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Epiphone Acoustic Upgrades

#1 User is offline   stryder1017 

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 04:28 PM

Hi Everyone!

I'm looking at doing some upgrades to my acoustic models. The first is a left handed Texan. I'm looking at putting in a bone nut and saddle and the other is a right handed EJ200 Artist that I'm currently in the process of converting to a lefty. I need some advice from you fine people..

1. Brass bridge pins - Are they worth it? I've never known this was a thing until recently and have heard it's not vital, but worth it. Anyone have any experience?

2. I'm trying to find a proper saddle for the EJ200. I have one in there now but it's kind of short. I'm looking to see if there's a better fit before I take it in to have the bridge filled and recut and all that. I'm trying to avoid bringing it to a luthier but it's looking like the bridge is something I can't avoid. Can anyone steer me in the right direction for a proper saddle? I already replaced the nut with a bone nut and I was able to sand that myself and such. Just the bridge I don't feel comfortable doing in terms of string height and such.

Any help would be appreciated!!

Thank you!

This post has been edited by stryder1017: 12 February 2018 - 04:33 PM

"Your inside is out and your outside is in. Your outside is in and your inside is out"
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#2 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 06:12 PM

I would skip the brass bridge pins. I know folks who have them, and I donít hear any benefit. Or see any for that matter, either. But, thatís my opinion. I prefer wood pins as adding a bit more wood to a guitar can never hurt in my opinion. Ebony or boxwood. Or, plain non-controversial bone or saddle pins. Just keep away from plastic.

Thereís no escaping you will have to keep sandiing and testing the height of a saddle with the strings off and on until you get it right. And, run the risk of trying to go a little lower without going too low. It gets easier and easier with practice and if you are interested in doing it yourself, you need to start somewhere. Check YouTube for videos how. Personally, I use a metal sanding file as well as a smaller one to fine tune it. But, itís always still a project to do. I have a number of guitars, so if I go too low, I usually save it for another guitar where itís pretty close to fine tune it for it at a later date. And, then I start the one I was working on over.

Learning is doing and trial and error is part of it.

You can purchase precut ones, but those usually also need some fine tuning. They come in different widths. Some guess work is involved for the proper width or buying a few sizes, hoping one is right for your first time around. Just remember for future resizing of the saddle, which is the correct width.

Or, you might just want to take it to a luthier if you arenít up to do it now.

I hope this helps.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

This post has been edited by QuestionMark: 12 February 2018 - 06:35 PM

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#3 User is offline   stryder1017 

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:57 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 12 February 2018 - 06:12 PM, said:

I would skip the brass bridge pins. I know folks who have them, and I donít hear any benefit. Or see any for that matter, either. But, thatís my opinion. I prefer wood pins as adding a bit more wood to a guitar can never hurt in my opinion. Ebony or boxwood. Or, plain non-controversial bone or saddle pins. Just keep away from plastic.

Thereís no escaping you will have to keep sandiing and testing the height of a saddle with the strings off and on until you get it right. And, run the risk of trying to go a little lower without going too low. It gets easier and easier with practice and if you are interested in doing it yourself, you need to start somewhere. Check YouTube for videos how. Personally, I use a metal sanding file as well as a smaller one to fine tune it. But, itís always still a project to do. I have a number of guitars, so if I go too low, I usually save it for another guitar where itís pretty close to fine tune it for it at a later date. And, then I start the one I was working on over.

Learning is doing and trial and error is part of it.

You can purchase precut ones, but those usually also need some fine tuning. They come in different widths. Some guess work is involved for the proper width or buying a few sizes, hoping one is right for your first time around. Just remember for future resizing of the saddle, which is the correct width.

Or, you might just want to take it to a luthier if you arenít up to do it now.

I hope this helps.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff


Thanks Jeff! Yeah it's definitely something I'm gonna have to bring to my local luthier. It's great for the bedroom right now and playing it but it's still somewhat off with the intonation. I"m just curious if the bridge itself would need to be reslanted for a lefty saddle. I'm sure my guy will know what to do, he's done work on my other guitars and they've come back better than ever. I'm definitely sticking with bone for everything so thanks for the heads up on the pins!
"Your inside is out and your outside is in. Your outside is in and your inside is out"
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#4 User is offline   mz-s 

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:06 AM

All the Texans I've seen have bone saddles already. I buy my saddles from eBay or Amazon - really the most important aspects are the compensation, length and the radius. Make sure the radius is the same, and that the length is as least as long as your slot, and the compensation design matches your current saddle. The thickness, length, and height, can be adjusted with sandpaper on a thick sheet of glass or something (so it's flat).
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#5 User is offline   stryder1017 

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:56 PM

View Postmz-s, on 13 February 2018 - 10:06 AM, said:

All the Texans I've seen have bone saddles already. I buy my saddles from eBay or Amazon - really the most important aspects are the compensation, length and the radius. Make sure the radius is the same, and that the length is as least as long as your slot, and the compensation design matches your current saddle. The thickness, length, and height, can be adjusted with sandpaper on a thick sheet of glass or something (so it's flat).


Ah ok. I just purchased a saddle from Amazon that I'm gonna try on the EJ200. That's my main project right now so I can get that up and running and a bit more playable. It sounds ALMOST perfect now but I know it's the bridge/saddle that's giving me my tuning issues. Certain chords just sound off even though my tuner says I'm in tune.
"Your inside is out and your outside is in. Your outside is in and your inside is out"
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#6 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:09 PM

FYI, I never tune to a tuner. I tune by ear. Try tuning until it sounds right to a chord and then hear if it is also okay with other chords. Worth a try.

It is, of course, also possible that the angle of the saddle, if you have it set up lefty, is causing intonation problems by causing some strings to be slightly longer or shorter than if the guitar was factory set up as a righty. Some guitar saddles are more on an angle than others to help intonation. If itís reversed it could cause intonation issues. If this is the case,a luthier should be able to fix the saddle angle (although it might leave some marks from the former angle) or to change the bridge so the saddle fits on a correct lefty angle for the guitar (although they will charge you.)

Hope this helps.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

This post has been edited by QuestionMark: 13 February 2018 - 07:17 PM

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