What's The Best (Compensated, Brass, Three-Barrel) Bridge for your buck?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Tele907, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    IMO, that's subjectively determined. Some will say yes, while others will say no.

    What is likely to cause at least some measurable tonal differences (again, probably just more noticeable by some) is the bridge plate material itself, with many or most of the stamped steel ones being magnetic, and some (possibly many) of the 6 (cast) saddle bridges being nonmagnetic.

    IME, it was mostly diminishing returns with messing with different bridges and saddles for tonal improvements only. Others will no doubt beg to differ, because we're all going to come to our own personal conclusions.
     
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  2. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I think I have the same model CV 50s (white blonde) as you. I just wanted to second what some have said. The bridge plate on the CV50s is indeed very nice, thicker and more sturdy than the Fender actually. If you're OK with a 3 saddle bridge, I would keep it. Just get one of the sets of compensated brass saddles mentioned in this thread.

    If you want 6 saddles to really set the intonation perfectly, the heavier Gotoh modern bridge is hard to beat. It's chrome plated but is solid brass underneath. Be sure to get the one that attaches with 4 screws in front of the string holes. It will drop right into your CV50s:

    GotohModern.jpg
     
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  3. BGLeduc

    BGLeduc TDPRI Member

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    I recently acquired one of these but found that I had some fitment issues on my CIC CV50 (2003). One of the 4 screw holes (far left side) was off by a bit. I was able to get the screw installed, but then I discovered that the overall spacing of the pick-up hole seemed off, which made it impossible to smoothly adjust the pick-up height...it would appear that the pick-up was binding tightly against the body.

    I was surprised by this, since the bridge I was replacing was a Gotoh 6 saddle that fit perfectly. Why I went from the original Squier bridge to the Gotoh and then to a compensated 3 saddle is a story for another day, but the words Micawber, Dragon, and Mirror are part of the story. :)

    As I was not motivated to try to rework the routing or make any other mods to either the guitar of the bridge to sort out the fitment, I ultimately pulled the original Squier 3 saddle bridge out of the parts box, and swapped in the Wilkinson compensated saddles onto the Squier bridge plate, which did fit fine. Intonation also is good...I was worried about that given the 6 saddle intonated perfectly.

    Given that I have not read of any other issues with the Wilkinson on a CV50, I am wondering if I got a knock off, or perhaps CV50 spacing varies. I bought the bridge from a legit music store via Reverb, but given the low cost, it was not worth my time to return it, and I was still able to use the saddles.

    I just thought I would share my experience.
     
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  4. Tele907

    Tele907 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks so much, I really appreciate this post. I'm still probably going to get a Wilkinson one (three-barrel - brass), but the Gotoh modern looks really nice, so I'll also consider it.

    Also, thanks for the info on the plate, I didn't know it was thicker :lol:
     
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  5. Tele907

    Tele907 TDPRI Member

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    Interestingly enough, when I swapped some Bootstrap Pretzel pups into my tele, I found that the stock bridge plate holes ALMOST didn't match up with the mounting-holes drilled into the body. In the end, I got the screws in without drilling any new holes, but it sure is pretty snug. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. gerhard_k

    gerhard_k TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Peegoo - as an engineer who doesn't even own a Tele yet, what I notice in this photo, where you have carefully lined up the through-body holes, is that the bridge pickup in the "vintage" bridge is closer to the saddles than in the "modern" bridge, in other words, in the "vintage" bridge the pickup is closer to the end of the vibrating string compared to the "modern" pickup. The slant of the pickup hole tends to visually mask this, but hold a straightedge up to the photo and it's clear. So with the complex nodes of vibration in the string, would you expect a different quality to the sound from a pickup that's closer to the end of a string, so that a "vintage" setup would sound basically different from a "modern" one? Certainly, picking on a string at various points along its length makes it sound much different.

    Just trying to learn a bit here...
     
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  7. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think the position of a single coil bridge pickup does in fact have an affect on the tone, and I found one Tele single coil bridge pickup that I had temporarily mounted closer to the bridge, to sound a bit “quacky”, and undesirable. I prefer to keep the bridge pickup the typical distance from the bridge, and adjust the bridge mounting screws’ and string through holes’ positions accordingly.

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-tech/85040-every-tried-stunt-(tele-special).html
     
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  8. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had a Reverend Buckshot, which has a Tele bridge pickup located significantly closer to the nut (or farther away from the bridge). I HATED its effect on the tone, because it sounded about 70% like the bridge & middle pickup setting on a Strat. It just had this weird overemphasized upper midrange thing happening, especially on the 2nd and 3rd strings.

    ...I ended up pulling the neck off the Buckshot, and installing it on an aftermarket Tele body. Problem solved. The Buckshot also has a T.O.M. bridge, and I wasn't crazy about that, either.
     
  9. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    This reminds me - I have one of those Babicz Full Contact Tele bridges, and there are holes for both the vintage 4 screw and the modern 3 screw. The only caveat is that since these two types of bridges have the string thru holes located in a different place, you have to use it for toploading for the modern setting (Babicz couldn't or wouldn't include two rows of string thru holes).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...Notice on the American Standard plate that the string through holes are located farther away from the 3 mounting screws:

    [​IMG]

    ...So I guess it would have been a machining problem for Babicz to include the string through holes for the modern style on their 'universal' bridge. It looks like they would have come pretty close to the location of the 4 screw holes for the vintage bridge.
     
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  10. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, absolutely it matters. The closer a pickup is to the end of the strings, the twangier it will sound due to the reduced lower-harmonic content in the signal.
     
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  11. Tele907

    Tele907 TDPRI Member

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    Actually, the more I look at this, I am interested... And it's not like I'm really trying to preserve the 50s-vibe really (if you're wondering why it's because I'm a teenager with one guitar, so all I can do is upgrade it).
     
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  12. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    It's a very well made bridge for sure and drops right in. You should be able to get perfect intonation with it. A lot of folks around here use it. You can always go back to the 3 saddle bridge any time you want. With good compensated saddles, you can get close enough to perfect that no one will notice. For reference, here's what the Gotoh looks like on the CV 50s (with a white guard in this picture). Good luck with your project.
    IMG_20160827_150048166[1].jpg
     
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  13. Tele907

    Tele907 TDPRI Member

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    o
    Oh yeah, I like that. I think I'll get it. Side question, do you know where I could find a mint 5 hole pickguard for sale? I don't really want to make one or have one made, but I just think it would look so good against the white body.
     
  14. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    There's this one at the Stratosphere. I've had good luck with them and they're inexpensive too.
    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=361343312106

    You can also specify exactly what you want at Warmoth, though they're a bit more pricey.
    https://www.warmoth.com/Pickguard/TelePickguard.aspx
     
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