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Tele Bigsby B5 thimble location: this doesn't look right

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by AZkoaMan, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. AZkoaMan

    AZkoaMan Tele-Meister

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    A friend asked me to assemble a Tele for him from parts he provided. It's going to be a Tele body with a single pickup, Jazzmaster neck and a Bigsby B5 with a Mustang bridge. The body (supplied without bridge holes) and pickguard are from Warmoth. The neck is pulled from a MIM Jazzmaster, the tremolo is from Bigsby, the bridge plate is from Mastery, and I'm not sure where the Mustang bridge is from.

    Now, the problem: locating the bridge plate and thimbles for the bridge. I marked the centerline of the body and I measured 25 9/16" back from the nut for the centers of the thimble holes. That's the measurement called out by Fender in installation instructions from the 70's. This makes sense to me because the bridge should be centered at 25 1/2" (give or take 1/16"). The problem is when I place the Mastery MBDC bridge plate with the thimble holes at that measurement the plate sits too far forward of the bridge pickup rout and it interferes with the pickguard.
     
  2. AZkoaMan

    AZkoaMan Tele-Meister

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    Here's the bridge plate placed with the thimble holes centered at 25 9/16". You can see that it's not located properly over the pickup cavity.

    1a.jpg

    Here's the bridge plate in the same location with the pickguard in place as well. The front of the bridge sits on top of the pickguard.

    5.jpg

    And finally here's the bridge plate butted up against the pickguard. This locates it a little better over the pickup cavity but still not correct. You can also see that it moves the thimble holes significantly back from the proper location.

    4.jpg

    Am I missing something? The body, pickguard, and bridge plate are all made by reputable suppliers so I would think they have their parts and dimensions all worked out. What's wrong here?
     
  3. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Tele-Afflicted

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    Is that the Jazz master rocking bridge plate?

    Toss it in the trash, and modify and ashtray.

    [​IMG]
     
    Modman68 likes this.
  4. AZkoaMan

    AZkoaMan Tele-Meister

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    I don't have an ashtray. This isn't really a conversion. It's being built up from scratch, except for the neck. My friend wanted the Mustang bridge for now with a plan to upgrade to a Mastery once he has the funds. The thimbles would stay when the bridge is upgraded and it's my understanding that the Mastery bridge has thicker studs that fit the thimbles very closely to eliminate the rocking. These are the parts I have. It seems to me that everything SHOULD be compatible but that doesn't seem to be the case. Since all the parts come from high quality, reputable sources I'm hesitant to assign any blame for compatibility errors. That's why I'm asking if there's something I'm overlooking/misunderstanding. Is my basic assumption about the location of the thimbles wrong? If anyone here has done a B5 conversion with the rocking bridge and can measure the location of the bridge on their guitar that could be of some help.
     
  5. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Tele-Afflicted

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    I would line everything up as it should, without the pickguard.

    Than modify the pickguard to fit the guitar properly set up.
     
  6. AZkoaMan

    AZkoaMan Tele-Meister

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    The plate doesn't line up correctly with the pickup cavity either. It seems like the plate isn't made correctly.
     
  7. AZkoaMan

    AZkoaMan Tele-Meister

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    I've been looking at pictures of B5 Tele conversions and it looks like the saddles are always positioned forward of the center line on the bridge. I guess this would work with the thimbles/posts ~3/16" back from 25 1/2". I just want to be sure before I drill holes. If anyone with a Jazzmaster/Mustang bridge on their Tele can measure the distance from the nut to the posts that would settle the issue.
     
  8. matmosphere

    matmosphere Tele-Afflicted

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    You should send Mastery an email. They made the part so I'm sure they have the specifications for installation.
     
  9. AZkoaMan

    AZkoaMan Tele-Meister

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    I did email John Woodland at Mastery and he cleared things up. The bridge posts should be centered slightly set back from the 25 1/2" mark. He told me 1/8" but the plate with the pickup installed and the pickguard in place really wants to sit 3/16" back. No worries there. The saddles can easily accommodate 1/16" variation.

    I also should mention how grateful and impressed I am that the owner of Mastery took the time to promptly answer my email even though it was around midnight where he's located. That level of customer service is admirable.
     
    matmosphere likes this.
  10. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's great customer service.
     
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