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Thread: How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

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    Cake Mire cakire82's Avatar
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    Question How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

    I have recently purchased my first TOM bridge equipped guitar. It is a string through so no stop bar tail piece.

    Now it is time to re-string it and set it up properly during this process. Action can be lowered a little bit and intonation might be required. Looking at the user's manual and the a few videos on Utube it is not difficult at all. You have (2) poll piece adjustment screws and (6) saddle adjustment screws. Nothing complicated.

    What I want to ask you guys is if there are any tips, tricks, do's and dont's you would like to share to make this process as pain free, harmless and easy as possible.

    REGARDS!!
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker drpietrzak's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

    Before you set bridge height be sure the saddles are cut for your fretboard radius. Measure each string height at the 12th or 17th fret and file appropriately so that they are the same. Then do the set-up.
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    Mojo's Minions DrNewcenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

    I'm willing to bet it's a production model that came with the bridge already on it, so the radius should already be cut.

    As for turning the bass saddles around, I've had plenty of guitars where the bridge was located improperly and the low E would not intonate unless you turned the saddle around.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brown Note View Post
    I'm soooooo jealous about the WR-1. It's the perfect guitar; fantastic to play, balances well even when seated and *great* reach for the upper frets. The sound is bright tight and very articulate. In summary it could only be more awesome if it had **** and was on fire!
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    Mojo's Minions DrNewcenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

    Actually I'm looking at 3 factory Gotoh TOMs and an old Vantage TOM and they came that way: 1,2,3 are slanted towards the rear of the guitar and 4,5,6 are slanted towards the nut.
    On my other 3 guitars, they're all slanted towards the rear.

    Odd....
    Quote Originally Posted by Brown Note View Post
    I'm soooooo jealous about the WR-1. It's the perfect guitar; fantastic to play, balances well even when seated and *great* reach for the upper frets. The sound is bright tight and very articulate. In summary it could only be more awesome if it had **** and was on fire!
    My Blog

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    Default Re: How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewcenstein View Post
    I'm willing to bet it's a production model that came with the bridge already on it, so the radius should already be cut.
    That would be nice if it were true. NONE of my 11 Gibsons came from the factory with the proper radius cut into the ABR-1s or the Nashville T-O-Ms. Gibson notches the saddles on these guitar by taking a small hammer and just pounding on the string. There is little, if any, filing done.

    If you really want a Paul, or any guitar with a T-O-M bridge to "play like buttah", get those saddles filed to match the radius of the neck, prefferably by a tech who actually knows what a radius gauge is.

    Bill

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

    I like setting the tailpiece so the strings just barely clear the backside of the saddle.

    And on short scale TOM type guitars, the intonation must be perfect.
    I usually intonate so that every string from the 10th to the 17th fret reads dead center on a tuner......or as close to that as possible.

    I'm a firm believer in setting the action to correspond directly to the player's right hand attack. For that reason, I don't set guitars up to my preference. I like to see the guy play for a few minutes and determine the type of action that suits his attack. A lot of players are playing light on high action and visa versa. I like to find that point where the player is digging in, and there's no buzz or string warble.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

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    Cake Mire cakire82's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

    All very good pointers. I will take all of the into consideration tomorrow while setting it up. Thanks!
    "We live thinking we will never die. We die thinking we had never lived. Cut it out." - Jason Becker

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    Default Re: How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

    It is all set. Saddles had more than enough space to intonated without reversing them. Action is lowered even more than the factory specs and it plays even better now.
    Thank you all.
    "We live thinking we will never die. We die thinking we had never lived. Cut it out." - Jason Becker

    "The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change" - Heraclitus

    House of Jackson, Charvel, ESP, BC Rich, Dean etc.. Fans. Come and Join us!

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    John Mayer's Mankini ImmortalSix's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Setup a Tune-O-Matic Bridge?

    Noone knows - it remains a mystery to this day.

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