Conversting stop bar to TOM bridge

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Neverwhere, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. Neverwhere

    Neverwhere Member

    Feb 11, 2019
    I have a Firebird with a compensated stopbar, I've installed a vibrola on it and was wondering if anyone had ever seen a way to convert the stop bar to a standard TOM style bridge.
    Anyone know of a product like this?
  2. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

    Jan 19, 2013
    Hi Neverwhere,

    I'm a big fan of the Maestro and stoptails!

    I have a few possible suggestions.

    1. Get some locking studs and an intonatable wraparound. TonePros do both and I believe you can get some roller saddles as well. You will then have a fixed bridge with roller saddles that should work ok, as long as there's not too much 'fouling' of the strings on the bridge frame behind the saddles (where the string contacts the bridge frame on its way to the vibrato).

    I have asked TonePros about putting together an intonatable wraparound with the roller saddles and last time I asked it wasn't something they were doing - they apologised and said I'd have to buy the wrap and the saddles separately and fit them myself, but this should work.

    It's a delicate game working with Maestros, the guitars always seem like they were never really designed to work with them and the break angle seems to vary wildly.

    2. You could have it done the 'old fashioned way' - have a luthier plug the stud holes with dowels, redrill holes for the TOM and go from there.

    2b) you could do the above but put in something a bit more suitable than a TOM, which was never really designed to be used with a vibrato. Something like the Schaller roller bridge would probably work well and would certainly avoid any problems with string fouling as well.

    I hope that helps!

  3. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Pittsboro NC
    Locking studs and really smooth/polished string notches will work ok. As always the 17 degree headstock pitch with angled string paths to the tuners will prove to e the bigger problem; fortunately the Maestro doesn't have much travel up/down.Used for a gentle wavering effect, an expertly cut nut/bridge notches/locking studs will be ok.
    BTW if you wraparound all the strings except the B, you have a "B-Bender".
  4. Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    Palmetto, Florida
    I too have looked for such a product to no avail.
    Ended up plugging the existing holes & redrilling them to accomodate a TOM.
    I just don't think there is any other way.
    SnidelyWhiplash likes this.
  5. RicOkc

    RicOkc Member

    May 1, 2010

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