offset bridgepost change: what year?

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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otis
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offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by otis » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:12 pm

At some point there has been a change in the bridge-posts.
Almost all (or all) the vintage ones have a bulge at the bridge posts, and some 70's (or late 60's ones are flat with a small hole.(smaller than the reissues).
The bulged ones go on until '78 , however.
Does someone have a clue?
Are the flat ones perhaps only reissues on vintage guitars that lacked the original bridges?
There are flat ones with smaller holes (vinatge? ) and bigger holes however(reissue?)
please help!

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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by Danley » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:48 pm

I don't know dates - But examples of all styles known to me pictured below. I think I'm only really missing AVRI/American Original:

Top to Bottom:
-Early Dome
-Allparts/Squier 'Very Large Hole'
-MIJ 'Flat Large Hole'

Image

Later vintage 'Flat Small Hole' below:

Image

Another example of Allparts/Squier 'Very Large Hole' below in a VM Jazzmaster - Not sure if Allparts & Squier bridges are same supplier and the tooling seems to have slight differences from the above Mustang bridge. They are both pretty sketchy bridges though TBH - Worse than MIJ, and WAY worse than vintage.

Image
Last edited by Danley on Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by timtam » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:14 pm

Danley wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:48 pm
I think I'm only really missing AVRI/American Original
AVRI 65 and AV 62 and Americal Original use part number 0054460000. Same as 0054460049 (https://darrenriley.com/store/fender-am ... 054460049/).

Riley's example shows big flat hole with bevelled inner rim ...

Image

Another clue as to whether you're looking at original or reissue or import is the intonation screw length. Imperial screws on originals and US reissues are 4-40x5/8" (ie 15.9mm). Metric (Squier / MIJ) are M3 / 18mm, ie about 2mm longer (which is in fact 'too long' IMHO - 16mm works better). That difference can be seen in all the above pics, although Fender's pic is clearer than Riley's for the AVRI screw lengths (although the outer rim of the post hole looks very slightly different) ...
https://www.amazon.com/Fender-American- ... B0055PDLH4
Image
Screw length is a good way to tell if an ebay seller is trying to sell you a $10 import bridge (with long screws) while saying it is a genuine AVRI.

Of course if you have the bridge in your hands you can check if it's metric or imperial. eg in addition to the intonation screw gauges / lengths mentioned, metric bridge uses 1.5mm hex key for M3 bridge and saddle height grub screws; Imperial uses 0.05" hex (1.27mm).

For example Allparts don't state if their SB-0210-010 has metric or Imperial screws. But the long intonation screw length - right up to the front edge of the bridge - would suggest they are metric (18mm).
https://www.allparts.com/SB-0210-010-Ch ... _3229.html
Image
Last edited by timtam on Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by Danley » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:22 pm

Cool - So AVRI is different from the others. Materials are different too; of mine above only the vintage bridges have steel saddles (magnetic.) The newer bridges are probably zinc; they don't sound necessarily bad for being zinc, but they do sound different. Also I have some modern repro covers; they need to be pinched to fit the vintage bridge.
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by Paul-T » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:07 am

thanks for the really helpful post Danley.

How are the sketchy bridges worse? Functionality, sound, or both?
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by otis » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:25 am

Thank you both for all the info!
The differences are often subtle and they are difficult to see without someone pointing them out.
For instance I now just discovered that the bridge that came with my second hand AV '65 Jaguar is actually an allparts one!

What still isn't clear to me is the situation with vintage bridges.
The exact year (or years?) where the flat hole made its entrance to replace the one with the domes seems difficult to know.
I made an internet-search yesterday and the flat poles seem to pop-up from somewhere '68 onwards, but only occasionally.
The '78 examples I saw still had the bridges with domes. So it seems the ones with domes never got out of production, pre or post CBS. Than why do the flat-poles exist anyway?

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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by Danley » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:09 am

Paul-T wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:07 am
thanks for the really helpful post Danley.

How are the sketchy bridges worse? Functionality, sound, or both?
The clearances of the saddle intonation screws are quite floppy (so the saddle moves laterally when you play- in particular the high e under tremolo picking.) This affects the sound but is also a functional defect. The MIJ is better, but the vintage bridges are rock solid- very tight clearance around the intonation screws so nothing moves or rattles.

Also- the Allparts/Squier bridges are the only ones I have where the saddle and post adjustment screws back themselves out. Very annoying- I never had that issue with the MIJ or vintage bridges.

I own a couple other MIJ bridges not pictured as well and have had other MIJ guitars since sold off- so I've probably got experience with half a dozen MIJ bridges I'd all characterize the same way- a bit loose, but useable. The Allparts/Squier are junk, and the Vintage bridges are just trouble-free.

I don't have info on what vintage bridges were used when- I had the same issue when I tried to 'research' by looking at old pics, Reverb/ebay, the dome/flat thing is not consistent. Again, both my examples are great bridges.
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by Paul-T » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:38 am

Interesting. Thank you.

The bridge on my 63 guitar has always felt great to me; I think when I got it there was some adjustment of overall height vs saddle height, before which they perhaps occasionally slid side to side, but otherwise I found tuning stability etc was always really, really good. The guitar has been completely stripped down for a refin to its original finish, I hope the luthier knows how to set them up perfectly because I've probably forgotten.

I have so many people telling me the original bridges simply aren't functional; some of it, at least, must be received wisdom from using later, flimsier bridges.
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by timtam » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:10 pm

Paul-T wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:38 am
I have so many people telling me the original bridges simply aren't functional; some of it, at least, must be received wisdom from using later, flimsier bridges.
It would be interesting to see some measurements on a true vintage bridge vs more recent ones. It might turn out that the part dimensions, materials, and screw size / tolerances are the same. I mean Fender would have started with a vintage bridge when specifying the AVRI bridge design specs. So maybe it's just age and accumulated grime that tightened the old ones up to the point where everything fits nicely. ;)

I say this as someone who is trying to resurrect a gummed up early 60's jag bridge right now. And having trouble getting some of it to move at all. Some of the screws have seized up totally. It might as well be welded together !
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by Danley » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:19 pm

timtam wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:10 pm
Paul-T wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:38 am
I have so many people telling me the original bridges simply aren't functional; some of it, at least, must be received wisdom from using later, flimsier bridges.
It would be interesting to see some measurements on a true vintage bridge vs more recent ones. It might turn out that the part dimensions, materials, and screw size / tolerances are the same. I mean Fender would have started with a vintage bridge when specifying the AVRI bridge design specs. So maybe it's just age and accumulated grime that tightened the old ones up to the point where everything fits nicely. ;)

I say this as someone who is trying to resurrect a gummed up early 60's jag bridge right now. And having trouble getting some of it to move at all. Some of the screws have seized up totally. It might as well be welded together !
That's a wise thought. But that said- While both of mine (as visible above) are still a bit tarnished on the surface, I completely disassembled and wire-brushed each of them to remove the bulk of it before installing each bridge (with a focus on total cleaning of the the intonation screw threads themselves, as they were rusted to the screws before I freed them.) The intonation screws and baseplate weren't bonded and didn't really have tarnish in that area (and whatever was there, I removed.) I coated all parts with lithium grease and before re-assembly.

One thing that absolutely contributes to the greater stability of the older bridges is MUCH thicker/stiffer intonation springs, btw- I think they serve a similar purpose as the nylon inserts in a Staytrem, with how much stiffer they are.

Then again, my sample size is small so I can't say all vintage bridges are made the same.
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by timtam » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:37 am

Looks like domed post holes on a 1979 JM, one of the last originals ...
https://youtu.be/cvuAelXPPhQ?t=107
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by Danley » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:51 pm

Apologize for dragging this up again- but recognized a difference between an early century CIJ bridge and my MIJ '96 bridge:

CIJ has longer posts.

Image
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by timtam » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:28 pm

Danley wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:51 pm
Apologize for dragging this up again- but recognized a difference between an early century CIJ bridge and my MIJ '96 bridge:

CIJ has longer posts.
I suspect we will be discussing the idiosyncracies of offset bridges for many years to come. ;)

So .. longer posts ... and deeper thimbles ? Or not ?

I've noticed a range of things that can subtly affect how much the standard-design bridge (from various sources) can rock. Some can be hard to predict, and their effect may be good or bad depending on your perspective. Obviously how high your bridge is affects rocking - a higher bridge rocks more. Also there is variation in thimble and bridge post diameters - tighter fits on some make them rock less. Whether this is just variation due to manufacturing tolerances or alternatively design variations (eg between metric and US bridges) is unclear. If you drop a new bridge into thimbles that came from a different source you may get a slight diameter mismatch and thus more or less rocking than intended. If your thimble or bridge post locations are fractionally off (closer or further apart), then the posts may 'roll' on the side walls of the thimbles in a more restricted way, rather than rock freely back and forth in the centre of the thimble (without touching the side walls).

I believe that the Marr and Staytrem bridges also have bigger post height grub screws. But I assume the Staytrem has 'standard' diameter posts, as thimbles are not supplied and they are described as drop in replacements.
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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by DeathJag » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:41 pm

Isn’t there a parts # from some giant industrial supply catalog for super strong tiny springs? It sounds like just replacing the flimsy springs might help a lot!

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Re: offset bridgepost change: what year?

Post by Danley » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:01 pm

I'm not sure where you'd get the correct size springs; maybe fastener shops would stock them. Vintage are visibly beefier as compared to the almost bic pen type springs in the MIJs. They also don't compress as far so I can see them not working with some setups intonation-wise; you might have to cut them short.

My '66 Mustang has deeper thimbles than the reissue/MIJs as well. I don't have the CIJ thimbles on hand, I sold the body long ago that I got the bridge with. I can see it having some effect on stability, though the diameter of the thimbles themselves constrain how many mm of motion either way. I used both the vintage deep and modern shallow thimbles, and deep seemed to result in greater stability.
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