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Need advice on bridge for tele w/ Bigsby

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by smokebreak, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. ferdtuff

    ferdtuff TDPRI Member

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    Thats a work of art!
     
  2. VladimirG

    VladimirG TDPRI Member

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    Nice guitars :)

    I have a couple of teles with B16 (will get pics when i can get back into the studio). I know all about the setup and bridge requirements for those. I use Bigsby type blade type bridges on them (Sorkin?). Tried a roller bridge - hated that. Tune-o-matic require very smooth slots and are not the best for Bigsbys.
     
  3. variantboy

    variantboy Tele-Meister

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    This was my solution :

    I cut a B5 and also Cut a B16, and added a Mastery bridge - yes - expensive, but if you do a cleaner job of cutting than i did, it will look nice and really provide an easy way of swapping pickups, and resolves the height adjustment needed with the neck shim, with little to no worry/work.

    Note: (I didn't notice if anyone mentioned in previous posts) :

    The mastery bridge requires to drill two pretty significant post holes in the body. A non-trivial and irreversable impact to your guitar.

    SonicTeleRg.jpg


    Realizing that this is a very specific/rare configuration of a tele, i am still wishing there was a company that offered a good solution for it. It would be awesome if someone (Mastery? Callaham? Fender? Bigsby?) could provide a tele bridge footprint that attached to the body with screws in the standard tele screw locations, that had a raised pickup holding section (like bigsby's design above), and a set of sturdy bridge posts.... or even a raised part of the bridge - that could house the raised saddles - either a mastery type saddle configuration or even a set of traditional tele saddles. Theoretically it would work whether you were installing a B6, a cut B16, or a cut B5.

    i would buy something such as that. I still need to clean up the parts on this that i dremeled - cause it's lack of symmetry still bothers me.

    Parting shot - i drilled those post holes for the Mastery bridge in this custom MJT body reluctantly... but it was a need as the difference between the tone with the embedded posts vs a floating bridge on a solid body - was night and day.

    hope this helps
     
  4. variantboy

    variantboy Tele-Meister

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    something like this - and where i've photoshopped a bar - could be a raised set of saddles, or a raised mastery single piece.. or whatever, but just raised to the correct height (adjustable too!)

    TeleBigsbyBridgeIdea.gif
     
  5. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    variantboy, I fail to see how what you did is functionally different from a B16, except that the string bar of the Bigsby is about 3/8" closer to the bridge. Seems like a huge waste of time and money to me, and it's crooked, too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  6. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    I hate Bigsbys beyond description -- except for BorderRadio's, which has a complete configuration that actually goes together visually and looks great. I'll bet it even functions right, too! Now that is a Bigsby done right! A rare and beautiful thing.
     
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  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Well thanks jrblue! Now I feel bad I parted this one out :oops:
     
  8. variantboy

    variantboy Tele-Meister

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    Points acknowledged.

    Admittedly it may not be perfectly straight, but it's set such that there are no alignment or playability issues . What might be suggesting the crookedness is the uneven cut i made to the bottom of the B16 pickup holder piece. That said - i certainly did not make a perfect job of it.

    Now - with regard to the differences between a B16... here are the ones that were worth doing it for me

    1) I do not like the combination of quantity and "expanse" of metal that the B16 brandishes - from tip of bridge to bottom of guitar - with those side rails connecting the bridge to the Bigsby. This improves upon that for me.

    2) Yes - the actual bigsby is closer to the bridge (it's more like an full inch of difference). My perceived advantages of this are first, the break angle is ever so slightly increased. second - stringing the high E / 1st string is much easier - as the B16 doesn't allow a great deal of slack up at the tuning peg.

    3) I suspected that there might be a slightly different response and string tension in this configuration than in a b16 (which i had tried on two previous guitars). There was a little less string tension and the touch of this is a bit more sensitive as far as i am concerned.

    4) This of course includes a mastery bridge with drilled post holes where a B16 has a floating bridge. This is a very big difference to me. Yes - you could use the mastery with the B16 - but points 1 - 3 were important enough to me to use this method.

    Check out the vibrato units that TK Smith creates/displays -

    http://www.tksmith.net

    they're similar to this (without the mastery bridges) and i think those guitars represent some cool design.

    not for everyone. i'll mark you down as a "no" :)
    -d
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  9. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    TK makes some nice guitars and vibratos. I’m a fan.

    I chopped my other B16 frame, but not like most people do, as I actually prefer the extra metal and bridge base loop.

    Chopping a B5 is actually a good idea, economically if anything (100 bucks vs 200), and less waste of sand cast metal.

    All that said, I don’t get the use of the pickup riser frame being used on a ash tray plate, along with the floating bridge base. There isn’t a good ‘solution’ for these kinds of things because it’s a B16, a certain amount of modification and adaptation is part of the program. The B16 user is part of a cult, a portion of the Bigsby crowd that has utmost love for all things Bigsby. 5 degree break angles and extreme neck pitch. Bar bridges, screw your so called intonation! :)

    E8B6AF89-8D1E-476F-9C3C-8907F2286821.jpeg 520711E8-B91F-46F1-B759-8AA2A06A49E9.jpeg
     
    mjstamos, Sea Devil and variantboy like this.
  10. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    BorderRadio, that looks great! You are a man of taste and vision. Looking at an unaltered B16, I probably wouldn't even think to maintain a 1/8" strip of aluminum on the pickup side of the bridge. The aluminum rises like a cliff at that point. You ground it flat before cutting the outline — a necessary step, but probably one step too many for most people.
     
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  11. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Thanks SD, I notice your stuff too, very bada**.

    I didn't know how it would look after I ground it flat, so Plan B was to take out the neck-side strip. I really wanted to keep the bridge slot, and the screws, since those two little screws at the strap button end are too shallow for me, in terms of carrying all the string pull.
     
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