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Bridge Choices For Explorer (fender Scale Neck)

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Hi from Kentucky.

My first project of combining a fender scale neck to a LP body turned out "below" expectations but the bugs are still being dealt with (pics below).


Now I'm gonna try something similiar with an explorer body + Fender scale neck. I know the radious of the fender neck differs from Gibson and since I want to use a GOTOH style bridge, whats gonna matter most:

Use a Schaller and adjust string width to match the Fender scale neck

Use an aftermarket brand (small posts) that allows saddle adjustment

Based on what folks say here, thats what I'll depend on for the bridge.

The Schaller would allow me to adjust string width and not worry that the strings will be out-of-tolerance to neck edge.

The aftermarket GOTOH bridge would let me set string height to meet the Fender radious.

Whats the better choice?


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Tom, don't overcomplicate the issue any worse than it has to be , lol.

I've done an Explorer with a 25.5" scale length. I used a Kahler bridge , which allows string height AND spacing adjustments. Radius can be dialed in via the string height adjusters , spacing as well so concerns about width and height go right out the window with a Kahler. They are really easy to route for too. ( compared to a recessed Floyd )

"Fender" and "Gibson" specs go right out the window once you start blending them together. A custom is just that - custom. Get your bridge/neck/nut together first and plan your guitar around them.

A 25.5" Explorer is possible and easier to do than you think. ( mine has 3 SC's and a maple fretboard just to be more Fender-ish )

If you DO go for a certain radius bridge , just make sure it matches your neck or playability will be an issue........

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so what gotoh bridge are you using?

Gotoh T-O-M


Schaller T-O-M


Gotoh Hardtail:


Schaller Hardtail:


and there are a lot more varieties, each with their own considerations

you can alter the radius of a tune-o-matic (gibson style) bridge by filing the saddle grooves as needed as long as it doesnt have roller saddles - i use my nut slotting files for this. there is more than enough room to go from a 12" gibson radius to a 9.5" fender radius on most tune-o-matic. The string spacing can also be tweaked the same way

hardtails will usually have indivdually height adjustable saddles so they can simple be adjusted to match the radius - but you cant adjust string spacing on most unless its like the schaller above.

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Where are you buying the neck from? There are a lot of resources that you can buy a 25-1/2" scale neck with a 12" radius. Since this is custom, make it to your liking. If you like a 9-1/2" radius, than you'll have to make adjustments at the bridge. If you like a 12" radius, then get a neck with a 12" radius. If you like a compound radius than get a TOM with the matching radius.

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I hadn't consider Kahler. I'll give them a look. On the list currently is the Schaller TOM with adjustable rollers and an Allparts TOM brand that allows saddle height adjustment. I could go with a (aftermarket brand) bridge with blank graphite saddles (and cut the spacing/ height myself) or the Schaller Tom with blanks (these are my favorite so far). The Fender scale neck is preferred cause I can play it more comfortably than the Gibson. Hey, how is everybody posting pics? Nice Ex WESTHEMANN. I wanted to do a red stain/ transparent myself. The neck for my project is being made by a builder in Michigan. I expect the neck to be a standard Strat spec.


Edited by 2005palehorse
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