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Byrdland Bridge


minnella

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Should the bridge on the Byrdland be fit so it is in full contact with the guitar body? The ends of the rosewood sit flat on my guitar but there is a very small gap on the tailpeice side....this causes the bridge to sit at a very slight angle.....does not seem to cause any problems....just curious....

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In a perfect world your bridge base should make full and even contact with the soundboard. This is much easier said than done, and the reason ALL aftermarket bridge bases are of the two-feet style, which makes them self-adjusting. Gibson bridge bases are hand carved and fitted to each particular instrument. Most of them will even have the serial number of the guitar for which they were fitted written on the bottom ,and will usually have the "bass" and "treble" ends marked also (B & T). Since this is a hand fitting, the human element comes into play, and some will just be fitted better than others.

 

Your problem may just be that the bridge has been tilted forward in the process of restringing and bringing the strings to tension. Try loosening all the strings about ten turns and see if you can gently and carefully straighten the bridge up to make full contact. If so, then bring the first and sixth strings back up to tension while keeping a couple of fingers putting pressure on the back corners of the base plate. Bring the rest of the strings up to tension while keeping and eye out for "tilt". If this solves your problem you will have to check your intonation for you have slightly moved the bridge.

 

If this does not solve your problem then the fix-it is to have to have bottom of the base sanded to fit, or just live with it. This is not job for a novice or weekend woodworker. Once you get your bridge and intonation set where you are happy with it restring one string at a time will help keep it there.

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In a perfect world your bridge base should make full and even contact with the soundboard. This is much easier said than done, and the reason ALL aftermarket bridge bases are of the two-feet style, which makes them self-adjusting. Gibson bridge bases are hand carved and fitted to each particular instrument. Most of them will even have the serial number of the guitar for which they were fitted written on the bottom ,and will usually have the "bass" and "treble" ends marked also (B & T). Since this is a hand fitting, the human element comes into play, and some will just be fitted better than others.

 

Your problem may just be that the bridge has been tilted forward in the process of restringing and bringing the strings to tension. Try loosening all the strings about ten turns and see if you can gently and carefully straighten the bridge up to make full contact. If so, then bring the first and sixth strings back up to tension while keeping a couple of fingers putting pressure on the back corners of the base plate. Bring the rest of the strings up to tension while keeping and eye out for "tilt". If this solves your problem you will have to check your intonation for you have slightly moved the bridge.

 

If this does not solve your problem then the fix-it is to have to have bottom of the base sanded to fit, or just live with it. This is not job for a novice or weekend woodworker. Once you get your bridge and intonation set where you are happy with it restring one string at a time will help keep it there.

A closer inspection of the underside of the brige reveals it obviously was rough fit indicated by the saw nmarks from a band saw?? but not finish sanded to the body. The serial numbers are there and L B marked on one end. One can see and feel the brige post on the bass string end...how is the post mounted in the wood? seems like maybe too much materail was removed when rough fit...wouldn't there be pressure downward on the bridge pin?

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The bridge posts are threaded into the wood, and should NOT show through the bottom, or have the possibility of threading down into the top and damaging the soundboard.

 

Sounds like someone was in a hurry to get that bridge finished up. You would think that with a "premium" Gibson archtop, issues of this nature should be non-existent. Properly fitted pickup rings also seems to be something Gibson can't get right on the high dollar archtops (or the ES's either).

 

If you bought your Byrdland NEW, you may have a warranty issue. Unfortunately you would have to ship your guitar back to Nashville to have a new bridge base made. You might decide to do a little hand sanding yourself to get a better fit, but with that base you'll always have to be very careful not to screw that post down too far when installing, or adjusting your bridge. Theoretically the thumbwheel is supposed to spin on the (non-moving) stud, but under certain tension situations the thumbwheel may spin the stud.

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