We were impressed and intrigued with the Babicz Full Contact Hardware when we first saw it at Winter NAMM. Kind of like he did with his acoustic designs, Jeff Babicz wanted to try to improve upon some timehonored electric concepts, particularly where bridge designs were concerned. He wanted to achieve a more direct string-to-body coupling while still allowing height and intonation adjustment. This would eliminate the air gap between the height adjustment screws on a Tele for better transfer of tone—particularly on the fundamental— for, in Babicz’s words, “the least amount of acoustical impedance.”
We put his creation to the test on a gorgeous-sounding three-saddle Squier Tele. Installation was pretty straightforward. We had the old bridge off, the new bridge on, and the guitar set up and intonated in under an hour. String height adjustment is accomplished with an ingenious cam mechanism that maintains 100 percent contact at all times. Once the height is set and the string is intonated, everything locks down tight with the supplied Allen wrench. From a tonal standpoint, we noticed that the entire guitar was slightly brighter and livelier. Strumming it acoustically revealed a ringy, resonant quality that, while there before, was more pronounced now. What was most striking, however, was the way notes rang together on extended voicings. Major 7ths and 9ths had a clarity and a separation between the notes that we found fascinating. To be fair, our test guitar was already awesome. But we’ve all played guitars that were a struggle to intonate, adjust, or just sounded dead. That’s where the Babicz FCH bridge would really shine and would represent an upgrade in every single respect.