Stop tail bridge question, please.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by bullfrogblues, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have a pair of builds coming up of LP Special double cut w/P90s that will require a stoptail bridge, either compensated or adjustable, doesn't matter.
    Do all these type bridges have a 12" radius? That seems to be all I can find in all my searches.
    Thanks, looking for something like this Golden Age bridge.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If they are all Gibson replacement bridges, then 12" would be my guess. Saddle slots could be filed down for a different radius, but that tends to kind of ruin the saddles if you mess up. If you are going to do that, I might get a Nashville bridge which have saddles that can be replaced. That would require a tailpiece too.

    Nashville Tune-o-matic Saddles - StewMac

    Nashville Tune-o-matic Bridge - StewMac


    For ABR 1 Style bridges

    Set of Six Old Style (ABR) Tunematic Saddles - WHITE NYLON | Arkansas Musicworks | Reverb
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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  3. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Thank you, Marty.
    we don't want to go the stop tail/TOM style, just a stoptail. I have a Tone Pros on another guitar and it's very nice, also 12" radius.
    Since we'll possibly be making the necks we'll need to know the fretboard radius. We prefer 10 or 9.5", but I know that's not a heck of a lot of difference.
     
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  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    you can radius that bridge with either a V file or Nut slotting files... just look for brass saddles and have it your way..

    r
     
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  5. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I tried to radius one and never appreciated how it came out much. For one thing the chrome is gone. For another, it's a bit confusing what kind of groove is best (A 'V' I think, radiused to fit the string will never quite be right.)

    Something to think about: Unless you keep your string clearance the same from low E to high E, does it matter if the bridge is 12" and the neck is 10" etc?
    I kinda came to the conclusion it doesn't really matter much a while back. Mostly because my strings are "tilted" relative to the fretboard. I use maybe .12" clearance on the low E at the 15th fret and maybe .070-080 clearance on the High E there.
     
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  6. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Thanks, Ron. I never thought about that.

    I don't have a way to slot fretboards, so we have to buy pre-radiused/slotted boards.
    I think you have a good point, there. Just find a happy medium with string height. There can't be that much difference. I have a .jpg somewhere that shows all the radii together and 10 and 12 aren't that far apart.
    Thanks!!
     
  7. AAT65

    AAT65 Poster Extraordinaire

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    A PRS Stoptail bridge will be set up for 10" radius since that's the norm for PRS. You can buy an American one if you've got the money or the SE version for about 1/4 of the price. (And the US ones come adjustable or fixed.)
     
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  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I do find the string radius to matter if you are used to picking say a 7.25 radius and have a guitar that is say 12" radius. You will be mis picking a bit here and there. But the tilt or mis match with a fretboard/frets doesn't seem to matter much.
    Also, think about this, if you are worried about matching your bridge radius with neck radius ..... wait for it....

    WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU HAVE A MODERN COMPOUND RADIUS NECK!? :eek::lol:
    That pretty much settles it. Doesn't have to match....
     
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  9. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

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    You can alter the strings' radius of any bridge that has individual saddles by filing the string slots.

    Don't waste your money on radius gauges. The only thing they're good for is to determine what a fretboard radius is. Instead, measure each string's action at the 12th fret and adjust each saddle slot based on that dimension. When every string is dialed in, the radius is correct.

    Matching the strings' radius to a fretboard is really a faulty approach, because the strings are a distance from the frets' tops. This means the arc of the strings over the 12th fret needs to be a larger radius than the frets' tops. Complicating this is the fatter the string, the more action it requires.

    As an example, see how a2 is on a smaller radius than a3? This is all fairly esoteric stuff, but it does matter because very small dimensional changes in the geometry can turn a pretty good guitar into a truly great guitar.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    Just my 2 cents here -

    The relative height on the mounting posts of the bass side vs the treble side is a factor, too. It's possible to use that in a way that reduces the number of saddle slots that need lowering to only the bass-side strings, possibly only the 5th and 6th string saddles.

    Plus it's often the case that the string actions rise slightly from treble to bass in a graduated way, so the radius will be flatter than the fingerboard or frets anyway.

    Since they're thick strings there is less risk of filing those slots too deep.

    All the saddle slots need to be perfected though, to make their ramps and take-offs correct with whatever is going on behind the saddle, similar to nut slots. But you can avoid having to file off the tops of the saddles and exposing the brass.

    In the end a 12" radius bridge and saddles will work okay with a 10" or 9-1/2" neck, with a little work, which probably would be done anyway.
     
  11. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Thank you all for the suggestions and information.
    My normal setup routine involves measuring individual string height. And I don't own radius gauges, IMO they are worthless, except as mentioned for finding the radius of a fretboard.

    I like the idea of the PRS stoptail, but I'd prefer a bridge that's adjustable for intonation, though certainly not necessary. Like my 3 saddle Tele bridges, you can get real close and that's ok.

    We're still waiting for the templates, but my friend and I hope to make this LP Special P90 style with the 1790s pine flooring he took from his sold family's estate which I used to make this Music Man looking cabronita, which I've posted before.
    MM Cab frontal.jpg
     
  12. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I finally found this pic I had stashed away.
    Fretboard raduis comparison.jpg
     
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  13. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    That's ^^^ a good comparison diagram, @bullfrogblues. :)

    And when ya consider that the string spread is only about two inches wide . . . .


    When we talk about the numbers, like 7.25 and 12 - it sounds like there is a huge difference, but when ya come right down to it - there is only a slight difference ;)


    .
     
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  14. ghostchord

    ghostchord Tele-Holic

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    There are after-market PRS bridges with adjustable intonation and I think PRS also makes bridges with adjustable intonation... FWIW.
     
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  15. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    thanks, all.
    I ordered a TonePros AVT2G-N and I'll make it work with whichever fretboard I decide to get.
     
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  16. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    My first thought is what RonKirn already pointed out. A set of nut slot files would be the proper tool to tweak the saddle height for a very slight change in the radius.

    But a bigger issue is that the bridge you pictured comes with pre-slotted saddles whereas your custom build should have the strings spaced where you need them (spaced from the edges of the fretboard and aligned along the neck, if not proportionally spaced like the way you lay out nut slots). That might require cutting a new notch for the string that's not in the same place that the manufacturer assumed when they placed the "v" in the center of each slot. This is a concept common with Gibson hardware that's totally foreign to Fender style builds since Leo decided on the string spacing at the bridge with the placement of the string-through ferrules on a Tele or the saddle and inertia block arrangement on a Strat.

    So just check the string spacing at the saddle on that contraption and see if it's much different than what you expect. Also alignment with the pickups will have to be compromised (P90's aren't "F" spacing).
     
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  17. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh and on a set-neck LP special you really do want the luxury of being able to tweak the alignment at the saddles because you can't shift the neck like you can with a bolt-on design.
     
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  18. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    One more thing, the Tone pros bridge you pictured has only the slightest suggestion of a notch in each saddle it's not a full string notch. So you'll need nut slot files to do it properly, but it will give you the luxury to lay out the strings where you want them for spacing, so that's good news. Good luck with the project.
     
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  19. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I highly recommend the Schroeder Stoptail Bridge. Jason can tailor it to whatever radius you want.

    "Easily adapts to a 10” or 12” radius: The out-of-the-box bridge radius is 11” making it easily adjustable to 10” or 12” radius by fine tuning the saddles during setup. (Can be adjusted to other radii as well, please inquire if you have a special request.)"


    IMG-20120207-00159.jpg
     
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  20. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    That’s why you set the neck before placing the bridge.
     
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