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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:04 am 
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Replacing the Electra tuneomatic style bridge

It is a very common problem that the electra tuneomatic style bridge gets pitted badly and frequently the adjustment screws for the saddles get siezed up and the saddles won't adjust. Also, the saddles worn and sometimes can be sharp. This leads many people to replace the stock electra tuneomatic style bridge. These problems are not uncommon with guitars from that era as they have been around for 30 years or so and subject to lots use, sweat, and stress. The parts on the original Gibsons also have their share of problems after many years.

I have said before that standard metric "gotoh" style tuneomatic replacement bridges will work as replacements for the Electra tuneomatics that they used on the MPCs, workingman, LPs, and later 70s-early 80s 335-style guitars (and more). I have suggested the real Gotoh ones that stewmac sells as well as the Chinese ones that GFS sells as replacements. The trick is, you have to use the posts that come with your new bridge (you can't use the electra ones as they are a different size where they mount into the bridge). But the new bridge's posts screw right into the bushings already mounted in the Electra guitar body. There is no modification. Just screw the new posts into the body - they thread right in without any modifications.

Well, I just replaced a bridge on a current model Epiphone (made in China). I put an improved gotoh style tuneomatic on that one because it needed a tiny bit more adjustment than the standard bridge supplied. I could have likely flipped one of the saddles on the stock bridge and gotten enough additional adjustment that way I decided to go with the slightly larger replacement gotoh style. Anyhow - to the point! The new stock Epiphone bridge looks nearly identical to the stock one on the electras - it is the same physical size and everything. It would also fit an electra just by using it's posts and bridge together as well (just like gotoh style above).

Tonepros Bridge?

I have not tried that metric version of the tonepros bridge, but I assume that it would also bolt right up in the same way if you get the correct metric version (as it is based off the Gotoh style - in fact - I am pretty certain it is manufactured by Gotoh).

Replacing the Tailpiece?

BTW, this is NOT the case with the tailpiece. Newer standard metric tailpieces are NOT direct replacements. I have not found a direct replacement for Electras. I am sure you likely could find them pulled from similar era japanese guitars, as many of them used the same parts suppliers back then, but I am talking about newly manufactured tailpieces that one can purchase. Others may have tried more than me and know of something that works directly (if so, please chime in here) but I have not.

In the ones I have replaced (I used the gotoh style part that matched the bridge) I had to pull out the bushings in the Electra to drill out the hole slightly for the new tailpiece bushing to be mounted. After doing this I was able to install the new metric bushings and the new tailpiece posts and the tailpiece. I don't suggest doing this unless you know what you are doing or it is really needed as it is easy to chip the guitar's finish and to mess the process up. If you do, be very careful and mask the hole before drilling with painter's tape and take your time - and slightly bevel the finish edge so that when you press in the new bushing the surrounding finish does not chip and buckle.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Fantastic info, thanks for sharing this!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:14 am 
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Replacing two bridges now... on an X340 and an X350. do you think that the 1511-G, as seen here...

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_ta ... ridge.html

would be a good bet?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:34 pm 
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I used a chrome on on my x310 project (very slow project).


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:17 am 
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Is this the GFS bridge you're talking about?

http://www.guitarfetish.com/Large-Bushi ... p_444.html


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:50 am 
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Yes, that one will work fine on MPCs and similar era Electras. I have used that one and the gotoh one listed in stewmac. Both are actually better bridges in my opinion than the stock models. If the stock bridge is all corroded up, pitted, or has sharp saddles I replace it with either one of these.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Hi! New here..Not to bump an old thread..

But I have an Electra x810 (335-style)..

Image

I need to replace the bridge, the saddles are corroded and causing my guitar to get out of tune easily. I'm looking at the recommend bridge:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_ta ... 3&xsr=2090

Do I need the studs and bushings or just the standard post?
Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Studs and bushings - you should be able to take the new studs and screw them into the old bushings that are already in your electra. The other style only adjusts with the thumbscrew and not with a screwdriver. You need the type that adjusts with the screw driver. Remove the electra studs and bridge (actually, that looks like an old harmonica type bridge, so it probably isn't the right one anyway), put the new studs in, then the bridge on top of them.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Thanks, will order them and see how it works out!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Well a bit late getting back, but update!

Got the bridge and tried to install a week ago. The posts fit into the old studs, but I can't seem to get them in deep enough to get the action as low as it was. It seems like the Gotoh posts are too tall? They measure around 34mm from top-to-bottom point (entire post)... And the pre-existing 'harmonica' bridge I have has decidedly shorter screws.

Maybe I need to use a lubricant to screw the posts deeper? But it really seems like I'm hitting the limit. Can some folks with a similar Electra 335-esque model tell me how high their bridge is sitting from the body?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:09 am 
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if the posts are too long and the threaded part bottoms out in the hole then you may have to trim the posts. Measure the thtreaded part of the old studs to determine the correct length and hacksaw the new ones to the same length. It should be good.

I don't recall having to trim them on any of mine, but they can vary brand to brand. It is possible the design of the guitars slightly varied. The only problem would be if it the posts go all the way down and the bridge bottoms out to the body - that would require a different thinner bridge. I have had to trim the threaded part on other guitars in the past. Another way to measure is to bottom the new post out and measure how much of the threads you see still above the body *just the threaded part* and remove that much length from the bottom of the posts.

If that is the case then don't trim the posts to begin with. You may be able to get a replacement combination that is shallow enough. You can get the harmonica type that gibson used if that old one is the same. I believe it may have been a schaller part and available through allparts and others. What I don't know is if the threads are the same on the schaller version. It would be good for some verification.

Let us know and report back.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:58 pm 
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Hi, I'm a newbie and have a X270 a friend gave me. It has LP {Epiphone} hardware. I'd like to get a brass bridge like the original. Any ideas? Thanks, Mark.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Any standard metric sized replacement should work, but have to use the posts with the bridge. Trouble is I don't know who if anybody currently makes brass ones.

GFS makes import tuneomatics with brass saddles - I just checked, around $20 or so. There may be an import (metric) complete brass tuneomatic available on the web if you look.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:17 pm 
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Just breezed thru this thread so I am not entirely certain this will be of value or not, but...

The x110 (RockStrad) I picked up from JD has a TonePros replacement bridge in it and it is a very suitable replacement.

Mine is in a gold finish so I cannot say if a brass one is available or not, but the quality is top rate and that thing sustains like a monster.

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