Mim vintera vs USA reissue bridge

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Isotope, May 3, 2021.

  1. Isotope

    Isotope Strat-Talk Member

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    Hello everyone. I’m planning a strat build, and I’m thinking of using a classic 6 hole, 2 3/16” spaced bridge. I know that the MIM classic series uses these specs (now Vintera series) as well as the USA reissues. From what I understand, the trem block for the import is zinc whereas the US is steel. I’m not really bothered by that difference. Besides the block, is there any other difference between these two bridges? I’m mostly concerned with the saddles. I don’t want soft metal that would get grooves in them thus causing strings to break. The import bridge costs around $25 and the US bridge is $95, so It’s certainly enticing to buy the cheaper one. Thanks in advance:)
     
  2. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

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    While it's certainly true that the Vintera or Road Worn block doesn't contain a lot of steel (I've just had one drilled out and re-tapped to take a thicker 'Blackmore' style arm and the remaining 'bits' weren't very attracted to a strong magnet when clearing them out) I'm not sure you'll hear or feel a difference between blocks.

    I've also changed out pot metal Squier thin blocks and replaced them with supposedly much better MIM full size 'standard' strat units and whilst I imagine they feel better having invested the money and time to do it I've no proof of any change beyond a fraction more weight... though that's not to say an underlying belief even if ill founded cannot be a motivating factor to play that guitar or a reason for a personal preference.

    As for the bigger issue of the saddles I've never heard of any complaints of worn or furrowed saddles from the Classic Series, the Road Worn, the Vintera or the Vintera Road Worn so to be honest I wouldn't worry.

    That said I went the whole hog on my 'Blackmore '71' tribute and went to the expense of a set of Pure Vintage 'Pat Pending' saddles for that fully authentic look.

    The only thing to be sure of is you're buying 'vintage' spaced items (when you say 'import')
     
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  3. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    This ^

    I would look at the Gotoh GE101TS. Quality at a reasonable price.
     
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  4. White Dog

    White Dog Strat-Talker

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    The Gotoh GE101TS bridge is listed at $96 US Dollars on Amazon here in the States (and currently 'Out-Of-Stock').
    They DO make quality products...I have Gotoh tuners on my Fender T-Bucket acoustic/electric and can see and feel the quality.
    But Gotoh products are not necessarily more affordable here than competing brands of similar quality.
     
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  5. Mr Jagsquire

    Mr Jagsquire Strat-Talker

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    I put 2 3/16" MIM vintage bridge on my Strat project. Was actually cheaper than a Gotoh one I was going to get (UK prices mind you). The trem block is painted with a kind of gloss grey finish but otherwise feels fairly weighty: I have a JV Squier that had the zinc block in it and I replaced it with a steel block after reading too much on the forums. :oops::D Can't say it made any difference though.

    It took nearly 40 years to wear away the finish on the saddles on my JV; I just used some fine sandpaper to polish out the grooves that developed.

    I did look at the 'Pat pending' saddles for my 1961 replica Strat project, but decided that it's a detail I can live without considering the saddles alone cost more than the entire MIM bridge assembly.
     
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  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    They're half the price of the US Fender Vintage bridge here and better quality.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
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  7. Isotope

    Isotope Strat-Talk Member

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    The Gotoh model sells for $80 here in the states.
     
  8. Isotope

    Isotope Strat-Talk Member

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    I also saw some trem bridges on guitar fetish. Modern spacing as well as vintage spacing. I’ve never tried any of their products though.
     
  9. kurher

    kurher Strat-Talker

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    The bridges used on the mim guitars are good enough for the job IME. The American saddles are nicer not necessarily in terms of hardness but in how they hold the height adjustment screws (rather more firmly).
     
  10. Isotope

    Isotope Strat-Talk Member

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    Another thing I hadn’t thought of. Are the adjustment screws metric on the MIM version? I think the US versions use a .050” Allen wrench.
     
  11. jayaitch

    jayaitch Strat-Talker

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    At the risk of being the cork sniffer here, and having originally been of the same mindset that block material doesn’t matter, I would beg to currently differ. An actual steel block is worth having over something thats pot metal or not quite steel. I think a steel sustain block genuinely proves its name.
     
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  12. Isotope

    Isotope Strat-Talk Member

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    The last Mim I played sounded really good, but I have to honest; I’ve never A-B compared mim to us strats in order to really listen for differences. Of course the pickups are different on both as well. I have a US Standard strat with the 2 point trem, and that one sounds just fine. The strange thing is, I can buy an Mim classic series bridge for $25, then buy a steel block aftermarket for about $27. That’s still brings the cost to $52.00. So considering the US bridge is $90, I thought the actual saddles might be different. I’m planning a Clapton style guitar (not active but vintage blackie, 21 frets, etc) so the vintage style bridge is something that I’d like to try. My other guitars are all modern 2 point bridges or 6 point import spaced.
     
  13. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster

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  14. kurher

    kurher Strat-Talker

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    The bridge used on the MIM classic series uses the same height adjustment screws as the US version. Never had a thing with block materials. For $90, I'd definitely get the US version. These cost at least twice as much in Europe.

    Lots of Fender hardware have been carrying that label starting a few years ago. It probably is just for being in accordance with US law and nothing to do with the quality per se. Some of the parts comprising those bridges,etc have been made overseas all along.
    CRL switch label.jpg
     
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  15. Isotope

    Isotope Strat-Talk Member

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    I just realized I’ve been ignorant about a detail: my modern strats have deep holes in the block, whereas the vintage style blocks have very shallow holes for the strings. Is there a vintage block that would have deep holes, or is that something that ppl drill deeper themselves on the vintage blocks?
     
  16. GitGeek

    GitGeek Livin' After Midnight Gold Supporting Member

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    OP you'll be fine with the $25 bridge. This isn't like an issue with Floyd Rose and the different metals used in their bridge/saddles.

    If it says Fender on the saddle it's the same bent steel saddle used on all their bridge versions.
     
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