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Tools for the Task: Tele-Style Bridges

Options abound for Tele-style bridges, but here are 10 to get you thinking about what a swap could do for your guitar.

Be it for intonation issues, functionality, aesthetics, or something else, a bridge upgrade can be a quick cure for what’s ailing your Tele-style axe. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 options for this easy DIY mod.

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Vintage Bridgeplate

Also available in an American Standard version, this bridge is made of the same spec’d material as the original but is slightly thicker to make it less prone to unwanted squeal.

JOE BARDEN
$65

Modern Bridge for Tele

This beefier version of a traditional Tele bridge features a solid-brass baseplate and six completely adjustable saddles for fine-tuning string height, radius, and intonation.

GOTOH
$57

FCH Tele

This direct coupling system features the company’s “eCAM” saddle design, which eliminates unwanted space between the bottom of the saddle and the top of the plate.

BABICZ
$149

Maverick

If a tremolo is in order, the Maverick features the company’s “Blade” technology for clarity, sustain, and stability, and V-Tone vintage-style brass saddles.

SUPER-VEE
$199

Adjustable Compensated Bridge

A locking pivot screw in the center of each unplated brass saddle on this 3-saddle design allows for precision string-intonation adjustment.

WILKINSON
$63

M4

The M4’s baseplate is CNC water-cut from stainless non-ferrous steel, while the solid-brass saddles feature the company’s unique hard-chrome-plating not found on other bridges.

MASTERY
$175

Vintage T

Crafted with thicker, specially treated steel for an 80-percent increase in rigidity, this bridge design is intended to dramatically increase sustain, volume, and note separation.

CALLAHAM
$127

Steel Replacement Bridge

Designed with vintage-bridge specs, these replacement units have a stamped-steel baseplate and brass saddles like the originals, but feature higher quality finish work.

KLUSON
$47

TL Bridge

This bridge’s lightweight aluminum body and raw-brass saddle construction is intended to provide warm and bell-like tone transfer from strings to the body of a guitar.

SCHROEDER
$115

Telecaster Retrofit Bridge

Available with different saddle configuration and mount styles, these laser-cut, stainless-steel bridges are non-magnetic for more transparent tone in the bridge pickup position.

HIPSHOT
$120

With a team of experts on hand, we look at six workhorse vintage amps you can still find for around $1,000 or less.

If you survey the gear that shows up on stages and studios for long enough, you’ll spot some patterns in the kinds of guitar amplification players are using. There’s the rotating cast of backline badasses that do the bulk of the work cranking it out every day and night—we’re all looking at you, ’65 Deluxe Reverb reissue.

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Amazon Prime Day is here (July 16-17). Whether you're a veteran player or just picking up your first guitar, these are some bargains you don't want to miss. Check out more deals here! https://amzn.to/3LskPRV

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A technicolor swirl of distortion, drive, boost, and ferocious fuzz.

Summons a wealth of engaging, and often unique, boost, drive, distortion, and fuzz tones that deviate from common templates. Interactive controls.

Finding just-right tones, while rewarding, might demand patience from less assured and experienced drive-pedal users. Tone control could be more nuanced.

$199

Danelectro Nichols 1966
danelectro.com

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The Danelectro Nichols 1966, in spite of its simplicity, feels and sounds like a stompbox people will use in about a million different ways. Its creator, Steve Ridinger, who built the first version as an industrious Angeleno teen in 1966, modestly calls the China-made Nichols 1966 a cross between a fuzz and a distortion. And, at many settings, it is most certainly that.

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The author standing next to a Richardson gunstock lathe purchased from Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory. It was used to make six necks at a time at Gibson in the 1950s and 1960s.

Keep your head down and put in the work if you want to succeed in the gear-building business.

The accelerated commodification of musical instruments during the late 20th century conjures up visions of massive factories churning out violins, pianos, and, of course, fretted instruments. Even the venerable builders of the so-called “golden age” were not exactly the boutique luthier shops of our imagination.

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