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Customizing a Epi T-Bird from 4 to 5 strings?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bass-desires, Apr 10, 2010.


  1. Bass-desires

    Bass-desires

    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Can this be done well? The headstock certainly has room for the extra tuner, setup similar to the T-bird Pro-5. Would the neck be able to handle the extra pull? If this could be done well, what are some things you would recommend. The bridge would be changed to a solid one and other than the obvious like nut, what would need to be done. Thanks guys.
     
  2. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Talk to Ric5, he has done quite a few 4 to 5 conversions. I know he's done Ric's and Fenderbirds.
     
  3. Bass-desires

    Bass-desires

    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Ric58, Ric52, or Ric500? Those are the only names I could find on the member list. Thanks!
     
  4. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
  5. Bass-desires

    Bass-desires

    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Haha, ok thanks I just PM'd him.
     
  6. shackled

    shackled

    Jun 25, 2009
    Western NY
    What did you find out?
     
  7. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    The key to this conversion is to find a bridge with a narrow enough spacing, that is the hard part. Everything else is pretty simple, you just have to understand the parameters of how instruments are designed to see the pitfalls of doing this.
     
  8. Bass-desires

    Bass-desires

    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Well, pretty much what I had thought. I need a new bridge, nut, and another tuning machine. Looking at the work involved right now. Haven't purchased anything yet, might tonight.

    Musiclogic, what do you mean? I am aware of the risks of drilling into the headstock and the extra strain on the neck too. (B-string is 34ish lb)The T-bird pups are wide enough and the existing string spacing can give up some room for the 5th string. It might be a little tight but I am pretty sure it should work out.
     
  9. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I am talking about an instrument that was designed around the parameters of a 4 string, and now you want to crowd the neck with another string, and then try to find a bridge to accomodate 5 strings in a 2 1/4" area to stay within the width of the FB, and within the range of the pickups sensing area. Many people think you just buy a 5 string bridge and a tuner and throw them on and voila, a 5 string. Most do not take into consideration the width difference between a 5 and a 4, and freak out when the B and G are outside the fretboard and pickups when they finish. I just wanted to put up a reminder of these things before you started, as we have had many of these threads on here that end just as I have described, and didn't want you to do the same.
     
  10. Bass-desires

    Bass-desires

    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Yeah, I have thought about that also. The T-Bird necks are narrow to begin with. I was going to get some solid measurements first before I buy anything. I was a carpenter once, and measure twice, cut once is a damn good rule to follow.

    I did some checking on the nut and found one that is a 5 slot for the same size as the factory 4 slot, but going to look into the bridges next to see if anything practical would work. Hell even if I kept it a 4-string I would want to replace that 3 point bridge. (Blah)

    I think the headstock could handle another tuner. Hell, its the same size as the 5-string t-bird pro.

    I'll let you know if I find some solid figures and if I will go ahead with the planned conversion. Thanks for the input though, I can understand where your coming from.
     
  11. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
  12. Bass-desires

    Bass-desires

    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    I am going to GC today and will measure the taper of the neck from end to end to see what size bridge I would need. Still debating about it. Found a really low priced 5'er and might just buy that, but man, I love the t-bird sound. Or might just buy a t-bird and get a hipshot drop tuner. Still considering my options. I saw said bridge for $40 elsewhere yesterday so...we will see! Thanks for the suggestion
     

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