This design was revolutionary for a number of reasons. The most significant feature is a small Allen screw on the side of the bridge, which presses all the saddles together so they resonate as though they were one single mass. This eliminates the loss of string vibration energy caused by side-to-side saddle movement inherent in other designs. Further, the strings no longer needed to be routed though the rear of the body for optimum sustain as well as allowing the strings to enter directly through the rear of the bridge. For G&L 5-string basses, the Saddle-Lock bridge employs a string-through-body configuration. Testing revealed that the increased break angle on the low B string yielded a more focused sound when routed through the rear of the body.
The bottom side of the bridge has a large protrusion which fits into a route in the body. The protrusion fits snugly against the end grain of the body wood, allowing the highly resonant bridge to transfer much more of the string vibration energy directly to the core of the body, yielding much greater sustain than his earlier fixed bridge design. Again, Leo’s† innovative saddle design was used to minimize string breakage.
† The personal name, likeness and signature of Mr. Clarence Leo Fender are property of G&L Musical Instruments / BBE Sound, Inc. and may not be used in any commercial capacity without prior approval. For commercial enquiries regarding the use of the “Leo Fender” name, likeness or signature, please contact us. G&L is not associated with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.