Jazzmaster bridge question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by arablue, Jun 22, 2017.


  1. arablue

    arablue Supporting Member

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    I bought a Bigsby kit for my Tele and it came with a vintage Jazzmaster style bridge. I was reading about some of the common problems and the fixes that the Mastery offers but I was curious about the whole pivoting/rocking design. Is there a proper way to set up the bridge so that it returns to the proper position or would it be more stable to take the Mastery approach and make the bridge stationary?
     
  2. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel Supporting Member

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    The JM/Jaguar trem makes for a very shallow angle behind the bridge, it is harder to set up with light strings, but the rocking design works reasonably well in that configuration, it is still a bit funky though and a lot of JM/Jag players use a Mustang bridge to avoid the rattles associated with the clunky JM/Jag bridge, but it is limited to keeping the vintage 7.25" FB radius as the saddles are not height adjustable on the Mustang bridge.
    With a B5 the angle behind the bridge will be much steeper, so the Mastery, or any fixed bridge may be better suited there. FYI the steeper the angle behind the bridge is, the harder it will be to keep in tune when using the trem for anything but a light wobble.
     
  3. shakeshakeshake

    shakeshakeshake Member

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    I set the offset style rocking bridge so the posts rest on the back of the thimbles when the bar is in its neutral position, this gives the bridge a zero to return to (then set intonation off this position).
     
  4. Elantric

    Elantric Silver Supporting Member

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    I set the pivoting bridge on my Jazzmasters somewhat tilted towards the tailpiece but not all the way,so I can pull up and down on the bar


    Stay-Trem UK offers mustang bridges with the tighter Gibson E-E string spacing and 12' radius

    I recently put a Stay-Trem one my Johnny Marr jauguar to prevent the E strings will falling off the edge of neck during left hand vibratos or string bending since the Stock Fender bridge string spacing is too wide IMHO
     
  5. shakeshakeshake

    shakeshakeshake Member

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    You can still pull back on the bar and raise the pitch if the bridge is set all the way back, similar to the way pitch is elevated with bending strings.


    OP- as far as upgrades, tuning stability has never really been a huge issue with the traditional offset bridge, they are very stable tuning wise if the nut is cut correctly and you aren't dive bombing it like a Floyd Rose. People usually upgrade to a different bridge like a Mastery or Stay Trem for other reasons than tuning stability issues.

    1. Rattles inherent in the offset bridge from poor tolerances of the saddle screws or intonation screws and their respective holes requiring thread locker or some other remedy.
    2. Poor string stability in terms of staying in put in the saddle. These were designed for use with heavy gauge strings with high tension, normal modern strings have a habit of popping out of position because the grooves are not deep enough to perform their function. (The bridge doesn't even work very well with heavy gauge strings imo, requiring higher break angles from shimming the neck and other bootleg measures)
    3. Intonation ability issues with how much travel the saddles have, often requiring cut springs on the lowest strings (which can introduce more rattling).
     
  6. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel Supporting Member

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    The OP mentions a Tele Bigsby kit, which I assume is a B5, that came with a JM/Jag bridge, not the JM/Jag trem.
     
  7. arablue

    arablue Supporting Member

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    Thank you for the helpful replies. @Laurent Brondel, I really appreciate the info regarding break angle and setup. I guess I'll dive in and revive the thread if I have any questions
     
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  8. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    FYI...my TVL Jazzmaster came stock with a Mustang style bridge and I seldom touch the tuning...and the '65AVRI Jazzmaster I tried wouldn't stay in tune for 5 minutes.
     
  9. arablue

    arablue Supporting Member

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    The mustang bridge still rocks it just has different saddles, correct?
     
  10. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Yes, it rocks, but you can't adjust the saddle heights individually. But, IMO, it's worth the tradeoff for the improved tuning stability.
     

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