I used a 5/64″ bit (actually two because one broke..). I do all the tech work myself so you deal directly with me. How many people think their Les Paul's need to be drilled for string through for an improved tone ? I am very used to this type of Tele configuration. Those people will argue this to the point of violence. If I don't notice a difference, top loading is easier to restring. I suppose everybody has to believe in something. Many people insist that in order for certain guitars to acheive proper snap, crackle, and pop, the strings MUST pass through the bridge plate and anchor in ferrules on the back of the guitar's body. - Homer Simpson. I am also an Eminence, Mercury Magnetics, Mojo Musical Supply dealer. So what do the two different bridges sound and feel like? Think of Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton and countless others. As soon as I tried one of those modified bridge plates on a non-Bigsby guitar, I was sold. The pic above is the bridgeplate clamped down and me drilling the hole for the low E string. 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. After switching the guitar to the top-loader configuration the sound and playbility definitely changed. My Esquire's a toploader, and it's maybe a wee bit brighter thasn a thru body. I suppose everybody has to believe in something. It almost had a little banjo-like quality to it. The singing trebles, warm neck pickup sounds and the two pickups combined are great for funky playing and rockabilly pickin. It seems when you think about the early days of Fender it all seemed like a transition phase!! I have been to the toploader mount and I have seen the toploader light. 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. It kind of walked up to you instead of screaming right through you. 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. 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. It’s all there. But by the time you factor in what the woods are, the electrics, the pedals, the amps, who knows. Many years ago, I began boring top-loader holes in my bridge plate flanges so that, some unwarbly day in the future, players could remove their Bigsbys and still have playable guitars without having to drill and install ferrules. I've always believed, without really thinking about it but because most people say so, that through-body stringing gives better sustain. That Dancing In The Moonlight track makes me want to string through my own eardrums. So in a nutshell it felt like you went down about a half a gauge in strings. The only difference i can tell is the tension of the strings. Quite often, I'm asked to build Bigsby-equipped guitars. Can't complain much. 1 Executive Dr Unit L Toms River, NJ 08755. Tempted to get a drill and toploaderize my bridge to see what it's like. 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. 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. The strings can go through the back of the body but you can also top-load them through the rear end of the bridge. I'd keep it simple til you've practised enough drilling to get it right and go toploaded for the time being. Saturday 10am - 2pm. Either way, you can expect good sound reproduction thanks to great individual intonation of each string. It helped, but not enough. 2- Use a very slow drill speed….VERY SLOW. Sound however is more complex to describe but I will try to put it into words. No, because the string tension is not affected by the non-sounding length. I for one am going to keep this top-loader configuration because I have other Tele’s with the traditional string-through design. When you hear those guys you are most likely hearing a traditional string-through Telecaster. Oh well. Some stiffness is attributable to poor set-up, but some - unquestionably - has to do with the tension on the string behind the saddle. Its a Squier Affinity and I got it cheap. 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. : "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. When drilling stainless steel you have to remember a few things: 1- Use lubricant. Those people will argue this to the point of violence. Thanks ICBM. I know many other factors come into play but top loader sounded a little brighter and felt a bit more slinky. (I am in every other Saturday). Which is better? I guess that depends on what you want out of your Telecaster. Most of us up here in the North East are getting hit hard with snow. After the shoveling is done and the family time is out of the way what do you do? Please feel free to hit me up with any questions and by all means leave comments!!! The venue cancelled on morning of gig as 17 tickets had been sold. 3- Use a lot of pressure on the drill. If you have a bridge that allows both, try both. I've got a Gotoh that allows both, so I'll string it up both ways and see which I prefer. 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. Had both, both sounded like Teles. Early Custom Shop '59 Relic, well played and the aging is REALLY good on this one, very realistic. Players often report that they can use heavier-than-usual strings without losing playability. My tele knowledge is limited. Because no part of the string is under especially heavy tension: the guitars bend well, even at the country-friendly frets near the nut. My muse is not a horse and art is not a race. The holes aren't straight. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." So you stock up on snacks and “comfort supplies” and get ready to take what mother nature dishes out. The bridge on my Jazz Bass supports both. I also felt that you could not dig into the guitar as hard because the notes and chords sort of  “squashed”. 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. I don't want to fight about it, but I'm standing up for toploaders. You take your stainless steel Glendale Tele bridgeplate and drill holes in it to make it a top-loader!!!!! ". This will be fun to play for a while…or until the next snowstorm!! 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. Never really understood the aversion to toploading telecasters. Do you think that’s odd?? Have a wisdom. I was sold. 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. Back to the important stuff. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

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