What the heck is this vibrato and bridge? Mustang plate with Jaguar guts?

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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blimpage
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What the heck is this vibrato and bridge? Mustang plate with Jaguar guts?

Post by blimpage » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:22 pm

Came across this on Reverb this morning:
Recently pulled from an early model Fender Mustang is a tremolo bridge set. This set features the tremolo bridge with Fender logo, bar and screws. Not sure of the year, but the plate has a patent number engraved below the Fender logo. This bridge is in very good condition with a vintage look.

This would be a great addition to your vintage restoration or project guitar. Don't miss out on scoring an original Fender piece.
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I sent a message to ask if they had a photo of the underside, and they sent this back:

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Uhhhh what? Looks like the tailpiece and internals of a Jag/JM vibrato, mounted under a Mustang plate and bridge. I've seen mods to combine the two on here, but it doesn't look like this is a mod of a stock plate - all the holes are in the wrong places. The bridge saddles don't look right either, like they're mostly featureless cylinders with a little slot on top. And the pile of square washers on top of those long screws look like an accident waiting to happen.

So what the heck is this? Cool mod? Homebrew? Inaccurate copy? Real and rare?

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Re: What the heck is this vibrato and bridge? Mustang plate with Jaguar guts?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:28 pm

It looks very well done what ever it is, from the top anyway. The 2 stamped numbers are interesting.
The underside shows they had to cut & mill the plate that holds the strings. The more you look at this, the more it becomes apparent that it was probably a DIY job. Cool find.

Of course, I could be completely wrong. It wouldn't be the first time :)

EDIT - Actually, after a closer look I'm guessing the whole base plate is homemade. The Fender logo looks a little weird (the F looks wrong)
Last edited by PorkyPrimeCut on Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What the heck is this vibrato and bridge? Mustang plate with Jaguar guts?

Post by Ceylon » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:35 pm

This is with much certainty a Serviceman vibrato unit, in fact I'm pretty sure I've seen an exact one of these on a Serviceman Stratocaster, presumably because it was easier to manufacture with limited access to tooling and materials than a Stratocaster vibrato would have been.

Long story short, crafty businessmen in Vietnam and perhaps other South-East Asian countries started making crude affinities of American electric guitars, based off little more than images, once GIs started coming over in the 60's and 70's, and these then brought them back to the West. I think the vast majority were hand-made in small workshops. Generally the guitars aren't very well thought of as instruments but man are they ever cool as artifacts. I think Keith Richards had a Serviceman Jaguar for a while.

EDIT: Due to being at work and this particular computer being a bit fucky I can't upload an image for you but Googling "Serviceman Stratocaster" gets you plenty of pictures of not identical but very similar vibrato units. I think it's fair to suppose that different luthiers would have had some varieties in the units they produced which would explain the differences.
Last edited by Ceylon on Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What the heck is this vibrato and bridge? Mustang plate with Jaguar guts?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:41 pm

Image
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Re: What the heck is this vibrato and bridge? Mustang plate with Jaguar guts?

Post by timtam » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:51 pm

Ceylon wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:35 pm
This is with much certainty a Serviceman vibrato unit, in fact I'm pretty sure I've seen an exact one of these on a Serviceman Stratocaster, presumably because it was easier to manufacture with limited access to tooling and materials than a Stratocaster vibrato would have been.
Hmmm .. you learn something every day. Found one ...
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Re: What the heck is this vibrato and bridge? Mustang plate with Jaguar guts?

Post by Con-Tiki! » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:26 am

i think that was on reverb for a while.
I took it to either be from a serviceman's jag (as was mentioned) or some oddball 60's japanese knockoff.
(Christopher, also)
I've been to one World's Fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing i ever heard come out a pair of headphones.

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Re: What the heck is this vibrato and bridge? Mustang plate with Jaguar guts?

Post by Mechanical Birds » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:37 pm

Honestly, I think this is awesome and would be a great idea to start manufacturing, if only Offset Vibrato units didn’t necessitate the trem route being so far away from the bridge.

I have an affinity Strat that I designated as my sonic youth ripoff guitar - basically an excuse to beat it up - and like 3 Vintage Modified Vibratos and I’m constantly thinking about how bad I want one in said Strat. I’m so scared that I won’t get the measurements right and it ends up being impossible to set up or return to its previous state and I’ll essentially have garbage on my hands. This thing seems like an incredibly easier way to accomplish that goal.

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Re: What the heck is this vibrato and bridge? Mustang plate with Jaguar guts?

Post by Con-Tiki! » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:37 am

(Christopher, also)
I've been to one World's Fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing i ever heard come out a pair of headphones.

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