A tremolo bridge has always been a key component in the overall sound of an S type guitar. Although there are lots of options along with the current 2 point trem system commonly used, experience and general consensus would suggest the rather crude original fender 6 screw vintage bridge still offers the tone. We share the view of many, that contact with the body of the guitar matters for authentic vintage tone and increased sustain. Unfortunately there are also known issues with this type of bridge, due to the pivot point, which has to slide up and down the screws as it is used. All of the force created by the string tension is being applied to this sliding pivot point which due to friction, doesn’t always return to the set up position and correct pitch. As long as you don’t expect to go too far ala Joe Satriani, a well set up vintage bridge has few problems for the gentle Shadows kind of trem action. Having said that many guitarists end up decking their vintage bridge to avoid set up, tuning problems. Innovative guitarists such as Jeff Beck, Scott Henderson have carved out their own sound, finding ways to express themselves with more trem action in their playing. Why can't every guitarist have an easy to set up and reliable way to explore that too?
We have re-engineered the plates so pivot point so it doesn’t slide up and down on the six screws and at the same time improved the connection with the body of the guitar. This has led to the design and production of the Wudtone CP (constant pivot) Bridge Plate. The engineering enables the bridge to pivot on six hardened steel screws with a pivot point that stays constant.It does not slide up and down the screw as the tremolo arm is used. The vee on the underside becomes an essential, constant component of the connection with the body of the guitar. The bridge sits on a 0.5mm thick stainless steel shim. This is machined with holes for the mounting screws and just fits like a washer underneath the bridge plate. This creates a metal to metal contact to improve the sensitivity of the tremolo and enhance sustain by spreading the load onto the body. The plate has recesses machined on the top of the plate to accommodate the screw heads as the plate pivots preventing any sliding up and down and enabling smooth return to pitch. A 7mm bar is fitted to the back edge of the plate which makes the bridge feel more comfortable to use under the palm of your hand when playing. It is recessed to neatly shroud the heads of the saddle screws. This bar bar adds a little extra mass, always good for tone. The Wudtone CP Plate (pat pend) is made from 3mm, c75, hardened and tempered spring steel. This material is harder than many current bridge plates, indeed it is so hard it cannot be crudely bent up to form the rear edge as with all other vintage style plates we are aware of. The difference in sensitivity of the trem, its feel, sustain are instantly noticeable. It is designed and made in the UK as a fit for purpose product rather than compromised to a lower manufacturing cost. It is fitted to our custom guitars and available as an after part upgrade, compatible with existing blocks and saddles with 2 7/32 dimensions. Narrower 2 1/16 MIM dimensions available to special order. It is also available as part of a complete new bridge assembly with the FATBOY enhanced cold rolled steel block, saddles and Arm .