dullness in the wound strings. I bought it partially because of the neck that is just perfect IMO, and I thought i could get it to sound good enough with some mods and so far it's close enough that i may keep it but i'm not sure. It wouldn't take a heck of a lot of change to be quite happy with it but at the moment i'm snuggling to get quite the sound i want with it. It's also in the touch and dynamics where it bothers me. Really hard to describe any of it in words tho really. But I bet a plate made from the same material as the vintage fender would get me there even with the same saddles i have now.
     
  16. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    The Bullet nut is possibly the worst nut in the universe, as we know it. Filing the slots is like dragging the file through hard cheese. A bone nut is on the agenda for my Sparkle Red Bullet Strat.
     
  17. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Hard cheese is a good description ! I swear if i didn't know better it's as tho they poured a soft setting liquid plastic into the slot to make the nut. I've found the same on the old CV chinese line, but one thing thats nice about the indo line with thier bone nuts. I put bone on every tele and strat i get. Theres no "wow" factor so many think it doesn't help at all. But it's a more subtle thing that gives the guitar a slightly more solid deeper quality to the tone that can really help eliminate any cheapness in the tone that u can get with inexpensive guitars. It certainly helped my bullet. Not to the degree the saddles did of course but well worth it, not to mention that soft plastic is such crap the low E had already sawed the slot too low ! Whatever that crap is made of it has no place in a nut slot no matter how cheap the guitar !
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
  18. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    If you can't find a replacement bridge plate to suit your needs, look at what you CAN swap out. Thin sounding vintage wound pickups could help. Keystones might work, or possibly Fender OV's. Bright sounding strings like Diaddarios or GHS Boomers in size 9. 500k volume pot, and/or a no load tone pot. And finally, experiment with picks. Thinner picks will help brighten up the sound. Good luck to you on your quest!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
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  19. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I've tried 3 different bridge pickups and replaced the volume pot with a CTS 250k pot that reads close. Also put a good switch and jack in it. Added a treble bleed and made the tone into a no load. And as i said installed brass saddles and a bone nut. All things i always do and works for me regardless of the guitar. Thru all that it retains a certain voice that i'm sure is in the neck body or bridge which is why i posted this. I have to say tho, it's not bad right now and due to how much i love the neck i may well keep it or possibly even sell the body and find a nice light vintage style body. It will take time to know what i am going to do, after all i have only had it a week and it takes time to really get to know it. I would have likely returned it if not for that neck. It's one of my fav necks ever !
     
  20. TequilaCaster

    TequilaCaster Tele-Holic

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    I think the slight dullness on the wound strings is due to the fretboard material.

    I have two Bullet Teles, one with an Indian Laurel fretboard, and one with a maple fretboard, both with the same stock bridges. The maple fretboard is significantly more articulate on those strings. The laurel fretboard has a softer (more indistinct) tone to my hearing, what some may call muddy-ness.
     
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