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Mastery Bridge First Impressions


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#1 NBarnes21

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 10:53 PM

Mine arrived today and I installed it on my Jazzmaster! Here are some of my initial thoughts:

Installation
Overall installing it was a pretty easy process, not much different from installing a Mustang bridge. It sits a bit higher than my old Mustang bridge, I didn't need to raise it as much to get it where I liked it. It came already perfectly set up for a 7.25" radius which was a nice surprise, they inspect and test out each one before they ship it out. I used my radius gauge to measure it and it was flawless. Intonating took a bit of patience but was overall pretty painless. There is a bit of going back and forth involved to get it all intonated perfectly, especially the D and G strings since they are affected by 2 different screws. However, after you get the 2 strings closest to the screws set, the D and G are already almost right on.

Feel
This is a great feeling bridge, the tremolo system works just fine with it. My bridge rocks back and forth ever so slightly when using the trem bar so the strings aren't really rubbing against the saddles much if at all. It is impossible to get a string to jump out of it's saddle, a vast improvement over my Mustang bridge, the grooves are very deep. I tried hard and they wouldn't budge. Palm muting also feels great on the Mastery bridge, very smooth and there arent any jagged parts rubbing against your hand.

Sound
The first thing I noticed when I plugged it in to my Blues Jr was the loads of extra sustain on tap. Bent notes rang out a lot longer than my Mustang bridge. I turned some fuzz on and could hold a bent note infinitely, something I wasn't able to do with the Mustang bridge unless I turned my amp way up. With the Mustang bridge, bends would get choked by the steeply sloped sides of the saddles. With the Mastery bridge the saddles sides are much less steep and are much smoother which allows the bends to ring out a lot longer. Playing behind the bridge also came through my amp a lot more than with the Mustang bridge. The strings just sound a lot livelier and less plunky, the glassy sound of my Jazzmaster was dramatically enhanced. Overall this was exactly what I was hoping I'd get out of this new bridge.

So far I can't find one thing I don't like about this bridge. The only thing I am curious to see is whether or not the intonation and height adjustment screws will stay put and not lower on their own without some loctite. I wouldn't mind having to put loctite on the screws but would love it if they'd just stay put on their own (I hated that part about the stock JM bridge). I'll give it a few weeks and post my results. Woody's customer service has also been top notch, there are few companies out there that are this willing to help out and make sure their customers are satisfied. As of now I would highly recommend this bridge, it was well worth the $165 I paid for it.

#2 grunge-fan

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:38 AM

damn i really want one but you could buy so many things with 165$, i mean just think of all the bud you could buy with that

#3 funtoosh

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 04:42 AM

cool, thanx for the review!
solid: framus diablo (2001) // hollow: framus stella (60s) // bass: squier bronco

#4 Fran

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:31 AM

Great review and thanks for that. :)

Personally i can think of better ways to spend $165 and i've had 5 Jags, 2 Jazzmasters, 3 Jag-Stangs and 1 Mustang over the years playing anything from shred to punk to indie bands. Whilst i see the need for improvement (on both them bridges) i'd rather spend 80p on some lypsol and have two hours setting the stock bridge up correctly.
I still think its a ridiculous price and i dont care who endorses it.

#5 Aug

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:37 PM

Great review and thanks for that. :)

Personally i can think of better ways to spend $165 and i've had 5 Jags, 2 Jazzmasters, 3 Jag-Stangs and 1 Mustang over the years playing anything from shred to punk to indie bands. Whilst i see the need for improvement (on both them bridges) i'd rather spend 80p on some lypsol and have two hours setting the stock bridge up correctly.
I still think its a ridiculous price and i dont care who endorses it.


Couldn't have said it better. I'd buy one and try it out, but not for $165. $45-50... maybe. Like Fran, I've owned/built dozens upon dozens of guitars that utilize the Mustang/Jaguar bridge, and when I had an issue, it was the Jaguar bridge and I simply replaced it with a Mustang bridge. Problem solved. These guys seem to think they've solved the 40-something year mystery *AND* wanna charge out the nose for it. No thanks.

#6 NBarnes21

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 04:30 PM

I hear you guys on the price, it took a bit of mulling over before I pulled the trigger. However, now I pretty much consider this bridge the same as buying a $160 pedal that totally opens up the sound of your guitar in ways you never thought possible, it has so much more life to it than it did before.

#7 Fran

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:22 PM

I pretty much consider this bridge the same as buying a $160 pedal that totally opens up the sound of your guitar in ways you never thought possible,

I can respect that, i'm a sucker for pup upgrades and pot changes etc. but i will say a Jag is a Jag and a Jazzy is a Jazzy. No matter what you do, the charm about them guitars is partly what they are in stock condition. I've routed for humbuckers, tried a tune-o-matic bridge, mustang bridge, buzz stops.... yet i never found a huge difference for my troubles and if anything it detracted from the guitars true personality.

On my last build i used a TOM with a jag tail piece, but to be honest i think the wrapover is the ultimate bridge for sustain and tone. Now... one of them on my Jag would interest me.

#8 Aug

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:27 PM

I hear you guys on the price, it took a bit of mulling over before I pulled the trigger. However, now I pretty much consider this bridge the same as buying a $160 pedal that totally opens up the sound of your guitar in ways you never thought possible, it has so much more life to it than it did before.


For the record, I wasn't busting your chops for buying it, I was busting on the guys who are selling it for that.

#9 Fran

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:35 PM

Aye, me neither. Its your money dude. ;)

#10 NBarnes21

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 06:28 PM

No offense taken, I totally understand where both of you are coming from.

I'm guessing these guys put a lot of time and $ into R&D, which is probably what contributes to the high price tag. Also, manufacturing in small batches in the US probably costs a lot more than having a factory that mass produces them overseas.

#11 tragictravisty

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 12:10 AM

I pretty much consider this bridge the same as buying a $160 pedal that totally opens up the sound of your guitar in ways you never thought possible,

I can respect that, i'm a sucker for pup upgrades and pot changes etc. but i will say a Jag is a Jag and a Jazzy is a Jazzy. No matter what you do, the charm about them guitars is partly what they are in stock condition. I've routed for humbuckers, tried a tune-o-matic bridge, mustang bridge, buzz stops.... yet i never found a huge difference for my troubles and if anything it detracted from the guitars true personality.

On my last build i used a TOM with a jag tail piece, but to be honest i think the wrapover is the ultimate bridge for sustain and tone. Now... one of them on my Jag would interest me.

absolutely stop bridges are great. ALTHOUGH they arent as complex on clean sounds as a guitar w/ a nice 3rd bridge. then again those guitars have a tendency to buzz allot more with hard picking.
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#12 robert(original)

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 01:03 AM

its cool to hear a first hand review of the thing.
personally the wamoth vintage modified mustang bridge would seem like the tip of the iceberg for me.
with my AVRI jag i just set up the stock bridge and it worked out perfectly for me.
i did the same with the jap jag i had for a while too.
i have a telecaster that i made myself a while back with a mustang bridge on it,
mainly becuz i had an extra one and i don't see the need for a jag style bridge on it(it has a jaguar tremolo on it)

#13 Cody_Zairah

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 06:00 AM

well, i gotta say congrats! it's always nice, i think, when someone upgrades something on a guitar that completely satisfies and almost makes you fall in love with it all over again. regardless of what anyone says or thinks, your the one playing it, and if the bridge has completely revamped it for the better of your playing and your apprectiation for the guitar, than kudos to you! to me a guitar should be treated like a dog, with repect, love, and with plenty of attention. don't keep your dog locked in the basement, let it roam happy and free.

ahh, i need sleep. listen to this babble (actually, please dont.) haha.

#14 out99990

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 05:25 PM

I was a "lite" machinist for about 8 years and this product rings enough bells for me to pull the trigger. Along with this review (THANK YOU) i'll take one for the team (and the stang body i'm working with Aug on). You're right-the price makes me realize i need more K-Y :-wow

#15 NBarnes21

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 03:19 AM

Haven't checked this thread in quite a while but I'm glad you found the review useful and congrats on the new bridge!

#16 fourdogslong

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:25 PM

NBarnes21, were you having buzz problems coming from your bridge before you upgraded with the mastery bridge?
If so, did it solve the problem completely?

Thanks




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