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Epiphone Gibson 3 Point Bridge Modification Through Body

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by 76sagi, Jan 26, 2012.


  1. 76sagi

    76sagi

    Jan 26, 2012
    I have a new, Epiphone EB-3 Bass (it is a cheap, yet relatively well crafted instrument). Because of the cost, I am certainly not afraid to mod this thing out. It features the classic :rollno: 3-point Gibson bridge. I think it looks great, but it has obvious issues that have been talked much about in these and other forums. I would like to modify the bridge by drilling holes through the body to allow for a string-through body attachment behind the bridge. I hope this will add sustain and really like the way it looks. My questions are: Has anyone done this type of modification before? Is there a general rule for positioning the holes a certain distance behind the bridge? Will this effect intonation? I have some string ferrules on order and have a lot of shop experience, but not a lot of stringed instrument mod experience....I can certainly eyeball this, but would rather have some calculations if they exist. What do you think?
    I have noticed that the Gibson RD Nirvana bass has this feature (see image)... and Gene Simmons of all people did a similar modification to one of his basses in the 70s. lKiss-able Gibson | Vintage Guitar® magazine
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    I have 2 Fender Lyte`s,the Deluxe Lyte has s-t-b.I always wanted to change the P-Lyte bridge to a string through like the Deluxe Lyte. I couldnt handle it anymore one day & took it to my local luthier.
    He looks at the bass(man this guy can make nice basses) & says why do you want to do this ? I said what you are thinking....sustain , better sound but he said `no` it wont have that effect.I left the store pretty shocked & kept thinking about it & came to the decision that maybe he was right.
    I still would love to do it but man it would have been done at the factory if it was a good idea to begin with.So it never happend but id love to know more about this too cause i may just do it one day myself.
     
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
  4. 76sagi

    76sagi

    Jan 26, 2012
    Well. I did it. Sustain or not... It looks great and I'll post some pics soon. Right now, the strings I have on it are simply not long enough. I knew this would be the case but haven't had the chance to get a new set of XL flats. I did some talking with a few people who brought up the old Flying V guitars (the ones with the V-Shaped ferrules that went through the body)... I have heard that string tension may be effected. I'll let you know. As far as difficulty... not a difficult job to do with a drill press and two bits.
    I really do think it looks great though. .... pics soon.
     
  5. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    I can't argue with the cosmetic part of it, it does look cool.

    In terms of how the strings feel, typically going through the body increases the break angle of the string over the saddle. This will make the strings feel a little stiffer. If you drilled the holes far enough behind the bridge then the break angle will not change much and you shouldn't notice any change in feel.
     
  6. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Tension at pitch is tension at pitch. If the tension changes, you'd be out of tune. Dont listen to such nonsense. ;)
     
  7. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    If it works & intonates good then its well done.
     
  8. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    As you are probably well aware, he is referring to string stiffness/compliance and its relationship to the break angle behind the saddle, which is often referred to (albeit incorrectly) as tension. People say they have an input jack on their bass too but we don't dismiss their concerns because of semantics.
     
  9. 76sagi

    76sagi

    Jan 26, 2012
    So, Here is the result with my modification. I love it. I slapped on some Rotosound Flatwound 77 Extra Longs on there and it now plays and sounds great. I am not sure if it is the strings or what but the tension seems to be higher now, which I certainly like. Also, the silk overwindings on the string ball ends no longer ride on the bridge saddle. It was a quick and cheap modification: The 8 ferrules cost me about $10 and the whole operation took about 1.5 hours. :bassist:
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Pittsburgh
    Looks good! Nice job.
     
  11. Ron2TheZ

    Ron2TheZ

    Feb 25, 2012
    I got an Epi Thunderbird I'm gonna do this technique on. I'll post pics.
     

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