Here is an Epiphone Dot in for a tune-o-matic upgrade. It’s the same guitar that was in my shop some months back for a wiring kit upgrade. I discussed this on an earlier blog post. The customer is gradually upgrading 1 thing at a time. The stock tune-o-matic rattles and the saddles have a lot of play which affects intonation settings quite a bit.
I have recommended our nickel Gotoh Nashville style tune-o-matic bridge GE103B-T. It is by far the best quality bridge for this Asian made guitar without having to spend a small fortune. It’s a direct drop in with the larger diameter bridge post holes so I don’t have to modify the guitar in any way.
Before I remove the old bridge, I document the action over the 12th fret using my 6” ruler. The guitar has already been setup so I don’t want to change the action from where it is now. I measure both the treble side and bass side from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string and write it down.
Now I have removed the old strings and cheap old tune-o-matic bridge. I will use the old threaded bushings that are already in the body since the new Gotoh bridge post threads will match the metric threads of the insert. I could use the old posts too but I am checking to see which posts thread tighter. It is clearly a tighter fit with the Gotoh posts.
After installing the posts I can place the new bridge over the new posts. With these Gotoh bridges, you want to face the intonation screws towards the neck so that the saddles angle in the same direction. I eyeballed the intonation offset of the saddles based off the old bridge to speed up the intonation process at the end.
I am so glad Gotoh doesn’t completely notch the saddles because too many guitars are not centered correctly and need to be offset to one side or the other. This guitar happened to be on center. After I groove the saddles using my nut files I follow up with 800 grit sandpaper folded in half to smooth the edges out. I set the action and intonation and I’m done!
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David Shepherd (Mojotone Pickups and Guitar Parts Manager)