This mod brought to you by Mike Livesley
(Mike in the discussion forums)

The Jaguar/Jazzmaster stock bridge is notorious as one of the most poorly designed guitar parts of all time. There really isn’t much right with it, and almost all guitarists with the experience of playing one have some kind of gripe about it….

Common problems include:

  • The bridge buzzes a lot
  • The strings sometimes jump out of their saddles during playing
  • The grub screws tend to work their way out of the bridge, lowering the action during playing
  • The grub screws tend to fall out of the bridge, causing mid-gig frantic searches for a 2mm piece of metal
  • The bridge creates a ringing sound due to the strings vibrating behind the bridge
Stock Jaguar Bridge

Stock Jaguar Bridge

Solutions:
There are many ways to solve the above problems. Many of the solutions will only affect one of the design faults with the bridge. For example, a buzz stop bar can be fitted behind the bridge to increase tension going over the bridge and reduce ringing behind the bridge. Also, a liquid product called “Lock-tite” can be purchased to stop the grub screws from working their way out. The strings jumping out of the saddles can be prevented by filing the slots deeper with a nailfile.

However the best solution, and most economical in terms of money, time and effort is simply to replace the bridge with the Fender Mustang style bridge.

Stock Mustang Bridge

Stock Mustang Bridge

This bridge will solve all of the previously described problems simply and quickly. The bridge has the same spacing as the stock bridge, so the pickups will still line up ok and the guitar will sound good.

Here is a picture of a Jazzmaster with the taped Mustang bridge in place. Simply apply electrical insulation tape around the bridge posts until the bridge will only just fit into the pots and then push it into the guitar firmly and you’re done! Please guys, if you do one thing for your Jaguar/Jazzmaster, let it be this!

Jazzmaster with Mustang Bridge

Jazzmaster with Mustang Bridge

To buy a Mustang bridge, visit:
http://www.stewmac.com

This mod brought to you by
Mike Livesley

10 Responses to “Fender Jaguar / Jazzmaster Bridge Mod”

  • Austin:

    On my Jag (2000 AVRI), I tried the Mustang bridge, and it spaced the high-E string way out almost off the fretboard. It was pretty much unplayable, and I went back to the stock bridge. Any ideas of what that’s about?

    Thanks,
    Austin

  • Jim:

    I was afraid of that spacing. That’s why I don’t try one.
    Also if the bridge is jammed in the holes then no rocking. The rocking
    bridge keeps the tremolo from getting it out of tune. Why is everyone
    so adiment about making the bridge not rock? I consider
    that the one good thing about it. Also clear fingernail polish works well.
    My tele bridge buzzes and falls apart too. Mustang is also not height
    individual adjustable. That majestic bridge out look stupid also not
    single string height adjustable.

  • Art:

    Doesn’t Warmoth.com offer a “modified” mustang bridge that is made to fit jaquars/jazzmasters? I believe that one has height adjustment for each string.

  • Robert:

    Warmoth does carry that bridge.
    I merely bought a set of Mustang saddles and it solved all the issues I was having with the bridge of my ’62 RI Jazzmaster. I would love the ones from Warmoth, but the stock saddles work just fine and I haven’t had any intonation or spacing issues.
    I must admit, if you use the tremolo (mine has been disengaged for years), the nail polish solution works well, as the tremolo for the Jazz just plain likes the stock bridge better. Also, after taping the bridge to kill the rattle, the tremolo (when I tried it out) did nothing less than drop my tuning on half the strings, so its a mod I would not recommend for anyone who uses the whammy.

  • Alan:

    Sometimes the (original) bridge buzz is one saddle buzzing against the next. Wedge in a little chip of card between each adjacent pair of saddles and it’ll fix.

  • Jip:

    This worked perfect with my CIJ Jaguar, I had a lot of problems with the little height screws in the saddles that kept falling out and the string jumping out of the saddles. I bought a Mustang bridge for 20 dollars and never had a problem with it again.

  • Carl:

    Thank you to you guys for mentioning Warmoth.com in these comments. I’ve had my Jazzmaster for a while now and fairly recently had the bridge switched to a regular Mustang bridge. But I can’t change the action for the top and bottom E strings which is a massive pain. But now I’ve ordered one of the warmoth modified mustang bridges which will solve all my problems. So thank you haha.

  • Lach:

    I have a stock mustang bridge on my ’94 MIJ jag and I’ve still been having issues with the 6th string popping out. I use a 12-56 string set and i think the string is too big for the saddle. Would there be any way to widen the saddle slightly to stop it popping out. When it comes out it goes out waaaaaaaaaay out of tune…

  • Bob:

    I bought one. The rails are too high and I get string buzz from that. Also, no individual elevation adjustment. My high E still pops out. Almost as unsatisfactory as the other one.

  • Paul Alisauskas:

    This subject seems to be of continuing interest to owners of vintage Jags and Jazzys, as well as new versions. I bought one of each; both recent model MIM’s. Each was plagued by some buzzing, ringing and in-saddle instability.

    Originally, I thought I’d try the Mastery bridge, having heard of its near-miraculous properties. I found this ‘solution’ disappointing, especially considering the cost of a single unit – about $300. I returned it.

    For almost exactly 1/2 the cost of a (single) Mastery, I equipped both of the guitars:

    1) With a “Buzz Stop” – http://whizzobuzzstop.com/

    2) A new roller saddle bridge from this vendor on eBay: http://stores.ebay.ca/GuitarHeads?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

    This is a TOTAL solution as far as I’m concerned. I can use ANY gauge of strings I want (I use .010′s); the vibrato (i.e. trem) works great and there’s much better vibration transfer (to my ear, a nice ‘stinging’ tone from the Jag.).

    Nothing here modifies the guitar in any way that can’t be undone in 5 minutes if you have a mind to; I doubt I’ll ever go back.

    Hope this helps.

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