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Epiphone Thunderbird IV Adjustable Bridge Problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Arkadiusz, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Arkadiusz


    Oct 21, 2007
    I got an Epiphone Thunderbird IV about a month ago now and I noticed that the adjustable bridge is crooked and the action is way too high. I want to adjust it myself but I don't know how to do this so if anyone knows how to please post. :meh:
  2. Hobobob74


    May 21, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    You would adjust it like any other bridge, but the three screws are what you would use to set the high. It it should be set so that the single front screw is higher than the two back ones, that way it wont pull up as easially. Hope ya got it
  3. Hi, Arkadiusz.

    Easiest method is to loosen the strings quite a bit and adjust the screws about half a turn, one at a time. You just keep going until You've reached the height you think is the correct one for your liking. I also tend to have the front raised a bit.

    If the climate in Your area has changed recently, the problem might lie in the neck relief, so You should check that first.

    The stickys and FAQs have good explanations how it's done.

  4. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    a friend on another board posted this a while back:

    1. Screw down the bridge evenly over all three screws till you have an action around the 15th and higher frets that is comfortable for you without any or too much buzz (some players don't mind a little buzz or even like it, that is a matter of taste). Keep the front stud a little higher for best string to saddle pressure. Retune the bass, don't worry about buzzing in the lower registers at this point.

    2. Now you've got your bass retuned with a lower action at the high frets. Your lower frets will now either buzz (see 2a for the subsequent steps) or the action will still be too high even in the low registers (see 2b for the subsequent steps).

    2a: Low Register buzzes: You need to loosen the truss rod. Take off the truss rod cover and insert an allen wrench in the allen nut (the cheaper Epis generally have allen nuts). Don't detune the bass for that, rather lift the A and the D string to the side to the slots of the G and E string to have room for turning the allen wrench. With the bass' butt resting on your toes (clean those sneakers!) and the strings/fretboard facing away from you, you - while standing up and looking down - will now turn the allen wrench <--- counterclockwise <---. Epi truss rods move easily (if noisily), turn it and immediately look to find out how the action of the bass has altered and buzzing has become less or disappeared. Don't be scared of overdoing it - it is impossible to break a truss rod by loosening it as you are releasing tension. That said, one or two "one third turns" counterclockwise should do it. sometimes you will need a few more of those to actually adjust the bass if the neck is too straight or even curved away from the fretboard.

    2 b: Low Register has too much action: Same as 2a, except that you have too tighten the truss rod now which is done by turning the allen wrench ---> clockwise --->. You will also have to be more careful as you can break a trussrod by overtightening it. But Epi truss rods are hardy and can certainly survive one full turn or even more as your bass is probably a virgin as regards truss rod adjustment.

    3. After a combination of either steps 1 and 2a or steps 1 and 2 b you should have a relatively or even totally buzz free bass with good to reasonable action. If there is still some persistent buzzing at some places then raise the bridge a little. Raising the front stud will raise all strings, raising the lower hind stud more the D and G string, raising the upper hind stud more E and A. No radical set ups please! (Like one stud real low and the other two very high.)

    4. (optional) Is all buzzing just on one string (while the other strings are buzz-free) and you have to raise the bridge considerably to make it go away even though you could stay much lower if it were just for the other strings? Try this then: I assume that on your Epi too the saddles for the four individual strings do not all have the same height, but that there are two higher and two lower ones. If the persistently buzzing string is on a lower saddle, then exchange that saddle against a higher saddle.
  5. Arkadiusz


    Oct 21, 2007
    Thanks for all the help guys, everything with my bridge is fine now
  6. Arkadiusz


    Oct 21, 2007
    I may have run into another problem, now that my bridge is perfect, the action is just the way i want it, One more minor problem arose when tuning my bass everything was tuned just the way I always did it but i noticed that the strings are like 10 times tighter then before the bridge adjustment I don't know if this normal last time this happened on my old Washburn I ended up with neck problems 2 months later.
  7. BesideYouInTime


    Jan 2, 2009
    thinner, lower tension strings are a lot easier to pluck and are less likely to give you neck problems.
  8. GreggBummer

    GreggBummer Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Southern New Jersey
    Good Post. I have a new (to me) EpiBird that is going to go on my desk for bridge adjustment and action setting tomorrow morning. I will post the results. Thanks.
  9. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Lower bridge should = lower tension... Doesnt seem right.
  10. brachal


    Jan 7, 2006
    New Orleans, La
    I've always wondered about this advice. I've had 3 3-point bridge basses; all came from the factory with the front screw lowest. I've had two of them setup by quality professional luthiers, and they've both come back with the front screw lowest. Anybody know for sure?
  11. jetsrush


    Sep 22, 2010
    I gave up on these 3 point bridges. What a bad idea. I took the cheap way out but it works like a charm. I prop up a Jazz bass bridge then cover it with one of those metal bridge covers. Looks cool and works great.