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Aftermarket Tune O Matic Bridge issues.


D.W.S.
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I purchased a tune o matic bridge for my Broadway. The issue I’m having is that its lowered all the way but the strings aren’t as low as I like. I bought the bridge from Stewmac and its made for archtops. I know the strings will go lower because I had them pretty low with the stock wooden bridge. It looks and sounds so much better with the new bridge. Also I used the base that came with the guitar as the new bridge fit on it perfectly. Is there a way to get the strings lower. Do you think the neck needs adjusting or is the bridge just to tall. I wanted to get the Elitist look with it so I purchased the bridge and the tuners that come on the Elitist. I also bought Seymour Duncan Jazz pickups for it. It’s a sweet guitar. Back to the bridge any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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I have had the same problem.

Unfortunately if the bridge is too tall (it just has to be 1 or 2 mm) there's not much you can do about it.

One possible solution would be to sand down the bottom of the bridge base, however that may create another problem as the metal shafts the bridge fits on will start to come through the bottom if you sand too much.  This would either make them loose or prone to scratching the top of the guitar where the bridge is.  However if you have woodworking skills (or know someone that does) you could get a bridge base made.   You'd have to match the contour of the guitar top to the bottom of the bridge and that's not a beginner thing to do either!  OR you could possibly file the bridge saddles down...but if you go too far, too bad.   

I left my wooden bridge base as it is. The problem was the height of the bridge itself, not the base.   I bought 2 or 3 different aftermarket replacement bridges which were not satisfactory, but then someone gave me an old Gibson tune o matic and that fits perfectly.

Making a very accurate measurement of the original bridge dimensions - height with saddles - may help in finding an exact fit. You might also try looking for a set of aftermarket bridge saddles and carefully filing those down. 

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If you only need to drop the action a few 64ths, you could try using some vintage thumbwheels as they tended to be thinner than the modern ones, but I suspect that you’ll need more adjustment than that.  Reducing height at the bridge only lowers the action at the 12th fret by half.   Modifying the base or finding some shorter saddles is your best bet.   

Edited by Yorgle
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