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At what point does one replace a bridge?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by IMadeYouReadThis, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    I'm thinking my SG's tune-o-matic might need some help. It's an Epiphone G-400, and it's starting to have problems. The first issue I'm having is intonation. If you notice the G saddle, I have it flipped and cranked all the way back. The intonation is still a little off, so I'd like more travel.

    20200917_162248[1].jpg

    The other issue is the retaining bar. The bridge buzzes like mad on the lower 3 strings. The wire can be fixed, but only for a few days before it starts up again. There's probably a permanent solution, but I think I'd rather just go wire-less.

    I guess if nothing else, my bridge is starting to show some strange wear. You can see in the photo, the top part is starting to turn pink (?) and has this weird finish damage that looks like residue of something, but doesn't come off. Of course, the aesthetic of a bridge really isn't enough to make me switch it out.

    20200917_162204[1].jpg

    Anyway, is it worth replacing or kinda just duct-tape fixing? I'd would likely end up switching it out for something relatively cheap, like a Gotoh, no retaining wire, metric ABR-1 fitting, and wider for intonation. If only harmonicas fit an ABR setup...
     
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  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Gotoh is a good idea. It’s solid hardware, good stuff. But not so expensive that you’ll be out a lot of it doesn’t fix your intonation problem.

    Have you done some good measuring? There’s always the chance that the bridge is just in the wrong spot. It’s happened to me a couple times over the years on inexpensive, imported guitars. The math doesn’t have to be off by much for it to cause real issues.
     
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  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Your bridge is super important.
    I’d just replace it.
     
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  4. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    A Nashville bridge would give you more travel, if that's a problem.
     
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  5. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Holic

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    I would check the nut slot heights and level. Might solve your intonation issues. Also reverse wrap around the tail piece to get a better string angle.
     
  6. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    The nut is probably gonna go sooner rather than later, since it's still the stock plastic one. It actually is cut a bit high, but not enough that I couldn't just adjust the neck to fix it. I'm just not confident in my ability to do nut work, which is why I've put it off. Do you need any special tools?
     
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  7. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Holic

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    I'd take to someone who knows what they are doing. You probably don't want to practice on that guitar. I wouldn't put a pre shaped on it, I have someone make a nice custom one with correct height etc.
     
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  8. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    That's enough for changing it

    Loctite is your friend there. and heavy bending it between screws

    That's the copper beneath the chrome. Totally normal wear

    I would not be cheap on bridge. It does't mean install diamond's covered one.

    But if you can live with that mis-intonation.... Do you hear it while playing or is just a tuner thing? That would be the question... If NO, fix that one. If YES, change it
     
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  9. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    It's not odd that you need to flip the G saddle around.

    Can you hear the rattle at stage volume? If not, don't worry about it.

    Those bridges tend to lose their radius over time. This can result in the spring loosening a bit. It might be experiencing that problem. You can compensate by filing the outer saddle slots a bit deeper. You might need to raise your tailpiece a bit afterward, in order to get the strings off of the back lip of the bridge. There's no problem with doing that, IME. Not sure why some people think it's such a bad thing.
     
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  10. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    I replaced the bridge on my Gretsch 5220 with a Gotoh. Better quality and a tad more travel too.
     
  11. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

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    I replace all those inscrutable Oriental bridges with ABR1 adapters and a genuwine ABR1 bridge. I think it plays and sounds better.
     
  12. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like this Schaller. I have one on a guitar with a Bigsby, also on one without. Meant for mounting slightly diagonal like a Gibson TOM. And they give more intonation play.
    [​IMG]
    Forget harmonica bridges, they're meant for mounting straight.
     
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  13. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those bridges just rattle sometimes. I have stuffed little bits of foam in a few, but I just try to get used to it.

    The discoloration just looks like the finish coming off. It's especially noticeable on gold hardware, which never stays gold for long where your hand rests.

    As for the intonation, some of the previous suggestions make sense.
     
  14. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    Top-wrapping creates a shallower break angle over the bridge saddle, since the strings pass from the top of the bridge instead of halfway through it.

    Try that out see how it works :)



    [​IMG]
     
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  15. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't understand why that would work - but I love your username.
     
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  16. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, still wish Gibson/Epiphone at least made some guitars with harmonicas, but I think I'm in the minority. Norlin Gibson left a bad taste in many mouths.

    Since I was probably going to replace the bridge anyway, I was curious about maybe trying something interesting like a roller or brass saddles. Or both :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    As soon as it won’t support the vehicles that travel over it, duh!


    EDIT:
    After reading closer, I realize you’re not talking about a roadway bridge...you’re talking about a guitar bridge.

    Never mind...
     
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  18. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have a roller like the one pictured. It works well - very solid and easy on the hand.
     
  19. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    The only consideration regarding roller bridges is they do sound different from TOM saddles because of how the strings come off the bridge. The difference is subtle, but I've noticed it on four different guitars I have.

    If you have a TOM bridge with the little retaining wire and it buzzes, you can tweak it with a small needle-nose plier to make firmer contact with the screw heads. This sometimes is a permanent fix, but a better solution I've found is to place a teensy dot of clear nail enamel on the wire where it rests against each screw. Use a toothpick for this operaton, and allow it to dry for about an hour before you play. It's permanent until you need to re-adjust the intonation if you change string gauge. As soon as you rotate the screw the nail enamel pops loose. Re-apply if needed.
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Parts is parts
    Replace 'em if they go bad
     
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