NCG Bridges & Fitting

September 16, 2022

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NCG Bridges are CNC machined from solid billet P20 steel or aircraft grade 6082 aluminium. Stainless steel bridges are folded from 2mm thick Grade 304 stainless steel. All bridges are either bead blasted or hand finished. They are not plated.

Saddles are solid brass with stainless steel swivels. Screws, grub screws and springs are stainless steel. Machine threads are metric M3. Hex keys are supplied along with stainless steel body mounting screws.

The bridge footprint will fit classic 4 hole vintage mount. The 2 hole mount is primarily designed for new builds. Bridges can be strung through body or used with a Bigsby. P20 steel and alloy versions have a centre line scribed to the underside of the bridge plate, which can aid in new-build set out.

The two saddle design increases string pressure over the bridge, being transmitted via only four grub screws, on to the bridge plate. When correctly adjusted the saddles intonate across all six strings correctly. Saddles can be adjusted to suit any finger board radius.

P20 steel maintains magnetic properties. This complements Leo Fender’s original design for the Tele bridge, creating substantial ferrous magnetic mass, which affects the magnetic field around the pickup, as intended. Many modern aftermarket bridges are pressed or folded from brass or other alloys, with little or no magnetic properties. Stainless steel is not magnetic.

Bead blasting produces a slightly darker, matt finish, similar to a fine grade wet and dry paper. P20 steel has low corrosion resistance and will tarnish with age, this can be easily cleaned off if desired.

Threads and swivels are lubricated with a light gauge sewing machine oil before shipping. Periodic lubrication is recommended. Spare screws and springs are available. Just email.

All NCG Bridges and NCG parts are made in Nottingham UK to the highest standards using top grade materials.

Fitting Guide
Assuming standard tuning. If in any doubt we recommend you have your NCG Bridge fitted by a local repair shop. This is a relatively simple procedure and could be done during a setup.

If installing a Tele style bridge take great care when fitting the bridge pickup in to the new NCG Bridge. The coil wires, attached to the pickup lead wires, are very delicate and can easily be snagged with a stray pickup mounting screw or spring. Remove the old bridge and remove the bridge pickup. It is not necessary to disconnect any wiring.

Please ensure your guitar body is drilled to accept four bridge mounting screws. The NCG bridge cannot be used on a three screw mount footprint. When fitting body mount screws through the base plate it is easier to remove the inner pair of intonation screws and springs to allow easy access. It is easier to lower the saddle height grub screws until both saddles sit flat on the bridge plate before removing the intonation screws.

The two hole mount bridge plate can be used on any body but requires additional fixing holes drilling in to the body.

Intonation screws are threaded through internal swivels pressed in to the brass saddles. If necessary, with the intonation screw removed, swivels can be turned by inserting the small Hex key supplied through the threaded swivel and gently turning the swivel.

Screw the NCG Bridge plate to the guitar body. Ensure any loose ground (earth) wire, visible in the bridge pickup rout, is properly positioned and trapped below the new bridge plate and guitar body. Refit the two intonation screws and springs. Roughly adjust saddles to approximate intonated position. Re-string the guitar and follow standard setup procedure. First adjust the string height / action of the two outer E strings with the saddle grub screws using the Hex key supplied. Set height of the two inner saddle grub screws using a string radius gauge that matches fingerboard radius. It is easier to adjust saddle heights before strings are fully tuned to pitch and exerting maximum tension on the saddles.

Adjust the intonation screws using a Pozi-drive screw driver or a Hex key. Adjust the treble E and then the G string. This may require repetitive fine adjustment between the E & G strings. Repeat the process for the bass E & D strings. If it appears too difficult to turn the intonation screws, slacken the string tension, adjust intonation screws, then re-tune to pitch. Remember to stretch in new strings before adjusting tuning.

Intonation screws are either pan head Pozi-Drive (No. 2 driver) or, if fitting a Bigsby, a Hex socket screw. Access to screw heads is much easier with a Hex key if a Bigsby is fitted. If you need replacement Hex head screws please email.

String spacing is 54 mm. This will accommodate original 56 mm string spacing. If desired saddle slots can be adjusted or re-cut with the appropriate sized file. Occasionally springs can be fully compressed, preventing further adjustment of intonation. Spring length can be adjusted by cutting with pliers. We can supply additional springs if required.

A word on intonation
A regular fretted instrument cannot play in tune at every fret position. Fretted string pitch is affected by the condition of the fret crown and finger pressure applied to the string. Intonation is also affected by string gauge, diameter & tension, pickup heights & the precise location of your bridge. A strong pickup, or a pickup too close to the strings, will pull a guitar string, particularly a heavy wound string and adversely impact the pattern of string vibration.

Always tune strings up to the target pitch. If you overshoot, and the note is sharp, de-tune and then re-tune back up to pitch. This method reduces any mechanical error in the machine head.

Modern digital tuners are incredibly sensitive and often indicate tuning variations beyond a player’s hearing ability. In other words – do not get too hung up on it. Your guitar heroes probably tuned up with a tuning fork or a very suspect old piano as a reference point.

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