Telecaster Bridge Mod Question

KurtisAZ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
227
Hey there everyone, really wanting to put a certain bridge on my American standard telecaster, but the bridge is only made in the vintage telecaster footprint with 4 holes in the baseplate as opposed to my American Standard's 3 hole design. I am looking to use a master bridge in conjunction with a bigsby, be that a vibramate rig or whatever I need to do. Question: Is conversion to 4 hole from 3 hole possible? Thank you!
 

Steadfastly

Member
Messages
2,589
Yes, just drill them. You don't need a drill press but that is handy. Just measure carefully, mark and use a punch to get the drill bit started in the right spot and not have it slip on the polished metal.
 

EdFarmer

Member
Messages
878
Mark the new holes before you plug the old ones . . . You may find that you don't need to plug them at all and you will be able to go back to the original bridge if needed.
 

zztomato

Member
Messages
11,405
Modern 3 screw bridge mounts on the pickup side of the string through holes while the vintage bridge has the mounting holes on back side. You should be able to mount it without any filling. You could easily get a vintage style bridge made for use with a Bigsby so not sure why you'd consider switching. Callaham makes a really nice one. https://www.callahamguitars.com/bigsby_bridge_vintageteleflatmount_catalog.htm
 

KurtisAZ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
227
Modern 3 screw bridge mounts on the pickup side of the string through holes while the vintage bridge has the mounting holes on back side. You should be able to mount it without any filling. You could easily get a vintage style bridge made for use with a Bigsby so not sure why you'd consider switching. Callaham makes a really nice one. https://www.callahamguitars.com/bigsby_bridge_vintageteleflatmount_catalog.htm
Yes my guitar is the modern 3 hole, and I wanted to get a mastery which is strictly 4 hole, hence the necessity to switch. Mastery’s are sold out though, and that Callaham looks very similar apart from the saddles. I just want to avoid the flat to the body baseplate that has that curved shape that a lot of people go to with bigsby’s. I dig the look of the traditional square Tele baseplate much more, which is present in the mastery and the callaham.
 

zztomato

Member
Messages
11,405
Yes my guitar is the modern 3 hole, and I wanted to get a mastery which is strictly 4 hole, hence the necessity to switch. Mastery’s are sold out though, and that Callaham looks very similar apart from the saddles. I just want to avoid the flat to the body baseplate that has that curved shape that a lot of people go to with bigsby’s. I dig the look of the traditional square Tele baseplate much more, which is present in the mastery and the callaham.
Not sure how I misread your op - maybe I was low on coffee- but, yeah, the Callaham is a nice bridge. I've used the Mastery and Callaham and both are great. The Mastery saddles probably offer less string drag than the Callaham but tuning stability is excellent on both. The Callaham has string through holes in case you want to ditch the Bigsby at some point. Can't remember if the Mastery is the same.
 
Messages
170
Gotoh makes a 3 saddle bridge that is notched for a Bigsby. It is still a 4 hole , but you retain the traditional bridge and saddles. You could always put the mastery saddles on that bridge.
I can’t seem to get the pic to load, but the link should work. If not just google Gotoh tele Bigsby bridge and it pops up.

Another option is if your current bridge is a 3 saddle bridge, you can file the back wall down like the Gotoh bridge. I have done this multiple times and is actually very easy.

one thing I would suggest is to notch the intonation screws in front of the saddles so you can fine tune everything once the Bigsby is on. It will make it a lot easier .
 

KurtisAZ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
227
Gotoh makes a 3 saddle bridge that is notched for a Bigsby. It is still a 4 hole , but you retain the traditional bridge and saddles. You could always put the mastery saddles on that bridge.
I can’t seem to get the pic to load, but the link should work. If not just google Gotoh tele Bigsby bridge and it pops up.

Another option is if your current bridge is a 3 saddle bridge, you can file the back wall down like the Gotoh bridge. I have done this multiple times and is actually very easy.

one thing I would suggest is to notch the intonation screws in front of the saddles so you can fine tune everything once the Bigsby is on. It will make it a lot easier .
Geez! I wonder why this bridge is $45 when the mastery is $175 and the callaham is $160. Seems like a good deal.
 
Messages
170
The same reason that flash in the pan ipa micro brew is $13 a six pack and Budweiser is $6.50

yes they are both beers, but one is made on a much smaller scale and to more exacting specs.
The Callahan will be thicker and better materials , the mastery has those awesome looking saddles and I am sure something else that sets it apart. I dont have any first hand experience wigh mastery other than seeing and thinking the saddles look awesome.
 

KurtisAZ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
227
The same reason that flash in the pan ipa micro brew is $13 a six pack and Budweiser is $6.50

yes they are both beers, but one is made on a much smaller scale and to more exacting specs.
The Callahan will be thicker and better materials , the mastery has those awesome looking saddles and I am sure something else that sets it apart. I dont have any first hand experience wigh mastery other than seeing and thinking the saddles look awesome.
Great point! This is why I love this site haha. My only choice now is if I want my Tele to sound like a crisp hazy ipa or a warm bud...I didn’t even think about the difficulty of access of those intonation screws once the trem was on. That’s a pro tip, thank you I will certainly be doing that. Just bought a vibramate system from one of the TGP’ers on here at a great rate, with a b5, am going to install that myself and wait for mastery to release another batch of bigsby Tele bridges to get the b5 professionally hardmounted, neck shimmed etc.
 
Messages
170
I saw that on here, that is def a good deal.
Make sure when you get it installed to have them adjust your nut so the strings don’t bind up. They should know this, but never hurts to have an idea of what you want done going in.
 




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