Tele bridge plate question ...lip

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by edward, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. edward

    edward Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,711
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    So.California
    Hey all, WRT your standard Fender ashtray bridge plate, anyone ever cut out the lip on their own? I know I can just buy a modded plate, but frankly I don't wanna spend the dough and I am not looking for any changes in tone...just wanna add a bit of comfort. If you have, what was your process? I'm thinking tin snips and file to smooth...

    Edward
     
  2. Ilduce

    Ilduce And now for something completely different! Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,622
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    I could be wrong, but I think that most Tele bridges are going to be to thick for snips. Maybe a bench grinder could work?
     
    broken_sound likes this.
  3. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,036
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    IMO simply embrace the lips.
    I personally don't want a Tele bridge that's lipless. :p
     
    Polynitro and gmann like this.
  4. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,986
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Bethany, OK
    A grinder is the answer and was used "in the old days"
     
    Boris Bubbanov likes this.
  5. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

    Messages:
    8,805
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    A Dremel tool will do it.
    An abrasive cut-off blade to clip the lips, a grinding bit to smooth it off and some sandpaper & elbow grease to make it as smooth as you want.
    You will be cutting the chrome plating, however, and corrosion will become an issue. Keep it clean.
     
  6. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,713
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    AZ
    I thought of using a Dremel before, but my perception has changed over just the last year. Maybe a bit of superstition, but I think that pickup in the plate pocket may have something to do with the sound. I've tried a heavier plate with a partial cutout. The quality was great, but it really did change the sound. I returned it and reinstalled the stock plate.
     
    gmann likes this.
  7. gmann

    gmann Member

    Messages:
    8,165
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    Different plates will affect the sound, fact! Some not so much and some to a great degree.
     
    smiert spionam and candid_x like this.
  8. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

    Messages:
    8,805
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    I know thickness and material make a difference but I can't recall anyone mentioning anything about changing the sound.
    Which is surprising, as we believe changing strap buttons can alter one's toan.
     
    Polynitro likes this.
  9. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

    Messages:
    21,845
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Orleans + in the past
    I would not use snips because of the probability we'd distort the plate during the cutting process. I'd use a hack saw before I used my trusty Wiss shears - even though they'd make very fast work of it. No, a 4" diamond wheel, that's your best choice of tool.

    Warping the plate would IMO be the worst thing you could do.
     
    candid_x likes this.
  10. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

    Messages:
    23,644
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    you should be subsuming the lips not trying to snip them off!
    Its not a tele without the bridge lips, IMO
    Subsume the lips!

    that said,
    I recently made a half-cut tele bridge out of a squier CVC plate which is
    thicker than a Pat Pend one and it was very easy.
    5 minutes with a hack saw, several more with a file, and finally
    some sandpaper and it was done. (ok there was also a modicum of blood loss)

    Couldnt be that hard.

    but again, subsume the lip!
     
    SPROING! likes this.
  11. edward

    edward Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,711
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    So.California
    OK, now that makes very good sense ...thanks, Boris! Abandon the snips, done. I don't own a dremel, but own a "multi tool" that I can buy a dremel attachment for. Then again, a bench grinder should be easy enough given how little I want to take off (just a shave off the treble pup side forward). Thanks for the thoughts, all!

    Edward
     
  12. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,713
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    AZ
    Curious. What difference would the thickness and material make if not in the sound? Of this effect I have no doubt. It DID dramatically change the sound. It also made a rather hot bridge pickup transfer a microphonic-like effect to the plate, causing pick contact with the plate to click loudly. I even replaced the pickup with a new one, same model from the same maker (D. Allen), which made no difference in the added noise transfer. Returning to the thinner stock plate, even with added 5/8" thick brass barrel saddles, reduced the microphone effect dramatically.
     
  13. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

    Messages:
    8,805
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    From what I've read, it has to do with how the thicker/thinner metal affects the magnetic field of the pickup.
     
  14. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

    Messages:
    21,845
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Orleans + in the past
    Think of the plate as a diaphragm, or imagine it is playing an amplification role like you have in a Resonator guitar. Once you do that, you can imagine how changes in dimension would could change the sound. Maybe just certain notes, maybe only at certain volumes - sometimes the difference is more evident when the amp is turned way way down. One thing I know for sure - when the bridge plate is warped, uncontrolled feedback can make for a very unhappy guitar player.

    You can buy ten or more AV52 style plates from Musicians Friend, take them out of the packaging and drop them one by one by one, onto a hard tabletop. You will probably hear more "musicality" in some plates than others. Maybe this is too nitpicky for some, but this IMO is the reason why we mess around with these bridges just like we do with pickups that sound so much identical sometimes.
     
    candid_x likes this.
  15. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

    Messages:
    8,331
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I once replaced the bridge plate on my '52RI with a Callaham version. The result was that my guitar lost a good bit of its twang. Ended up putting on the original again.

    For all of the beautiful remakes available to us, I think there's much to be said about the sound of the stock Fender.
     
    candid_x, smiert spionam and SPROING! like this.
  16. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

    Messages:
    9,000
    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Location:
    North Zeamaysistan
    Heavier bridge plates often sound dramatically different from a traditional vintage style -- more of a difference than many pickup swaps.

    I doubt grinding the lip would make any tonal difference.
     
    candid_x likes this.
  17. edward

    edward Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,711
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    So.California
    Success!

    Using the bench grinder seemed too clumsy, so I invested in a $40 Dremel at Home Depot (man I should've gotten one of these years ago!), and zipped off the lip from the bottom of the bridge pup forward in no time flat. Another minute with the sanding wheel and it's perfect! Waaay too easy and functional a mod, IMHO. Thanks for pushing me over the edge, guys ...well worth the modest investment in time!

    Edward
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice