Guitar Bridge Types for Kit Guitars

In the following article we’re going to take a closer look at some of the most common guitar bridge types found on kit guitars.  This isn’t an exhaustive list of guitar bridges, however the bridges listed below are what you will find on 99% of all kit guitars.

Your bridge is a super important component of your kit guitar and allows you to adjust your action, set your intonation and in the case of a tremolo bridge will allow you to integrate a whammy bar into your playing. It’s important to have a grasp on the capabilities of your bridge and also any potential limitations.

Fixed Guitar Bridges

TE style bridgeThe TE ‘Ashtray’ Bridge

The TE bridge sits on a large plate with either 3 or 6 saddle configuration and pre-mounted bridge pickup. This is a fixed bridge and as a result no springs are used. To dry fit simply screw the plate into place. The 3 saddle configuration isn’t ideal from an intonation perspective as the saddles cannot be adjusted individually (limited to two strings per saddle). Our kit guitars feature a 6 saddle configuration so this isn’t an issue.

Tuneomatic BridgeTuneomatic Bridge

Gibson guitars utilise a fixed bridge known as the ‘Tuneomatic’ bridge which comes equipped with a stud mounted stop tailpiece. These require a little more work to install compred to the TE bridge, but again it’s not rocket science.

Simply sit the bridge and stop bar over the pre drilled holes to check for alignment issues. Next fit the threaded posts the bridge is held in place with. When it does come time to fit the bridge, remember the adjustment screws are mounted to the front of the bridge and not the back as per most guitars. The reason for this is the sharp decline the strings take from the bridge to the tailpiece making it difficult to fit a screwdriver and adjust your intonation.

Floating Bridges

ST bridgeThe ST 6 saddle bridge

This type of bridge features two front mounted screws to hold the bridge in place. The bridge is then attached to three coil springs that run through the body of the guitar allowing tension for playing using the tremolo bar. (If you prefer your bridge to be fixed, you can purchase 5 springs which will generally adjust the tension so the bridge sits flat against the body of the guitar).

The saddles can be adjusted individually to correct intonation issues and can also be raised or lowered to adjust the guitar’s action.

Floyd Rose BridgeFloyd Rose Tremolo Bridge

The Floyd Rose style Tremolo looks complicated but in actuality isn’t all that difficult to install. As the Floyd Rose is a floating bridge the bridge will be spring loaded much like the ST bridge above.

Floyd Rose style tremolos come with a locking nut, which differs to that of a standard guitar nut and features a lockable cover (3 plates that each cover 2 strings) that sits over the nut preventing your guitar from going out of tune.

Bigsby Style BridgeBigsby style bridge

The Bigsby bridge is seen loss often on kit guitars but is available on a select few and can be added as a custom option where available.

This type of bridge utilises a tuneomatic style bridge and tailpiece. This particular design was the first commercially available bridge with vibrato arm otherwise known as a whammy bar.


2 Responses to Guitar Bridge Types for Kit Guitars

  1. Randy Cox July 12, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    Have you got any experience with Ibanez Jem copies – specifically diy kits? I have a sweet big block Zero 3 Ibanez Floyd, but I’m concerned the thread posts may not line up. I know that China puts out some amazing, & some crap kits, just wanting some feedback if you have any. I’ve studied the pics up close, and the routing looks pristine, but I’m just not sure, as this will be my first build. Any suggestions?

  2. Marty July 13, 2016 at 3:11 am #

    Hi Randy, thanks for your comment.
    We do list a JE Guitar Kit that is based on the Jem:

    If the Floyd you have mentioned is a standard size, which I believe it is you won’t have any problem with the pre-drilled bridge holes. In the event there were any issues we would send you a replacement in any case.

    Hope that helps.

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