The standard Jaguar/Jazzmaster bridge isn’t brilliant. It’s got threaded-bar saddles that aren’t great for tuning, or for holding strings. The height adjustment screws in the saddles can often vibrate loose, rattling about and messing things up.
If possible, a lot of players swap in a Mustang bridge instead. The Mustang bridge is a bit more solid. It’s got brass ‘barrel’ saddles with a preset radius and no individual saddle height adjustment. The problem is that, as standard, it only comes with a 7.25” radius. Some Jags and Jazzmasters are fine with this but some have the more modern, 9.5” radius on their fingerboards.
Warmoth sell a ‘Modified Mustang’ bridge with some saddle height adjustment and this can be a good option. StayTrem also make a Mustang style bridge that is available in either 7.25” or 9.5”. They’re nice bridges
And of course, there’s the Mastery Bridge. This is a redesign of the original offset guitar bridge that’s pretty well thought out. It doesn’t float in the same way as the original but the enhanced coupling and the bridge’s solidity make for good tone.
Setting Intonation On A Mastery Bridge
The Mastery bridge has two saddle-pieces, each holding three strings (one for wound and one for unwound). Each saddle-piece is adjustable for overall angle rather than having each string adjustable.
Two screws on each saddle-piece alter its intonation angle. Since you’re adjusting the overall intonation of three strings, the Mastery intonation may not be as ‘exact’ as if each string were individually adjustable.
That said, because we have one saddle piece for wound and one for unwound strings, in practice, it’s pretty good. If you play with a wound G string, you might have some difficulties balancing that string's intonation but I suspect that’s a pretty small percentage of readers.
Here’s how I set intonation on a Mastery.
- Set your intonation for the first string.
- Then set the third string intonation.
- Check the second string intonation. If all three strings are pretty close, you’re done. If one is out, you can adjust the overall angle to ‘balance out the differences’ in the same way you might for a three-saddle Telecaster.
- Follow the same pattern with the wound strings (4, then 6, then 5)