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Vintage guitar expertise needed

Young Dad

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
857
Hi.
I have a '67 Harmony H78. It plays really well and sounds amazing but I have two problems that I could really use some guidance on.

#1: The bridge pickup is much quieter then the other two pickups and is not nearly as hot when cranked. Looking at the guitar, the bridge pickup is much further away from the strings then the other two pickups. Is there some way I could raise the pickup? Maybe place between the body and pickup rings two little pre-drilled pieces of wood? Or would taking out the 50 year old screws that currently hold the pickups to the body possibly damage something?
I tried to show the string height here:



Problem #2: How would one properly change the strings with a bridge like this? Without the strings tension on the bridge the bridge would move or fall off, which would require readjusting all the intonation? Do you change one string at a time? Is there a better way?
I tried googling it and searching here but I don't even know what this type of bridge is called-- "floating"?
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Thanks in advance for any info. I love this guitar and am just trying to keep it sounding as best as it can.
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
10,767
#1 - what happens when you raise the six screws under the strings? You might be able to find a shim or make one, that fit under the pickup, but I would try that first.

#2 - change them one at a time. You could mark the bridge spot with some masking tape if you must take all the strings off at once, but you rarely need to do that. Just change them one at a time.
 

shakeshakeshake

Senior Member
Messages
5,030
#1- common thing to do is to buy a foam riser shim, I'd take the dimensions of the one on it and compare it to shims available from Rickenbacker and TV Jones. Those low output single coils seems to sound best when they are extremely close to the strings.
#2- common thing to have a fixed spot for a floating bridge so you don't have to find the right spot for intonation every time you change strings is to find the correct spot, mark it and then put some double sided tape under the bridge, or a more invasive but sturdier method is to have two small pins put in the bridge and then corresponding holes in the top drilled in.
 

G.Ham

Member
Messages
362
That black spacer under the pickup can be replaced with a taller one, but my bet is if you put them to a multimeter the bridge pickup will have a lower output than the other two... very common on the DeArmond-Rowe pickups.
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
10,767
That black spacer under the pickup can be replaced with a taller one, but my bet is if you put them to a multimeter the bridge pickup will have a lower output than the other two... very common on the DeArmond-Rowe pickups.
Yea, that thought crossed my mind, it might just be the pickup, could be failing too.
 

Mpcoluv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,790
Take a piece of cardboard and use it to shim the bridge pickup closer to the strings. If this works, the do a more elegant solution out of black pick guard material
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,254
if the bridge pickup is raised as high as it will go, try lowering the other two pickups instead. also try raising the polepieces of the bridge pickup. also try lowering the bridge.
 

Young Dad

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
857
Thanks again everyone.
Was able to change the strings one at a time with no problems.
Raised the bridge temporarily with some cardboard. It sounds better but not really hotter. I think I will get some foam or wood and make it permanent.
 




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