is it essential to change the bridges on these guitars for mustang bridges??

Quote by steven seagull
It all depends on the context - would a triple dose of herpes be better than a double dose of herpes?

~~we're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year~~
it's not essential, but it's easier.

or just use thicker strings, i.e 12's
From what I've HEARD, yeah.

When I played one of the $900 the other day at GC, the bridge seemed fine for me.

Depends on playing style I guess.
Well the problems i've experienced with the jazzmaster and to a greater extent the jaguar, are not so much the strings popping off the saddles (though this is a well known problem), but more the bridge rattling like a snare drum, and with distorted tones, eerie dissonant drones coming from the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece, particularly when you use the bridge pickup.

there's a thing called a buzz-stop which should sort out the rattling, the drone and the strings popping off. a mustang bridge, i believe is only compatible with a jaguar as the jazzmaster has a different neck radius (don't quote me on that, it may be BS) whereas the jaguar and mustang have the same neck (don't quote me on that either, it might also be BS), and only stops the strings popping off the saddles and some of the rattling and buzzing.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.