1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Recommend a basic top-loader bridge for my Tele

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by mooncaine, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. mooncaine

    mooncaine TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Location:
    intarnets
    Got a Squier Tele, Chinese, thinner body, no skunk stripe, neck feels great. Wants a new bridge.

    But it's a top-loader with super-loose tension and not enough downward pressure on the bridge saddles, in my not-so-expert opinion. I say this because the high string's saddle lifts up and 'clacks' against the bridge when I chicken-pick it.

    I upgraded its tuners to locking Hipshots (good!) and now I'd like to put a top-loading bridge on it.

    It doesn't have to be a Tele bridge. Once I had an 80s Squier Tele and swapped its knuckle-cutting ashtray bridge for a top-loading hardtail Strat bridge. I don't recall it having ever having that clacking problem.

    I just don't want to spend crazy money on it. Main interest is having the Tele not 'clacking' when I chicken-pick the high string. I love the easy bending, but wish it didn't clack.

    Give me recommendationz, dudez!
     
  2. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,203
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    How about a $0.00 alternative? A shim in the neck pocket at the bridge end will let you jack the saddles up a bit more, try something like a piece of playing card or business card about half an inch wide. That will give you more down pressure on the saddles.
     
    nojazzhere, tap4154, Doug 54 and 2 others like this.
  3. mooncaine

    mooncaine TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Location:
    intarnets
    Oh, heck, as I'm reading similar threads here, it just occurred to me that I could shim the neck instead. Raising it up would mean raising the saddles, which increases downward pressure at the bridge saddle, which should fix the clacking bridge issue. If not, it's easy enough to undo.

    What material would you recommend for a homemade shim? I'll have to cut it myself with a Dremel or hacksaw. I have an electric drill. No other saws, no workbench. Could I use soft wood for the shim?
     
  4. mooncaine

    mooncaine TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Location:
    intarnets
    Aw, sweet, thanks, dsutton! You were answering my question before I had finished asking it.
     
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,582
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Englewood, CO
  6. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,254
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Location:
    S. CA
    Nothing wrong with the Wilkenson dual load bridge.
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  7. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    10,122
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Coral Springs, FL
    Literally, just a paper business card.
     
  8. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    10,122
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Coral Springs, FL
  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,582
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Englewood, CO
    But it will work. My Nashcaster has a vintage bridge which replaced a modern bridge. The butt crack is normal stuff and the screw holes have been filled and refinished so you'd need to know they were even there in the first place to discover them.
     
  10. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    10,122
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Coral Springs, FL
    I should have mentioned it's doable, I've done it, but there's some work involved.
     
  11. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,332
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Location:
    Belgium
    I wouldn't change the bridge on an Affinity. The problem is not the bridge, it's the saddles. Either replace the saddles with (narrow/import) steel saddles, or do the Bubba mod.
    I do like the shim alternative, though! Three relatively cheep alternatives and neither includes drilling into the body.
     
  12. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,773
    Joined:
    May 9, 2014
    Location:
    Behind my beard.
  13. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,194
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    NYC
    Not long ago, yegbert explained that MIM standard saddles solved this particular problem on his son's Affinity bridge.
     
  14. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,569
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
    I've been using a 1/4 strip of old sanding belt ever since I saw that used as a shim by the factory in a Squier '51 I bought. Different grit belts have slightly different thickness. Just cut it with scissors. Won't compress as much as a strip of business card.
     
    nicod98 likes this.
  15. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,288
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Location:
    Skipton, N. Yorkshire, England
    I replaced the bridge on my Affinity with a vintage style toploader one.

    [​IMG]img

    For info the Bubba mod is similar to this one I used on my Squier 51

    [​IMG]images hosting
     
    chemobrain likes this.
  16. mooncaine

    mooncaine TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Location:
    intarnets
    I might do the saddles. Hope they come with their own screws. I like the modern bridge plate fine, I suppose.

    I think I was wrong on exactly where the snapping noise comes from. The saddles are moving vertically, that is, in the same plane as the guitar's face. They are snapping against their neighbors. And buzzing sometimes. Ugh. D saddle is buzzing now, and it's snug against its neighbors. The high E snaps.

    I now think that the saddles are too narrow. The strings kinda squeeze 'em together, evidently not firmly enough.

    I noticed this after I just tried a business card shim. It doesn't have a noticeable effect on this problem, of course.
     
  17. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

    Posts:
    5,164
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    Business card. Playing card. Tarot card.

    To go thicker, the dense cardboard from the back of a note pad or writing pad.

    I've heard of people using sandpaper or abrasive mesh, so the material doesn't move around, but nothing in that neck joint moves anywhere when you crank down 4 screws properly. That doesn't need gorilla torque, either.
     
  18. mooncaine

    mooncaine TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Location:
    intarnets
    Update: I shimmed the neck, replaced bridge with Strat-like hardtail, set it up... and it feels and sounds awful. It's had many months to settle in. The problem of the bridge saddle on high E snapping against its neighbor remains, though not as easily snapped as before shimming. The whole thing sounds more rattly, more boingy, like a toy.

    I'm gonna take it apart and get rid of the shim. I'll either put a normal bridge on it, and drill the through-holes for the strings myself, or I'll set it up as it was before, with the stock bridge, and try something else.

    I tried a dot of superglue under the saddle screws. Yuck, and nope, didn't stay stuck.
     
  19. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,288
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Location:
    Skipton, N. Yorkshire, England
    The vintage bridge mod worked for me.

    On quite a few occasions

    [​IMG]
     
  20. mooncaine

    mooncaine TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Location:
    intarnets
    I suppose 3 big saddles won't knock around as easily as 6 small ones... but I'm not sure I want to give up having fine control over intonation. I dial up my guitars pretty close to perfect, all the way up the fretboard. Can I change the angle of such a saddle as on these 3-saddle bridges?
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.