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TorontoBob

Harmony Bobkat - Tune-O-Matic Bridge

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Hi all.

I have a Bobkat - the two-pickup model, and I really like it. The DeArmonds sound GREAT!

 A while ago I saw a forum post with pictures  (https://fixingandbuilding.wordpress.com/tag/harmony-bobkat-tune-o-matic/)  where a tune-o-matic was installed on a Bobkat, and I was thinking it might improve the little axe to do that. But - I'm worried that messing with it will decrease it's value.

Any opinions?

 

Thanks!

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IIRC, [because I have not seen a Bobkat in thirty years*] the '15' and '16' [2 pickup versions] had an angled metal bridge[15] or a jazz box type wooden one [16] that was height adjustable. Obviously to put a TOM on it will require some drillin' and fillin', as we say, but those old offsets go for, what, like $350 to $450 in mint condition?  If the guitar is a keeper, and you want to improve the playability, I would do the mod just for the improved intonation. If you owned a model T, would you keep the original engine in it, or upgrade it? :wave:

And, yeah those old gold foil D'Armonds have their own sound that is pretty cool.

* I set one up for slide for a guy I knew; just put a big brass nut on it :thu:

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The perceived value of the guitar only matters if you sell it. Like daddymack said "it's a  keeper" do what makes YOU happy  As for the model T ,yes i would keep the original engine. 

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Hmmmmm … Ya. Might decrease the value - but only if I sell it.

Well, since I never sell anything, I think I have my answer. :-)

Thanks!

Oh, I guess this one is a '16' - it has the wooden bridgHarmonyBobkat.thumb.jpg.d26e8e779023af76d3218ece7f1affb7.jpge.

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On 10/30/2019 at 5:21 PM, gardo said:

The perceived value of the guitar only matters if you sell it. Like daddymack said "it's a  keeper" do what makes YOU happy  As for the model T ,yes i would keep the original engine. 

actually, yes keep the original engine/tranny, but drop it out, pop in a 351 and a new tranny...and a new rear axle and...suspension and...

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6 hours ago, daddymack said:

actually, yes keep the original engine/tranny, but drop it out, pop in a 351 and a new tranny...and a new rear axle and...suspension and...

Been there and done that .  Not a model T but  same concept. Change one thing and soon everything needs changed,it never ends .

It's so much easier to hot rod guitars

tele & Chevy.jpg

Edited by gardo

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Ok, ya. At one point I had a '79 Ford Fairmont with a V8, and a Volvo 2-series wagon. Shoulda put the V8 in the Volvo! (It's been done to hilarious effect at stop-lights when you out-gun a hot car.)

Anyway, back to the Bobkat. I *do* like to keep things stock, so drilling hold in the body was not something I really wanted to do. Then I remembered seeing somewhere TOM bridges for arch-tops. They have a rosewood, or ebony, or whatever base. So no holes. I'm checking those out. Specs for most of the 5 or so on Amazon don't include the string spacing (low E to high E) (1 7/8) on my guitar), so I'll see how close I can get and report back. 

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You should be able to find one with unslotted saddles, that way you can cut the slots to the spacing you like.  Stewmac is a good source for those kind of parts as well.

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I don't see why you couldn't just install a modern jazz bridge like this one. You have a tune-o-matic on a wood base so you don't have to drill the guitar's top.

spacer.png

You would have to sand the bottom of the wood base flat but that's easy with a belt dander or just a sheet of sandpaper laid on a flat surface. This way you don't have to drill the guitar for posts. Slide the bridge up and down for rough intonation on both E strings and the fine tune with the saddle screws.

 

 

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Yes - that was my plan. My only concern is the string spread. I need 1 7/8" to match the original bridge. (And I haven't found as suggested above a bridge where I file the notches where I want them. I'm not sure there is a TOM where you can do that.)

 

 

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I did look at Stewmac before, but didn't see anything tagged as un-slotted. I'll look again and probably reach out to them for a recommendation. Will post what I learn.

P.S.

I guess if I say I keep things stock then I had better not admit that in 1974 I replaced the original Kluson tuners on my '61 Strat with Schallers. Flame me - I deserve it!

 

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Hi. Ya, I guess I could. But the string span difference is just a bit more than 3mm. So that's maybe 0.5 mm difference for each (most) saddle(s). I'm fearless with tools, but this seems a bit too finicky for my skills/tools. Maybe though ...

I contacted Stewmac for guidance. Maybe they have options I can't see on their site.

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These are cheap and look period correct. Saddles are moveable for intonation and string spacing. You can file a groove once you have the desired spacing.

s-l1600.jpg

 

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Check this:

http://www.vintagehofner.co.uk/gallery/archtops6/arch17.html

Is that not the almost identical bridge?

And wow! I thought that looked familiar!

That Hofner was my 1st guitar about 1973. Sad to say it - but - it may be vintage now, but it was a horrible guitar then. Warped - but non-adjustable neck. Crowded controls & switches. Fretboard about 1 1/2" above the body. Awful. (Ya, I know, John Lennon apparently had one.) I tore out the frets, sanded the neck straight, and re-fretted it. (My first - and last attempt!) I repositioned the controls, put a 3-position switch up where it is on a Les Paul, and painted it gold. And it still sucked. Lucky I found that '61 Strat for $200 about then …

Anyway - this looks like a really good option to try out. And wow - it's cheap!

Thanks!

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