Upgrading the bridge on your Telecaster is a more complex process than changing out your pickups or strings, but it’s still a common way to personalize your tone.
The bridge has much more impact on the sustain of your notes than some other upgraded aspects such as the nut and frets.
Changing the material used in your bridge saddle also can influence the tonal color.
It is vital that you ensure you choose a bridge designed to fit the instrument – you could alter the guitar to fit a bridge it was not designed for, but this method is expensive (and, even worse, may harm the structure of your instrument)
.Even within a specific group, like Telecasters, you will find variations in the bridge mounting design, usually depending on when the guitar was created.
Look at the number of screws used to mount the bridge on the body, and match that when you are looking at upgrades. In most cases, Fender brand bridges will be the best sounding (and easiest) upgrade to a Telecaster, but there are many other brands on the market, one of which deserves consideration. Below we have found and reviewed the four best Telecaster bridges on the market.
Fender 3 Saddle Hot Rod Bridge Assembly
This bridge assembly is modeled after those originally installed on the’ fifty two Hot Rod Telecasters. It fits on any Telecaster that uses a 4 screw mounting system and it is made of plated steel with brass saddles. Aside from these little tweaks, the complete package will provide you with similar powerful sound the Hot Rods got using this bridge.
Fender American Vintage’ sixty two
It provides a Fender’ sixty two bridge pickup along with 3 steel saddles and a vintage styled chrome pickup cover. The pickup uses Alnico II magnets and a vintage coil wrapping technique, the same as the original pickups that defined the Tele sound. The bridge plate itself is plated steel and fits modern Vintage Custom Telecasters in addition to the majority of older models.
Babicz Full Contact Telecaster Bridge
As stated before, a lot of the replacement bridges for Telecasters come out of the Fender catalogue, but they are not the only options on the market. This Babicz Telecaster bridge fits either 4-screw or 3-screw mounting systems without any modifications, with an immediate coupling design that replaces your existing bridge.
The distinctive design eliminates unwanted spaces between the bridge plate as well as the saddle. This translates into better sustain and a richer tone. The saddles are adjustable for fine tuning intonation, giving you complete and easy control over the sound. This should be on anyone’s list of the very best Telecaster bridges.
Fender Standard Bridge Assembly
It’s a chrome plated plate with 6 adjustable block saddles. The mounting design is sure to fit Standard Series Telecasters manufactured after 2004.
The saddle is the element of the bridge that can hold the strings, and is what you adjust to increase or decrease the activity of the instrument. A poorly made saddle makes it much more frequent tuning.
When it comes to the sound, the material utilized to make the saddles are going to have the most impact of any component of the bridge. The 2 most common materials you will find for Tele saddles are steel and brass. Brass is a much softer metal than steel, and brass saddles also are usually heavier. Brass saddles darken the tone, giving it a little more warmth, while steel saddles tend to be lighter and have a crisper attack.
The number of saddles also can vary, even between bridges that fit on exactly the same model instrument. The “Ash Tray” bridge found on many Telecasters only uses 3 saddles, attaching 2 strings to each.
Some players find this design limiting, since it implies you’ve to adjust string tension in pairs instead of having control over each string . The sound made by this particular bridge style is distinct, although, providing you with the iconic Telecaster twang.
Mounting the perfect Tele Bridges
While tone and tuning are important, not one of that matters in case the bridge you buy will not fit the instrument.
When you are considering whether the bridge is going to fit, do not just consider the instrument . Keep in mind that your bridge pickup will have to fit perfectly on the new plate. In case you’ve pickups you are committed to, check out the saddle height of the replacement bridges you are considering.