It is important to mention that the bridge also reduces tension on the strings, which makes it easier to bend. Top loaded bridges seem to give more 'flexibility' to the strings and thus the string tension is greater on a thru-body bridge. When you hear those guys you are most likely hearing a traditional string-through Telecaster. Tele strings could do with changing, ... the strings MUST pass through the bridge plate and anchor in ferrules on the back of the guitar's body. After the shoveling is done and the family time is out of the way what do you do? I love the slightly "slinkier" feel of the toploader, and I find that the shallower string bridge angle, tends to take the edge off the "ice pick through the brain" sharpness that "through-body" teles can generate. The Wilkinson bridge I have on my pine tele build can be strung either way so the question is which is best/what are the tonal differences? When drilling stainless steel you have to remember a few things: 1- Use lubricant. My 2pw, not a great deal of difference. Vibrates in the hand like a mofo, Suberb guitar! Quite often, I'm asked to build Bigsby-equipped guitars. : "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Top-Loader vs String-Through Tele Bridges Most of us up here in the North East are getting hit hard with snow. Getting close to decision time on mounting a bridge for my new tele. Oh well. Early Custom Shop '59 Relic, well played and the aging is REALLY good on this one, very realistic. Basses are a different matter, especially 5 string ones, i would insist on string through body or a tailpiece further back  on any 5 string bass with a scale of 34" or less. I'd be interested to try top loading on my current Tele, but the bridge doesn't allow it. This is because the stringing through the body requires an extra inch or so of string due to the thickness of the body, and a longer string would need to be slightly more taut to bring it to the same pitch as a shorter one. My muse is not a horse and art is not a race. Top-Loader vs String-Through Tele Bridges. It’s a great guitar and works very well for me as a reference point. If you do have the option to drill it for string thru it would of course give you an ideal opportunity to compare the differences & report back ! There was also an increased twang element when you played it clean and if you used some overdrive there again was the lesser focused tone. In fact, thinking about it, this makes sense. I like string through myself but have built enough toploading guitars to not be too fussed either way. Some stiffness is attributable to poor set-up, but some - unquestionably - has to do with the tension on the string behind the saddle. Those people will argue this to the point of violence. All my Tele's had thru-body bridge but i am in the process of making a Tele and decided to go with a top loader bridge. It’s all there. We all know and love the traditional Telecaster sound. First let’s talk about the feel because it is less complex to describe than the sound. If I don't notice a difference, top loading is easier to restring. I have been to the toploader mount and I have seen the toploader light. The guitar is a light ash Guitar Mill body finished by Mark Jenny of MJT. I suppose everybody has to believe in something. It helped, but not enough. I for one am going to keep this top-loader configuration because I have other Tele’s with the traditional string-through design. That biting, singing tone with great sustain. I have not played a true top-loader Tele in quite some time and really wanted to hear what one sounds and feels like again. Here's what they won't tell you: All too often, string-through-body guitars you'll find on the rack are STIFF and UNFRIENDLY. Now the top-loader low-down. They sound every bit as good. But for just about one year back in 1959 Fender decided for whatever reason to eliminate the string-through design and go with the top-loader. 300Guitars1 Executive Dr Unit 1L Toms River, NJ 08755. Saturday 10am - 2pm. The only difference i can tell is the tension of the strings. ". Back to the important stuff. I didn't own both at the same time, and they were at different price points, but thinking back I'd probably agree with Chuffola that the top loader felt a little more 'slinky'. Those people will argue this to the point of violence. The singing trebles, warm neck pickup sounds and the two pickups combined are great for funky playing and rockabilly pickin. No, because the string tension is not affected by the non-sounding length. When you hear those guys you are most likely hearing a traditional string-through Telecaster. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." These include a one-piece maple neck, a white 1-ply pickguard (black until late 1954, 3-ply after 1963), an ash body finished in translucent blonde, and a “spaghetti” headstock logo positioned above the string tree, lining up with the A tuner. Most of us up here in the North East are getting hit hard with snow. You'll get plenty of energy into the wood, unless it's mounted incorrectly. (I am in every other Saturday). I have been to the toploader mount and I have seen the toploader light. Strings go unbroken. - Walt Kowalski, "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." 2- Use a very slow drill speed….VERY SLOW. I have also seen some later 1959 and 1960 Tele’s with string-through design with a top-loader bridgeplate that were probably leftovers being used up in production. 3- Use a lot of pressure on the drill. Totally unproven points for Top Loader: - Didn't feel as rigid - More sustain - Harmonics seemed purer Tele bridges are huge. Do you think that’s odd?? Where this top-loader sound really shines is for rockabilly in my opinion because of the enhanced twang element and relaxed dynamic. So you stock up on snacks and “comfort supplies” and get ready to take what mother nature dishes out. Never harmed them. As soon as I tried one of those modified bridge plates on a non-Bigsby guitar, I was sold. It kind of walked up to you instead of screaming right through you. Those offending guitars are also likely to be UNSTABLE when it comes to tuning. But by the time you factor in what the woods are, the electrics, the pedals, the amps, who knows. Keep in mind that the results I am describing are subtle and you have to listen and feel for them. Drilling through is a pain to get right if you don't have a drill press - and even then you have to be very careful to do it from both sides or the drill will wander and you'll end up with the ferrules all crooked. No, because the string tension is not affected by the non-sounding length. Please feel free to hit me up with any questions and by all means leave comments!!! They were booked to play locally to me recently. 4- Have patience. Ugh, this one was a top loader but the original owner decided to put a string through 3 saddle bridge on it and try to take a whack at drilling through the body. I guess what I am trying to say is that it was a little less focused and a bit more relaxed sounding. That makes sense. A little 3-in-1 oil goes a long way. The feel when bending can be, but only if the string can move over the nut or bridge to allow the non-sounding length to take up some of the bend - with a through-body Tele, the angle at the hole in the bridgeplate is so sharp that this doesn't happen. It seems when you think about the early days of Fender it all seemed like a transition phase!! In my good way. Never really understood the aversion to toploading telecasters. I really like this guitar a lot because in my mind it is a fair representation of a great, vintage type Tele. I guess that depends on what you want out of your Telecaster. I do all the tech work myself so you deal directly with me. The guitar took on a more slinky type of feel with the exact same brand and gauge of strings (DR Nickel Blues .010-.046).

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