Fender Player Series Gaffe.

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BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2504
After all the praise bestowed upon Fender for the new Player Series, I had the misfortune to read this.

http://www.tdpri.com/threads/restringing-fender-player-telecaster-bridge-not-easy-or-fast.849246/

Seems the Tele is difficult to restring. Of course, no reviewer is likely to spot this until it comes time to change strings and then, errrrrrrrrr!

It seems when the Guitar is intonated perfectly, the holes are covered up as the slots appear not to be long enough. They likely is workarounds, but it's pretty poor from an Engineering design perspective.
Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • teradaterada Frets: 1273
    They do say that fender struggle with their QC  ;)
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2504
    terada said:
    They do say that fender struggle with their QC  ;)
    They also struggle with their R&D too, it seems. These bridges dimensions are specific to this model.
    Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 1447
    I was going to post something on this.. 

    I have one. And I’ll point out its issues later this evening with pictures and humour. 
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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  • olafgartenolafgarten Frets: 1390
    Surely you can file off a bit of the thread near the top of the screw and as it has a spring, you can then just temporarily push it back when restringing. 
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  • BabonesBabones Frets: 895
    Is this one of the 'upgrades'?
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2504
    Surely you can file off a bit of the thread near the top of the screw and as it has a spring, you can then just temporarily push it back when restringing. 
    You really shouldn't have to do any of your own Engineering on a Guitar for such a basic principle. It really should have been correct at the design stage. You wouldn't expect to faff on any other appliance or item.
    Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • Yep the bent steel saddles aren't a great idea on vintage spec Tele bridges, which these have. (A vintage "ashtray" bridge is a direct replacement. The elongated modern bridge plate is a direct result of needing extra length on the saddles to accommodate a 6 saddle design on the vintage hole footprint without the intonation screws fouling the strings.)
    Slots are too short and intonation screws are too long, causing the screws to cover the string through holes. Easy fix is to switch out some block saddles from Gotoh or an earlier Mexican Standard. (Proper fix is to bin the bridge and fit a Pat Pend. with compensated saddles!)

    I'm interested to see what Fender do about this going forward - will they revert to the old block saddles or design a new bent steel saddle with a longer slot and shorter screw?




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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3327
    Bellycaster said:
    These bridges dimensions are specific to this model.
    On the 2011 American Standard bridge, the stringing holes are correctly positioned for easy stringing through the stamped steel saddles. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • gavin_axecastergavin_axecaster Frets: 216
    edited August 10

    Bellycaster said:
    These bridges dimensions are specific to this model.
    On the 2011 American Standard bridge, the stringing holes are correctly positioned for easy stringing through the stamped steel saddles. 

    The American Series/Standard hole placement is different. About 1/4 inch nearer the nut giving a sharper angle from the break point on the saddle to the string through hole, avoiding the intonation screw.
    The bridge dimensions on the Player series Tele isn't specific to the model at all. It is a modern 6 saddle retrofit for vintage spec bridges, same as the previous Mexican Standard and the Gotoh GTC201/2 bridge. Fender just changed the saddles for some reason.
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2504
    Bellycaster said:
    These bridges dimensions are specific to this model.
    On the 2011 American Standard bridge, the stringing holes are correctly positioned for easy stringing through the stamped steel saddles. 
    I have 2 American Teles, one from 2015 and other from 2016, I don't have this problem with mine either.
    Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32835
    After all the praise bestowed upon Fender for the new Player Series, I had the misfortune to read this.

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/restringing-fender-player-telecaster-bridge-not-easy-or-fast.849246/

    Seems the Tele is difficult to restring. Of course, no reviewer is likely to spot this until it comes time to change strings and then, errrrrrrrrr!

    It seems when the Guitar is intonated perfectly, the holes are covered up as the slots appear not to be long enough. They likely is workarounds, but it's pretty poor from an Engineering design perspective.
    Er... you simply push the saddle backwards against its spring so the slot is over the hole as you feed the string through.

    If you think that's a problem, try this monstrosity that they're putting on the new American Elite Thinline.

    https://www.projectmusic.net/ekmps/shops/projectmusic/images/fender-american-elite-telecaster-thinline-natural-[4]-17057-p.jpg

    The ball ends are just below the surface of the body, so good luck with that - certainly without chewing up the finish on the edge of the cavity.


    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2504
    ICBM said:
    After all the praise bestowed upon Fender for the new Player Series, I had the misfortune to read this.

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/restringing-fender-player-telecaster-bridge-not-easy-or-fast.849246/

    Seems the Tele is difficult to restring. Of course, no reviewer is likely to spot this until it comes time to change strings and then, errrrrrrrrr!

    It seems when the Guitar is intonated perfectly, the holes are covered up as the slots appear not to be long enough. They likely is workarounds, but it's pretty poor from an Engineering design perspective.
    Er... you simply push the saddle backwards against its spring so the slot is over the hole as you feed the string through.

    If you think that's a problem, try this monstrosity that they're putting on the new American Elite Thinline.

    https://www.projectmusic.net/ekmps/shops/projectmusic/images/fender-american-elite-telecaster-thinline-natural-[4]-17057-p.jpg

    The ball ends are just below the surface of the body, so good luck with that - certainly without chewing up the finish on the edge of the cavity.


    I would have thought that if something was threaded onto something else,
    then the only way to move the saddle back and forth would be to turn the 
    screw, thus altering the intonation, obviously I'm wrong, I've never needed to
    try on my Teles.
    Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2504
    Can't explain why my paragraph looks like it does either :)
    Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32835
    Bellycaster said:

    I would have thought that if something was threaded onto something else,
    then the only way to move the saddle back and forth would be to turn the 
    screw, thus altering the intonation, obviously I'm wrong, I've never needed to
    try on my Teles.
    The screw isn't threaded into the back part of the bridge - only the saddle - so it simply pushes through the hole as the spring compresses. You occasionally have to do this on Strats on the top E string too, it depends on the exact position of the bridge.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1649
    ICBM said:

    https://www.projectmusic.net/ekmps/shops/projectmusic/images/fender-american-elite-telecaster-thinline-natural-[4]-17057-p.jpg

    The ball ends are just below the surface of the body, so good luck with that - certainly without chewing up the finish on the edge of the cavity.
    I can't see how the bridge works for sure but could you not either put some masking tape by the bridge (or taping a library card or something) when restringing to prevent chewing up the finish?  That's what I do of sorts for changing strings for a 12 hole bridge on a nylon string guitar. 
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2504
    ICBM said:
    Bellycaster said:

    I would have thought that if something was threaded onto something else,
    then the only way to move the saddle back and forth would be to turn the 
    screw, thus altering the intonation, obviously I'm wrong, I've never needed to
    try on my Teles.
    The screw isn't threaded into the back part of the bridge - only the saddle - so it simply pushes through the hole as the spring compresses. You occasionally have to do this on Strats on the top E string too, it depends on the exact position of the bridge.
    Ah, I see, I didn't realise that, never needed to adjust mine too much. Still more like something they've gotten away with rather than designed it specifically like that. I think it mentions in that TDPRI thread that they are going to re think it.

    Re the other picture, never noticed that with a Thinline before, how do the strings normally thread through?
    Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32835
    Bellycaster said:

    Re the other picture, never noticed that with a Thinline before, how do the strings normally thread through?
    Like a normal Tele. This is some weird new screwless design unique to the American Elite Tele, which is meant to maximise vibration transfer to the body - presumably because standard string-through Teles have such a problem with that ;).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2504
    ICBM said:
    Bellycaster said:

    Re the other picture, never noticed that with a Thinline before, how do the strings normally thread through?
    Like a normal Tele. This is some weird new screwless design unique to the American Elite Tele, which is meant to maximise vibration transfer to the body - presumably because standard string-through Teles have such a problem with that ;).
    Solution looking for a problem syndrome, haha.
    Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2504
    skunkwerx said:
    I was going to post something on this.. 

    I have one. And I’ll point out its issues later this evening with pictures and humour. 
    Oi @skunkwerx we're still bloody waiting 'ere ;)

    Or was it only that issue that @ICBM has now put us right with?
    Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 1447
    edited August 11
    skunkwerx said:
    I was going to post something on this.. 

    I have one. And I’ll point out its issues later this evening with pictures and humour. 
    Oi @skunkwerx we're still bloody waiting 'ere

    Or was it only that issue that @ICBM has now put us right with?
    Haha! Buggar it, I thought you’d have all forgotten.... 

    Yeah basically the only faults I could find were the nut string spacing (thread here: http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/137315/string-spacing-at-nut-looks-off#latest), and this saddle issue/non-issue depending!  


    So while the intonation screws + saddles can be pushed back to allow the saddle slots to line up with the string thru body holes, its certainly a weird problem that I’m almost certain Fender overlooked. 

    Mine was left with Pmt last Thursday for Fender to collect and deal with under warranty. Mainly the nut issue mind. 

    I don’t know what or if they’ll do anything about the saddles, but I also found that thread you linked in your first post and asked Fender in my emails about it. 

    Unlike in that thread you found, where those guys got mexican standard saddles sent out etc, the Uk lot didnt seem to be aware it was a bit of a problem, so couldnt say anything. 


    I’m not fully convinced Mexican block saddles would fix it anyway unless they are longer overall (ie to keep the intonation/witness point forward, but allowing a shorter intonation screw with a longer string slot. Because to intonate, it seems the saddles need to be forward of the body holes a little way anyway. 

    But more noticeably, the intonation screw alone, regardless of the saddles, is long enough to cover the string holes in the body, and theres nothing that will change that unless you change the screws for shorter ones or cut the original ones down. But even so, the slots in the bent steel saddles arent long enough, so you may find the string holes still covered. 
    Really the easiest thing is just to push the saddle back when restringing. 

    As you can see in the picture of my bridge below, the high E saddle is quite far forward to intonate properly near the end of the screws length. So I don’t think a shorter intonation screw would work. 

    I don’t know if I’m chatting out of my bumhole, but regarding the bridge, I’m suspecting something more has changed here between the Mexican Standards and the Player Series than just the saddles. Either the location of the bridge mount itself or length of it, or the string thru body holes have been drilled too far from the nut. 

    What I actually suspect is that some measurements were off.
    I can’t see Fender having changed the whole bridge, so they must just have changed the saddles and I can’t imagine they changed the intonation screws either.. 

    If the intonation screws are the same length between Mexican and Player series, then something is definitely off mark somewhere, because as I said earlier the length of the screw is enough to cover the string holes by itself on the Player Series.  

    The saddle issue is only apparant on Player Series Tele’s with single coil bridge pickups. 

    The Humbucker variants saddles and holes appear to be lined up fine. 

    Heres my Player Series bridge with intonation etc set fine: 
    As you can see, the saddles or intonation screws cover the string thru body holes. 







    Heres a pic of the same guitar from Fenders website: 



    Heres the Humbucker player series variant. Pic quality is shot, but you can just make it all out. The holes and saddle slots line up.


    Here is a pic comparing old Mexican Standard and New Player Series. 
    Mexican Standard = Left, Butterscotch. 
    Player Series = Right, Polar White. 

    The bridge looks closer to the pickguard on the white player series (right), and the intonation screws alone arent long enough to cover the string holes on the mexican standard (right).. so whats changed to make this happen?!


     

    That Tele above left, is from Peach’s website (obviously), hopefully they don’t mind! The rest are either from Fender or my own. 



    Anyway! 

    Thats just my findings when I looked into it after having trouble restringing, and then stumbling across the same thread you did! 

    Like ICBM says, its just a matter of pushing the saddles back so the holes line up. For me, it hasnt affected playability or intonation. 

    I was more curious to find out why or what has changed to make these holes not line up anymore, and if its somehow linked to the shoddy nuts seen on a lot of the Player Series. Maybe just dimensions or measurements being off.  
    I think either the bridges have been mounted off, or the string holes drilled wrong. Unless Fender designed just the single coil Tele’s like this..

    Its not a big problem, at all. I just don’t know why they wouldnt just make all the holes line up so its easy! 

    I’ll report back when I get the Tele back from Fender though. Let you know what's what. 
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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  • DulcetJonesDulcetJones Frets: 400
    I've got a Squier Affinity Tele that I've had for 12 or 13 years and the tail piece  looks just like that.  I put a slight bend in each new string about a half inch from the end and guide it carefully through.  I recall being a bit miffed upon discovering this but it's not a deal breaker.

    Whoever called it "rush hour" should not be allowed to name anything else.

    Dulcet Jones Creepy Music Blog http://dulcetjones.blogspot.com/

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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 3970
    edited August 12
    I've got a Squier Affinity Tele that I've had for 12 or 13 years and the tail piece  looks just like that.  I put a slight bend in each new string about a half inch from the end and guide it carefully through.  I recall being a bit miffed upon discovering this but it's not a deal breaker.
    But isn't an Affinity a toploader, so that re-stringing it is a completely different jar of tadpoles to re-stringing a normal string-thru Tele?

    I do seem to recall that the strings on an Affinity follow a weird 'Z' kind of route through the saddles, so putting a slight bend in the strings is a great idea for making re-stringing easier.
    It might look like I'm listening to you, but in my head I'm playing my guitar.
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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 1447

    Aye that thar was my Affinity, which was a toploader. Only just remembered it was a little tricky to restring, but the kink trick works well!
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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  • DulcetJonesDulcetJones Frets: 400
    HAL9000 said:
    I've got a Squier Affinity Tele that I've had for 12 or 13 years and the tail piece  looks just like that.  I put a slight bend in each new string about a half inch from the end and guide it carefully through.  I recall being a bit miffed upon discovering this but it's not a deal breaker.
    But isn't an Affinity a toploader, so that re-stringing it is a completely different jar of tadpoles to re-stringing a normal string-thru Tele?

    I do seem to recall that the strings on an Affinity follow a weird 'Z' kind of route through the saddles, so putting a slight bend in the strings is a great idea for making re-stringing easier.
    Ah!  I missed the part about the string through body thing.  At a glance both look pretty much the same(to me).  The learning never stops.

    Whoever called it "rush hour" should not be allowed to name anything else.

    Dulcet Jones Creepy Music Blog http://dulcetjones.blogspot.com/

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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 1447
    Little update on this. 

    Got a call from Pmt today to say the Tele is back and the bridge ‘fixed’.. 

    I can’t get there until wednesday which sucks, but I did ask what had been done and they didnt give me any definitive answer.. which is annoying.

    The bloke said he ‘thinks theyve changed the saddles’. To what, I do not know.

    I’ll email Fender to see if they can tell me exactly whats been done, as it was supposed to have a new nut cut correctly too, which pmt made no mention of.. that was the more pressing matter actually as the saddles can always be pushed back for stringing.. 

    I’ll keep ya posted. 
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 1447
    Fender replied quick as usual.. 

    They believe it has been replaced for a brand new one... 

    I’ll think just turn up wednesday and see what I’ve been sent.. lol. 


    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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