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I picked up an Epiphone 6730 model (blue label) a while back. It was an impulse buy because I had one like it back in the 70s and wish I hadn't parted with it. The sound isn't great but I'm looking to swap the plastic nut and saddle for bone and see if this helps. Is this worth doing on this guitar or should I just leave it as is?

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I have a blue label FT-135. It's more like a 6832 as it is a 000 sized guitar.


IMHO there is only one way to improve the sound of these bolt on neck Epiphones: ditch the adjustable metal bridge and use a traditional saddle. Since it has a zero frst fret I'm not sure if going to a bone nut would really help the tone or not.


For sure you should have the neck block looked at and most likely it will need to be re-glued.


I've had both my FT-135 and my FT-165 12 string upgraded with bone saddles. The metal bridge is removed, the hole in the bridge is filled with rosewood and it's then slotted to take a traditionl saddle. Any good luthier can do it. The difference in sound is tremendous.


If you are going to go to the expense of fixing the bridge you might as well have an under the saddle pickup installed. I have Fishman Matrix Infinity pickups installed in both of mine. Cost is around $150 plus instalation. With the orginal metal bridge you can not install an under the saddle pickup; you will have to use a soundhole type pickup (at least that's what two luthiers have told me).


Only you can decide if you want to make the investment. Like you I had an FT-135 in 1971 and a few years back I decided to get another one. I'm happy but the reality is if I had to sell my FT-135 and/or FT-165 I would loose a bunch on money on them.


Oh, if you do fix it up get a decent hardshell case for it . GC sells inexpensive Roadrunner cases that fit well.


Good luck!

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Here is a link to a thread discussing the 6XXX model nomenclature. In it you will find some cross-reference to the replacement nomenclature with "FT" prefix. You will also see price pages for this series of guitars as well.


6XXX nomenclature cross reference to FT nomenclature


The 6730 should be the equivalent of the FT145 'Texan' dreadnaught. the 6XXX nomenclature was only used in late 1970 and early 1971, possibly only 6 months. This was Matsumoku's (Aria) first run of non-Kalamazoo made Epiphones.


Here is a brief history of Epiphone as posed by a cat named Larens, and annotated by me: Brief History of Epiphone


The 6XXX models had plastic "fleur de lis", I like to call them, pearloid, tuner buttons which look more at home on a classical guitar. The FTs probably had metal tuner buttons from the get go, in 1971.


The 6730's claim to fame is that evidence points to it being played by Ronnie Cox in the movie "Deliverance" during the "Dueling Banjo's" scene. At least he was portrayed as playing it. You can probably find a half dozen clips on YouTube of the scene if you look hard enough. You can get a good look at the guitar there.


Here's the : Ronnie Cox / "Deliverance" thread.




Upgrading is up to you. A new saddle, and you might as well spring for a nut, as they are getting old enough now to be turning into peanut brittle. It is not an expensive upgrade and you may be pleasantly surprised.


My Epi is a FT145SB.

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