Squier Affinity Telecaster 2014 Top Loader Bridge Update

Discussion in 'Squier Telecasters' started by SteveP4172, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. SteveP4172

    SteveP4172 Squier Talker

    Age:
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    23
    Feb 12, 2020
    USA
    Hello, was wondering if anyone new a good top loader bridge for the Squier Affinity Telecaster. Mine has got a some issues with rattling on a few saddles. I have adjusted the saddles and it's fine for a bour 1/2 of play then the rattle starts again on the same strings (D and G ).

    I am pretty good with guitar set ups and think perhaps that I just have some bad saddles. Q = Switch out the saddles or a whole new bridge and saddles ?

    Love to hear back from anyone with the same experience with these Tele Affinity Bridges, thanks !!
     
  2. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    NYC
    Welcome to the forum.

    I don't own an Affinity but a while back, a member of another forum solved his top-loading Affinity saddle problems by replacing the saddles with a set from a Fender MIM Standard. I don't think the saddles alone are available for sale, but you can get the entire assembly for about 20 bucks:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003AYPHJM/?tag=squiertalk-20

    The bridge plate won't fit your guitar, but you can use the saddles and recycle the plate.

    Or, if you don't mind drilling four new mounting holes and leaving the three old holes visible, you can install a Wilkinson WTB 3-saddle bridge and top-load it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  3. SteveP4172

    SteveP4172 Squier Talker

    Age:
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    Feb 12, 2020
    USA
    Thanks Luther Burger, I appreciate the tip on the saddles, I thought the saddle replacement may be an easy fix. I'm assuming there maybe some other saddle choices as well as long as the string width is correct. Thinking some brass saddles could be of great interest. I replaced the trem block with a thick brass block from GFS and strung that guitar up with some EB Cobalts and it sounds like a whole new guitar. Will check out the Wilkinson part you mention as well. All the best !
     
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  4. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    NYC
    You're welcome, @SteveP4172.

    I think the key is the length of the saddles. The MIM saddles are longer, so they reduce the "push up/pull down" weirdness of the Affinity bridge's design. Gotoh makes similar longer saddles, too, and some of them are brass.
     
  5. SteveP4172

    SteveP4172 Squier Talker

    Age:
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  6. SteveP4172

    SteveP4172 Squier Talker

    Age:
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    Well after researching several options including replacing the whole Bridge with a Wilkinson that has the Compensated saddles, which I may do down the road. I found some really nice Brass Saddles which is what I really wanted that were an easy replacement. They sounds great and look really nice as I knew they would. $28 and no drilling filling holes as I would have had to have done with the Wilkinson Bridge. Have a set of Seymour Duncans Vintage style p/u's coming in early next week that I am going to swap out, and possibly change out the current electronics as well since I'm gonna be under the hood so to speak, then I think I am done and on to the next project (my 2011 Jagmaster ). Link below in case anyone want to upgrade their saddles to a nice set of brass ones.

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148356&icep_item=373029660711

    IMG_7453.JPG.jpeg
     
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  7. scotartt

    scotartt Squier Talker

    16
    Sep 18, 2020
    Red Hill QLD AU
    Hi Steve, do these saddles really work OK on a top loading bridge? I've got a top loading bridge, with much the same issues as you:

    1. top loading
    2. six saddles not three.
    3. three screw mounting holes not four.

    I need to replace one of my saddles and have been looking for a good replacement bridge or a set of saddles. I always thought the "modern" style saddles only worked on string-thru-body types? Looking at the picture I can see how your low "E" string seems to warp past the intonation screw? Do you think there will be any issues with that?
     
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  8. SteveP4172

    SteveP4172 Squier Talker

    Age:
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    Feb 12, 2020
    USA
    Hello @scotartt

    Yes, the saddles work great with my top loader affinity bridge. The only issue I had were with the intonation screws and the saddle height screws were too short so I used the previous screws and they fit the new brass saddles fine. Guitar now sounds great strung it up with Elixor Nanowebs in .009 - .042. Picked up some more mids and added some depth to both the bass and treble sides with Brass Saddles.

    The Problem with the Wilkinson 3 Saddle Bridge is that it's shorter so you will have 3 holes right behind the bridge to fill in and clean up if you don't want to see them.

    So the brass saddles are an option or steel if you like a brighter tone. LutherBurger who is on this thread was very helpful and suggested buying an inexpensive Mexican top loader bridge with steel saddles as an option, The can be found on both Ebay and Reverb for roughly USD $20 and then you just remove those saddles and install them on your guitar.

    Fender is going be releasing as they tell me a new Top Loader Bridge as a part you can buy online and I don't recall if it's 6 saddle or the Compensated 3. SO I di not want wait and went the route I did and it turned out really for under USD $30

    No issue with the E string and holds tune well.

    Give it a try as the stock saddles are not great, they weighed 1.2 oz where the brass weighed 1.8 oz, does no sound like much but when are holding them in your hands you can really feel the weight difference.

    Good luck and let know if you any other question
     
  9. scotartt

    scotartt Squier Talker

    16
    Sep 18, 2020
    Red Hill QLD AU
    Thank you very much for your detailed response Steve!

    That's 60% difference in mass, not exactly minor either.
     
  10. SteveP4172

    SteveP4172 Squier Talker

    Age:
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    yeah big weight difference and major upgrade in tone ... Mission accomplished
     
  11. scotartt

    scotartt Squier Talker

    16
    Sep 18, 2020
    Red Hill QLD AU
    I fitted a cheap chinese made bridge yesterday. It's ok and it will do for the moment but I think I have to get new saddles in the future.

    The original saddles and holes were offset left/right for the strings in two groups, and the saddles matched the offset holes pretty well:
    IMG_5165 copy.jpg IMG_3516 copy.jpg IMG_2602 copy.jpg

    Whereas this new bridge the holes are offset from the saddle screws consistently on just one side (and the saddles are all identical and not in two mirror pairs of three as the originals) and the offset is not accurate, leaving the strings to bend around the saddle screws/springs.


    IMG_4057 copy.jpg IMG_0140 copy.jpg
     
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  12. SteveP4172

    SteveP4172 Squier Talker

    Age:
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    Feb 12, 2020
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    What was your reason to change the the entire bridge ? Looks like a decent fit to me.

    Hope the new bridge works out for you.
     
  13. scotartt

    scotartt Squier Talker

    16
    Sep 18, 2020
    Red Hill QLD AU
    It is holding up so far!

    I replaced the entire bridge because while only the one saddle was busted (and although its _design_ is great the construction quality is cheap as all hell), I could not accurately gauge that replacement saddles would fit. As you can see on the old unit I need two sets of asymmetric saddles in three units each side. The only units I could locate of that description were expensive brand-name saddles and I could not be sure about the other dimensions and qualities that i needed (for example, the screw length has to be able to match the correct distance from the heel of the bridge unit, and my unit is a _top loader_ so also the saddles have to handle that). If they were cheap units I could just buy them and see if they would fit (as I did with two entire chinese-made replacement bridge units).

    The new bridge unit baseplate is also slightly heavier than the old one, which has the feel of a very cheap manufacture (each saddle appears, with the long screw neck, to be cast from metal that's the consistency of the worst type of mild alloy). The new one is _cheap_ yeah, but it's not _shoddy_ (stands to reason, Made in China 15 years ago is quite different to Made in China now).

    I would have got a Wilkinson bridge, except then I'd have to drill the through-body holes and stuff like that, wasn't worth the effort for me.
     
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  14. SteveP4172

    SteveP4172 Squier Talker

    Age:
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    23
    Feb 12, 2020
    USA
    Yes, I completely understand, that's why I bit the bullet and picked these up, seller offer a full refund as well. I did have to use the old screws but now I have a solid bridge and did not have to drill. The Wilkinson Bridge with the compensated saddles do look nice though. Here is the link I posted on my first post in case you missed that one http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148356&icep_item=373029660711
     
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  15. LeftoverNoise

    LeftoverNoise Squier Talker

    Age:
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    Oct 18, 2020
    97239
    Hi,quick question, which size did you go with? The link gives 3 options for different sizes. Just curious! They look great!
     
  16. SteveP4172

    SteveP4172 Squier Talker

    Age:
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    Feb 12, 2020
    USA
    @LeftoverNoise I went with the 10.80, it was perfect string space for my Affinity neck. They are really nice, well made etc. I had to use my previous screws though as the screws that came with the Brass saddles were too short. Good luck they are a great upgrade !
     
  17. LeftoverNoise

    LeftoverNoise Squier Talker

    Age:
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    Oct 18, 2020
    97239
    Sweet! Thanks for the response! I don't have my tele yet (gets here tomorrow) but biding my time looking at possible upgrades to do eventually.
     
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