Off Center Bridge

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by JDB2, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Holic

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    Hello! I saw some recent posts about a crooked bridge on a new American Ultra Tele and decided I should take a close look at my Ultra Luxe Tele that I took delivery of a couple weeks ago. I found the bridge isn’t crooked but it appears to be off center relative to the recess in the pickguard.

    I did my best to measure and minimize parallax error in the photos.

    The gap between the bridge and pickguard on the top side is 2mm and 6mm on the bottom - a difference of 4mm. However this misalignment does not seem to be affecting the alignment of the strings over the fretboard very much. At the 22 fret, the center of the low E string measures 3mm from the top edge of the fretboard and the high E measures 4mm from the bottom edge - a difference of only 1 mm. The alignment over the neck pickup is also shifted about 1 mm.

    I measured the pickguard and the dimensions of the recess are identical to two others I measured.

    There is no effect on playability. Is this off center bridge a defect? What if anything does it say about the neck alignment? Should I be concerned?? Keep or return? Thanks for any input! F411A8FF-79D7-455E-A5BB-D97A478C7403.jpeg 446CFA44-A1EB-44D5-B38C-48711E9B54B2.jpeg 7D01DE55-126B-4B83-BAA6-E96738B6DDC7.jpeg
     
  2. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's indeed off a bit, but if the low E isn't falling off the edge I wouldn't be too concerned with it. It's only an issue when you're staring at it and thinking about it.
     
  3. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    There looks to be a difference in the distance from the neck pickup to the fingerboard from one side to the other.
    Same side as the bridge gap.
     
  4. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Holic

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    I measured that (tough to do) and I think the neck pickup is shifted about 1mm to toward the treble side of the neck. It looks like more because the strings are shifted about 1 mm the other way.
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    In one picture the low E looks a little close to the edge. But in another picture, the center dots appear centered betwixt the D and G strings. I am not convinced the bridge is off very much.

    You certainly shouldn't judge by the pickguard cutout. Ideally, a straightedge or string from the exact center of the nut should run down the center of the neck, and end in the center of the bridge. Until you check that, it is hard to tell what is off.

    A "defect" is something that shouldn't be there. The question should be - Is the bridge, neck, or pickguard out of tolerance WRT nominal placement? My guess is they are all within factory tolerance. However, pickguard dimensions and shapes can also be off slightly.

    My first concern would be that the strings are centered down the neck and over the pole pieces and centered on the saddles. If that checks out, then I would blame it on either the pickguard placement, dimensions, or shape. It certainly would be easy enough to trim the pickguard to make everything look centered.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  6. Jackadder

    Jackadder Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Personally, I'd prefer a bit more room for the high E string on the fretboard than a bridge that lines up dead centre. You could always take the pickguard off and file it even.
     
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  7. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I guess if something is off/shifted in the patterns during a run and no one notices it until too late..they all get it, by the looks of it....

    there's been a few of these threads on this issue lately....o_O
     
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  8. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Holic

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    A strait edge check appears to show a direct line from the center of the nut, through all the dots, and down to the center of the bridge. The low E is 1 mm closer to the edge of the fretboard than the high E but it doesn’t affect playability.

    So I guess all is good, even though the bridge looks 4mm off center relative to the pickguard, which I confirmed measures the same as two other pickguards I have.
     
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  9. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Holic

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    Good point; I’ve had another guitar where the high E was too close to the edge and that was maddening!
     
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  10. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The neck can usually be tweaked to center the strings better, as there is usually enough slop in the neck pocket to allow this. They often arrive shifted slightly. Easy DIY fix.
     
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  11. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

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    This maybe on the edge of the normal tolerances (bridge to pickgard), but still within IMO. And yes,
    I would also loosen the neck screw and twist the neck a little bit.
     
  12. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Holic

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    It's not uncommon. The more Teles you look at, the more you'll see it.
     
  13. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Bridge does look to be a tad too far North. Not sure how that happens in a modern hi-tech factory.
     
  14. UPtele

    UPtele Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    I actually think it might be the pickguard that's off
     
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  15. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Holic

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    I checked again down the neck with a straightedge and I’m sure the bridge is off center. I also sighted up from the bottom off the guitar and the symmetry looks off. Going to send it back. Such a shame.
     
  16. Chicken Curry

    Chicken Curry Tele-Meister

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    Be thankful that the high E is further away from the edge!
     
  17. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I hope the replacement is better. Good luck.
     
  18. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Holic

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    91501AC3-791F-4110-A416-0D540668DBB1.jpeg E953A63E-55D5-4E26-8CC4-F888550721EA.jpeg Update: I got a new Ultra Luxe Tele to replace the one with the off-center looking bridge. The new one is spot on! I came to the conclusion that the bridge was square to the neck on the one I returned, but the pickguard was mounted too close to edge the of the body on the treble side - probably because of a slight discrepancy in the neck pocket. Played well but was unsightly. The new one is perfect.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
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  19. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Great! I agree - it isn't like any bozo drills the bridge. That is probably one of the more exacting dimensions on a guitar and I would assume it is done robotically. Pickguards on the other hand are pretty loosey-goosey.

    Enjoy!
     
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  20. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    `
    Yeah, your new guitar definitely looks "more right". I don't usually obsess over minor things, but that original one would have probably bugged me too. Besides, I really like the wood grain on your new one better as well...

    Congrats!






    `
     
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