About the Hardtail Bridge
Thousands have experienced the sonic benefits our patented saddle system has made to their Offset and Telecaster guitars. With around 50 lbs of string pressure bearing down on two saddles, string energy is utilized unlike any other bridge available. Now, Hardtail Tele owners can experience the Mastery Bridge difference with the 10 different Hardtail bridge options we offer.
Hear what the Hardtail Mastery Bridge does for yourself.
Mastery Bridge Testimonials
“An excellent innovation that preserves the unique tone of the guitar – the best option is Mastery Bridge.”
– Fretboard Journal Magazine
“There is something ethereal in Mastery’s saddles; a sweetness I want all my guitars to have.”
– Luthier, J.W. Black
“The form and function of Mastery hardware dovetails perfectly with Collings aesthetic and quality standards.”
– Bill Collings, Collings Guitars
“Mastery is simply the most useful, musical, inspiring and masterful electric guitar components to come along in our lifetime.”
– Gabriel Currie, Echopark Guitars
Hardtail 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 is 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 increase 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 a plating this durable. Our saddles will remain the hardest surface on your guitar.
Our Hardtail baseplate is CNC water-cut from a solid, 304 stainless non-ferrous steel sheet and stamped with our tooling to the specified profile. Each one is then hand sanded and tumbled to de-burr and break any sharp edges. The plates are media blasted and our logo is then CNC engraved. Our baseplates blend well aesthetically on both vintage and new guitars The Mastery M7.1 and M9.1 Bridge for Bigsby B5 users features cutouts in the back of the baseplate along with our unique hard chrome plated brass saddles to ensure your strings will glide smoothly over the surface of the saddles without any chance of interference or pinching in worn string grooves. We also offer Top Loaded (M6.2, M7.2, M8.2, M9.2) Hardtail bridges that have string through/top loading options.
We do not make one-off tele bridges. For technical questions pertaining to the Mastery Bridge on your guitar, contact owner/luthier:
John Woodland: woody@masterybridge.
Please note: We currently do not offer American Standard or other style baseplates for the Tele Mastery Bridge. We do not offer the Offset Bridge with plain brass saddles and do not sell saddles individually. Brass saddles on any bridge will succumb to string wear over time and our plain brass saddle option Hardtail bridges are not warrantied against this sort of natural wear.
Our Hardtail saddles are the same as above, but with the bridge option of either electroplated brass saddles and swivels or hard chrome-plated brass and stainless steel swivels.