MIM upgrade to USA bridge.

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by gvaldez216, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. gvaldez216

    gvaldez216 TDPRI Member

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    What is the best way to upgrade from the 6 saddle MIM bridge to the brass USA 3 saddle?
    Is there a specific product or should I fill in the screw holes and drill new holes?
     
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  2. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    How many mounting screws does the MIM plate have? Are they in front of, or behind, the string-through holes?
     
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  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Look up "the bubba mod". That may be a fix for you. Drill three holes in the back flange of your current plate and mount the three screw saddles. You can get a $7 three barrel bridge off ebay to harvest the brass saddles and screws.

    .
     
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  4. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    If his guitar is drilled and routed "vintage-style" (4 screw holes in front of 6 string-through holes) he can probably just install that $7 bridge and be done with it.

    @gvaldez216, if the body is drilled that way, you have many, many options ranging from dirt-cheap to crazy-expensive.
     
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  5. gvaldez216

    gvaldez216 TDPRI Member

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    I hope this helps. It's 3 screws, string through bridge. I'm trying to get a pic up
     
  6. gvaldez216

    gvaldez216 TDPRI Member

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  7. Fullmoon07

    Fullmoon07 Tele-Meister

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    I love my 2018 MIM Tele Standard. The bridge saddles are so comfortable to palm rest on. I find the old style saddles most uncomfortable and to no advantage. I plan to upgrade the MIM saddles to Graph Tech Classic (chrome) with String Saver inserts. I already have them on my Stratocaster and they enhanced the resonance and overtones.
     
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  8. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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  9. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

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    I firmly believe that there is a lot of magical thinking and confirmation bias in the whole "three-saddles are required for the tele tone". I will take easily-adjusted intonation, please, and in a lifetime of playing both types, believe that the difference between three or six saddles has as much impact on the tone as the color of the body...
     
  10. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    I was afraid that might be the case. I only have experience with other patterns, so I don't know what will fit.
    You might consider just trading the entire guitar for one that has the features you want.
     
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  11. gvaldez216

    gvaldez216 TDPRI Member

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  12. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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  13. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

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    gvaldez216....


    "I've played guitar for years, I'm well versed in the snake oil that comes along with constructing these chunks of wood. My bridge is just a piece of junk; I can hear artifact coming from the bridge. So I wanted to upgrade and I thought I'd upgrade the whole baseplate, rather than just the individual saddles. I don't really care if it has 6 or 3 saddles, its just that I have always been told by the Tele gods that the brass 3 saddle is superior in quality. If that makes sense..."

    Yeah - I've heard that noise for years, too. I figure, as long as a bridge maintains good contact with the wood, mounts the pickup securely, and is stable, it's fine. I guess I've been fortunate that I've never had a bridge (even on some cheaper models) that didn't fulfill those minimal requirements.
     
  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, we don't refer to this as "string through". We call this "top loader". We know what you mean but in the context most of the time, this sounds like "bridge that is string through" when you are trying to say "the strings go ONLY through the bridge and nothing else. String through must = through body or everyone gets confused.

    Anyway, no, there's IMO no wisdom in trying to install any of the USA bridges on this guitar. These bridges do get worn and so a fresh one can help a lot. Or, you can do the "Bubba Mod" especially when you have a spare plate in case your modifications go awry.
     
  15. Chuckster

    Chuckster Tele-Holic

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    Deleted pic to avoid confusion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  16. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    Look closely at the picture. The plate appears to have string-through holes.

    Now I'm confused.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  17. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    Each to their own, but IMO that would be a Downgrade. I can't stand vintage style Tele bridges on my palm. I have removed US Vintage bridges in the past & replaced them with MIM Standard bridges. Sooooo, that being said the MIM bridge & the US Vintage style 4 screw bridges are interchangeable, but keep in mind that the Modern MIM Standard bridge is longer past where the strings come though the body so you may see marks or color fade in the finish from the old bridge when the smaller bridge is installed.
     
  18. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I was hoping nobody else would see that. That's a very strange location for through holes. I haven't seen one like that.....in years. Have you?
     
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  19. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    That bridge looks like it just needs 4 mounting screws drilled for rather than the 3 it has. The string holes are behind so a vintage bridge should just drop right on in theory. I'd just drill the 4 holes and mount a cheap vintage bridge that has brass saddles. I much prefer a vintage bridge mostly so I have something to rest my hand and fingers on as a reference point and because that's what proper tele's have.:D

    edit the string holes look a bit further back on yours, check the string hole measurement from the neck against a tele fitted with vintage bridge before ordering a expensive vintage bridge.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  20. gvaldez216

    gvaldez216 TDPRI Member

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    The one you're seeing is not mine. Mine is the earlier pic of the 3 screw bridge. The other one is an Antigua. I definitely don't have string through.
     
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