NBD - Mastery Bridge

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NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MattH »

Took delivery of a Mastery bridge last night. I grabbed a Bigsby-equipped Tele last year and it was really great with the exception of the bridge, which was just horrendous. The strings ran over these cheap, nasty saddles and then would scrape and catch on the lip of the bridge, leading to some nasty buzzing and quite a few tuning issues.

Anyway, back to the Mastery. It was pretty pricey, but I'd only heard great things so I pulled the trigger.

It was pretty easy to install actually. Took about an hour as I took the strings off completely so I could see what I was doing. It slotted in pretty perfectly and I only had to adjust the saddle height. I don't know if it's just dumb luck, but I had no intonation adjustments to do at all.

What I can't quite believe is the huge difference to the sound and feel of the instrument. There's a consistent stability and warmth that's been really brought out. No buzzing at all. It's a monstrously clean and rich sound. The only thing I can describe is this sort of eerie, clean bell like quality you hear on those lovely jazz records.

I can't really recommend these things enough.
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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MikeC »

I have a Bigsby on my Tele & I did read about the "Mastery" when I was researching a bridge. Nice to know it works well. I ended up using a Callaham bridge designed for a Bigsby - it retains alot of the traditional vintage Tele bridge look and it it works really well. Tuning is very stable :) https://www.callahamguitars.com/bigsby_ ... atalog.htm

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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MattH »

Thanks Mike - you did mention these the other day. Nice to know there's a cheaper option!
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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MikeC »

Doh, I forgot I'd mentioned it! Got a pic of the Mastery and what'd it cost?

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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MattH »

You know I have a few really nice guitars, but half of my collection is Telecasters. They're generally pretty stable and the ability to swap out and upgrade the parts yourself just makes them so versatile.
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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MikeC »

Got a pic of the Mastery installed?

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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MikeC »

I'll show you mine, can I see yours? :mrgreen:
Callaham Tele Bigsby Bridge.jpg
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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MattH »

Mike Clayton wrote:Doh, I forgot I'd mentioned it! Got a pic of the Mastery and what'd it cost?
It was really quite pricey if I'm honest. About 300 bucks all up - delivered. It's worth it to me because I pretty much decided to make this my main guitar, but I do appreciate that it's a chunk of dough for what is basically just a few pieces of well-machined metal.

I'll take a pic tonight.
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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MattH »

Tell me more about your Tele, Mike! Looks fairly modded!
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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MikeC »

I purchased it second hand on TardeMe - it was a "Vintage Kitchen USA" Cabronita Tele. Basically a thinline body with an Allparts neck and Gretch guts. I purchased/installed the Bigsby and the Callagham bridge. Then over a period I stripped the maple soundboard and neck then refinished both in amber. I purchased a new pickguard and a Prima hand wound Tele neck pup which I installed. Then later I replaced the TV Jones bridge pup with a hand made Firebird bridge pup, added a new set of Gotoh vintage tuners & ended up with what you see in the 3rd pic!
Original State.jpg
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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MattH »

What a great looking guitar. Looks heaps of fun!
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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MikeC »

I love Neil Young "snarl" and the TV Jones bridge was a little "hollow" sounding (combined with Thinline body I suppose). The Firebird PUP is traditionally constructed (like Neil's and NOT like modern Gibson Firebird pickups which are over wound mini humbuckers). Not a solid body LP I know but it is a versatile guitar, thicker than a traditional Tele but not too far off. And a nice ballsy brightish neck pup. Now to nail those licks...

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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MattH »

Mike Clayton wrote:I love Neil Young "snarl" and the TV Jones bridge was a little "hollow" sounding (combined with Thinline body I suppose). The Firebird PUP is traditionally constructed (like Neil's and NOT like modern Gibson Firebird pickups which are over wound mini humbuckers). Not a solid body LP I know but it is a versatile guitar, thicker than a traditional Tele but not too far off. And a nice ballsy brightish neck pup. Now to nail those licks...
It does look like fun.

I must admit, I love humbuckers in the bridge but am I'm pretty attached to the Tele bridge sound. Shame you can't have both on a guitar.

One of my telecasters is routed for a humbucker, so I have been thinking of trying something in there, but I didn't want a bucker. I liked the idea of putting something a little different in there like a gold foil or something, but not sure on routing. Something will happen, I'm sure!

What do you tend to play these through? One of your own builds? Something Fender based, I assume?
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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MikeC »

My Trinity 5E3 or my Trinity TC15 (the only two amps I own). Played through the Tweed Princeton too. Just in the office these days :(

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Re: NBD - Mastery Bridge

Post by MattH »

Here you go, Mike:

Image
Image

It needed a little readjustment last night. I played it a little more and noticed that it was buzzing a little on the dusty frets, so I raised the action a little more (not much) and it came right. The funny thing is - no intonation adjustment whatsoever. I know that sounds like BS, but I checked against a pretty decent tuner to make sure.

I was really surprised by that. It's like black magic!

Anyway, your hybrid's got me wondering about my pickups. I would love to put a Charlie Christian in there, but I'm a bit scared about body routing.

Also, the biggest change to my sound would be one of your amps, I fear... oh, and a lot more practice!
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