Guitar Bridges Come in Many Shapes, Sizes and Finishes for both Vintage and Modern Guitars. But, do all Replacement parts Measure up to Expectations?...
Original Tele's used the famous Ash Tray style bridge, known not as much for it's lip on three sides, but for the often discarded bridge cover. The cover's purpose was as hand rest, so not to interfere with the strings.
Palm muting strings became an art form in playing. So, most of the original covers are lost forever and many (you probably guessed it) were used for ash trays.
Alternatively, the base plate became immensely popular and is believed to be the source of "That Twang" sound. Theory is that the relatively thin metal used for this style bridge allowed the suspended bridge pickup to vibrate with the string thru body resonance.
Experiments with different thicknesses over the years have either enhanced or lost the "Twang" The wheelhouse for the traditional Tele sound seems to resonate best on bridges with thicknesses ranging from a .050" - .063" thick.
MVG Ash Tray Bridge thickness ranges, depending on finish thickness from .049" - .063"
MVG Traditional Ashtray Style Bridge can be used in either a Top Mount or Strings Thru Body setup. With the approx. 2 ounce less overall weight of the bridge compared to massive modern bridges, sustain is achieved by using a solid piece of Brass Bar for each 2 string saddle. Another feature of the 2 string Bar Saddles, is the Gap between each bar, This allows each set of 2 strings to vibrate independently of the other 4 strings. Our slightly thicker intonation springs help stabilize intonation and tuning.
The Vintage Telecaster Guitar bridge is great for retro-fitting a classic guitar or a new guitar build. One thing to remember, this style bridge includes pickup mounting holes for a Standard Tele Bridge pickup.
Modern alternatives for this style bridge could have Humbucker pickup mounting holes. Be sure to check hole dimensions vs. pickup hole, the bridge pickup route varied through the years
Over the years the original more expensive Nickel plated bridges yielded in production to the shiny, less expensive Chromed models.
MVG Vintage Bridges finishes are offered in Nickel, Black Nickel, Aged Relic with matching finish or Natural Brass string saddle mounts. MVG bridges can be used for the traditional string thru body or modern top mount string styles.
Meeting your expectations will only happen when ALL Measurements are accurate and match the bridge to the body of choice for a smooth replacement or new guitar build.
Note: String and hole spacing's on bridges have varied over the years. When replacing a bridge, check all measurements before changing or upgrading bridges. Vintage Style Bridge mounting holes won't match up with existing holes on Modern style bridges and visa versa.
Please note that the difference in the measurement from the Hi-E hole-thru-body center to the closest (Treble Side) of the Pickup hole measures 40.1MM, while the same measurement on the Modern Tele Bridge is 38.3mm. The difference is enough to affect the plate not covering the pickup hole correctly therefore interfering with the pickup installation. If you build or buy a Tele body without knowing this most critical measurement, you may have the wrong body or bridge depending on your Project goal.
Notice The proportional difference between the Modern and Vintage style Tele Bridges. It becomes clear how critically important the distance between the closest point of the pickup hole to the string through body holes is for matching the proper bridge to the guitar body predrilled bridge holes.
Modern or "Flat Plate" bridges are a larger size, different mounting screw spacing and provide a sound character much different than
the original ash trays. Modern bridge plates are generally thicker metal
with only a rear and no side raised edges.
When solidly mounted this style bridge practically eliminates the twang sound and offers up a happy medium sound somewhere between a Tele and a solid body Gibson making this the most versatile of the Tele bridges for stage work.
MVG modern bridges are designed with the extra pickup side body mounting screws providing a solid connection to the body for a solid sound.
Note: As with the Vintage Bridge, Modern Bridge String and hole spacings have varied over the years. If replacing a bridge, check all measurements before changing.
Please note that the difference in the measurement from the Hi-E hole-thru-body center to the closest (Treble Side) of the Pickup hole on the Ashtray Style Bridge measures 40.1MM, while the same measurement on the Modern Tele Bridge is 38.3mm. The difference is enough to affect the plate not covering the pickup hole correctly therefore interfering with the pickup installation. If you build or buy a Tele body without knowing this most critical measurement, you may have the wrong body or bridge depending on your Project goal.
Hardtail bridges are an option in lieu of the Vintage and Modern style bridges which have the pickup mount included. This type bridge is the perfect choice for using Humbucker or other non-Fender style pickups. Hardtail bridges allow the builder to position pickups as near or far from the bridge as needed.
Hardtail Bridges are offered for both String-Thru or Top-Mount String setups.
Note: String spacing on pickups vary with design and original usage. The object is to match the saddle string spacing of the Bridge with the String spacing of the pickup. Tele bridge pickup poles are usually spaced at 10.8mm, while Non-Fender pickups range from 10mm - 10.5mm on average. Always measure both and match for the best sound.
Tune-o-matic bridge was introduced in the Gibson Super 400 guitar in 1953.
It most known as the bridge on the Les Paul. Tune-o-matic or Tom (as they are known) bridges have been used on all types of guitars since. Even on Telecasters.
Note: As with the Tele bridges, Styles and measurements on
this style bridge and stud mounts as well as the mount hole
centers have varied over the years. This is only one example
and there are others to consider. Always Measure, measure
and measure again before selecting and mounting this style bridge.
Tom bridges can be used with a stop anchor or with strings thru body setups. The string spacing is tighter than the spacing used on most Fenders because it was used predominately with Humbucker or Soap Bar pickups.
Here are a couple of examples of Modern Vintage Guitar Aged Relic Bridges
MVG offers most hardware parts in Aged Relic Finish. Finishes Range from Lightly Aged to Heavy Relic. Modern Vintage Guitar is the original creator of Hybrid Aged Relic Parts. Hybrid parts offer a wide variety of finishes that were not previously offered.
Look through our Aged Relic parts Gallery for unusual Builds and makeove Ideas.
A beautifully tormented, nuclear fallout Hybrid finished Ashtray style bridge