Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

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hessodreamy
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Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by hessodreamy » Tue Jun 14, 2022 3:00 am

I've got a custom build going on which is a thinline body with mastery bridge and trem. I'm kinda finding the overall sound to be too 'airy' (for want of a better word). Not very 'solid' sounding. Kinda 'zingy' but I don't mean it's buzzing. It sounds like that plugged or unplugged.

Is this maybe how the mastery bridge sounds? Or a combination of this bridge type with a thinline body? I'm tempted to put a TOM bridge in but that'll need drilling so would another offset-type bridge have a different sound?

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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:31 am

That's how they sound. I wouldn't think it has anything to do with your guitar being a thinline. Mastery bridges just allow for higher frequencies to be more present and it seems like they can reveal the overtones better than other bridges do. I like that about them and consider it to be a benefit to the guitar, after all, it's not like they detract in some other way, it's all just a bonus.

Other people feel differently.
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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by Gavanti » Tue Jun 14, 2022 6:16 am

I've had semi-hollows/thinlines that were dark and some that were bright. I like Mastery bridges and often use them on JM's for the qualities Larry describes, but I've had other guitars where I didn't want to emphasize those qualities and on those I've used a Staytrem. Maybe worth a try when you can find one.

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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by GreenKnee » Tue Jun 14, 2022 6:50 am

What pickups do you have?

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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by hessodreamy » Tue Jun 14, 2022 7:26 am

GreenKnee wrote:
Tue Jun 14, 2022 6:50 am
What pickups do you have?
At the moment some mini humbuckers, but I've had firebirds & gold foils previously. Like I say it does affect the guitar acoustically so I don't think it's the electrics at this point.

Some good points about the sonic qualities of the mastery and its extended high end. Actually I went for the mastery because I thought it would sound more 'solid', but you've got to try these things. As the neck has a 12" radius I've ordered a jaguar style bridge with individual height adjustment, so I'll see how I get on with that.

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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by alexpigment » Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:39 pm

Without knowing what “airy” sounds like in person, I suspect that the mastery is causing very strong vibrations in the body, close to what a thinline tele might sound like. I suspect that a standard JM bridge or mustang type (Staytrem, etc) might transfer a bit less vibrations into the body and give you the “solid” feel you’re looking for. With that said, I love the acoustic sound and feel that a thinline brings. You’re always hearing a mix of the unplugged and electric sound when you’re playing (unless it’s deafeningly loud), and to me it makes it feel more lively and complex.

If my assumption is correct - and that’s a big ‘if’ - then a TOM would be the same or even more airy since you’re transferring more vibrations to the body.

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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by Dr Tony Balls » Wed Jun 15, 2022 5:57 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:31 am
it's not like they detract in some other way
They dont allow for intonation of strings sets where the top or bottom three strings are not of like construction (i.e. wound/unwound). Sets with wound G's, off-tunings, etc. are not possible. Its a fundamental design flaw.

Try a Staytrem, they're made with much less hot air.
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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:08 am

Dr Tony Balls wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 5:57 am
Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:31 am
it's not like they detract in some other way
They dont allow for intonation of strings sets where the top or bottom three strings are not of like construction (i.e. wound/unwound). Sets with wound G's, off-tunings, etc. are not possible. Its a fundamental design flaw.

Try a Staytrem, they're made with much less hot air.
I meant from a perspective of the sound. That's what I was talking about. The Mastery bridges seem to add high end and overtones, yet it doesn't come at the expense of losing any of the other frequency range that the guitar can produce.

Which is not something you would say about the StayTrem, which doesn't change the sound perceptibly. I would rather have the Mastery bridge sound than the capabilities of using string sets that I don't use. Not sure what you mean by "off tunings", but I tune my guitars to a variety of things, and haven't found the Mastery to be incapable yet.
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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:20 am

I have a semihollow with a Mastery Tele bridge. My other guitar with a Mastery is a JM with lipstick pickups. The overtones/upper harmonics are more prominent for sure.

The semihollow tends too feed back pretty readily with any kind of dirt, but it’s controllable.

On my main JM I switched the stock bridge for a Staytrem and it got a little bit darker with more fundamental, which is what that guitar needed. Also the easiest bridge I’ve ever used for setting intonation.

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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by Veitchy » Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:30 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:20 am
I have a semihollow with a Mastery Tele bridge. My other guitar with a Mastery is a JM with lipstick pickups. The overtones/upper harmonics are more prominent for sure.
Slightly off topic but do you have any direct comparison between the Mastery Tele bridge and a regular three-saddle ashtray bridge sound-wise?

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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:56 pm

Veitchy wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:30 pm
marqueemoon wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:20 am
I have a semihollow with a Mastery Tele bridge. My other guitar with a Mastery is a JM with lipstick pickups. The overtones/upper harmonics are more prominent for sure.
Slightly off topic but do you have any direct comparison between the Mastery Tele bridge and a regular three-saddle ashtray bridge sound-wise?
I do, I have a Telecaster with a brass Callaham bridge and another with a Mastery, that used to have a Callaham bridge with steel saddles.

The Mastery does the Mastery sound on any instrument I've put it on.

That being said, the Callaham with the steel saddles also had a ghostly kind of overtone sequence and I wish I had kept that.

But yeah, Mastery bridges sound similar on Rickenbackers, Jazzmasters, and Telecasters.

Also, I misspoke above when I talked about how the Mastery bridge "adds" high end content. Clearly, it can't do that, but what it can do is not dampen the high end content.
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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by hessodreamy » Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:47 am

Update - I swapped out the mastery for an inexpensive traditional jaguar-style bridge. And sure - I'd say it sounds much more what I'm after. Less 'shimmery' I guess. Of course - this bridge brings its own set of problems to overcome but I don't need to tell you guys that :)

It seems a shame as the mastery is obviously well regarded generally, and ultimately I was hoping for something a little bit rickenbackery and those extra highs might get me there, and brighten up the mini humbuckers in the guitar, so I might give it another try now I've got something to compare it with.

Failing that I'll keep an eye out for a bridge upgrade with a 12" radius, but I'll not hold my breath.

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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:50 pm

hessodreamy wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:47 am
Update - I swapped out the mastery for an inexpensive traditional jaguar-style bridge. And sure - I'd say it sounds much more what I'm after. Less 'shimmery' I guess. Of course - this bridge brings its own set of problems to overcome but I don't need to tell you guys that :)

It seems a shame as the mastery is obviously well regarded generally, and ultimately I was hoping for something a little bit rickenbackery and those extra highs might get me there, and brighten up the mini humbuckers in the guitar, so I might give it another try now I've got something to compare it with.

Failing that I'll keep an eye out for a bridge upgrade with a 12" radius, but I'll not hold my breath.
That all tracks. Now get ready for a lot of questions about your pot and cap values.

Also, FYI the Descendant Companion bridge is available in 12” radius.

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Re: Mastery bridge too 'airy' on thinline build?

Post by hessodreamy » Sat Jun 25, 2022 3:19 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:50 pm
That all tracks. Now get ready for a lot of questions about your pot and cap values.

Also, FYI the Descendant Companion bridge is available in 12” radius.
Y’know, that’s a good point - if I’m finding the guitar too bright I should look at the pots and caps.

Also, I didn’t know about the descendant stuff. Looks interesting.

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