About The Rick Bridge
The unique design of the M5 Mastery Bridge for Rickenbacker® features four mounting post screws that securely lock into the body-plate via two stainless cone point screws on each end of the plate. Posts won’t loosen during performance and the bridge will stay in place during string changes and vibrato use. Baseplate and body-plate are hand straight-line sanded like our original offset bridge. Optional bridge cover is hand finished like the baseplate and blends well with existing hardware. With around 50 lbs of pressure bearing down on two saddles, string energy is utilized unlike any other bridge available. The M5 has a vintage footprint and no modifications to the guitar are required.
For detailed information on how our bridge works, visit our Specs page.
Mastery Bridge Testimonials
“There is something ethereal in Mastery’s saddles; a sweetness I want all my guitars to have.”
– Luthier, J.W. Black
“If guitar playing was an Olympic sport, the Mastery Bridge would be a controlled substance; musicians who used would have an unfair advantage.”
– Sean Lennon
“An excellent innovation that preserves the unique tone of the guitar – the best option is Mastery Bridge”
– Fretboard Journal Magazine
“Simply put, the Mastery Bridge is one of the most brilliantly conceived practical enhancements ever made for the electric guitar.”
– Tonequest Report
Rick Bridge Specs
Our luthier designed and multi-patent issued bridges are crafted and assembled in Minneapolis, MN, using the finest materials available. Each individual bridge is inspected and tested before being shipped to you, to ensure the best possible performance. Every part of our bridge is precision machined out of the highest quality, non-corrosive materials to protect against any rust. Because we are currently such a small shop, the Mastery Bridge is only available through this website and is not available through any other online retailer in the USA. Please look over the descriptions of the various parts that go into the Mastery Bridge below.
The Mastery Bridge features a unique, patent issued two saddle design not found on any previous guitar bridge. On the 52mm string spacing from E to E, four intonation-adjustment screws are used instead of six, allowing the string to freely go from the saddle to the vibrato without any chance of interference from the front of an intonation screw or back of a baseplate. Each saddle features two drop-in swivels, permitting each of the individual intonation adjustment screws to work independently for precise intonation. The deep saddle string grooves ensure that your strings will never “pop-out” during performance and are slightly fanned out on each end. Instead of around 18 lbs. of string tension bearing down on an individual saddle as found on most bridges, our bridge applies over 50 lbs. of downward string tension on each saddle. This added tension per saddle forced downward transfers more string-to-body energy, which you’ll hear in your guitar acoustically as well as amplified. The saddles accommodate the heavy-gauge strings of Bass VI model guitars and can be used on left-handed guitars as easily as right-handed.
The Mastery Bridge features precisely curved adjustable saddles that allow you to effortlessly set-up to any common fingerboard radius, from 7.25″ onward. Although guitar manufacturers will CNC radius fingerboards to certain specs, it’s the top of the fret that matters and should be measured, and that can change/vary overtime due to slight unevenness and eventual playing wear. Different climactic conditions can move the wood of your neck and not the frets, and depending on how malleable your fretwire is it will move or not move with it, causing slight unevenness. Varying string thickness will also affect the top of the string radius; depending on the thickness of your strings you’ll want to adjust to them accordingly. Heavy-handed players also like our adjustable saddle design because they can easily raise the bass side of the strings slightly for hard-hitting. The saddles eliminate annoying “buzzing” or rattle associated with previous single saddle bridge designs. Adjustable radius bridge saddles like ours are important for slight tweaking on first install and in the long run.
Our patented two saddle design features two drop-in stainless steel swivels in each saddle, allowing each intonation adjustment screw to work independently from each other. We use a patented self-locking screw design for the socket head intonation screws that go into the swivels. Our four intonation screw design allows the strings to go freely from the saddle to the vibrato without any chance of interference from the front and back of an intonation screw or the back of a baseplate and makes intonation adjustments easy while the strings are up to tension.
Hard Chrome Plated Saddles
Plain brass, plain steel and plain stainless steel saddles eventually wear grooves into the saddle with vibrato use, which can cause muted tones and string breakage. Plain brass is the softest of these materials and can begin to wear within hours of vibrato use. The more surface area there is in a saddle groove, the more problems can arise later on. A steel string on an unfinished saddle naturally generates heat with heavy vibrato use, and that heat will expand the metal in your string and cause it to go out of tune. We use brass for our saddles, a softer, warmer-sounding metal, but plate them with a unique hard chrome plating not found on any other guitar bridge.
Hard chrome plating is commonly used to reduce friction and heat, along with increased wear resistance in parts like piston rings, firearms, airplane landing gear and bearing surfaces. It generates far less heat with vibrato use and your strings stay better in tune. Although much more expensive to manufacture than plain or “decorative chrome” saddles found on other bridges, our saddles’ unique hard chrome-plating aids in lubricity while tuning or actuating the vibrato of an Offset or Bigsby-equipped guitar, ensuring years of consistent performance and accuracy. No other bridge manufacturer uses plating this durable. Our saddles will remain the hardest surface on your guitar.
Mastery Bridge for Rickenbacker®
Our M5 Mastery Bridge for Rickenbacker® mounting post screws are made of 316 solid stainless steel and mount into the body-plate via two stainless cone point screws on each end of the plate, thus securing the baseplate to the body-plate. Posts won’t loosen during performance and the bridge will stay in place during string changes. Saddles are the same solid brass material as our other bridges and feature our unique hard-chrome plating. Baseplate and body-plate are hand straight-line sanded like our original offset bridge. Optional bridge cover is hand finished like the baseplate and blends well with existing hardware.
A .050″ Allen wrench adjusts both the saddle height adjustment screws and body-plate cone point screws. The 3/32″ Allen wrench adjusts both the mounting post screws and intonation screws (included). Our body-plate has a vintage footprint and no modifications to the guitar are required.
Like our other bridges all springs and screws are solid stainless steel and will not corrode.