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  • boutique tune-o-matics

    I have an Epiphone Dot and the hardware is, quite reasonably, Chevy rather than Cadillac quality.

    If I decide to upgrade this guitar (which plays and sounds very good), the bridge would be the first thing to go. Not that it doesn't work but that the fit & finish are only okay; just bare-bones functional.

    It seems that there are folks who would be delighted to sell me a new tune-o-matic for anything from $50 to $200 (or more, maybe).

    Any comments on where the best values are? Experience in great improvements in tone (or not) after putting in a new tune-o-matic?
    Hi Mom!

  • #2
    Tone Pros?

    I've never replaced a TOM so I've never compared one to the other back to back on the same guitar. I'm sure Epi isn't the creme de la creme, but I probably wouldn't pop for a $200 bridge that will only work on other imports.

    Going from steel to aluminium would probably make a difference, but once you had overcome rattles and settling, I can't imagine similar materials would yield notable differences in 'tone'.

    I have often wondered if it would sound different to get the bridge dialed in for height, then have little spacers that were thicker to go around the exposed areas of the studs. Not sure if I'm explaining that clearly. But basically more medal connecting bridge to body or bridge to insert.

    Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius:

    "When it comes to gear vs talent I'll be the first to admit that I sit in the Mayor's seat in Poserville."

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    • #3
      I recently replaced the bridge on my Agile with a Gotoh TOM from Stew-Mac ($20-25) after I noticed that one of the saddles on the Agile's stock bridge had developed a "wobble". So I noticed a tone improvement there, but it was just because the old bridge was sucking away some of the kinetic energy of string.

      I've compared the stock bridge on my Epi LP with the Gotoh, and am not convinced there's much of an upgrade to be had. My Epi bridge fits snugly on the posts, the saddles are firm, and the slots are cut right so I have no reason to replace it. The Gotoh is wider, so that allows more range for the saddles to be adjusted to achieve proper intonation. But overall, I'm skeptical that a new bridge is going to noticeably improve your tone unless you're replacing a defective product.

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      • #4
        boutique tunomatics are great. especially the brass ones from polar guitars. works of art i tells ya!

        i put one of my all brass bridges on my custom sg. the original bridge was a sung il from an agile - basically the same as on an epi.
        it did make a notable tonal difference for the better. "less muddy" is i guess how i would describe the change.

        things like gotoh bridges wont have a tonal difference as they are effectively the same bridge, just a bit higher quality. i have a gotoh on one of my guitars, it really nice.

        i dont think tone pros locking make a huge difference in tone either on the bridge. i think the gotoh or tone pros aluminium tailpieces do change things a little. i put one on my gibson sg and there was a subtle change - brighter id day.

        some of the other things you can buy are aluminium bridges from graphtech and steel ones from calaham. these should have some impact on tone, ive never tried them though.
        ---
        1959 is dead
        http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...4#post46436574
        ---

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        • #5
          Thanks.
          Hi Mom!

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          • #6
            Tone Pros?

            I've never replaced a TOM so I've never compared one to the other back to back on the same guitar. I'm sure Epi isn't the creme de la creme, but I probably wouldn't pop for a $200 bridge that will only work on other imports.

            Going from steel to aluminium would probably make a difference, but once you had overcome rattles and settling, I can't imagine similar materials would yield notable differences in 'tone'.

            I have often wondered if it would sound different to get the bridge dialed in for height, then have little spacers that were thicker to go around the exposed areas of the studs. Not sure if I'm explaining that clearly. But basically more medal connecting bridge to body or bridge to insert.



            I had Tone Pros on my Sherry and liked them a lot. No rattles, easier to intonate and hold, no falling off during string changes. If I ever bought another guitar that needed a bridge upgrade, yeah I'd go with Tone Pro again.

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            • #7
              Gotoh.
              Theyre cheap, and if theyre good enough for top end ESPs, then theyre good enough for me
              Gear:
              Cort m200 (with SD 59/JB combo)
              Ampeg Dan Armstrong
              Gibson Firebird Studio
              Gibson Explorer x2 (natural/white)
              Gibson LP studio
              Squier Tele Custom II
              Godin LG EMG
              Hello Kitty Strat
              Edwards LPC
              Jackson COW 6
              Jim Root Strat
              ESP Eclipse I DBSB
              Billy Corgan Strat
              50s Tribute Goldtop HB
              Squier Mini Strat
              Fender Cabronita Tele

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              • #8
                Faber.
                Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!

                Creativity is a Work Ethic

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                • #9
                  Gotoh.
                  Theyre cheap, and if theyre good enough for top end ESPs, then theyre good enough for me

                  As well as Carvin.

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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=ihavenofish;42167109]
                    things like gotoh bridges wont have a tonal difference as they are effectively the same bridge, just a bit higher quality. i have a gotoh on one of my guitars, it really nice.

                    QUOTE]It's not just the finish quality etc that's better on the Gotoh.
                    The mass and weight is also heavier and bound to have an effect on tone and sustain.
                    It made an absolute huge improvement on my SX guitar.

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                    • #11

                      things like gotoh bridges wont have a tonal difference as they are effectively the same bridge, just a bit higher quality. i have a gotoh on one of my guitars, it really nice.

                      It's not just the finish quality etc that's better on the Gotoh.
                      The mass and weight is also heavier and bound to have an effect on tone and sustain.
                      It made an absolute huge improvement on my SX guitar.


                      the mass isnt not very different. they are both zinc. the gotoh is slightly larger than a typical abr style, but overall its insignificant (about 5-10 grams).
                      ---
                      1959 is dead
                      http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...4#post46436574
                      ---

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                      • #12
                        try screw the tailpiece all the way down and wrap strings around tailpiece before you buy anything

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                        • #13
                          the mass isnt not very different. they are both zinc. the gotoh is slightly larger than a typical abr style, but overall its insignificant (about 5-10 grams).

                          They are both zinc but the weight difference to me was more than 10 grams or 0.35 ozs.
                          To each his own.

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                          • #14
                            I upgraded the TOM on my Agile to a Tone Pros locking one, and it made a huge difference. Not so much in the actual tone, but more in the playability. It plays much smoother and just feels more solid somehow. I also love that I don't have to worry about bumping the bridge and messing up the action, or the tailpeice falling off when I change the strings. It's worth upgrading for sure.
                            Originally Posted by James Hetfield


                            I AM THE TABLE!!



                            Guitars:
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                            Agile PS900 Blue Flame
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                            Good Transactions: cadfael, kev324, sahlomonic, Lucius

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                            • #15
                              They are both zinc but the weight difference to me was more than 10 grams or 0.35 ozs.
                              To each his own.


                              i happen to have an sx and gotoh bridge on my desk. my brass ones arent much heavier in overall mass either. 10 grams on a bridge is 20% of its total mass, it would be hard to make any more difference than that without chanigng materials or drastically altering dimensions.
                              ---
                              1959 is dead
                              http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...4#post46436574
                              ---

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