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How to setup a Gibson/Epiphone with a 3 point bridge?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ZachariahLee, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. ZachariahLee


    Feb 3, 2013
    I'm sure I'm over thinking this process, but can someone give me instructions on how to setup a Gibson/Epiphone bass guitar with a 3 point bridge?

    I can't find any videos pertaining to this particular style of guitar, and the reading I did find wasn't complete. Focusing mainly on suggested string height and truss rod adjustments.

    My main concern is the 3 point bridge. How is it that I safely adjust it? I've heard horror stories of the posts popping out, and stuff like that. I have some serious fret buzz, but am just a little nervous of doing the adjustments yet.

    For the record I purchased an Epiphone TV Silver Bass for the looks alone, but I'd like to practice with it too, LOL.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. I have an Epiphone EB-3 with the same bridge. I looked all over and found virtually no information. Didn't even get any real information from Gibson, other than recommended action height at certain frets. Was told to bring it to a pro.

    You do need to be careful so that seats in body don't pop out. Mine popped out as I found out how not to adjust bridge. Recommend adjusting all three screws equally, turning maximum of 1/4 turn at a time. Neck side of bridge should be slightly higher than rear to keep force from pulling seats. I used gorilla glue to lock my seats in place, but be careful with that stuff. I threaded screws all the way in to keep glue from hitting threads, but the glue swole up and I nearly glued the screws permanently in place.

    If you keep all adjustment even, you shouldn't have a problem. You might want to loosen strings so that you don't have so much tension while you adjust.

    Once you get the height adjusted, setting intonation is not too bad. Just need a small blade screwdriver to reach adjusters.
  3. ZachariahLee


    Feb 3, 2013
    So basically:

    1. Make neck/truss adjustments
    2. 24-48 hrs to let it settle
    3. Make bridge adjustments ensuring equal height adjustments on the 2 screw side that in the end need to both be slightly lower than the 1 screw side while getting the string height to a desirable level
    4. Intonate

    Does this sound about right?
  4. Sounds right. I did find that I had to set the bass side for my bridge higher than the treble side. Just watch the notches where the bridge seats on the screws. You should notice that there is a small amount of play between the screw and bridge. Notch on screw head is slightly larger than thickness of bridge. You want to keep a little room for play or you risk pulling out seats.
  5. If you are willing to shell out around $100, you can get a hipshot replacement bridge that mounts to seats and adjusts like standard bridges. I prefer to keep the cash and consider it a challenge to properly set up with current bridge.
  6. ZachariahLee


    Feb 3, 2013
    Appreciate the tips.
  7. When replacing the strings, DO NOT take them all off at the same time. They hold the bridge in place.
  8. Would be nice if Gibson put out information about proper adjustments of their instruments. Fender lists all their specs and instructions on their website.

    I really learned alot by watching the instructional videos on youtube by John Caruthers. He has a 4 part video that shows you step by step how to set up your own basses. Same settings should apply to your bass, except for bridge adjustments. I highly recommend giving them a viewing...
  9. This is true. Also recommend using strings that don't have silks on ball ends. Achieve better intonation without silks on saddles.

  10. I've not noticed intonation problems with silken-ended strings. I'm using D'Addario flats. That said, I've only had strings with silks on them. Hmmmm...time to visit GC and get new strings.
  11. I also installed a bridge mod bar, which moves ball end of strings about 1/2 inch away from bass of bridge, likely enough to shift silks away from saddles.
  12. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    Remove the strings, take the 3 point bridge off, remove the screws from the body, put the Hipshot Supertone bridge on the bass, set it up like a normal bridge, like the bass a lot more....


    That's how it went with my 1993 T-Bird that played like crap until I took the steps above. It's 100% improved and I can center my strings on the neck with the Hipshot. Gibson got the neck a bit off center of the center block when they built this T-Bird, so it was easy to roll the G string off the fingerboard until I installed the Hipshot.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    How to setup a Gibson/Epiphone with a 3 point bridge?


    First step replace the damn thing!!!