Best Vintage style bridge for American Standard Tele

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by billboneys, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. billboneys

    billboneys Supporting Member

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    Could someone suggest a vintage style bridge for my 2010 American Standard Telecaster. I don't want to modify the guitar if possible. I did find a Joe Barden bridge that will fit. Are there any others I should look at? I'd also like to have one that could accept the ashtray cover as well. Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    not so much "best", just a few flavors of "good", from barden, glendale, callaham, etc.

    the whole idea is indeed to fit a vintage bent-steel box bridge on there without altering the guitar.

    dunno about the cover though, if nothing else these bridges are all longer than the vintage fender, so the front end might stick out and look funny.
     
  3. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Disagreeing with Walter is something I do not take lightly, at all.

    But my sense is the voyage to try and get an American Standard Telecaster over into the Land of Vintage feel and voiced guitars is a disaster in the making. People try and spend too much money and they fall a lot further short than they dream they will.

    IMO none of the conversion products have been very successful and that Joe Barden TB 5141 is nowhere the same meticulous quality as the Glendale or Callaham. People inform us they're buying a 5141 and intend to convert and we never hear another word from them.

    Bill Callaham and Dale Clark are exception craftsmen and they put immense effort and precision into their products and in this one instance (American Standard to Vintage) they got their brains beaten in. The geometry of everything is just wrong, and when you pile the Tilt Mechanism and a complex Dual Action truss rod design on top of that, you eventually realize you shoulda left that American alone and just bought a second Vintage bridged or compatible Tele.

    I converted 4 of these things and I got whupped doing it. I was so proud of myself at the time; by as time went on I realized I'd missed the target (so had everyone else). I wasted a lot of time so you don't have to. Trust me on this. Unless you convert an actual Fender AV52 or similar plate, the cover won't fit:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  4. vintage saddles

    vintage saddles Supporting Member

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    Well, if you want to experience what it's like having a three barrel bridge, the Glendale is hard to beat. All you need is a screwdriver. No ashtray bridge plate will work on the American Standard without breaking out the drill. Then you're into the land that Boris described.
     
  5. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Look at Marc Rutters' bridges. I don't know if he has a vintage that retro fits to an american standard tele, but his stuff is a good as it gets. It's worth a call at least.

    I have 2 hot rod vintage bridges and saddles on two hand-built teles and they sound heavenly.
     
  6. nosacter

    nosacter Member

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    I have a Callaham that converts to a 3-saddle bridge but still retains the flat bridge plate. The trouble is, I think, is that it's too well made--or too heavy or something. At any rate, it's a tone killer on any Tele I put it on. Just sucks the life right out of it.

    I say, if you have an American Standard, play it as it is. It's intended to retain the spirit of the original, but with modern playability improvements. I think they achieve that and the only reason to hate the modern Tele bridge is cosmetic. I have both kinds, and I find no tonal problem with the modern bridge except that having Strat saddles on it just looks wrong. So don't look at it...
     
  7. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    Just a side not an ashtray cover will not work with a clipped bridge. There's nothing on one, or either side for the cover to grab.
     
  8. billboneys

    billboneys Supporting Member

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    Fair enough guys. Thanks for the info. I think I'll just leave it as is and forget about it. It's definitely not a deal breaker. Just thought there might be an easy way and it looks like there isn't. Thanks again.
     
  9. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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  10. mellecaster

    mellecaster Member

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  11. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I hear you.

    What you have there is a "modern" guitar that is meant to tackle a lot of the modern sounds that are not traditionally associated with old Teles. It will handle high gain well, has a relatively thin neck with a lot of strong control over relief, works so well with a pedalboard and the "open" bridge design really suits certain kinds of playing, strumming and picking techniques. Some people view the American Standard Telecaster more as a sort of "American Standard Strat Hardtail" than as a Tele in the traditional sense.

    No shame whatsoever in saving up for a getting something like a PV52 or a Baja or other "4 mount screws above 6 widely spaced through holes" configuration traditional Teles or an Esquire. They're 2 different beasts and they just so happen to share a basic shape. Viva la Difference!
     
  12. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    Other than the ash tray bridge cover I'm not sure how the Wilkenson bridge doesn't address the op's? Just saying<LOL!
     
  13. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Wilkys (either the Gotoh or the Sung Il) are 4 mount screws above six widely spaced, lower positioned through holes.

    The American Standard, American Series, American Deluxe and most "modern" Fender Custom Shop Teles have 3 lower mount screws and six narrowly spaced through holes above them, higher up on the body. Some of these also have mount screws at the top corners but that's superfluous.

    The bottom line is NONE of these holes are in the right places to facilitate switching back and forth. FMIC has done a tricky thing in offering a modern 6 saddle elongated bridge on their ubiquitous MIM Standard but if you look carefully, you see that bridge uses the 4 mount configuration (like those Wilkys) even though superficially it is very similar (or looks so similar but isn't) to the modern 6 saddle bridges on the Americans described above, and the MIM Standard config also gets used on the American Special (and its predecessor the Highway One).

    Thanks for making this Honest Mistake because it so well illustrates the mess FMIC has created. People just do not know until it is too late - they assume things can convert and they can't convert. They assume similar looking things are similar when there's a trap about to spring.
     
    tele4444 likes this.

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