EDIT>>Click here for a scale diagram of the layout of the mount and string-through holes that you can print out to compare with your guitar.
Back in August I asked if anyone could confirm the bridge/string through specs on the Fender Thinline and Squier VM La Cabronitas.
Chris was kind enough to write up his experience with the Squier here. A recent post on TDPRI (in Chris’s thread about his swap) shows the Gotoh GTC101 is a direct drop in replacement, mount holes and all.
Last week David in Iowa was kind enough to take some pictures and measurements of his 2013 solid body La Cabronita when he was changing to Callaham saddles. From his pictures it is clear that at the through hole spacing on his model is wider than on the 2012 model. This picture also shows that the outer mount holes appear to be centred between the string through holes, where on the 2012 model they are slightly closer to the E string through holes. This is of course a result of the string through holes being wider spaced.
A couple of days ago I had a request from Rafael, a 2013 Thinline owner in Spain, so I scanned a bridge and sent him a scale pdf to check out. He coloured in the holes, overlayed it on his body and carefully punched through the holes to show how they line up. His results are very similar to David’s.
The mount holes appear to be a good match but it’s clear Fender have changed the spacing of the string through holes. It looks like it may be possible to get the strings through with a little wiggling, so to that end today a bridge is on its way to Rafael to give it a try. Hopefully he will be able to take some pictures of the results. (15/11/13 Rafael’s pictures can be found at the end of the article.)
Of course nothing beats actually lining up a bridge on a body, but I feel pretty safe in saying that Fender have changed the string through hole spacing to match the bridge, rather than switch to a bridge with the correct string spacing for the pickups.
Now as to when in the model run they made this change, I can’t say. Certainly the new colours of La Cabronita from this year and it would seem all the Thinlines.
EDIT1>> A poster on TDPRI says that changing to a Hipshot bridge on their white blonde thinline was a drop in replacement and aligned the strings over the polepieces. The alignment would suggest they were using the 2 1/16″ Hipshot (same spacing as our bridge) not the 2 1/8″ (54mm) version. Curiouser and curiouser!
EDIT2>>The morning after posting this update I received confirmation of all of the above by Greg in Australia. He has a 2013 Shoreline Gold Thinline and changed the bridge to one of our Hipshot style bridges. Greg says
“Here’s my Shoreline Gold Thinline Cab with your hardtail. Great to see the strings over the poles and the top E sitting safely over the deck. There is a slight improvement to the tone, a little louder and more bottom end. I just managed to get the intonation right on the low E string, the spring is fairly compressed…The mount holes were perfect, but the string-through holes are slightly wider on the guitar but not really an issue, it’s around 1.5 millimetre wider at each end. So a wiggle gets the string through no worries with no nasty string angles.”
Great to have a first hand account and picture evidence – thanks Greg!
EDIT3>> Rafael has provided pictures of his Thinline swap which give us the best view of the alignment. Many thanks Rafael!
I’ll update this post if we get any further information, but for now thanks to Chris, David, Rafael and Greg for their efforts.