Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

You know how a project can drive you nuts?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by dsutton24, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    A few years ago I saw an Epiphone Chet Atkins SST hanging on the wall somewhere. I let it get away from me, and I regretted it. I kept my eye out, and came across this one about a year and a half ago:


    Dirt cheap, no case, but what the heck, I wasn't going to make that mistake again. Little did I know.

    It's a beautiful guitar, and it plays like a dream. I took it to my Friday lesson, and it started acting up. The piezo was cutting in and out, and just driving us crazy, I borrowed my son's guitar and finished my lesson.

    I did some poking around on the interweb, and it looked like the electronics were Fishman, but there wasn't a lot of information on it. The saddle sat in a tiny U-channel, which then sat in the bridge as per usual. Odd, but straightforward. I pried it out, and the saddle broke. No big deal.


    It turned out the piezo element itself was bad. The original elements aren't available these days, not a big deal, just plug in a universal piezo and rock on. Now to deal with the broken saddle. Turns out that original saddles aren't available either. Easy stuff, just make a new saddle.

    The saddle slot in the bridge is a non-standard .185". Was this thing manufactured on Neptune, or something? I don't recall everything that happened, but I do know that saddle is a big part of the reason I hate working with bone now. I eventually threw a 1/8" saddle in it, shimmed it with some paper, and put it away for a year and a half. It was awful, the saddle slot is so shallow that the saddle really has to fit well or it will tilt toward the nut. And it did.

    For some reason I decided that today was the day I'd finish the Chet. I had a 1/8" saddle, and then ran all over the house micing things, looking for a .060" shim. No joy. I cut a piece of pickguard material, glued it to the saddle, and put it in the vise to cure. A few minutes on the belt sander, and tink! It took off, never to be seen again.

    Yep. Time for a break.

    Now what? I poked around in my collection of odds and ends, and came up with a Fishman Cleartone saddle. The length was perfect, and it was absurdly tall, but it trimmed down just fine. Now for the dreaded shim. I wandered around with my calipers again, and found that a sliver off of a CD would be just the perfect thickness. Some slicing, sanding, and supergluing, and it fit perfectly.

    Unbelievable. This thing has finally given up and cooperated. Now, if I could just find a case for it that won't mean a second mortgage!:D

  2. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

    Most of mine. (The crazy question)

    Yea, don't try to make a case for it. Cool looking guitar.
    Has the sound change any with the work you did?

  3. bunny 7

    bunny 7 Tele-Holic

    Apr 14, 2012
    Louisville, Ky.
    Yep, the "easy" projects always seem to have gotchas attached to them.

    Congratulations tho, you accomplished the task and you can enjoy the rewards of your effort. Well done.
    That's a great looking guitar.

  4. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    Definitely. There's a lot less swearing going on. :lol: Dunno how to answer your question. The original pickup went intermittent right after I bought it, and I hadn't plugged it in for more than a year. I've never played any other SSTs, so I don't know what's a normal sound. It definitely has that piezo burr to it, but it isn't as thumpy as you you'd expect out of a normal A/E. I do like the sound of it. It's on the mellow side of bright.

  5. 24 track

    24 track Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    My nephew had 2 Parker Flys with the Fishman piezos and circuitry in them, one buggered up and he wasn't able to fix that either, I think he sold it,
    that is one cool looking guitar it looks suspiciously like my Godin nylon string classical I hope it plays as well as the Godin or better, I always wanted a Gibson Chet Atkins nylon , not only are they rare but do not come in left handed. I dont know if Fishman still around I have seen some acoustic Fishman pre-amps,

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