Tele Bigsby saddle fix

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Peregrino69, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi guys

    I need to find replacement saddles for a pal's guitar. These are the originals:

    upload_2020-3-1_11-5-52.png

    That's a Japanese 02-04 Tele with Fender's Bigsby bridge.

    My friend says that the saddles are buzzing and he'd prefer some other alternative. I'm sorta thinking the buzz is mostly caused by the strings riding over the saddles whichever way, and I'm pretty sure the setup's also otherwise all over the place.

    As we're I'd preferably use original spares, but just in case can anyone recommend alternatives? Preferably available in the EU due to taxes and possibly long delivery times from the states.


    Cheers
    PG
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
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  2. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    You'll get new bridge for not a lot of money on the likes of eBay and if you want to go boutique then I recommend the Mastery Bridge (www.masterybridge.com) which is an awesome (but expensive) upgrade. :)
     

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  3. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, I don't mind whether it's the entier bridge or just the saddles - the question is "where do I get it fast-ish", as this guitar should be in studio in about 10 days :)

    The time limit also puts Mastery out of the picture at this point.
     
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  4. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    It looks like the strings are bending over the back wall of the bridge before they reach the saddles. I don't think new saddles are going to help -- something more troublesome is going on there.
     
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  5. Verne Bunsen

    Verne Bunsen Tele-Afflicted

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    The high e saddle is missing entirely, but the screw is still in there which is definitely going to rattle. Also the low e is riding between the E/A saddles? It looks like the bridge and saddles are all lowered all the way to the deck. Height adjustment screws (one of which also appears to be missing) without any tension on them will definitely rattle. All that along with what LutherBurger pointed out about the strings breaking over the back of the bridge, I don’t see how that guitar plays at all. Along with the bridge and saddle replacement, I suspect the neck needs shimmed and the saddle height increased to get the geometry right.
     
  6. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Here you go:

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/112608401877

    You need to make sure the post spacing are the same.

    If you wanted to explore the Mastery Bridge route, speak to Andy at:

    https://www.nottinghamcityguitars.com/

    He stocks Mastery products and will ship to Europe.

    Good luck. :)
     
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  7. naomimoan

    naomimoan TDPRI Member

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  8. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, @LutherBurger & @Verne Bunsen, you see why I'm saying the setup's very likely shot to heck... It doesn't play, acc to my pal the e string saddle just dropped off in the last band practice - I'm frankly surprised he's been playing it that long :-D It ain't the saddles, it's going to need a thorough maintenance. I'm sure a new bridge, proper setup and general TLC will coax that one back to the land of the living :) Just as long as the neck isn't twisted...

    That's the bridge these guitars were produced with. That Ebid offering looks nice, but it won't arrive on time. Besides ain't my guitar...

    Thanks @PeterUK, that looks promising. If I can't find an original part I need to look into that. But I think the original Fender parts are available, as the Vintera 60's Tele (https://shop.fender.com/en-US/elect...vintera-60s-telecaster-bigsby/0149883301.html) appears to use the same bridge.
     
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  9. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Holic

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    Mustang bridge. You’ll never look back.
     
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  10. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks, @glenlivet. That's immediately available in the NL so I'll certainly get it in a day. Looks to my eye nicer than the original, so if the post spacing matches I I'll probably recommend that one. Unless someone can point out why it wouldn't be suitable?
     
  11. naomimoan

    naomimoan TDPRI Member

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    If you're looking for something fast, you can just get any ashtray bridge & dremel the back edge.

    I have 3 guitars right now with bigsbys. Love them but never tried on a tele.

    I'd like to give it a try one day. One nice thing about using an ashtray from what I understand, is that you don't have to shim the neck doing it this way.

    (Not my guitar)
    image.jpg
     
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  12. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted

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    That's what I was thinking too. Just missing a place to Dremel in. And of course a Dremel would come in handy ;) Thanks anyway for the suggestion - also looks nicer than the original :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
  13. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've said this before but it bears repeating... gotta love this community :)
     
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  14. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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  15. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Holic

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    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/mustang-bridge-on-b5-tele.946084/

    I swapped the original bridge ( like your photo) on a Squier with a bigsby for the mustang bridge, as per the above thread...it was a drop in replacement. No more rattling, no more little height screws digging into my hand.

    No individual string height adjustments....that’s the only down side.

    Bigsby seems to work better too.....but maybe that’s just my imagination.
    Either way.....it’s certainly better than what is on there now!
     
  16. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    That's what I used on my MIJ Custom Tele w/Bigsby.
     
  17. CalebAaron666

    CalebAaron666 Tele-Holic

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    I used a mustang style bridge on my old B5 setup, and it was the best option. I liked it far more than the jag style or the mastery.
    However, I had to find a mustang style bridge with a 9.5” radius to match my neck. Most mustang bridges are 7.25”.

    But really, the best option is to lose the B5 set up and get a B16, the real deal tele bigsby!:D
    102E577D-6A0F-4EDD-B848-E8BD0B97BF1C.png
     
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  18. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    Even if it changes the architecture of the Tele a lot (requires shimming the neck and having the strings further away from the body as on a Gretsch), I tend to agree. The fact it looks so cool doesn’t hurt neither!
     
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  19. CalebAaron666

    CalebAaron666 Tele-Holic

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    True, the neck needs to be shimmed, but that’s easy.
    I’ve installed 6 bigsby’s, and The B16 was the easiest install of all of them.
    And unlike a B5, you can wail on a B16, and you’ll still be in tune.
     
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  20. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    The Mustang bridge has very wide string spacing. On many guitars the strings will be too close to the edges of the fretboard. It also has a non-adjustable 7.25" radius.

    The StayTrem bridge is a really good alternative for Jazzmasters and Jaguars, but not Teles, unfortunately. It's also only available in the UK these days.
     
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