From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

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mschafft
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From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by mschafft » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:07 am

Hey,
I noticed that many Jazzmasters come stock with a Tune-o-matic these days. How difficult is it to swap it out for a traditional Jazzmaster floataing bridge. Does it necessarily imply redrilling or can the body holes fit both types of post anchors?

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by jasonpetzold » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:53 am

I replaced the tune-o-matic on my Jaguar Special HH with a traditional bridge. Traditional bushings wouldn't fit in the holes, but I got some grub screws at Lowe's and screwed them into the bottoms of the original bushings. Pretty easy fix. There are several threads on here with more details on how to do it. Just search for "Grub Screws" and you should be able to find the info.

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by mschafft » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:40 pm

Thanks a lot. I will definitely check it out.

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by timtam » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:38 pm

Not all Fender offset TOMs / AOMs are the same. For example the Jag HH mentioned above has the Gotoh GE103B-T ...
http://g-gotoh.com/international/product/ge103b-t.html
... whereas the Classic Player's AOM is the Fender-branded 0076230000.
http://wscmusic.com/itemView.php?query= ... =3839&lv=1

Most of the measurements are similar (M8 threaded posts, ~74mm post spacing), but the OD of the bushings appear to be a little larger on the Gotoh (11.3 vs 10.7mm).

Fender's USA jag/jm/mustang 0054447049 thimbles have a smaller OD than both. Angela measures them at 9.5mm and GPR at 9mm ...
https://www.angela.com/fenderusamustang ... estwo.aspx
https://guitarpartsresource.com/gbridge_jagjazz.htm

Some imports are around 9mm but an exact match is never guaranteed, eg
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-Qu ... 58426.html

So thimbles into TOM/AOM bushing holes (ie after bushing removed) will require something to fill the approx 1-2mm of space difference, eg brass tubing, tape. Re-drilling / dowelling is obviously possible but somewhat drastic.

Or you can try the upside-down cupped-bottom M8 grub screws that provide a thimble-like base for an offset bridge without removing the bushings, as mentioned above.

E-E saddle spacing around 56mm is too wide on some necks and causes people to opt for a 52-53mm offset bridge, eg the recently-narrowed Am Pro Mustang-style bridge (9.5" radius).

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by mschafft » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:23 am

That's super thorough, thanks a lot. I spotted a used Classic Player JM in my area but was put off by the Adjustomatic bridge (that's the actual name i think). Here is the ad: https://www.anibis.ch/fr/d-musique-inst ... d=697&pr=1

There aren't that many options with the stock traditional bridge, are there? American Original (which I'm lucky to have) and the recently discontinued Vintage Modified JM. Most of the other Jazzmasters come stock with either an Adjustomatic, a mustang bridge or a strat one. The mustang is close enough. Changing the saddles to threaded ones is probably less of a hassle I guess.

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by Horsefeather » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:24 am

Why not just put a roller TOM on it?

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by mschafft » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:30 am

That's super thorough, thanks a lot. I spotted a used Classic Player JM in my area but was put off by the Adjustomatic bridge (that's the actual name i think). Here is the ad: https://www.anibis.ch/fr/d-musique-inst ... d=697&pr=1

There aren't that many options with the stock traditional bridge, are there? American Original (which I'm lucky to have) and the recently discontinued Vintage Modified JM. Most of the other Jazzmasters come stock with either an Adjustomatic, a mustang bridge or a strat one. The mustang is close enough. Changing the saddles to threaded ones is probably less of a hassle I guess.

As for the grub screws, I figure they are like the ones on the following photo and you insert them from the bottom of the (removed ) bushing:
Image

https://img.banggood.com/thumb/water/oa ... 92377c.jpg

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by mschafft » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:33 am

Horsefeather wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:24 am
Why not just put a roller TOM on it?
I did it on a Squier JM a while back and found no noticeable improvement in tuning stability at the time.
But I had no idea how to adjust the spring tension on this trem because it didn't have the locking device. On my American Original I adjusted the spring so that the locking device is perfectly flush with the trem plate if you know what I mean. (I regret that Squier now because its neck was bliss.)

How do you guys adjust the trem spring tension on units without the locking mechanism?

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by 601210 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:04 am

mschafft wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:33 am
Horsefeather wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:24 am
Why not just put a roller TOM on it?
I did it on a Squier JM a while back and found no noticeable improvement in tuning stability at the time.
But I had no idea how to adjust the spring tension on this trem because it didn't have the locking device. On my American Original I adjusted the spring so that the locking device is perfectly flush with the trem plate if you know what I mean. (I regret that Squier now because its neck was bliss.)

How do you guys adjust the trem spring tension on units without the locking mechanism?
I just eyeball it so that the collet looks vaguely perpendicular to the plate.

IMO if you don't have the lock it doesn't really matter so much where it is, as long as the range of motion, tension, and position of the arm feel good to you. Heck I know some people with the lock don't even bother setting it up for it.

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by timtam » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:12 am

The M8 grub screws ideally have a cup bottom, similar to the bottom of the thimbles. eg
Image
https://www.ebay.com/itm/12-9-High-Tens ... 3445119936
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vie ... 4#p1564024


As far as length is concerned, 8mm, 10, and 12mm have all been reported here. But they're cheap to buy so maybe get some of each. They obviously need to insert far enough into the bottom of the bushing so as not to push it out of the guitar, and provide a contact point for the offset bridge height grub screw at about the same depth as the bottom of the conventional thimbles. If you already have thimbles and bushings you can probably measure things up to estimate the best length.
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vie ... p?t=103658
https://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vi ... =8&t=55339

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by mschafft » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:33 am

Thanks everybody. The other parameter I've just noticed is that the tremolo is closer to the Adjustomatic. In other words the true vintage configuration cannot be achieved there unless you reroute the tremolo cavity which is way too much work. So I guess I'll stay away from the Adjustos...

At any rate this thread has been very informative. Thanks again for your input!

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by alexpigment » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:40 pm

mschafft wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:33 am
Thanks everybody. The other parameter I've just noticed is that the tremolo is closer to the Adjustomatic. In other words the true vintage configuration cannot be achieved there unless you reroute the tremolo cavity which is way too much work. So I guess I'll stay away from the Adjustos...

At any rate this thread has been very informative. Thanks again for your input!
I understand wanting something truly vintage spec, however, the trem being closer to the bridge is actually a huge plus in my opinion, and I personally feel like there are zero downsides to this. Any particular reason you're averse to it?

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by aliendawg » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:01 pm

Once you notice it it just looks weird, really...

And as people always say... 90% of the time tuning stability problems are related to the nut so maybe a roller bridge could be a good call if you set it up right
"With the resurgence of offsets it seems like we're also seeing a resurgence of people who don't know what to do with them" - 601210

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by mschafft » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:46 am

alexpigment wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:40 pm
I understand wanting something truly vintage spec, however, the trem being closer to the bridge is actually a huge plus in my opinion, and I personally feel like there are zero downsides to this. Any particular reason you're averse to it?
If it works for you great. The design issue IMO is the same as tension bar Bigsby bridges. That steep string angle behind the TOM (or roller) saddles tends to prevent the components of the bridge from coming back to neutral position (pitch) properly. I prefer a shallow angle and a floating bridge for that reason (but there has to be a slight angle in the neck so the neck pocket should be nice and tidy with a slight tilt or shim). On a side note, I obviously take care of the nut slots in the initial setup (nut files, proper angle and width, lubrication of all contact points including string trees). But again, some people have no problem with tension bar Bigsby bridges or à la J Mascis JM layout. I'm not knocking them, just not for me I guess.

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Re: From Tune-o-matic to traditional floating JM bridge

Post by Danley » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:04 am

alexpigment wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:40 pm
I understand wanting something truly vintage spec, however, the trem being closer to the bridge is actually a huge plus in my opinion, and I personally feel like there are zero downsides to this. Any particular reason you're averse to it?
Have had a few Jazzmasters with the vibrato in various places - including a mutt Telecaster where I neither put in vintage nor CP position. I don't mind the closer vibrato once I'm *playing* the guitar, but at the same time I don't see a need for it; the standard position vibrato works fine for me - so it's just difficult for me to say it's an improvement let alone a big one.

^That's rational me - Now the worst, bitchiest me: When I see Fender's done it on another guitar, my reaction is ::) IMO they're 'fixing' problems that don't exist outside a bad setup - At worst snake oil, at most neutral a placebo to calm nerves of timid buyers with a fidget reaction against offsets from the ten minutes of 'research' they did online, at best a symptomatic treatment to make up for the poor quality of import bridges/parts (all the same reasons the TOMs got put on there in the first place too.)

But again - nothing is an absolute stop; a TOM'd, shifted vibrato guitar can play amazing, never mind it does create some of its own issues. If it is something that addresses someone's former concern or undesirable experience, I made a promise to try not to automatically judge that they 'did it wrong' initially :D I can't say I've set up every Jazzmaster for every possible circumstance after all.
King Buzzo: I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

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