Ibanez Artcore bridge problem

pinhooker

Member
Messages
778
Hi, my friend just brought over his ibanez artcore ASF75T. The bridge appears to have no form of adhesion to the body. This is a bigsby model. This cant be right, because how on earth are you suppose to set up intonation on it then? If anyone can suggest a solution, that would be much appreciated.
 

Rob Sharer

Muso-Luthier
Messages
2,822
Hi Guitboxer,

This is how these guitars are made. In fact, this makes it particularly easy to set the intonation, so no worries there. Cheers,

Rob
 

tartanphantom

Member
Messages
743
This must be your first archtop hollowbody guitar. Fear not--most archtop hollowbodies have a floating bridge. It's worked for years, as a matter of fact, the floating bridge is the oldest guitar bridge design.

The bridge is usually held in place by string tension. In the old days, this was not a problem, as .011 string sets were considered "light gauge", with most common string sets being .012. Bigsby-style tailpieces were also engineered for heavier gauge strings. However, by today's standards, many people use lighter gauge strings such as .010's, .009's, and even .008's. As a result, if you use one of these lighter gauge sets, there may not be enough downward pressure from the strings to properly stabilize the bridge.

There are a couple of things you can do to remedy this.

First-- If you are using .009's, throw them away. Xtra lite or ultra lite strings will give you nothing but trouble on a Bigsby-equipped guitar, and will greatly decrease your tuning stability. Man up and go to 10's, or preferably, 11's. Your tone will thank you, and you will have much less problems with tuning stability. The heavier strings will also help to hold the bridge in place.

Second-- If you are already using 10's or higher, just go to the music store and buy a cake of cello bow rosin. Remove the bridge,(be sure to mark it's location or outline the base with tape before removing) and apply the rosin liberally to the feet of the bridge. At first, it won't appear that anything is happening. You have to heat up the rosin by friction before it will stick.
Anyway, keep rubbing the feet until the rosin starts to adhere. it will become like a white powder. DON'T shake it off-- it doesn't have to a be thick coating, but it does have to be evenly applied across the feet. Once the feet are completely white, re-install the bridge and tune up. The rosin will grip the top without marring it, and your bridge will stay put. Once the bridge is in place, you can blow away any rosin dust around the outside of the bridge feet.

You can use just about any type of bow rosin, but I prefer dark cello rosin, as it is softer, tackier, and is easier to work with. The lighter colored violin rosin will work, but it is much harder and not as tacky.
 

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
takes me back to my youth, when i played cello. i loved the smell/tackiness of the rosin, and the little felt bag it came in. i wish guitar gear was a cheap as cello rosin. anyhow, when a luthier did a big setup on my friend's artcore semi, he told me he put some double-stick tape under the bridge. i'm a bit of a novice setup guy, and when i'd set it up several months before, the bridge fell off. fortunately the guitar was dusty enough for me to know just where it went.
 

tartanphantom

Member
Messages
743
Lots of people use double-sided tape, and it definitely works.

I just prefer not having the that layer of tape between the bridge and the top, where most of the string energy is transferred. Therefore, I use the rosin. Plus, the rosin doesn't mess with the finish like tape adhesive often does.
 

Dickie Fredericks

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,754
I have one of these guitars and posted about the same thing the other day. Im just doing what FlyinBrian suggested and tape the bridge in place with masking tape when changing the strings. It comes off easy and doesnt leave a residue.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
32,690
I just prefer not having the that layer of tape between the bridge and the top, where most of the string energy is transferred. Therefore, I use the rosin. Plus, the rosin doesn't mess with the finish like tape adhesive often does.
Good tip.:aok
 




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