Descendant Companion Bridge


The Descendant Vibrato and Companion Bridge are brain children of well established, and highly respected luthier, Chris Swope of 
Swope Guitars. An idea he has been thinking over for nearly ten years, which after a couple of years more specifically diving head first into turning into a product, is finally born. 

I began working with Chris in 2020, by stocking the brilliant Descendant Vibrato. Those have proved to be incredibly popular here in the UK, with great customer feedback from those that have invested in the design through me. In 2021 Chris announced the Descendant 'Companion Bridge' and I'm proud to now say I have these available here at the Home of Tone too! 

The Design
The Companion Bridge is of course initially designed to compliment the features of the matching Vibrato, but it can be used as a stand-alone upgrade too.  They are a drop-in solution for traditional bridge equipped Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars for example, much like it's vibrato unit sibling. So if your JM or Jag has a traditional, rocking bridge design, then this bridge will fit the existing body thimbles. If you're at all not sure whether your bridge is a traditional one or not, feel free to pop me a message and a photo of it and I'll confirm for you no worries at all.
The core
 design takes off from the classic Mustang bridge style, using fixed radius barrel saddles, but with a radius choice of vintage spec 7.25" to slightly more modern spec of 9.5" & 12" to suit your specific instrument fretboard radius.

If installing into a standard/traditional Jazzmaster or Jaguar, you can install it within the factory thimbles, as a fixed (non-rocking) bridge or if you are a traditionalist and enjoy the rocking bridge design, the post collars can be removed. So you have the choice to best suit your personal preference.  If you're installing this into a fresh build, the bridge does come with a new pair of 9mm OD body thimbles so you won't need to source those separately which handy!

The posts have a threaded collar that is drilled slightly off center. This allows great flexibility when it comes to intonation;
Fitting tight tolerance posts into thimbles that may be spaced a little wider or a little narrower than spec.
They can address issues with neck alignment by nudging the bridge a bit from one side to the other. 

When Leo Fender designed the Jazzmaster & Jaguar guitars, the bridge spacing was 2.1875” (2 & 3/16”) from E to E which converts to 55.5625mm. Most of us have played guitars with this spacing where sometimes the high or low E wants to roll off the fret when we are playing. This is mainly due to neck to bridge string alignment issues resulting in one E or the other being a bit too close to the edge of the board. In the Strat/Tele world you’ll find many bridges that are narrower. Chris has always preferred 2.125” (2 & 1/8”, = 53.975mm) for example. Players that love 52mm spacing, keep in mind that until recently, Jazzmasters and Jags and the like were not terribly popular so offset players have had, for the most part, only 2 options. 2.1875” and 52mm (2.048”) and these are dramatically different. Chris always felt shaving .140+” off was way too much. That’s somewhere between 8 and 9 business cards stacked up on top of each other, divided by the 5 spaces between the strings. Fingerpicking fans perhaps wouldn't want to give up all that real estate, Chris certainly didn't want to either, and set about designing a 2 & 1/8” spaced bridge. But hold on, 52mm ‘ers, don’t jump ship just yet. The offset center hole of this bridge post collar allows you to rotate the posts 90 degrees from center which basically puts you right at the spot where your 52mm outside E string would be on whichever side has a problem. So, if your guitar has alignment issues, now instead of one side having too much fingerboard on one side and the other not enough, everything is where is should be. So, this design will give you more space between the strings while having the additional benefit of correcting poor neck/bridge/string alignment issues. 

Install/Maintenance tips
The Descendant was designed and made to fit standard Jazzmaster/Jaguar bridge thimbles (although a new pair of thimbles is also provided if needed, helpful for fresh builds!) and due to it's adjustable design, it should help accommodate for any factory tolerances too ( in regards to neck alignment for example). If you have any concerns that yours is different to standard, for example a tune-o-matic bridge that has none standard thimbles or other variants, get in touch and we can double check fitment for you. This bridge will not be a drop-in item for offsets equipped with Tune-O-Matic bridges already installed as their body thimbles/mount is very different to the traditional thimbles generally. The bridge comes supplied with setup instructions, but also there are some handy FAQ's by Chris as well as the support both Chris and myself are happy to provide in advance or during the process for you. 

9.5” & 12" radius now out of stock.

7.25” radius option currently in stock!