Mastery bridges are high-quality upgrades for Fender Jazzmaster, Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster and Rickenbacker guitars. The bridges are designed and manufactured in the USA by master luthier John Woodland. All bridges can be retro-fitted to US manufactured guitars, there is no compromise to vintage guitars.
Mastery questions answered
Nottingham City Guitars stocks a range of Mastery products. We offer a discounted fitting and set-up service for bridges bought in store. You can buy by credit or debit card over the phone (UK only) or pay by bank transfer, please email for bank details. We ship first class tracked and signed for. UK Prices include all customs charges and shipping fees, it is usually not cheaper to import from the US. We do not sell Mastery on Reverb.
Why Buy a Mastery Bridge?
- Mastery have addressed inherent design faults in the original specification bridges.
- Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters have increased bridge stability, sustain, accurate intonation, string retention, improved fine string action and radius adjustment.
- Fender Telecaster bridges offer vastly improved intonation against the original three pair saddle bridges. String height and radius can be finely adjusted.
- All bridge components are stainless steel, corrosion-proof, including springs and grub screws. The obvious exception being the brass saddles on the Telecaster variations.
Which Mastery Bridge?
Mastery for Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters is the M1 or M2. Both bridges are identical, except the M2 includes an additional set of posts for Japanese manufactured guitars, which may be a better fit. The M1 fits US manufactured guitars.
For best results, guitar body thimbles should be replaced with Mastery MT thimbles. These are a perfect machine fit for the Mastery M1 bridge posts. This applies to all guitars, whatever their country of origin.
- There is only one size MT available and thimbles can be purchased separately if required or with the M1 kit.
- The M1 or M2 can be used on left-handed guitars.
If replacing a Tune-o-matic style bridge use the M1 kit – see “Fitting”.
Mastery Fender Telecaster bridges only fit the vintage 4 screw mount pattern. Modern / American Standard Telecasters generally have a 3 hole mounted bridge plate. If your Tele’ has 4 screws fixing the bridge you can fit a Mastery.
Tele’ bridge patterns are not interchangeable as the relative position of the body string-through holes is different between vintage (4) and modern (3) guitars.
Mastery offer a Telecaster Bigsby ready bridge. The rear bridge upstand is notched to allow strings to pass unobstructed to the Bigsby. I’d recommend this option, if ever you may consider a Bigsby. The bridge is identical in every respect aside from the notches.
Telecaster bridges are available with brass or chrome saddles. Saddles are identical, chrome saddles are plated over brass. Chrome increases durability, not that you are likely to wear out brass – I don’t buy into a tonal difference but guess that’s a moot point.
Telecaster bridges are not available as a left-hand version.
Mastery also produce several hardtail bridges, 3 or 4 hole mount, with all the benefits of the Telecaster bridge. These can be used on right or left-hand guitars.
Fitting a Mastery Bridge
Familiarise your self with bridge adjustment before fitting and stringing the guitar. Use the hex’ keys supplied. It maybe necessary to loosen the bridge posts before dropping into guitar thimbles. The posts can then be tightened once the bridge is in position.
For US made Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters, the M1 drops into the original body thimbles on lifting out the old bridge. If using the M2 on other models, check the fit of the additional bridge posts supplied and use best-fit posts. The M1 & M2 bridges are identical except for extra posts. The Mastery symbol faces towards the headstock. Best results are always with the M1 kit, whatever country of origin.
The guitar is then set-up and adjusted following standard practice. Saddle/fingerboard radius is fully adjustable. Full written instructions are provided.
If changing body thimbles to Mastery MT, original thimbles need removing. Remove pickguard and tape off the body around the bridge. Old thimbles can be levered out using a thin pallet knife pushed between the body and thimble. Once lifted slightly use a pair of soft nose pliers to fully extract.
If the thimble is seized in the body try placing a hot soldering iron inside the thimble, then use a pallet knife. Beware burns and damaging lacquer finishes.
If new MT thimbles are loose in the holes a small dab of PVA glue can be used on the new thimble. Often replacement MT simply tap in with a soft hammer. If very loose, dowels will need fitting in the body and new thimble holes drilling. However, most installations are relatively straight forward.
When glueing loose thimbles, always temporarily fit the bridge in place while the adhesive is soft, to ensure perfect thimble spacing, and be aware of outer string positions at the edge of the fingerboard. If body holes need slightly enlarging use a drill bit at slow speed, turn it backwards. A 9.5 mm diameter bit is suitable but always check size on a scrap of wood.
Ensure the bridge ground wire remains intact and connected. This is usually located on the treble side and feeds from the control cavity into the post hole. Check conductivity with a multi-meter. The ground wire maybe connected via the trem’ cavity, in which case there should not be an issue.
It is possible to swap out an original Tune-o-Matic style bridge, such as on the J Mascis Jazzmaster, using the M1 Kit. This usually requires the original post holes dowelling and re-drilling to suit new MT thimbles – not a difficult job, but may require the services of your repair shop.
The Mastey OMV Vibrato is available in brushed or polished stainless steel. However, the M1 or M2 is only available brushed. There are several limited edition coloured models available. The OMV vibrato is a simple swap for the original vibrato.
It is recommended that the OMV arm is generally left in place and not removed. The arm can be depressed when the guitar is cased. Arm stability can be adjusted with the large slotted grub screw and brass lock nut on the side of the stainless steel block. Do not attempt to remove or adjust the small hex’ grub screw in the base of the stainless steel block. This is a permanent fixing.
Fitting Mastery to a Fender Telecaster is a straight swap. The bridge pickup needs refitting on the new bridge plate but this does not require any electrical work.
The following dimensions are offered as a guide only. Always check. Thimbles MT 9.5 mm OD, 7.85 mm ID, fitted depth 20.5 mm.
M1 posts 7.82 mm diameter. M2 7.82 mm diameter complete with additional posts at 8.15 mm diameter.
Post centres 73.4 mm. Saddles / Fingerboard radius – variable.
Fitting a Mastery MST string tree
Mastery make a well-detailed string tree to complement their bridges. While it is a simple single screw fix, always make sure the screw hole is pilot drilled and the screw lubricated before installation – otherwise, you risk snapping the screw in a hard maple headstock.