-= Bridge FAQ =-

For help with setups and other technical issues.
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klontart
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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by klontart » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:04 am

Thanks for the parts link! 👍🏼

Note that with the nylon bushings installs the trem still works as originally designed: the strings rock the bridge back and forth. The range however is much more limited, and turns out to be more than enough for my needs. And I no longer have to check and reposition the bridge every time I pick up the guitar.

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Danley
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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by Danley » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:29 am

klontart wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:04 am
Thanks for the parts link! 👍🏼

Note that with the nylon bushings installs the trem still works as originally designed: the strings rock the bridge back and forth. The range however is much more limited, and turns out to be more than enough for my needs. And I no longer have to check and reposition the bridge every time I pick up the guitar.
All my bridges stayed firmly centered on my offsets, except two - each of those two, the bridges could be easily shoved around and it was quite annoying. Both guitars were refinished with paint in the pocket.

I accidentally solved the problem when I stripped one guitar for a refin - it had finish in the neck pocket, which was enough to affect the break angle of the strings. Removing the finish and tweaking the setup to compensate ‘solved’ the loose & shovable bridge problem.

I then stripped the neck pocket finish off the other guitar, and that also solved the problem. On all my ‘factory’ offsets with unfinished neck pockets the bridges are tight, but it goes to show you how much tolerances can affect things. I’m sure there are certain body/neck combinations or individual bodies/necks made out of spec. that would be unfavorable to the offset besides in general, where the fix would be more difficult.
King Buzzo: I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

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klontart
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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by klontart » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:33 am

The bridge of my (beautiful white) Johnny Marr Jag is usually all over the place.

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timtam
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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by timtam » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:43 pm

klontart wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:04 am
Note that with the nylon bushings installs the trem still works as originally designed: the strings rock the bridge back and forth. The range however is much more limited, and turns out to be more than enough for my needs. And I no longer have to check and reposition the bridge every time I pick up the guitar.
Thanks for the info that the bridge still moves with the Am Pro nylon bushings, just with much limited range. Just how stiff they are was somewhat obscure until now.

I still query Fender's design choice though. Anything that only partially impedes the bridge from full rocking back and forth is still problematic in terms of the way that the bridge / trem should work - which is basically that with trem use, the moving strings should grip the saddles and move the bridge the same distance as the strings, and then return the bridge by the same full distance to its starting position. Only in that way can consistent tuning integrity with trem use be expected.

There are a number of common possible impediments to full rocking back and forth ... which admittedly adds to the argument that the basic design is fraught with possible issues. But with an understanding of how Leo intended things to work, those issues can be mostly avoided. Hopefully Fender at least tested the Am Pro bushing idea fully, but that is only an assumption.

Impediments to full bridge motion include the stock posts hitting the existing thimble walls, or anything else that blocks full post motion, like the Am Pro bushings. These impediments cause the strings to grip / slide inconsistently in the saddles (ie mixture of gripping and sliding). As a result, the bridge can not move the full distance to a new position with trem use because the posts hit the impediment; but when string direction is reversed with trem release, the bridge will move more further back (since it is not impeded and the strings can carry it the full distance on the return journey). Thus the bridge is not guaranteed to return to where it started, in fact it is expected to travel past that point. This is how bridges end up tilted. So impediments are a recipe for tuning instability with trem use. Without impediments, with consistent string-saddle gripping, the bridge should always travel the full distance and return the same full distance with string-driven rocking; thus it should always be back at its starting position.

In simple terms, an offset bridge should rock fully ... or not at all.

The bridge can be helped to rock fully and correctly by removing impediments, and increasing string downforce on the saddles to increase string-saddle friction, so that gripping is consistent (eg higher string gauge/tension, or greater break angle, ie with higher bridge /saddles or closer trem*).

*Ironically Fender put the trem closer on guitars with non-rocking AOM bridges, like the Classic Players, which don't need greater downforce to ensure string-saddle gripping - the strings must slide smoothly on non-rocking bridges .. a closer trem makes that harder to achieve.
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Danley
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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by Danley » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:49 pm

Eh, bridge is pretty damn close to the tailpiece on Mustangs, and the Mustang bridge needs to rock a hell of a lot more. EDIT- never mind, I get your point about the TOMs now. But as far as nylon inserts, I agree in principle I prefer the bridge to be able to rock fully. I’m sure the nylon works fine, but given I have half a dozen offsets that don’t need them, I’d bend over backward to figure out what was wrong with the guitar before I resorted to them. I’m a pedant though.
King Buzzo: I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

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klontart
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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by klontart » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:59 pm

I agree, the bridge should move freely, as designed. But the design isn’t perfect (far from it even) and it needs expertise to fully experience the joy of a correctly working JM/Jag trem. But boy does it feel great once you have it working (again).

I own several offsets, and now that I know how to handle them, I’d say they’re perfectly fine for studio and home use. For live use though I’d simply go for the nylon bushes, so I know the bridge will never act up, and it still feels like a great trem, though slightly more limited. The bridge is still rocking back and forth, and still responds to the lightest touch of the trem bar, something I didn’t get with the mastery bridge installed.

I’d say for 9 bucks, just give it a try next time you’re changing strings. ;)

Robert

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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by TheMemoryEstate » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:38 am

Touchy subject still? ;D

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adamrobertt
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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by adamrobertt » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:20 pm

Well, I have to say that I may be becoming a Mastery convert.

I tried the Mastery bridge on a Jazzmaster about 7 years ago, and I hated it. It rang and buzzed and the guitar was vastly improved by a Staytrem bridge, which I swore by for years.

Well, I sold that guitar, and didn't have a JM for a few years, until I built a partsmaster this year. I put a Fender American Professional offset bridge on it, and it was totally fine - rock solid, no string slippage, no buzzing. BUT, it SERIOUSLY lacked sustain and the guitar felt a little stiff. So I figured, fuck it, I'll try a Mastery again... scored a good deal on a used one on Reverb... and...

SHIT. It brought this guitar to life. Sustain for days, plays buttery smooth, and intonated 100% perfectly. The action is even slightly lower than I could get it before with no significant buzzing. My only worry is that the saddles will drop over time, but I put some Loctite in them so hopefully they won't...

But, I'm impressed and somewhat eating my words. YMMV.

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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by greens » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:35 pm

adamrobertt wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:20 pm
Well, I have to say that I may be becoming a Mastery convert.

I tried the Mastery bridge on a Jazzmaster about 7 years ago, and I hated it. It rang and buzzed and the guitar was vastly improved by a Staytrem bridge, which I swore by for years.

Well, I sold that guitar, and didn't have a JM for a few years, until I built a partsmaster this year. I put a Fender American Professional offset bridge on it, and it was totally fine - rock solid, no string slippage, no buzzing. BUT, it SERIOUSLY lacked sustain and the guitar felt a little stiff. So I figured, fuck it, I'll try a Mastery again... scored a good deal on a used one on Reverb... and...

SHIT. It brought this guitar to life. Sustain for days, plays buttery smooth, and intonated 100% perfectly. The action is even slightly lower than I could get it before with no significant buzzing. My only worry is that the saddles will drop over time, but I put some Loctite in them so hopefully they won't...

But, I'm impressed and somewhat eating my words. YMMV.
Were you not able to get another Staytrem at a reasonable price, or just wanted to mix it up a little?

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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by adamrobertt » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:04 pm

greens wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:35 pm
adamrobertt wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:20 pm
Well, I have to say that I may be becoming a Mastery convert.

I tried the Mastery bridge on a Jazzmaster about 7 years ago, and I hated it. It rang and buzzed and the guitar was vastly improved by a Staytrem bridge, which I swore by for years.

Well, I sold that guitar, and didn't have a JM for a few years, until I built a partsmaster this year. I put a Fender American Professional offset bridge on it, and it was totally fine - rock solid, no string slippage, no buzzing. BUT, it SERIOUSLY lacked sustain and the guitar felt a little stiff. So I figured, fuck it, I'll try a Mastery again... scored a good deal on a used one on Reverb... and...

SHIT. It brought this guitar to life. Sustain for days, plays buttery smooth, and intonated 100% perfectly. The action is even slightly lower than I could get it before with no significant buzzing. My only worry is that the saddles will drop over time, but I put some Loctite in them so hopefully they won't...

But, I'm impressed and somewhat eating my words. YMMV.
Were you not able to get another Staytrem at a reasonable price, or just wanted to mix it up a little?
Well, I'm in the US and Staytrem isn't shipping here anymore. Also the bridge I had was like 75% of the way to a Staytrem, just didn't have the nylon bushings on the posts basically. My guitar was set up just fine with the AM Pro bridge, but I wanted more sustain. Mastery was kind of my only option and I had reservations based on my past experience, but I'm really happy with the results.

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Re: -= Bridge FAQ =-

Post by greens » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:25 pm

adamrobertt wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:04 pm
greens wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:35 pm
adamrobertt wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:20 pm
Well, I have to say that I may be becoming a Mastery convert.

I tried the Mastery bridge on a Jazzmaster about 7 years ago, and I hated it. It rang and buzzed and the guitar was vastly improved by a Staytrem bridge, which I swore by for years.

Well, I sold that guitar, and didn't have a JM for a few years, until I built a partsmaster this year. I put a Fender American Professional offset bridge on it, and it was totally fine - rock solid, no string slippage, no buzzing. BUT, it SERIOUSLY lacked sustain and the guitar felt a little stiff. So I figured, fuck it, I'll try a Mastery again... scored a good deal on a used one on Reverb... and...

SHIT. It brought this guitar to life. Sustain for days, plays buttery smooth, and intonated 100% perfectly. The action is even slightly lower than I could get it before with no significant buzzing. My only worry is that the saddles will drop over time, but I put some Loctite in them so hopefully they won't...

But, I'm impressed and somewhat eating my words. YMMV.
Were you not able to get another Staytrem at a reasonable price, or just wanted to mix it up a little?
Well, I'm in the US and Staytrem isn't shipping here anymore. Also the bridge I had was like 75% of the way to a Staytrem, just didn't have the nylon bushings on the posts basically. My guitar was set up just fine with the AM Pro bridge, but I wanted more sustain. Mastery was kind of my only option and I had reservations based on my past experience, but I'm really happy with the results.
Good to know, thanks!

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