Descendant Companion 'Universal' Bridge

£179.16

Availability

In stock, in the UK and ready for dispatch!

I'm incredibly proud to be offering these here in stock in the UK. After speaking with Chris early on, it felt like making these more accessible to those in the UK (& perhaps those in Europe too) would be worthwhile for those who were weary of importing an item from the USA themselves due to shipping and import tax, duty and handling charges involved. As a result, this is UK stock, dispatched from me here at James' Home of Tone.

About the 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 also carry these in stock.

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.  

The core design takes off from the classic 'barrel' Mustang bridge style saddles, but with more versatile adjustment saddle heights too! The outer saddles are fixed, but the central saddles are all individually height adjustable to give adjustment to those with alternative radius fingerboards. This is also beneficial for those that have specific action or saddle radius height preferences as you can really dial it in to personal preference rather than rely on a fixed radius. A best of both worlds type design, firm string slots and great tonal qualities of a barrel saddle, with the setup versatility and accuracy of adjustable saddles. 

You can achieve 'fixed' non rocking action, or traditional/vintage style rocking action. You can refine alignment issues at the heel for example via it's offset fixed posts too. 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.

Will it fit my guitar?

They are intended to be 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, and by that I mean a bridge that rests without being permantly fixed, into two thimbles/inserts into the body, then this bridge will fit and do so into the existing thimbles too. 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.

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 to achieve this too. 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!

String spacing?

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 notes

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 exact spec 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. For this models you will need a different spec Descendant companion bridge, more on that very soon! 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. I have now also written a full install/setup article guide on my blog to help along the way, and that can be viewed HERE

What's included?

1x Descendant Companion bridge
Allen key and small C spanner adjustment tools
Installation guide
New 9mm OD body thimbles

Do you provide an install/fitting service?

I do! If you happen to be local, and want to have your bridge unit installed professionally then do please get in touch and I'd be happy to provide that service for you. My office is based in Stourbridge, West Midlands (UK). For more information of my guitar services please visit the dedicated page HERE or get in touch james@homeoftone.co.uk

In stock, in the UK and ready for dispatch!

I'm incredibly proud to be offering these here in stock in the UK. After speaking with Chris early on, it felt like making these more accessible to those in the UK (& perhaps those in Europe too) would be worthwhile for those who were weary of importing an item from the USA themselves due to shipping and import tax, duty and handling charges involved. As a result, this is UK stock, dispatched from me here at James' Home of Tone.

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 also carry these in stock.

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.  

The core design takes off from the classic 'barrel' Mustang bridge style saddles, but with more versatile adjustment saddle heights too! The outer saddles are fixed, but the central saddles are all individually height adjustable to give adjustment to those with alternative radius fingerboards. This is also beneficial for those that have specific action or saddle radius height preferences as you can really dial it in to personal preference rather than rely on a fixed radius. A best of both worlds type design, firm string slots and great tonal qualities of a barrel saddle, with the setup versatility and accuracy of adjustable saddles. 

You can achieve 'fixed' non rocking action, or traditional/vintage style rocking action. You can refine alignment issues at the heel for example via it's offset fixed posts too. 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 are intended to be 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, and by that I mean a bridge that rests without being permantly fixed, into two thimbles/inserts into the body, then this bridge will fit and do so into the existing thimbles too. 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.

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 to achieve this too. 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!

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. 

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 exact spec 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. For this models you will need a different spec Descendant companion bridge, more on that very soon! 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. I have now also written a full install/setup article guide on my blog to help along the way, and that can be viewed HERE

1x Descendant Companion bridge
Allen key and small C spanner adjustment tools
Installation guide
New 9mm OD body thimbles

I do! If you happen to be local, and want to have your bridge unit installed professionally then do please get in touch and I'd be happy to provide that service for you. My office is based in Stourbridge, West Midlands (UK). For more information of my guitar services please visit the dedicated page HERE or get in touch james@homeoftone.co.uk