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Can a vintage tele bridge be directly retrofitted onto a hardtailed Strat?

55hz

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3,646
I have a Robert Cray Strat body with a vintage style hardtail. Is it possible to line up a vintage tele bridge with the string thru holes that already exist (for the vintage strat hardtail), bolt it down, and rock? Will there be intonation issues? Any other problems?

Thanks once again TGP! ;)
 

Griz

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2,833
I have a Robert Cray Strat body with a vintage style hardtail. Is it possible to line up a vintage tele bridge with the string thru holes that already exist (for the vintage strat hardtail), bolt it down, and rock? Will there be intonation issues? Any other problems?

Thanks once again TGP! ;)
Glendale stocks a Tele half-bridge that retrofits nicely on a hardtail Strat. Callaham will make one for you if you ask. They cost about the same.

I installed a Glendale on a '72 Thinline Tele, which features a Strat hardtail bridge as original hardware. No issues.

You'll want Fender-length intonation bolts. I used Callaham saddles (which are excellent) with the Glendale bridge plate, and I found that the Callaham bolts, which are deliberately a bit shorter, were maybe a little shorter than I'd like in this application due to the design of the Glendale bridge plate.

On a Strat hardtail bridge, the holes for the strings are closer to the pickup end of the bridge than on a Tele plate, which has the holes near the tail end. The slight difference in distance is why I recommend using the longer bolts.

Have fun. I think you'll like the difference in tone.
 
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NatStrat79

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229
The tele bridge pickup is larger than a strat and wont fit in your body without major routing. Thats why everyone is telling you to use the half bridge so you can continue to use a strat pickguard and bridge pickup not sure it has anything to do with intonation as that seems the least of your worries if you want a full tele bridge.
 

Griz

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2,833
will a full plate not intonate because of the hole difference?
You'd have to get a special bridge plate either way (full or half), because a stock Tele bridge has the holes in a different position than a hardtail Strat bridge and will not retrofit onto a hardtail Strat without a bit of drilling - which I figure you'd rather avoid with a nice guitar like that.

The hardtail bridge as used on the Strat has 3 mounting screws; a traditional Tele bridge plate goes on with 4 screws. The spacing of the mounting screws doesn't match. But Glendale and Callaham machine their bridge to mount with 3 screws, so no drilling is required. Intonation works out fine; you just need regular length Fender intonation bolts.
 
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Griz is right - every single hole has to be plugged and redrilled; redrill the through holes on the diagonal (both dimensions corrected).

Now, the T pup is larger than the S pup but the S pup got routing on the side which means "Butt Crack" where the S rout shows on either side of any Tele bridge of conventional size. I'd suggest a G E Smith style bridge and a custom flat surround for the T bridge pup after enlarging the rout. You can make one from an AV52 style plate by cutting it in half and smashing the top half smooth and flat. Or you could cut an S blank pickguard just so to accommodate a whole AV52 style Tele bridge.
 

55hz

Member
Messages
3,646
I can dig the idea of the Glendale half-bridge, but the tele bridge sound comes from sitting in that .048 thick ferrous bridge. I don't mind routing or cutting a pick guard.

Intonation is what I'm worried about!
 
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Griz

Member
Messages
2,833
I can dig the idea of the Glendale half-bridge, but the tele bridge sound comes from sitting in that .048 thick ferrous bridge. I don't mind routing or cutting a pick guard.

Intonation is what I'm worried about!
Intonation won't be an issue with the Tele half bridge if you use the standard length Fender intonation bolts. I've done that exact installation, so I know.

The Glendale bridge is carefully made to exactly vintage spec, metal-wise. They use cold rolled steel in the .048 thickness for their traditional style bridge plates and the half plate, which is what Fender originally used. Check their website:
http://www.glendaleguitars.com/bridgeplates.htm

If you want to keep the Strat bridge pickup and pickguard, go with Glendale or Callaham's half plate; otherwise find a shop you trust to make a custom pickguard, and prepare to do a bit of drilling to mount a traditional Tele full bridge plate on your hardtail Strat. Bear in mind that you'd have to use a Tele bridge pickup to really nail the Tele tone.

Talk to Dale about your concerns; he's very helpful.

Have fun.

:D
 




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