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Not another bridge swap (Squier content)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by steve_rolfeca, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I recently acquired a Squier VM fretless Jazz (anniversary present from my wife), and there were a couple of little things that needed attention.

    One was a light fingerboard leveling, another was a pickup swap (I'm allergic to buzz and noise), and the final one, was string misalignment over the pickups. I could have done like everyone else and bought a Badass, but I decided to see if I could fix the stock bridge.

    I ordered a set of Allparts "vintage threaded" saddles, and they worked out quite nicely. The grooves allowed me to fix the string misalignment. This put a little more tension on the saddles side-to-side, so they don't move around like the stock saddles when I'm digging in. I couldn't hear a noticeable change in sustain, but I did notice that they brightened up the sound slightly. Since I installed the saddles one at a time, with the instrument still strung, it was easy to compare the before and after effects.

    If anyone wants to try this as a first mod, here is the process I used:

    1. Measure the distance between the backplate and the stock saddle, so that it takes less time to set the intonation afterward:

    It's a good idea to measure the string height at the same time.

    2. Slacken the string a couple of turns, then remove the intonation screw and saddle.

    3. Drill out the screw hole in the backplate with an 9/64ths bit. If you don't have the right bit, a small reamer will work. As you can see, you're barely removing any material:

    3. Flip two of the saddles around, so the screw holes line up, and complete the install.

    4. Reset the intonation and saddle height, as required.

    While you're in there, it wouldn't hurt to tweak the pickup height. My Dimarzio Area J's seem to balance pretty nicely at 3mm (bass side), and 2.5mm (treble side), measured with the string fretted at the 17th fret position.
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Those threaded saddles are the ticket. Nice info.

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