Other Guitars

Roller Bridge for Telecaster w/Bigsby?

1

One of my favorite six stringed family members is a Squier Vintage Modified Cabronita Telecaster with Bigsby. This unusual beast provides, to my ears, a surprising variety of tonal options from a deep Duane Eddy twang to a classic James Burton sound. The neck pickup is a Fideli’Tron humbucker, Fender’s take on the Gretsch Filter’Tron and the bridge pickup is a single-coil. Having a Bigsby adds to the fun, but .... the B and G strings quite often don't want to play nice.

When I've had this problem with other guitars, usually I've been able to solve it with a roller bridge. I've done some research and checked with my friendly, local, guitar guru and, so far, neither of us has been able to find a roller bridge option for this guitar.

So, my question to the class is, are any of you aware of some kind of roller bridge option that might work. I really love this guitar and have no intention of getting rid of it, but I'd really like to find a solution. Thanks, in advance, for any thoughts.

2

Try a (custom) Serpentune.

3

It’s not even that custom. I make bridges to fit the 2-13/16 spacing of the Bigsby bridge. Called the SerpenTele. Normal radius is 9.5, but we can make it whatever you need. Available in 5 metals.

It’s not a roller bridge, but folks say it helps with tuning issues.

4

Are the string trees causing any problems?

5

It’s not even that custom. I make bridges to fit the 2-13/16 spacing of the Bigsby bridge. Called the SerpenTele. Normal radius is 9.5, but we can make it whatever you need. Available in 5 metals.

It’s not a roller bridge, but folks say it helps with tuning issues.

– Proteus

Proteus,I looked on your web site and dont see the Serpen Tele.Could you please tell me more about this bridge option,my son rcently built a Tele with a Bigsby and would be interested in this option.I put one of your bridges on my 6118 Jr some years ago and absolutely love it,would like to get one for my sons Tele.

6

I doubt the bridge is the cause of the problem. It's most likely the nut. A little little pencil lead in the slots or a slight widening of the slots will probably cure it. Rolling string trees will also help.

Press down on the string behind the nut, if it doesn't return to normal pitch, then there's your problem.

7

no offense, but would a roller Tele bridge really be much more effective than a standard 3-brass-saddles bridge?

8

All this talk about roller bridges makes me wonder. Would a roller nut be a good thing?

10

I'm pretty sure the bridge on that Tele is pretty much a stock Jaguar/Jazzmaster style bridge. Ironically, the most typical problem with that type of bridge on Jags and JM's is too little string pressure over the saddles due to a combination of light strings and not enough break angle from the Jag/JM style trem allowing the strings to jump out of the saddles. On the Tele that's not a problem because of the Bigsby B5 with the string roller. The problem on your guitar is probably at the nut but it is still possible (but doubtful) that the G and B are also hanging up in the bridge saddle. With regards to the nut, Squiers generally come stock with 9-42 gauge strings....have you put heavier strings on? If so, the nut slots might need to be widened to accommodate the fatter strings..... or at least lubricated as indicated in previous posts. Also, take a look at where the strings are sitting in the threaded string slots on the saddles....if they are making contact with the saddle height adjustment screw that could be creating some problems. One more thing, on the Jag/JM style bridges that are used on Squiers, the saddle heights can migrate sometimes, so a little nail polish on the height adjustment screws can help. Oh yeah, very cool guitar by the way.

11

Of course, the culprit in tuning issues is usually the nut.

Dave, there have been roller nuts. I forget where I've seen them. Charvel/Jackson Surfcaster, maybe, among other guitars.

Seems I even remember roller nuts with separate "saddles" in longitudinal grooves to permit adjusting string length for intonation.

As I recall, all this worked ok - but was unnecessary complication.

Nuts should always be attended to (perhaps by a luthier) before changing anything else for tuning issues.

12

correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't MicroFrets guitars have a roller nut?

13

I'd look into the nut first. Tru-Arc and Mastery are both well made options if the bridge needs attention.

That's a great set of features on the Cabronita. Congrats on the guitar.

14

Fender had a couple iterations of roller nuts in (I think) the '90's on the Strat Plus'

15

This is my bridge unit for my Bigsby B16 equipped Telecaster Thinline. A aluminum raw deal Serpentune on a dBridge alu bridge base. You don‘t want a roller bridge on your guitar...

16

Like everyone else said, get the nut looked at first. If that’s lubed and eliminated as a problem, I’d get a Mastery—it’s drop-in ready. But that’s not really needed since the tension bar clamps down on these bridges, helping with some of the bridge issues stated above. A TruArc would be cool, but you have to convert the bridge with some customization—pulling thimbles, new posts, etc.

17

Maybe try this? Bricksbiggsfix.com Senojnad had luck with his Broadkaster Jr with it. I added it plus a Serpentune to my Streamliner.

18

A TruArc would be cool, but you have to convert the bridge with some customization—pulling thimbles, new posts, etc.

Not so. If the guitar is equipped with a Bigsby Compensated Aluminum bridge (as most with Bigsbys are), the SerpenTele drops on the existing posts and works.

19

This guitar has the B5 Tele plate and JM/Jag-style bridge. I thought Tru-Arc stuff only worked with B16 Teles?

20

That's accurate, as far as it goes. The determining factor is whether the guitar has the Bigsby Compensated Aluminum bridge (which is generally part of a B16 installation).

While the B5 itself is agnostic about what bridge it's used with, I realize the widely sold kit for Tele comes with the JM/Jag-style bridge.

So you're right, a SerpenTune wouldn't work with a B5/JM installation without installing posts for the TruArc (at the correct offset). A floating base could also be used, but that usually requires shimming the neck for a steeper angle. If going this route, you wouldn't have to have the SerpenTele variant with 2-13/16" hole spacing; the stock SerpenTune would work as well. (Again, assuming you're installing posts to fit its spacing.)

21

That's an interesting pickup combination. I may look at modding my CV Tele with a "Gretch-Y" neck pickup at some point in the future. Do you know that the pot values are – 250K or 500K or something else?

22

Proteus,I looked on your web site and dont see the Serpen Tele.Could you please tell me more about this bridge option,my son rcently built a Tele with a Bigsby and would be interested in this option.I put one of your bridges on my 6118 Jr some years ago and absolutely love it,would like to get one for my sons Tele.

– stokes

Proteus?

23

By default, the SerpenTele is a 9.5”-radius fully compensated rocking bar, available in five metals, ranging in price from 115.00 (AL, BR, CU) to 130.00 (ST) to 215.00 (TI). The mounting holes are drilled for the Bigsby Compensated bridge’s 2-13/16” spacing.

We can do other radii or spacing as required.

Specific questions or uncertainties, just ask. If the discussion gets too deep in the weeds, probably best to go to email.

24

Thanks,I have to find out what Bigsby he put on it.I'll contact you via the Tru-Arc web site,the email here doesnt work.I tried to message you from this board and it came back "undeliverable".

25

Proteus, do you have a bridge for Jaguars & Jazzmasters? Those owners are always looking for a better bridge.


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