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Saddles keep moving side to side on Gibson Ripper. Help!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by richardbradbeer, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. I just got a Gibson for the first time (Gibson Ripper L-9S) and the biggest flip out is how different the bridge is to those on a Fender. The saddles will tilt upwards if I'm plucking the string from underneath but if I'm playing downward strokes with a pick for example the saddles get pushed so they face downwards. It is particularly bad on the D and G strings. It is as if there isn't enough tension from the string to keep it in place. If anyone has any suggestions on how I can get the saddles to stay put it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
  2. The bridge is set up wrong. The front of the bridge should not be lower than the back. It sounds like this condition on yours is pretty severe.
  3. Thanks man, so do you think I should lower the back and raise the front?
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    It sounds like you need to work on the setup of your 3-point bridge. They are picky. The general method is to use the two rear screws to set the action and then use the front screw to make the bridge sit parallel to the top or slightly raised to increase the string's break angle over the saddles.

    If you want a bridge with more traditional adjustments then the Hipshot SuperTone is worth your consideration.
  5. Thanks very much, it's all a learning process!
  6. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I'll also throw this out there since no one has (yet).

    Hipshot makes a very good replacement for Gibson/Epiphone 3-point bridges. It's not cheap but can be found for a "reasonable" price. I wouldn't pay more than about $95 shipped for the chrome.

    Here's a link to the "Supertone" bridge: http://store.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=31

    As you can see it operates more like the classic Fender-style bridge, with adjustable saddle height.

    NOTE: It may leave an impression on the finish of your bass where it's sitting. But I honestly think that once you put it on you won't want to take it off...

    All the best,

  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    I can't make heads or tails of the description of the problem. The saddles FLIP around you say? Is the bass used? If so sounds like the bridge has been assembled wrong. The saddles are supposed to sit firmly in channels on the plate: they can't flip over and point down. Something is fishy. The intonation bolts are not properly in their slots sounds like to me.
  8. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Mojotone has them in chrome for $75 + shipping.


    I ordered one from GC and got it for $75 to my door.

    I hope this helps,
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I would go with an aftermarket bridge. The 3 point Gibson is an anachronism.
  10. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Wow Siggy,

    That's a great price!
  11. Fly Guitars

    Fly Guitars

    Dec 29, 2008
    Yes, sound very strange. Are the saddles incorrect replacements? Can you post a picture?
  12. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    The Supertone bridge should never leave a impression in the paint. It should be mounted firmly to the bushings and float above the body. If the bridge seats agents the body before contacting the bushing you will pull the bushing out of the body when you tighten the mounting bolts.

    The stock saddles should never flop or move around.
    I would like to see a photo too.
  13. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Hi hdracer,

    Not sure where you get that from. I got this quote from the Hipshot website page for the Supertone. It's at the end of the descriptive statement.

    "*To achieve maximum tonal transference, the SuperTone is solidly fastened to your instrument. A very slight shadow of the bridge footprint may result."

    The page for this is: http://store.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=264

  14. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Bob, the deal is that the bottom of the Hipshot is flush against the existing threaded inserts which have a shoulder above the wood surface. So it is indeed firmly attached to the inserts but not contacting the body.

    I'll add that they may or may not sit flat on the body because the inserts may or may not be set at the right height; may or may not have the exact same dimensions ad the batch of inserts the bridge was designed around: Gibson USA vs offshore.
  15. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    My inserts are flush with the wood and the bridge makes full contact and the sustain is amazing!
  16. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Hipshot puts washers in with the bolts to put under the bridge.
    The bushings will pull out of the body if you try and tighten it down to the body.
    The first one I installed I pulled the bushings out tightening it down.
    It needs to be tight to the bushings.
  17. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio

    There must be some variation in the insert depth. My inserts were flush and in full contact with the bottom of the bridge. There was no way I could have pulled them out of the body unless I went insane with the hex wrench. I even talked to Hipshot yesterday about installation. I wasn't sure if there was supposed to be a third bolt because or the indention on the bottom front of the bridge. I was told that was for the insert if it were sticking up above the body. In fact I didn't even receive washers with the bridge.
  18. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I have to agree with Siggy.

    Mine (installed on Epiphone Thunderbird) sits flush with the body and there's a slight notch cut out in the front for the third mount.

    It works great, but definitely sits flush with the body. The pics on the Hipshot website show the same thing on the Gibson RD it's installed on.


  19. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    My inserts (Epi Tbird)have flanges that sit above (on) the surface. I guess they have changed them over time.
  20. MicG

    MicG Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Garden City, Michigan
    So I'd like to resurrect this thread since I just got my 3 point Supertone in the mail to ask:

    Do I or do I not need washers underneath my bridge?

    Bass is an '11 Gibson Tbird
    Bridge is as Bobster describes in post #18