There are few guitars as iconic as the Fender Telecaster. This instrument has transcended some many style of music and has been the weapon of choice for so many legendary guitarists. Muddy Waters stepped into US living rooms with the Telecaster in the 50’s and since then a fraternity of players have followed in his footsteps. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page recorded Led Zeppelin’s first 4 albums on a Telecaster and punk/alternative pioneers Joe Strummer, Chrissie Hynde and Frank Black forged a new desire in the 70’s and 80’s for players to pick up this axe. Blazing the future for the Telecaster we find the celebrated guitar in the hands of shredmaster John 5 and Sliknot’s Jim Root.
So what makes the Telecaster so sought after? This is an argument that could send guitar players into a full-on brawl. Some will tell you it is the signature “twang”, the Telecasters have a bright, rich, cutting tone. Others will tell you it is the incredibly comfortable fast neck and playability of the Tele. One big attraction to this guitar is the ease of customization. The bolt-on design of this guitar makes it a guitar modder’s favorite. A guitarist can easily (and sometimes cheaply) customize a Telecaster dialing in the instrument to their tone and style.
We took this into consideration when building our 2013 TMRZoo.com project guitar, “The Mean Green Boogie Machine”. You can look at all of the specs here for this awesome axe, today we are going to talk about the bridge.
The bridge of a guitar is its heart and soul. The materials used in it manufacturing is a huge factor driving the tone of the instrument. The bridge is responsible for not only the tone of the instrument but also the sustain (how long a note is audible after the string is struck). Most importantly, a bridge is the key to your tuning and intonation.
When building the 2013 TMRZoo.com project guitar we had a variety of Telecaster bridges to pick from. Classic ashtrays, modern saddles and even tremolo bridges were leading choices for this axe. Ultimately, we decided on the Babicz Full Contact Telecaster bridge.
The Babicz Full Contact tremolo bridge was used on our 2012 Stratocaster build and performed amazingly (here is the review). We were all in agreement this was the bridge for our new project. Esthetically the bridge is beautiful, brilliant chrome, it also is available in black or gold. The Babicz proprietary cam system not only adds endless sustain but also adds to the high-tech look of this bridge.
Making the Babicz Full Contact Telecaster bridge an easy choice is the range of options you have with one piece of hardware. This modern marvel works with with three screw or four screw Telecaster designs. The bridge is also machined to accommodate top mount or string through body Telecasters.
Sitting our bridges side-by -side on the bench it was easy to see the Babciz is an upgrade to our original equipment. The Babicz Full Contact Telecaster bridge is built like a tank providing more mass, when plugged in we got clear round tones and singing sustain. What I like best about the Babicz is the comfort of the bridge. I do a lot of palm muting and traditional Telecaster set screws are an irritant poking into my palm. I also have the constant fear of ripping my hand open in the execution of a power chord.
As you can see in the picture the smooth tops of the Babicz makes for more than a comfortable resting place for your hand, no sharp edges, or annoying setscrews.
The performance of our Babicz Full Contact tremolo bridge was also a factor in returning to this manufacturer for this year’s build. Obviously, a Stratocaster bridge needs a lot more tweaking and TLC than a Telecaster. During a year of heavy playing on the Babicz Full Contact tremolo bridge we have yet to make any adjustments. The locking cam system securely locks our intonation in place with zero floating or shifting of the saddles.
This bridge is a must have for your next Telecaster build or a quick and inexpensive upgrade for your favorite Telecaster. The street price for these bridges starts under $100 check them out on fullcontacthardware.com