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FDP Forum / All Other Fender Guitars and Instruments / KC Mustang bridge posts too small for adjustomatic bridge!!!



Jul 2nd, 2018 03:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

I bought a used MIJ Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang with adjustomatic bridge.  The diameter of the holes in the bridge that accept the bridge posts is too large.  The bridge easily wiggles forward and back on the posts when I use the vibrato bar, sending the guitar out of tune and messing with the intonation.  I have two questions:

1.  Why would Fender design it this way?  I have a MIM Classic Player Jaguar HH that also came stock with an adjustomatic bridge and it does not have this issue.  There is a large screw on top of my Jag bridge post to tighten down the bridge so it doesn't move, just like a Gibson Tune-o-matic. My Stang' does not have these screws and I have looked at many online images of KC Mustangs and this appears to be the stock configuration.

2.  Can this problem be fixed; e.g., cut up one of those metal Starbucks straws or wrap small pieces of a cut up aluminum can or something similar around the bridge posts?  The guitar goes severely out of tune with vibrato use and my intonation is spotty.  My adjustomatic equipped Jag's intonation is spot on and it stays in tune, even with heavy bar abuse.

Any advice would be appreciated

FDP Data Goon

We all want

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Jul 3rd, 2018 03:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

The MIJ TOMs are closer to the Gibson spec than the MIM Jags (I have one of both).

MIJ TOM has thumbwheel height adjustment, like an actual Gibson's bridge.

What I'd do first is get the intonation not spotty - that is NOT helping anything else.

Once that's dealt with, then I'd look at adjusting the trem spring on the Mustang bar, nut lubrication, the saddles on the TOM (burrs, uneven edge, etc).

That said, be aware that with even moderately aggressive trem use, I've never played a Mustang (from original 60s ones when they were cheap throwaway instruments to modern clones) that handled trem use well in terms of staying in tune or being polite. In that regard, the Jag/JM trem is MUCH better suited.



Jul 3rd, 2018 12:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

Does your MIJ Adjustomatic move forward and backward? On mine, there is no way to lock down the bridge. Because the holes in the bridge have a slightly larger diameter than the posts, the bridge does not fit snugly on the posts and moves around quite a bit. I can push the bridge forward or pull it back at least a few millimeters each way, so there is no way the intonation is accurate. My CP Jag has screws on top of the bridge posts like the TOM on my Les Paul that can be screwed down to lock the bridge in place, but there is nothing like that on my KC Mustang. Has anyone found a way to lock down these bridges?

(This message was last edited by Ricey at 02:53 PM, Jul 3rd, 2018)

FDP Data Goon

We all want

our time in hell
Jul 3rd, 2018 04:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

Will check for you, I've never noticed but will run it through some abuse.

The thumbwheels on a standard LP TOM provide a flat surface for the thing to operate on; IIRC that's exactly how it is on the MIJ.

I don't play the guitar much and it's in another room and I'm mobility limited so...it'll be later.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Jul 3rd, 2018 04:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'd have to see this thing to figure out what is actually going on. Yeah a TOM type bridge is typically firmly mounted on it's posts.

A Jag/JM bridge however floats and rocks forward and back on two pin screws in mounting posts. These preform pretty well and are held in place by string tension only. Even if it moves forward and back your instrument may be able to stay reasonably in tune.

I own a Fender Offset Special. It came stock with a TOM style bridge. There was a lot of string bind over the bridge that caused tuning issues. I replaced the bridge with a roller unit I had to mod but the guitar is one of my favorite surfers now.

The issue in fixing your guitar is parts availability. There are tons of TOM bridges in Gibson spec from the aftermarket so choices are many. Not so with the Fender guitars due to the differences in bridge width and string spacing.

You might look around on websites such as StewMac and GFS. They have mechanical drawings with accurate dimensions of replacement parts.

Being your guitar is used it would be impossible to say if all the bridge parts are original. I think it would be possible to drill, tap and add set screws to the bridge frame if needed to lock it to the posts.



Jul 3rd, 2018 08:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

The guitar is in the shop right now. I will try to post video when I get it back. The bridge doesn't rock/pivot like a typical Mustang bridge. The entire bridge slides forward towards the headstock and back towards the tailpiece. In fact, I can push one side of the bridge forward and pull the other side back towards the tailpiece so that it is slightly cockeyed. I was thinking of that set screw option as well, or maybe wrapping something around the posts to create a more snug fit. Comparing it to online photos, it sure looks stock.

(This message was last edited by Ricey at 10:36 PM, Jul 3rd, 2018)

FDP Data Goon

We all want

our time in hell
Jul 4th, 2018 01:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

I took a look at the '69RI with the TOM (thumbwheels and all, just like my LP).

It DOESN'T move at all, just like a standard TOM.

The Classic Player Jag, with Fender's knockoff cheapie Adjustomatic (no thumbwheels, height adjusted by screws)..doesn't move.



Jul 8th, 2018 08:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for looking Rob! My KC Mustang does have thumbwheels. All the online images I have found of this guitar appear to have the same bridge with thumbwheels. Do your bridges rock like a vintage Mustang or Jag bridge. Mine does not, it just slides forward and back slightly. Would wrapping the posts with electrical or plumber's tape dampen vibration/effect sound or should I try to use this strips of aluminun?

(This message was last edited by Ricey at 10:52 AM, Jul 8th, 2018)

FDP Data Goon

We all want

our time in hell
Jul 9th, 2018 12:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

Under string tension, doesn't move at all.

IIRC it doesn't move any more than my other TOM bridges (i.e. not much at all if any).

If it's sliding back and forth, I'd look at the post anchors and body - is there something giving with the body wood?

I'm starting to get reminded of old cheap Kramers with Floyd Roses where the posts would dive towards the nut over time.

As far as how to fix, it's going to depend on what the cause of the issue is.

It's also one where I've never had a Mustang of any stripe that held tune very well with trem use - most I ever do is lift the lipstick string retainer without the bar to bend myself.

If I want trem, I use something else.

FDP Forum / All Other Fender Guitars and Instruments / KC Mustang bridge posts too small for adjustomatic bridge!!!

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