String Spacing on a Telecaster Threaded Saddle Bridge

Evenly spaced strings

I had this brand new American Vintage Series ’64 Telecaster in for a setup.

Its owner pointed out the very narrow string spacing of the 1st and 2nd strings at the bridge.


Narrow spacing of e and b strings
Notice how close the e and b strings are

The first thing I tried was moving the strings apart, into the next slot. This however caused a problem in that the strings were now up against the height adjustment grub screws and were damped by them, so the strings didn’t ring out as they should.

I looked at other saddles and they had slots positioned at the right distance from the screw and had a lightbulb moment.

I removed the e/b saddle and turned it over, inserting the grub screws from the other side of course. When I re-fitted the saddle in the bridge, the threads were perfectly positioned for even string spacing. 

Evenly spaced strings
Strings are now spaced much better on the saddles

5 Comments on “String Spacing on a Telecaster Threaded Saddle Bridge”

  1. Hello. I was attracted to the photo because it is of a telecaster patent number bridge. My old tele had one but i replaced it with a brass single string saddle bridge and eventully lost the original. I recently bought a replica patent number bridge from the states but was disappointed to discover that it is much thinner steel compared to the original. Are anything like the original ones available, do you know?

  2. Hi Steve ..Hope your well. I ve been thinking of getting my georgous and quite rare 1972 Fender Telecaster Thinline type 2 string spacing sorted……Over many years use the 2 E strings are just too near the edge of the fretboard which is maple….Being a 72 Thinline it has the pressed steel string tree rectangles with no stamped name……I’ve considered taking them all off snd carefully grinding the sides of all of them .This should sort the problem and give my 2 E strings some more room to move……Alternatively I could just save the originals in the h case and buy a replacement set …but I’m still sure ill have to take a little off the sides of these too…I beleive it’s a common problem on these early type 2 Thinline teles. ..She sure is a beaut.and is in Baconsthorpe book of vintage guitars. Steve have you come across this problem before??? It’s a rare Sunburst ????Cheers Chris Cross

    • Hi Chris, yes this is a common problem with these guitars but I doubt that filing the saddles will do any good as they will just adopt the same position, just with gaps between.

      I suspect that the bridge is quite narrow spaced anyway at 2 1/16″? If it’s wider then a narrow bridge might do the trick but of course you have the strings coming through the body in a set position and there isn’t a lot you can do about this.

      • Hi Steve….. Yes I’ll aim for the smaller bridge option .I do actually have a couple of late 70s Japanese type 2 copies by Antoria. ..maybe I’ll try the bridges off these first ???

  3. A friend of mine has asked me if I knew how to do this. Thanks! Will definitely send this link to him.

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