Fender Custom Shop RSD Bridge for Tele and P Bass
Fender Custom Shop uploads two videos detailing the design of RSD Bridges for the Telecaster and Precision Bass.
1953 Original Bigsby Telecaster Shim
Although currently limited to specific Custom Shop models, these bridges will soon be available for fitting with more Fender and non-Fender instruments, and you can buy them "À la carte" through their accessories store.
RSD stands for Research Special Division, which is a section of Fender dedicated to finding innovative components to improve the performance of guitars and basses. The new designs coming out from this division allude to the critical part that the bridge play on electric guitars and basses, affecting both the instruments playability and sound.
The RSD Telecaster Bridge is currently being offered as an option for all 2013 Custom Shop Telecaster models, while the RSD High Mass bass bridge is available for 2013 Custom Shop Pro Precision Bass models. Fender took their time in building both bridges, and went through various prototypes before finally ending up with something that satisfies their design objectives.
Scott Buehl from Fender Custom Shop shares the stories behind the design and creation of the two bridges:
RSD Telecaster Bridge
Free from the limitations of keeping things vintage-accurate, this bridge is designed to accommodate the needs of modern Tele players. A simple but efficient difference from the original is that this one has a lower profile, which allows players to setup the string action a bit lower for improved playability. The three saddles were also redesigned and slightly angled to improve intonation and sustain.
RSD High-Mass Bass Bridge
This new bass bridge underwent multiple iterations before settling down with something that they were happy with. Aside from improving intonation and sustain, the design also puts aesthetics and cost-effective production into consideration. The current version works for string-through-body bass guitars and it comes with a top-load option for improved sustain. Machined from a solid brass billet, this high-mass bridge is intended to be an ideal upgrade for P Bass owners, and will soon be available for the Jazz Bass and other models.
The RSD Team is developing other innovative parts to cover the entire guitar - including pickups, knobs, nuts, tuners and more. So we can expect more of these non-traditional guitar parts in the future.
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