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Epiphone Dot - Upgrade Issues (Nut/Stopbar)

#1 User is offline   rene_h 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 03:36 PM

Dear all,

I recently bought a used Epiphone Dot VS with the intention to upgrade it with new tuners, nut, bridge and stopbar. When replacing all these I stumbled upon two things that make me wonder:

1) The Nut:
I bought a Graph Tech PT 6060 00 slotted nut (according to Graphtech's Website and this thread the right stuff) – but my DOT’s nut is significantly smaller in size.

2) The Stopbar:
I bought the TonePros LPGM02 Tuneomatic Set (metric) – and the stopbar now turns out to be 1mm to large in size to fit (meaning the distance between drill holes is 1mm too short).

Now I wonder – Is this “normal”? Did I simply order the wrong parts? If yes, someone please point out alternatives.
Could this be a counterfeit Epiphone? (FYI: Serialnumber as per Headstock is EE-03090794 - The Q/C sticker inside the chamber has no s/n printed on it…)

Any suggestions and help are really appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance.

Best regards,
rene

#2 User is offline   rolling56 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 03:55 PM

Welcome to the forums......have a read in this thread about the TOM bridge problem http://forum.gibson....needing-bridge/
Bob

"You've got a hole in your soul if you don't dig the Blues"

#3 User is offline   Supersonic 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:03 PM

You have to sand the nut until it fits properly. It's not very hard. I put a Graphtech nut on my SG and it only took about 20-30 minutes to get it the right size. Just take your time and don't take off too much.

http://www.graphtech...nstall_inst.pdf
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#4 User is offline   Whitmore Willy 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:12 PM

Rene_h,

Welcome to the forum. Pics would be a big help. Dots however, are not widely faked. Not that it couldn't happen.
Where did you buy it?

LOL...Super beat me to it!....Still...
First. The PT-6060 nut should be correct. They do make them slightly wider and longer than a perfect fit. It is to allow for adjustment.
Second. Are the slots the same spacing?...That's what counts. The thickness should be 1/4". However, the true Epi measurement is about 1/64" less. By the time the nut is bottom sanded (to the right height) it will loose some thickness as the back of the nut is curved.
Check against these measurements:
http://www.graphtech.../product-137-2/

Also, I have received Tusq nuts before from dealers that buy in bulk. They did not come in Graph tech packaging.
The dealer sent them to me in a plastic bag. He screwed up and sent the wrong nut.

As to the Tailpiece...Sorry, can't help....Hope others can.

Willy

#5 User is offline   Whitmore Willy 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:24 PM

Second thoughts on the stopbar tailpiece....but first.
You say TonePros LPGM02 Tuneomatic Set.
Did it come with the tailpiece and a bridge?
Did the bridge fit?

More to follow.

Willy

#6 User is offline   rene_h 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:10 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome and all the replies so far :-)

Regarding the nut
I was ready for sanding, but given that the stock nut differs so much - but would fit perfectly in my ES175 - made me suspicious.
Dimension Difference
Length 0.12 Inches
Height 0.08 Inches
Width 0.04 Inches

The Graphtech nut has the same spacing as the stock nut and it arrived in original packaging.

See picture showing both "stock" and Graphtech nut:
Posted Image

Anyway, if Graphtech give their product that much room for adjustments, I am fine with it. I did not expect that much room and resulting sanding work ;-)

Tailpiece
Yes, the set came with bridge and tailpiece - and yes, the bridge fits perfectly.

See pictures comparing stock and TonePros tailpiece:
Posted Image
Posted Image

Please excuse the poor picture quality, I hope the differences are still visible.

#7 User is offline   rene_h 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:28 PM

Rolling56, thanks for the thread you recommended.
To be honest, I do not fully understand the solution described there - but if with any luck I can contact Wolfi from this thread I think he may be able to explain my questions in our common first language [wink].

#8 User is offline   Whitmore Willy 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:38 PM

As to the nut,
It looks to have more spare material than any Graph tech I've seen....that is....if in the picture the slots are lined up. Can't tell from pic.
If the one end is in alignment and you are showing the difference in total length then that makes sense. I will presume you looked at the dimensions on the graphtech link and you are satisfied.

As to the TonePros LPGM02 Tuneomatic Set, If I was not satisfied I would send it back. From what I've read it should fit.

Willy

#9 User is offline   rene_h 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:45 PM

Yes, the nuts are lined up.
Of course I can send the TonePros back, but I fear alternative bridge/tailpiece combos might have the same dimensions...
Edit: Talking metric the spacing of the tailpiece is 82mm, which seems to be the standard spacing - I simply have a 81mm spacing.

#10 User is offline   Whitmore Willy 

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:05 PM

View Postrene_h, on 28 October 2011 - 05:45 PM, said:

Yes, the nuts are lined up.
Of course I can send the TonePros back, but I fear alternative bridge/tailpiece combos might have the same dimensions...
Edit: Talking metric the spacing of the tailpiece is 82mm, which seems to be the standard spacing - I simply have a 81mm spacing.


Well, I can offer one thought although I hope you can find another alternative.
I put a Gibson TP-6 tail piece on my Epi L.P. Some people have been lucky and they drop right in. Not the case with me.
I have been told by others that they made theirs work by taking a file to the tail piece. That is something I was not willing to do with a $100 tail piece. Sooooooo......
I bought a couple or studs for next to nothing from Stewmac.
I masking taped the threads and carefully put them in a drill, (not to tight) I then used the drill as a lathe.
I took a file to the studs and turned them down slightly. Worked just fine for me with no mod to the tail piece.

Hope you find a better solution

Willy

#11 User is offline   Lefty Bill 

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:59 AM

You did mention that the guitar was a used one, so it's very possible that other bridge posts have been installed (for various reasons) and the dimensions (diameter or thickness of gap feature) of the posts are slightly different from the originals.

There are so many sellers of posts, that I'm sure there are small differences in many of 'em, and manufacturing tolerances which may be a bit sloppy.
I haven't bothered to measure the center section dimensions of any posts, and it's not very likely that the actual original dimensions are available anywhere (unless someone starts blueprinting hardware specs).

As a couple of replies have suggested, filing the parts to fit is sometimes less effort than returning a purchase.
Note: chrome resists filing, as it's very hard, and can damage a file. If the part is chromed (nickel plating may not be as hard and many parts have nickel) the chrome should be removed before filing.. a stone or diamond-dust cutting tool (Dremel etc) or silicon carbide sandpaper (commonly regerred to as wet-or-dry) will cut/remove chrome, then filing the softer copper underlying plating and post material will be easier and not damage a good file.

I found the Graphtech website to be very disturbing as far as trying to compare various specs for nuts that will fit Epiphone/Gibson guitars.
The model search wasn't any better (Les Paul Special II, maybe the same size as other models, but not concise).
There are a couple of G-T parts which will fit Epiphone necks, although I don't know the reasoning behind differences in E-to-E spacings, as they seem random. The two spacings I saw for various models were.. 34.70 and 34.54mm. (that's only a difference of 0.16mm or .006" spread out over five places).
I also looked for any explanation of the prefix letters on the G-T site, but didn't find any.. I've fitted PT-6060-L0 (left handed, E-to-E of 34.70mm) to a couple of my Epiphones with no problems (just a little/normal sanding to fit correctly), but there are also PQ and PQL (L may represent Left handed, don't know).

I realize that different guitars have different nut widths (and thicknesses, heights), but don't comprehend why a manufacturer wouldn't supply an easy to find explanation for it's various product dimensions.. other than maybe they'll sell more of 'em if buyers pick the wrong size initially (here are our products, just buy 'em).

A nut which has the correct E-to-E spacing could be made to sit a little higher if needed, by adding some material to the bottom surface of the nut. I've seen metal shims mentioned (brass), and using superglue-soaked paper (a piece of paper from a guitar string wrapper).. and I wouldn't be too alarmed about adding a filler-enhanced glue to the bottom, for my own guitars (not for money or someone else).
Superglue can be filled with numerous fillers, and as it's a hard-drying compound, it's not likely to affect string-to-neck tone conduction/transmission?).
I could see trying metal filings (or micro glass beads, baking soda), for example to add filler characteristics to the glue.. possibly even sanding dust from wood (wood flour) as filler, then sanding the bottom flat for good contact to the nut slot floor.
After all, the G-T nuts are a plastic binder with fillers added.

Regards,
Bill


View Postrene_h, on 28 October 2011 - 03:36 PM, said:

Dear all,
I recently bought a used Epiphone Dot VS with the intention to upgrade it with new tuners, nut, bridge and stopbar. When replacing all these I stumbled upon two things that make me wonder:
1) The Nut:
I bought a Graph Tech PT 6060 00 slotted nut (according to Graphtech's Website and this thread the right stuff) – but my DOT’s nut is significantly smaller in size.
2) The Stopbar:
I bought the TonePros LPGM02 Tuneomatic Set (metric) – and the stopbar now turns out to be 1mm to large in size to fit (meaning the distance between drill holes is 1mm too short).
Now I wonder – Is this “normal”? Did I simply order the wrong parts? If yes, someone please point out alternatives.
Could this be a counterfeit Epiphone? (FYI: Serialnumber as per Headstock is EE-03090794 - The Q/C sticker inside the chamber has no s/n printed on it…)
Any suggestions and help are really appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance.
Best regards,
rene


#12 User is offline   Whitmore Willy 

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 05:58 AM

View PostLefty Bill, on 30 October 2011 - 01:59 AM, said:

The two spacings I saw for various models were.. 34.70 and 34.54mm. (that's only a difference of 0.16mm or .006" spread out over five places).
I also looked for any explanation of the prefix letters on the G-T site, but didn't find any.. I've fitted PT-6060-L0 (left handed, E-to-E of 34.70mm) to a couple of my Epiphones with no problems (just a little/normal sanding to fit correctly), but there are also PQ and PQL (L may represent Left handed, don't know).

Don't fret..It's a fairly large web site.
The XX-XXXX-0L suffix does mean Lefty. The L in the prefix refers to XL type. Although the L prefix is absent in Black XL serial numbers.
You are also correct about the string spacings. All the 6060 nuts are all listed at 34.70mm except the black right handed PT-6060-00 which is listed at 34.54. (a misprint?) Even the PT-6060-0L is at .70mm. Although I would be hard pressed to measure the difference.

As to the differences:
PT = black tusk XL (formerly known as trem nuts)
PQL = White XL
PQ = White

The difference is that the XL parts are impregnated with Teflon. The non-XL are not.
These and other facts can be found in the knowledge base:
http://www.graphtech...ml?ArticleID=66

Willy

#13 User is offline   DennisMiller 

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:32 AM

I also bought my Dot used, though it looked like it came right out of the box. I'm guilty of being one who tinkers with my guitars like crazy, but my Dot is one guitar I never felt the urge to mess with in any serious fashion. The only thing I did was change the knobs because the speed knobs that came on it didn't appeal to me. I put gold top hat knobs on it and they look a lot better with the sunburst finish.

Admittedly, I play at home for fun and do a bit of recording. I don't gig, so things that might enhance a guitars use to you might not matter to me.

Just out of curiosity, and I honestly don't know, but can the nut make such a difference in tone once a string is fretted? Or is there some other benefit to a Graphtech nut? As for the bridge, same question, tone or some other advantage?

If I wanted to do anything to mine, I think I'd stick with the pickups, but change the pots and switch for a little smoother response.

What else do people do to these things?
More guitars than talent...

#14 User is offline   Whitmore Willy 

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:49 AM

View PostDennisMiller, on 30 October 2011 - 09:32 AM, said:

Just out of curiosity, and I honestly don't know, but can the nut make such a difference in tone once a string is fretted? Or is there some other benefit to a Graphtech nut? As for the bridge, same question, tone or some other advantage?

The bridge will make a bigger difference as it always part of the sting connection. No matter where you fret, the bridge is still in play.
The nut does make a difference even when fretting above it. It is miniscule. If you ever get a chance to play on a guitar with a brass nut, you Might hear a difference. (they were very popular in the late 60's.) So were many other goofy things.
IMHO neither is majestically mind blowing.

Willy

#15 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 08:49 PM

I can't see much reason to replace a nut unless it's broken. A bridge... maybe, but not on a Dot unless it's broken, too.

On an acoustic there have been threads here about how changing the nut and bridge has made significant change in tone, but I don't see it for a Dot.

Just my two cents worth. But then I tend to buy a guitar for what it is... unless it's broken and a setup won't work for how I play.

The one exception to that has been archtops and, for better or worse, I've messed with a bunch of them in terms of changing bridges.

m

#16 User is offline   DennisMiller 

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 05:47 AM

On my acoustics, I always experiment to see how a guitar will sound with a bone saddle, not that it's always been a better alternative to my ears. I'll sometimes try different bridge pins, not that they make much difference. I'll generally also put a John Pearce armrest on my acoustics so the top can vibrate freely. If you've never tried one, I highly recommend it as the one thing that will make the biggest difference in the sound of an acoustic.

On my electrics, I've occasionally changed pickups when I found a cheap piece of woodwork that was a nice platform to build on. The idea of turning a sow's ear into a silk purse can work sometimes. Things like good quality pots and switches are worth changing for. I've changed the bridge on a Telecaster before, but not for tonal purposes, rather just for cosmetics and because someone had given me a nice Wilkenson compensated bridge. Someone in the Fender Forum once did a project changing the capacitor in their electronics and then recorded the guitar with different caps in it. I was surprised I could actually hear a difference, but it's not something I've considered doing or learning the science of.

But going back to my earlier comment, my Dot is simply one guitar I find I like so much as it is that it honestly hasn't crossed my mind to do anything to it.
More guitars than talent...

#17 User is offline   Lefty Bill 

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:56 PM

Thanks again Willy. I guess it's mainly about my indifference to a lot of worthless stuff used to decorate websites, and dark backgrounds.

I was looking for a catalog download, which should be clearly found on every home page, if they're offering them.. but webby-types seem to think their sites are a travel destination, ooohh.. look at all the cool stuff, I could spend the whole day here and wanna come back as often as possible.
But when their search engine wasn't even returning results for their own part numbers, I was done.
I figgered there was some reasonable logic to the lettering and numbering system, and eventually found it after returning, due to your suggestions.

I bought some of their products from eBag sellers, and found them to my liking.. the material appears to be more dense/harder than the PVC nuts that Epiphone supplies as original parts, which I suspect is favorable. As for the sound difference, I didn't notice.

I couldn't quite follow your other comment regarding goofy stuff from the 60s.. I don't remember anything goofy (poophh-exhale-aahhh).

Brasses are generally self-lubricating against harder metals, and may seem like a wild shot in the dark, but definitely more dense than plastics or wood. I was pondering making a brass nut in a T shape to extend into the rout for the truss rod with the downward tail contacting the truss rod nut.. that could be fairly easily done with Epiphone necks, as the TR nut may extend under the string nut (or a longer TR nut could be made to reach that far). There again, maybe not worth the effort (other than I enjoy metalworking).

Regards,
Bill


View PostWhitmore Willy, on 30 October 2011 - 05:58 AM, said:

Don't fret..It's a fairly large web site.
The XX-XXXX-0L suffix does mean Lefty. The L in the prefix refers to XL type. Although the L prefix is absent in Black XL serial numbers.
You are also correct about the string spacings. All the 6060 nuts are all listed at 34.70mm except the black right handed PT-6060-00 which is listed at 34.54. (a misprint?) Even the PT-6060-0L is at .70mm. Although I would be hard pressed to measure the difference.

As to the differences:
PT = black tusk XL (formerly known as trem nuts)
PQL = White XL
PQ = White

The difference is that the XL parts are impregnated with Teflon. The non-XL are not.
These and other facts can be found in the knowledge base:
http://www.graphtech...ml?ArticleID=66

Willy


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