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converting a wraparound to a tuneomatic and stopbar


Mr. E

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I have a lp junior ($99) and i've been having many troubles with the bridge and the action too. the wraparound doesnt have movable saddles and the badass style bridge i tried to install is too high. i've tired moving the bridge and adding some shims on the neck pocket to make the neck higher but it doesnt work...

Anyway, i want to add a tuneomatic and move the wraparound down... Does anyone know how to remove the studs?what should i use to make the holes? what can i use to align the strings right?(i'm thinking of just using a normal string to align them, but if anyone has a better idea then go ahead)

Thnx

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but if anyone has a better idea then go ahead......

 

On a $99 guitar?? No offense but it ain't worth the effort IMHO.

 

actually, fact that it is a $99 guitar makes it worth the effort... that cost of the damage cant be much on a $99 guitar... the worst that i can get is a $99 damage, but if i mess up the guitar i could just remove the parts like the pickup and tuners, pots, etc. and the damage will only be on a the body

also, if i damage the body, i could fill it with some wood filler or something like that

 

The guitar is not like a new guitar, i sand it and painted it so if i damage the finish i could just do it again... that the good part

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When you shimmed the neck, did you put narrow shims under the end of the neck closest to the bridge only so that the neck angle is increased or did you just try to raise the whole thing with one big shim? You should be able to get the Badass to work, but you need to angle the neck, not raise it.

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When you shimmed the neck' date=' did you put narrow shims under the end of the neck closest to the bridge only so that the neck angle is increased or did you just try to raise the whole thing with one big shim? You should be able to get the Badass to work, but you need to angle the neck, not raise it.[/quote']

That's what I'm planning on doing. I installed the Badass the other day, and while I can - at last - intonate the guitar properly, the action is pretty high. Playable, but a bit too high.

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I had the same problem on my first Junior DC with the stock bridge. Even with the bridge all the way down, the action was too high. However a couple of thicknesses of business card under the neck tab did the trick... the only fiddly part was that I then needed to sand down the end of the tab for it to fit under the pickguard without creating a 'bulge':

 

juniorneck2.jpg

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I had the same problem on my first Junior DC with the stock bridge. Even with the bridge all the way down' date=' the action was too high. However a couple of thicknesses of business card under the neck tab did the trick... the only fiddly part was that I then needed to sand down the end of the tab for it to fit under the pickguard without creating a 'bulge':

 

[img']http://www.marantatech.com/Graphix/juniorneck2.jpg[/img]

It could work, i've tried it, but it creates a fret buzz at the first frets

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That's a separate problem. Check your nut (make sure the slots aren't too deep) and make sure you have adequate neck relief.

i even switched the nut to an old one i add that is higher than the stock nut on the guitar and it still has that fret buzz, but it went up only to the first to the third, before it was from fret 6 o 5 to the first one...
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Hmmm... sounds like maybe you're trying to get the action lower than that neck can handle. Remember, it's a very cheap bottom of the line guitar and you're not going to get 1/16" action on it without a lot of work. You should be trying for 3/32" on the low E at the 12th fret as a minimum, and unless you feel like doing a complete fret levelling job you can't honestly expect it to work any lower. However it's possible that even your 'higher' nut is still too low.

 

Hold down the strings at the third fret and check the clearance at the first. On the low E, there should be some definite 'air' between the bottom of the string and the fret. On the high E it can be 'almost' touching. If that checks out OK, then what is the neck shape like? With the low E string held down at the first and 17th frets, you should see a small gap over the eighth fret, say a 32nd of an inch or so max. Also make sure the neck doesn't have any weird 'S' curves to it... it sometimes happens.

 

You definitely want to get all this stuff straightened out before you start investing in a new tailpiece and bridge.

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Hmmm... sounds like maybe you're trying to get the action lower than that neck can handle. Remember' date=' it's a very cheap [i']bottom of the line[/i] guitar and you're not going to get 1/16" action on it without a lot of work. You should be trying for 3/32" on the low E at the 12th fret as a minimum, and unless you feel like doing a complete fret levelling job you can't honestly expect it to work any lower. However it's possible that even your 'higher' nut is still too low.

 

Hold down the strings at the third fret and check the clearance at the first. On the low E, there should be some definite 'air' between the bottom of the string and the fret. On the high E it can be 'almost' touching. If that checks out OK, then what is the neck shape like? With the low E string held down at the first and 17th frets, you should see a small gap over the eighth fret, say a 32nd of an inch or so max. Also make sure the neck doesn't have any weird 'S' curves to it... it sometimes happens.

 

You definitely want to get all this stuff straightened out before you start investing in a new tailpiece and bridge.

I thinking of a fender type bridge... the neck seems close to the body sorta like a fender so i think it may work...

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A Fender hardtail bridge will work from a height point of view but I think you will find that the overall string spacing will be too wide.... although it might still work. As I said, your problems are not with the bridge... a correctly placed shim will give you all the clearance you need but your buzzing problems are being caused at the other end of the neck.

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A Fender hardtail bridge will work from a height point of view but I think you will find that the overall string spacing will be too wide. As I said' date=' your problems are not with the bridge... a correctly placed shim will give you all the clearance you need but your buzzing problems are being caused at the other end of the neck.[/quote'] one of the things i used once was a non compensated stop bar from an old epi i have... it seemed to work... i didnt need shims for the height for it was just right. as for the intonation, i was much of a problem. i cant fix the compensated one so it didnt make much of a difference although i did like it, it sounded more in tune and gave a better sound. the only reason i removed it was because it was hard to remove the strings from the bridge.

 

As for the buzzes, i think it is the frets, but not the nut to much... the fret buzzes are caused by the shims i put at the neck pocket which cause the neck to be way to back in order to have good enough action. if i move that then i dont get fret buzzes but i have a horrible action...

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Sounds like my first assumption, that you are trying to get the action too low, is correct. I'm sure that with the right amount of tweaking you'll get it working. Just for the record, a tune-o-matic bridge will probably require more shimming than a Badass™ will.

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What about a Schaller? They're about 65 bucks' date=' but well worth it.

 

 

[img']http://www.stewmac.com/product_images/1lg/0198/Schaller_BridgeTailpiece_Detail.jpg

 

[/img]

 

Yes they are great tailpieces but $65 for a $99 axe is not a wise investment and you still have to shim the hell out of the neck to achieve the proper angle......not worth it in my book when there are $250 guitars from Agile, Epi and others that will blow it away. Sorry but it's turd polishing no matter how you slice it.

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Yes they are great tailpieces but $65 for a $99 axe is not a wise investment and you still have to shim the hell out of the neck to achieve the proper angle......not worth it in my book when there are $250 guitars from Agile' date=' Epi and others that will blow it away. Sorry but it's turd polishing no matter how you slice it.[/quote']

yup, thats true, but i think i'm staying with the wraparound and if i continue with the problems then i'll remove the parts and move them to another guitar.

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I like the idea of modding a $100 guitar... Someone else mentioned it, you mess it up, hey its only a hundo.. take all the parts off if you do and move on to another one, nice way to learn how to do it yourself.. I have a Les Paul Pee Wee that I bought for my stepson. I have thought about changing some stuff out like a intonable bridge, tuners and a pickuup..

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I like the idea of modding a $100 guitar... Someone else mentioned it' date=' you mess it up, hey its only a hundo.. take all the parts off if you do and move on to another one, nice way to learn how to do it yourself.. I have a Les Paul Pee Wee that I bought for my stepson. I have thought about changing some stuff out like a intonable bridge, tuners and a pickuup..[/quote']

 

Kevin I agree with you guys that there is not much to lose and much to gain as a learning experience modding an inexpensive guitar.......I just caution you guys not to take it too far if you expect a return on your investment beyond the experience you'll gain. Trust me I've been down that road more times than I care to admit....even on very expensive guitars they are worth more dead stock 9 times out of 10. You see so many guys selling hot rodded guitars and they add they price of the new pickups or whatever to the purchase price of the guitar....well that ain't the way it works unfortunately....the reality is most guitars are worth less modified. If you plan on doing the mods for yourself to create a unique player....thats a whole different ballgame...and if it makes you happy thats all that matters. Sometimes simply starting with a little higher quality guitar will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.......thats why I'm kinda playing devils advocate here.

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but if anyone has a better idea then go ahead......

 

On a $99 guitar?? No offense but it ain't worth the effort IMHO.

 

Well' date=' on the Epi '57 Reissue Les Paul Junior I had, I hated the wrap-around bridge. I understand the idea of Reissues, but they could put a better piece of hardware. I mean, in 1957, they [b']didn't [/b]put STACKED P-100 Humbuckers in the real Gibson Juniors, so they could put a better bridge and still retain the essence of a '57 Junior.

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Well' date=' on the Epi '57 Reissue Les Paul Junior I had, I hated the wrap-around bridge. I understand the idea of Reissues, but they could put a better piece of hardware. I mean, in 1957, they [b']didn't [/b]put STACKED P-100 Humbuckers in the real Gibson Juniors, so they could put a better bridge and still retain the essence of a '57 Junior.

 

I know lots of folks don't care for these bridges because they can be a little harder to intonate. But I have the same guitar and I love the wraparound, it takes a little doing and patience but once you get it set right to your liking it stays that way. I have that same bridge on a few other guitars and same deal, no problems. I see nothing wrong with the hardware on the 57 Reissue Les Paul Junior IMHO, but YES I do agree with you that they should have offered it with a P90.

 

Which was the only thing I added to this guitar. 8-[

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Yeah.. .when Gibson introduced the SG Classic, which is basically a '67 or '68 SG Special, they 'updated' it with a Nashville TOM bridge and a standard stop tailpiece. Now, I appreciate the advantages of having a TOM bridge for setting the intonation but at the same time I kind of miss that bare bones look of the original guitar with the wraparound bridge; the TOM is like having a big sticker that says "reissue!". There are also those that are of the opinion that the wraparound bridge gives the best sustain.

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