TOM upgrade questions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by m-m-m, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. m-m-m

    m-m-m Member

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    My friend has an Epiphone Les Paul and we've talked a bit about upgrading his TOM for a few reasons
    • I'm assuming that it's pot metal and isn't really helping the sustain or tone too much
    • It's missing the retainer clip for the bridge saddles
    • More than normal string breakage points to less than ideal saddle condition
    I'm more of a strat guy and I don't have much experience with TOM's, other than knowing enough to set one up.
    1. Do I (or should I) need to replace the studs and bushings or should I just focus on getting the right post thread/dimension and working with what's already installed into the guitar?
    2. Should I replace the tailpiece too, while I'm at it? New studs and bushings for the tailpiece?
    3. Any brands I should steer clear of or others that I should shoot for? I know that callaham makes an ABR1 model now, but I doubt we'll want to drop that kind of cash for it.

    My instinct is to try to just replace the bridge and not the tailpiece. This is his backup guitar, but he's a touring semi-pro so if we can spend $50-$100 and make it better I think it'd be worth it.

    I think it's a 2001 or so Standard Lefty. He strings righty, so I'm assuming that orientation is irrelevant.
     
  2. rumblebox

    rumblebox Member

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  3. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Yeah try a Gotoh. A lot of people like those. Also Schaller makes one.
     
  4. g-mane

    g-mane Member

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  5. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    Or you could just clean up the bridge saddles. It will just take a minute. A tech could do it in a couple of minutes. Then your strings will stop breaking.
     
  6. epluribus

    epluribus Member

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    Still, aren't all of those zinc-alloy systems? Seems to me you're talking aircraft-grade aluminum or steel if you want to upgrade the metals. Bell brass would qualify too, but I'm not up on where you'd get a TOM made of it. Lotta people get worked up when they find there's pot metal in their guitars, till they find out just how many big-name guitars use it. After having experimented with zinc, brass, and aluminum/steel Steinberger systems, IMHO each is a desirable tone metal depending on your taste. Durability...whole 'nother question, not a big issue for most TOM applications.

    --Ray
     
  7. m-m-m

    m-m-m Member

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    sure, if you've got the nut slotting files, which I don't. Also, this doesn't solve the problem of the missing retainer clip. I'm worried he's gonna break a string and lose a saddle mid gig ... not fun.

    @epluibus - those faber ones that g-mane mentioned have saddles made of brass, or titanium if you want.

    Thanx for the responses
     

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