Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Marc Rutters Tele Bridge and a Cavalier Lion Pickup for the LPB Tele

The Lake Placid Blue Telecaster I'm putting together had some mods done to it before I got it.  It came to me with the stock Fender saddles replaced by Glendale saddles.  I like Glendale stuff - I have a Glendale bridge and saddles on my main Tele.

The guitar also had a different bridge pickup (more on that later) and a humbucker in the neck position.  I'm not a huge fan of humbuckers, but I decided to keep it, but wire it a little differently than stock (more in the next post).

I've wanted to try some Marc Rutters hardware, so this was an opportunity to get one of his bridges and some other stuff.

Marc has a great reputation, and it's very well deserved.  His stuff is incredible.

Here's my new 'Hot-Rodded' Tele bridge with the stock Fender bridge (with Glendale saddles) on the right.

There's no comparison in quality.  The Fender bridge is the same cold-rolled stamped steel bridge used on thousands of Teles.  Not that there's anything wrong with it, but the Rutters bridge is a huge leap forward in quality.

Here are the reverse sides.  The Rutters bridge is machined out of a steel billet, not just stamped like the Fender bridge.

In the photo you can see how the Fender bridge on the right looks downright crude by comparison.

Notice how the area around the pickup is thinner than the rest of the bridge - "to maintain twang" is how the Rutters site puts it.    In general, a thicker bridge plate is good for sustain, but it tends to lose that characteristic Telecaster 'twang' tone.

This is a clever way to get more mass and sustain, but not affect the tone adversely.  Very nicely made.  It's really a work of art.

Another view of the two bridges.

Note how the side wall of the Rutters bridge is beautifully made and is much more substantial.

Here's the icing on the cake (mmm....cake).

There have been a lot of approaches to keeping the vintage look of a 3-saddle bridge but enabling correct intonation.  Glendale angles the saddles, and Callaham puts a separate 'ridge' for each of the two strings that ride on each saddle.

But this might be the best looking (and simplest) solution.  The Rutters bridge is simply slotted for the different string lengths.  So the saddle will still sit straight, but each string will contact the saddle at a different point.  This way you keep the look of a vintage Tele, but you have individual intonation.  Really neat.

You see I elected to go for an aluminum E and A saddle, and brass for the other two.  I really like the extra 'twang' you get on that aluminum saddle.

I'm really looking forward to hearing the bridge on the Tele.  Can't wait!

The other new piece (to me) on the Tele is a Cavalier Lion bridge pickup.  These are hand wound by Rob DiStefano, who is a regular poster on the TDPRI site.

This one has Alnico V magnets.

The pickup was on the guitar when I got it.  I'm looking forward to hearing it.  I've heard nothing but good things about Rob's pickups.

Looks like an old Blackguard Tele pickup from the top...I like those flat poles.

I need to finish this guitar so I can hear the bridge and pickup!


Post a Comment 1 comments:

  • July 29, 2014 at 1:33 PM
    I really dig the transition from textured to smooth on that bridge. That's a really classy looking little extra detail.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how you wire the pickups. My main tele has always been a single bridge/humbucker neck that came stock with a 5 way switch that gives bridge / bridge + tapped neck / all 3 coils / tapped neck / full neck. I find it to be very versatile and I use all 5 positions pretty evenly.

    A recent trip to the country music hall of fame has me itching to mod one of my teles and now you're continuing the bad influence. Keep up the good work.

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