Thoughts on the Babicz FCH Tele Bridge? Considering Getting One

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Niloy63, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Niloy63

    Niloy63 TDPRI Member

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    No need to thank me. I need to thank YOU for YOUR input to my questions in here. So thank you! haha

    That makes sense re: how the big aluminum bridge can perhaps end up altering the sound/feel of m pickups. The more I read and type out responses, the more I'm realizing that there is no need to mess with the bridge. But I think I'm going to want to try out some other saddles. Just for sh*ts and giggles. :)
     
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  2. Niloy63

    Niloy63 TDPRI Member

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    Dude... I believe you just solved the only issue I have with the entire bridge. That is perfect!!

    And I also appreciate the review of your prior Babicz. I like it on my Les Paul. But if I had only 1 LP, I'm not sure sure I'd want that to be on there, if that makes sense.

    I would definitely try a Glendale bridge/3-saddle comp. at some point, but I can't do ashtrays. I play like a Neanderthal and I hurt my hand/fingers all the time. I have too much aggression when I play. lol
     
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  3. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Bill Lawrence stated that aluminium messes badly with a tele bridge pickup

    http://www.billlawrence.com/Pages/ForTeleLovers.htm

    I hope this helps you in your tone quest.
     
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  4. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

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    Tech note, I reused the stock Fender springs with the Highwood saddles. Highwood includes springs with their saddles but I'm sorry they are inferior to the Fender springs imo.
     
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  5. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Awesome Nick. I’ve been looking for that page for a while!

    Thanks my friend!

    :) Peter
     
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  6. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    The saddles on the callaham bridges are brass and the plate is steel as far as I know.


    Nice stuff, the price on em is a little silly, but they are very nice from what I've heard.
     
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  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    You ground the bridge plate to ground the strings. The pickup does not need a separate ground, but it does not ground the strings.
     
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  8. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Two things.

    Regardless of your bridge type, vintage three-barrel, or 6-saddle, it's no huge feat to get stagger-height action screws that won't dig into your hand. I know Marc Rutters addresses that - he takes a simple screw and elevates it to a thing of functional beauty.


    Also, if you liked the sound of a Tele enough to try one, you probably don't want to inadvertently 'break' that. A Telecaster is more than the sum of it's parts, and the cheap stamped steel bridge is definitely a part of the tone, in my experience. I don't know much about the modern Fender bridges, though I have owned a few, but I know the vintage type has no inherent limitation on sustain.


    I first came to Fenders because I loved the sound of a clean Strat. Teles came later. My instinct was to get a Strat, and then keep 'improving' it. Chasing some tone in my head, as well as some idea of physical perfection, clean lines, locking this, solid {cold rolled steel, brass, aluminum} that... I believed the many negative comments I read about the inadequacies of the vintage bridge design. I gradually swapped out every part. Somewhere along the line, I never did figure out quite where, I had lost that magical sweet clarity that drew me to the instrument in the first place. So, I think I have an inkling of the mission you're on.
     
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  9. Niloy63

    Niloy63 TDPRI Member

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    The more I read all your collective thoughts, the more I realize that I was trying to mess with something that didn't need to be messed with in the first place. Great reference, Nick! You certainly are helping me attain solid knowledge. I think it's just as important to know what NOT to do as it is to know what TO do. So thank you!!

    No joke. Their prices are certainly up there. I've heard a lot about Callaham bridges for Gibsons. But not much about their Fender stuff. But I'm guessing from their reputation that it's quality stuff. Brass saddles, I'm guessing, increases brightness... right?

    Thanks for letting me know. I've recently learned how to do all my own setups (except for my Ibanez Edge Tremolo... I still don't know how to setup a Floyd/Floyd-like trem) and fret crowning, and just bought a soldering kit this last weekend. So I'm marching my ass down the whole self-sufficient guitar player path, or at least trying to. Hopefully I can get a good grasp on that stuff and then move on to do some more technical stuff. Thanks again for the info!!
     
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  10. Niloy63

    Niloy63 TDPRI Member

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    @coolidge thanks a lot for the tip bro. You're saving me solid time from finding out sh*t the hard way. And again, much freakin appreciation for the heads up on the saddles. The stock saddle action screws tore me up on a few occasions.

    Thanks for your detailed input and perspective, @moosie. You're absolutely right regarding correcting the saddle action screws. Definitely doesn't take rocket science. @coolidge turned my attention to "Highwood Saddles" that avoid the whole issue. So that should be a much cheaper and effective solution to the only issue I was having with the bridge than replacing the whole damn thing. lol

    The love for my particular Tele is probably more in the way it plays than in the way it sounded with the stock pickups. I feel that with the pup change I did to the Rio Grande Greasegunner is exactly what the guitar needed... for me at least. But none the less, I don't want to lose all the nuance in the guitar that makes it a Tele. So I'm grateful to the folks in this thread such as yourself that were gracious enough to share their opinions with me and avoid perhaps a bad decision.

    And I completely relate to your journey about perpetually trying to "improve" it. I learned that lesson with Les Pauls 3 or 4 years ago. I suppose my dumba** needs to learn that lesson with each different guitar brand separately. haha Thanks for sharing your story. It's cool to know that I don't suffer alone! :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  11. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Compared to... ?

    Steel saddles are brighter. Brass is similar, but not quite as bright. Depends on your ear, and your guitar, which you prefer. I usually replace brass barrels for steel.

    You can grind the tips of the screws down yourself, but you want to then bevel them, like they are now, so they have a single, solid contact point. Pretty sure you can purchase staggered Tele bridge screws, without going all boutique.
     
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  12. Gaz_

    Gaz_ TDPRI Member

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    I can totally see how that style of bridge would improve a les paul. But I think you've already realised it's a slightly different game on the tele. The rules are the same, but the pitch is a differetn shape. The saddle swap will probably give you what you're looking for, and if not, you can swap them again! Good luck!
     
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  13. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    This may solve an age-old problem for me. Going to have to try that. Thank you.
     
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  14. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Meister

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    There only seems to be one missing factiod for this thread. You would absolutely need to ground an aluminum bridge, and aluminum is a decent conductor. Not as good as copper or gold, but it does the job.
     
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  15. Niloy63

    Niloy63 TDPRI Member

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    Ahhh so steel is generally brighter than brass. Good to know.

    I'm sure I'd be able to take a dremel and grind it down. But I don't trust that I'd be able to grind it down absolutely straight on the bottom, and I don't know how to bevel the screw.

    I definitely now see that it would be completely unnecessary to go down the Babicz route. Especially since I can adjust each saddle height already. And although a good idea by @moosie , I'm hesitant to grind down the stock screws because I don't trust myself to grind the screw straight. And I wouldn't know how to bevel it either. Thanks for the kind words!!

    Thanks for putting in your two cents. For theoretical purposes since I'm trying to learn, if I were to have put on the bridge, would I ground the bridge to one of the pots? And if so, which one? I don't see why I'd have to ground it to a pickup, but then again, I don't know much of anything relating to guitar wiring. lol. Trying to learn though.
     
  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Ground is ground. All grounds connect - doesn't matter where or how. The tuners on your headstock have continuity with the output jack collar thanks to the strings, and string/bridge ground. All electrics are this way, not just Teles. Open up your LP, and there's a ground wire at the bottom of one of those TOM post holes.

    And the output jack connects directly to the ground plane in the amp, which is (usually) directly connected to the common side of your wall outlet, and to the third wire safety ground, too.

    So, when you play, your hands have connectivity with the local power station.

    :):cool:

    Undoubtedly you'll run into the mythical 'ground loop', and be warned to avoid them by star-grounding, or limiting ground connection points. It's a potential noise issue inside an amp, where you have high current (noisy) running concurrently with tiny, delicate preamp signals from your guitar. But inside the guitar? Not an issue. So, in the guitar, as long as all grounds connect, and then to the jack, you're good.

    One reason you need to ground the bridge / strings is for safety. It used to be more of an issue before we had polarized outlets and safety grounds. But you can still plug in, at a poorly maintained club, and have a failure inside your amp, and possibly be at risk for electrocution. The string ground ensures your body isn't the easiest path to ground.

    The other reason is that any bit of metal or conductive material in the guitar is a potential noise source if not grounded. For instance, if you shield your control cavity so as to reduce RFI and/or static, be sure to ground every bit of copper foil, or whatever else you use. If you don't... your guitar will seem possessed. I had a Les Paul with a faulty humbucker lead, where the bare shield wire wasn't grounded - just a wee wire, maybe 8" long. I could lay the guitar on a bench, or on my lap, plugged in, and pass my palm over the body, a foot above. Like doing reiki on the guitar. And it would hum, scream and squeal. Loud. That wasn't the half of it, and it was a real bear to diagnose.

    So, ground your bridge. LOL
     
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  17. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    I have one on this build. I really like it. I don't think the saddle locks are necessary.

    IMG_7280 copy.jpg
     
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  18. Niloy63

    Niloy63 TDPRI Member

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    Didn't know that every bridge had to be grounded. And it totally makes sense that the tuners are part of the continuity through strings, but I never really gave it any thought. And I'm connected to the power station?! lol That's hilarious and cool to know.

    I also didn't know that all grounds have to be connected with one another. I'm glad to know this because now I'll understand why it is that I'm doing what I'm doing.

    I also didn't know that someone could potentially get fried just from playing if there's an amp failure at a poorly wired venue. That's insane! It's amazing how much I take for granted within the instruments I use, and how little I know about them. I need to 'up' my game a bit here.

    And I was totally thinking about shielding my Strat to reduce any excess noise, so I'm glad you mentioned that I should ground the shielding.

    As you can see, there are a lot of "I didn't know" statements in my response. At least now I know some stuff about grounding. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out. It is sincerely appreciated!
     
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  19. Niloy63

    Niloy63 TDPRI Member

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    That's a great looking top!! Thanks for sharing the pic.
     
  20. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Meister

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    @moosie covered the ground location in his post. Most times it is soldered to either pot.

    As for the dangers of playing an ungrounded tube amp
     
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