Hardware recommendations?

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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marqueemoon
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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Aug 16, 2022 5:05 pm

The Descendant Companion bridge is available in 12” FYI.

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by GuitarsnGravel » Wed Aug 17, 2022 6:30 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 5:05 pm
The Descendant Companion bridge is available in 12” FYI.
Thanks for the info.

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by GuitarsnGravel » Wed Aug 17, 2022 6:54 am

I'm very new to this JM thing. It's fun learning about the differences.

Once again, I'm seeking the wisdom of the good people on this forum.

The trems vary greatly in price and quality.

People mention the AVRI as a good option.

Is it best to avoid the Fender trems that have the patent# on them?

I've looked at the Descendant, the reviews are mixed.

StewMac has the Parson's Street trem, which also gets mixed reviews, mainly complaints on the lock.

What else is out there that is decent?
Last edited by GuitarsnGravel on Fri Aug 19, 2022 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JackFawkes
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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by JackFawkes » Wed Aug 17, 2022 7:25 am

GuitarsnGravel wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 6:54 am
People mention the AVRI as a good option.
Is it best to avoid the Fender trems that have the patent# on them?
I believe that both the Fender AVRI and the Fender Japan trems have the Pat. # on them, so I don't think that's a useful feature to identify "good" from "bad"... unless there's some old piece of lore that I'm not familiar with?

Jack

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by GuitarsnGravel » Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:06 pm

JackFawkes wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 7:25 am
I believe that both the Fender AVRI and the Fender Japan trems have the Pat. # on them, so I don't think that's a useful feature to identify "good" from "bad"... unless there's some old piece of lore that I'm not familiar with?

Jack
Thanks for the links. I do not understand what the differences are. Metal type?
Is the AV the same as the AVRI? It is a bit confusing. As for the patent#, I didn't see that on an AVRI guitar image I zoomed in on, but I don't know much at all when it comes to the JM tremolo.
The Mastery and the Decedent do away with the lock, is there a reason?

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by Lost In Autumn » Thu Aug 18, 2022 1:48 am

UlricvonCatalyst wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 3:53 am
GuitarsnGravel wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 4:45 pm
UlricvonCatalyst wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 6:13 am

The Staytrem bridge is a good alternative which should 'cure' the low E string slippage that can occur if using the tremolo with light-ish strings.
I've been reading about Staytrem, it seems like a good option.
Although they ship internationally, it's probably more of a best option if you're in the UK. Otherwise import taxes will jack the price up a bit.

As for the Schaller roller bridge, it's not a common modification, possibly because it doesn't work straight out of the box with JM/Jag/Mustang bridge thimbles, but if you can make it work for you, why not.
I've not had an issue with import taxes from staytrem to the US, but if you're in Europe, ymmv.

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Thu Aug 18, 2022 5:05 am

GuitarsnGravel wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:06 pm
Thanks for the links. I do not understand what the differences are. Metal type?
Is the AV the same as the AVRI? It is a bit confusing. As for the patent#, I didn't see that on an AVRI guitar image I zoomed in on, but I don't know much at all when it comes to the JM tremolo.
The Mastery and the Decedent do away with the lock, is there a reason?
The MIJ tremolo is generally considered slightly inferior. I'm not sure if the metal is thinner or an inferior grade, but the main bugbear seems to be the spring, which some find is not as stiff as the AVRI one. Some have been known to simply upgrade the spring rather than the whole unit.

As for the lock/no lock issue, there's a thread devoted to whether or not it matters somewhere on here. As far as I remember the embedded poll leaned in favour of those who believe it doesn't as they never use it.

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by JackFawkes » Thu Aug 18, 2022 5:23 am

GuitarsnGravel wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:06 pm
JackFawkes wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 7:25 am
I believe that both the Fender AVRI and the Fender Japan trems have the Pat. # on them, so I don't think that's a useful feature to identify "good" from "bad"... unless there's some old piece of lore that I'm not familiar with?
Is the AV the same as the AVRI? It is a bit confusing.
I'm not 100% certain, but from the research I did when I was picking my trem, the terms "American Vintage" and "American Vintage Reissue" are mostly just interchangeable marketing terms that Fender has used without any real clear delineation.
Were there slight variations between the different models that were named "AV" and "AVRI" over the years? Yes.
Can those variances be reliably identified by what years Fender's marketing used the phrase "American Vintage" versus "American Vintage Reissue"? No... They're just words. I love standardization as much as the next person, but unfortunately these terms aren't super-helpful for that...
As for the actual part I bought? It was a new, Made in USA, Fender brand TREMOLO ASSY JAZZ/JAGUAR, part number 0054466049.

Jack

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by GuitarsnGravel » Thu Aug 18, 2022 5:09 pm

Thanks Jack! The part numbers are helpful.

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hexes
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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by hexes » Fri Aug 19, 2022 8:37 am

JackFawkes wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 12:02 pm
GuitarsnGravel wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 4:41 pm
marqueemoon wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 6:25 am
What radius is the fretboard on the neck? That’s going to determine your bridge options.
12" Radius
The flattest radius that Staytrem offers is 9.5" so your D and G would probably feel a little high on that 12" radius neck with that bridge, wouldn't it?
this is the only reason I went with a Mastery on my harvester. I choose mustang or staytrem any other time.

once descendant gets caught back up I’m thinking of grabbing a 12” from them and a 7.25”.

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by GuitarsnGravel » Fri Aug 19, 2022 4:44 pm

The rhythm circuit is very difficult to source.

Is there any easy way to find the correct pots + thumbwheels + bracket?
I see two different shaft sizes, 4mm & 6.5mm. The thumbwheels that fit require the proper sized pot, mini or standard. The bracket to hold the pots requires the correct sized pot. Fender sells at least some of the items, but looking up by part number isn't working on Fender's site.
Oy...

Update: I think I have sourced all these parts from Guitar Audio via Reverb.

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by timtam » Fri Aug 19, 2022 6:54 pm

GuitarsnGravel wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 3:49 pm
The Schaller or the StewMac roller bridge are the way I'm going to go. Schallers allow for string width adjustment, which is a nice feature and their build quality is top notch. They have a 14" radius while the Stew Mac is 12". I've built around 10 partscasters and I'm not afraid to experiment. I'm not sure if I can get the bridge to rock, hoping the rollers will allow the arm to return to pitch.

Update: Ordering the WIlkinson roller bridge. I'm concerned with the strings hitting the edge of the bridge on the Schaller and the StewMac units. The Wilki is cheap, a third the price of the Schaller.
Wanting a close bridge match to a 12" radius neck that will work well with the offset trem does limit your options somewhat. But offsets and TOM-style bridges just don't go together for me - best avoided if possible, especially for trem users. The trem requires the strings to change length across the bridge location, and a fixed (high string-saddle friction) TOM is not designed to accommodate that (why Fender puts TOMs on some offsets has always puzzled; it is an out-of-date 'solution' used by techs decades ago who didn't really understand the extant rocking bridges). Leo Fender designed the rocking bridge/trem to work together. A fixed roller-TOM like the Wilkinson-style is an viable compromise mainly for a guitar that came with a TOM, to reduce string-saddle friction in a fixed bridge. Trying to make a TOM rock is a rarely contemplated option (ie almost certainly bad). Putting a rocking bridge (Mustang- or vintage-style) into TOM body bushings (or on top of TOM posts) is possible but again mainly considered for a guitar that came with a TOM (that doesn't warrant wood surgery for rocking-bridge thimbles).

If I wanted a rocking bridge for a 12" radius I would probably go for Warmoth's Modified Mustang bridge (ie saddle-height adjustable).
https://warmoth.com/index.php/hardware/ ... ang-bridge

Fender's version of something similar started life on cheaper guitars so never achieved much status, but it is basically the vintage-style rocking bridge without the problematic thin-threaded string grooves (which strings jump out of easily). It's similar to the Warmoth (deep string grooves) but with smaller barrels (Warmoth's are closer to Mustang-size barrels).
https://darrenriley.com/store/fender-mu ... 081239049/

If you already had a conventional (non-saddle-height-adjustable) Mustang bridge and wanted to just swap to height-adjustable saddles to match a 12" radius, EY have them (albeit only in gold).
https://www.eyguitarmusic.com/6pcs-of-B ... _2746.html
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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by johnnysomersett » Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:32 pm

UlricvonCatalyst wrote:
Thu Aug 18, 2022 5:05 am
The MIJ tremolo is generally considered slightly inferior. I'm not sure if the metal is thinner or an inferior grade, but the main bugbear seems to be the spring, which some find is not as stiff as the AVRI one. Some have been known to simply upgrade the spring rather than the whole unit.
The MIJ are definitely inferior in a few ways. Natably the spring, as mentioned is a different tension (thinner spring stock) and the actual main plate itself is noticeably thinner steel (the same goes for the ones on Jaguar and Mustang control plates too). The chrome plating is also massively inferior and rusts/tarnishes very easily. The MIJ that came off my 2008 had rusty bits creeping through after just a few years yet my 60s ones are still in WAY better condition. The AVRIs seem to be much more resistant too, with a nice hard plating.
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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by marqueemoon » Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:03 pm

The MIJ vibratos I’ve played have all had a bit too much slop.

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Re: Hardware recommendations?

Post by andy_tchp » Fri Aug 19, 2022 10:46 pm

(Re Fender Japan vibratos) Incredibly poor thread mating between the collet and the plate it screws into means the collet can 'break' out of the plate while playing.

Have done this several times, eventually got the shits enough to throw it in the bin and replace with an AVRI assembly which is much better.
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