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Hipshot® - Modern Conversion
Hipshot Vintage Style Bridge - Modern Conversion - Suitable for Fender® Telecaster®


 
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Prior to working with Hipshot, we were asked near constantly for a vintage Telecaster® bridge that offered up all of the advantages you’d see on the modern version. Thankfully Hipshot® stepped up to the plate and have really delivered the goods with the 4410046, and they’ve done it with the levels of excellence and attention to detail we’ve all come to expect for such a reputable manufacturer of guitar parts.

This is their take on a vintage (4 screw mount) bridge, but using the 6 modern saddles you’d be more familiar with on a Strat® or post 80s Tele®, and this is a no compromise piece of kit that really will give you the very best from your guitar. Built around a similar principle to the full vintage version (4410043), but will fully adjustable, individual, stainless steel saddles, the 4410046 is an absolute dream to play.

The Base Plate

The most obvious change is that base plate – rather than sporting the “lipped” base you’ll see on normal vintage models, Hipshot have completely done away with it, opting for a flat plate which you’ll commonly see on a true modern bridge.

After extensive researched into the pros and cons, as well as a trial into the use of over bridge string covers, the lip was deemed unnecessary for most of today’s player, and whilst the Ashtray will be missed by some, the improved access to strings under the strumming arm gives the Telecaster® a huge boost in the arm, allowing not only for effective string muting, but also a level of comfort that you just don’t get with lipped bridges.

Whilst we’re talking about the bridge plate, in a complete break from tradition, Hipshot are actually utilising stainless steel rather than the more traditional Mild Ferrous Steel you’ll see on many of the top end bridges.

There’s an often perpetuated myth that steel is god’s gift to guitarists, with that extra weight and its magnetic nature having some magical “boosting” effect to your tone. In some cases, it’s absolutely brilliant – but it’s a fairly involved subject, with steel being used in different ways, in many different styles, on different guitars.

Hipshot have tried and tested the theories with this bridge and found that the Iron in normal steel actually has an effect on the pickup mount there within, and whilst not necessarily a bad thing, mild steel certainly attenuates the top end of the pickup, taking a little of the bite and sparkle from the top end, and absolutely robbing the middle frequencies. The lack of Iron in Stainless has a much smaller effect on the magnetic eddy currents, and will give a truer representation of the pickup. Often, bridge pickups are described as much “chewier” with a more forgiving nature when used mounted to stainless bridges plates.

Beyond the tonal differences, the real advantage of Stainless steel is pretty obvious, this bridge isn’t going to pit, rust and corrode under the sweat from your hands – it will, without a doubt, last a lifetime and still have that shine and lustre that it had the day you fitted it.

The Saddles

Beyond the innovative and well thought out base plate, we see a switch over to a true modern saddle, which is something Tele® players have been calling for on vintage mount bridges for decades! The design itself is common place nowadays on other bridge systems, however it is still incredibly rare to see it combined with a vintage bridge.

As you’d expect from Hipshot®, the saddles are made from the highest quality stainless steel, just like the base plate – so they’re going to have no adverse effects on the tone of your pickups, and they’ll last a life time providing.

As with most modern style saddles, they’re very comfortable too, with the height screws not cutting into your hand, and the intonation screws neatly concealed in the central channel.

The Screws

It’s not often we end up speaking so highly about something normally so mundane as the screws on a bridge, but Hipshot just keep delivering the goods with their dedication to providing the very best possible parts for your guitars.

Rather than scrimp on cost, and ultimately quality, Hipshot® have used Stainless steel again on the height adjustment, intonation screws and springs and mounting screws to ensure that your bridge just will not rust in the slightest over its life time. You just don’t get that sort of consideration to quality with most companies – and that really impressed us.

Summary

We’ve always said that a vintage style is a beautiful sounding instrument, but they can be unforgiving to play at times - ultimately, we think they’re quite challenging at best and they’re a little out of date at worst – Hipshots® innovations not only give you the very best quality in terms of construction and design, they also make this once difficult beast an absolute pleasure to play.

If you love the idea and tone of a vintage bridge, but the limitations are putting a crimp on playing style, we’d strong advocate the Hipshot Bridge as a straight replacement for the Standard “lipped” bridges that come as stock on most Vintage Fender® Telecaster® guitars.

This bridge is designed to fit Fender® Guitars including the Telecaster®, Esquire® and Nashville® but please note these are not official Fender® parts.

Fender ® Stratocaster ® Telecaster® and Tele® are registered trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Axesrus® and Hipshot® have no affiliation with FMIC


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