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Crazy T-bird ideas - what to do about bridges.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by reverendrally, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Swapped my old W-bin cab for a stack of parts the other day. Specifically, 4 T-bird pickups and a set of tuners. I'm thinking about building a "nesting pair" of set-neck, non-reverse birds. hehe. That is a fretless single pickup model and a T-3 triple pickup fretted in the same vain as the Grabber G-3. I'm a little spooked by what bridge to use though. The three point gibson style bridge looks cumbersome and difficult, while a fenderstyle bridge doesn't seem right either and will screw with my neck angles I think. The fretless would be easy enough coz I could use a tailpiece and hand made timber bridge, but the fretted one needs a proper intonatable bridge. Comments? Ideas?
  2. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    I thought the Hipshot Supertone was the best of both worlds: The looks of the 3 point bridge with none of the hassle. I've never had one, but I'm sure guys who have will be around soon enough to share their opinions about it.
  3. Hi.

    The Hipshot is an obvious idea, but IMHO it doesn't look too good.
    With all its (alledged) shortcomings, the three point is the "correct" bridge for a Thunderbirds of certain eras.

    TBer godofthunder59 makes the Badbird bridge, and even though I've seen only pics of them here, they look tons better than the Hipshot.
    IMHO anyway.

  4. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Direct replacement for 3-point Gibson/Epi bridges, light, side to side adjustable saddles and can be used for string-thru

  5. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    The original BadAss has the right height for Gibson-style neck tilt. I'm using one on my RayBird, and with a 2-degree angle, it's perfect. Vintage too.

    Scott's BadBird bridge looks beautiful as well.

    You can find imported aftermarket tune-o-matic/stop tailpiece combos for bass from the usual suspects. I bought a couple from Guitar Jones, and they're fine.

    But if you're wanting to retrofit an existing body drilled for the three-point, then it or the Hipshot replacement are your only real options. The three-point is a fine, sturdy bridge, whose weaknesses can be addressed by stringing through-body or using a separate tailpiece.
  6. badbird does look nice, but for $200 plus shipping? Mmm, probably not. I think I'm gonna go oldschool badass 1 or tune-o-matic.
  7. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    reverend, I do hope there will be progress pics once you start building the pair. What you got and what you plan to do with it sounds interesting. :D
  8. oh yes... there will be pictures... oh yes... oh yesssss.....


    ...and maybe even "lazers" on the headstocks... :bag:
  9. BTW. has any got a body trace for a NR thunderbird they could send to me?
  10. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    If you want the original, PM me your address and I'll send you a tracing/measurements of my '64.
  11. PM sent. Thanks heaps!