Friday, April 22, 2011

Some things just irk me

I have a number of guitars with a simple traditional wraparound bridge, as used on many vintage Gibsons. I admire the simplicity of this, but equally I'm frustrated that you can't really adjust the intonation very well.

I believe PRS made a big thing about their guitars being so accurately made and their wraparound bridges so well thought out that generally they intonate perfectly. I don't own a PRS.

All of my guitars with wraparound bridges do intonate as well as I'll ever need but still it irks me. My wine red double-cut has an adjustable wraparound bridge, so maybe it's not just me.

So some time back I bought a Gotoh fully adjustable wraparound bridge for my IPR Anniversary and it's been languishing in a box ever since. This not only has tune-o-matic style moveable saddles, but locking studs that work with special bushes to hold it tightly in place. This is probably to increase sustain but I bet a philistine like me won't notice.

Having recently pickup up another Anniversary, I decided to fit this bridge while I was giving the guitar its initial clean and setup.

I've made myself a basic puller out of a lump of wood, nut washer and bolt. This has had loads of use and means you can get bushes out cleanly without any worry of damaging the guitar. So I soon had one of the old bushes out to fit the first of the new ones.

Sadly, Gotoh have gone with quite petite bushes and there's no way I can use them without filling the holes and redrilling. Luckily the Gotoh studs have the same metric thread as the originals so I just popped the one I'd removed back in and strung the guitar. I won't get the benefit of the locked down studs but like I said, I won't miss them.

I'm quite pleased with the results, the bridge is a beautifully made piece as well as being fully adjustable. My only reservation is that when you string the guitar you have to poke the strings through it onto the body and it would be very easy to put scratches on the guitar doing this. I just used the envelope the strings came out of to protect the body.

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