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Which Tune-O-Matic for '64 SG Jr?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by gfarina55, May 19, 2011.

  1. gfarina55

    gfarina55 Member

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    I recently acquired this lovely '64 SG Junior from Craig's List. It's in great shape, all original EXCEPT the original bridge is missing, and the only mod is that it's been drilled for a Tune-O-Matic (also missing). Which version of the Tune-O-Matic should I purchase? The Tone Pros seem like the most functional solution that still keeps the vintage vibe, but I'm confused as to which one/which size to get? Also, the Gotoh bridges in the StewMac catalog there are different sizes of threads? Is there any way to tell exactly or to make an educated guess which of the above options will work the best? Are there better options for a bridge for this guitar? Thx in advance for any info you can provide!


    [​IMG]
     
  2. gfarina55

    gfarina55 Member

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    Also, does anyone know what the two holes that were drilled btwn the bridge studs are for?
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the hell?

    there's not a tune-o-matic that will fit that!

    instead you've got two sets of stop bar tailpiece bushings, the originals by the pickup, and two more that some fool added.

    the guitar originally had a dodgy arrangement of a wraparound tailpiece that the strings just went over, attaching to their marginally functional bent-metal vibrato tailpiece.

    to get good performance out of it, folks would string the wraparound properly, ignoring the vibrato part.

    i'd get something like this:

    [​IMG]

    that would go right on the front pair of studs, intonating properly and giving a nice sustain and tone.

    the only other option is to do some real surgery, by pulling the front pair of bushings, filling the wood and re-drilling for an actual tune-o-matic (the spacing is very different), then using that added back pair of bushings for a stop bar.
     
  4. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    OK, now i'm even more confused!

    a quick image search shows that the guitars with the "tailpiece-for-bridge + maestro" set-up were like this, with three screws holding on a short tailpiece

    [​IMG]

    while the fancier guitars had an actual AR-1 tune-o-matic and a full-size vibrola, like this

    [​IMG]

    i literally have no idea what strange combination of weird factory original parts and mods happened to yours.
     
  5. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

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    Many would be swayed by the words "vintage" and "original", but my '63 Jr. had the wrap bridge inserts pulled and maple plugs put in to take ABR-1 screws. It was worth it. The thing screams!

    I like the look of that mahogany. I think when you get it all strung up you'll very pleased. Overjoyed, in fact.
     
  6. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    At this point you've got a player. If I had to choose, I'd move the studs to the back set of bushings, pull the front ones, have some good looking plugs made and fitted and install a period style tune-o-matic bridge. The guitar is NOT currently drilled for a TOM, just the stop tailpiece. Have a 5 ply pickguard cut and you're off!
     
  7. gfarina55

    gfarina55 Member

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    Oh, I see what you mean!

    Well, the first set to the right by the pickup is clearly for the original bridge, which is basically a tailpiece w/intonation, correct? The second set was drilled for a tailpiece, so my guess is some kind of "intonatable" bridge was used in the first set? Or maybe it was work started and never finished?

    So I guess my question now is: what would you do if it was your guitar? It seems to make the most sense to fill the holes but the pickup and redrill for a standard Tune-o-matic?

    Thx for the help!
     
  8. gfarina55

    gfarina55 Member

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    "At this point you've got a player. If I had to choose, I'd move the studs to the back set of bushings, pull the front ones, have some good looking plugs made and fitted and install a period style tune-o-matic bridge. The guitar is NOT currently drilled for a TOM, just the stop tailpiece. Have a 5 ply pickguard cut and you're off!"

    Yeah, this makes the most sense I think. Thx!
     
  9. gfarina55

    gfarina55 Member

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    What do you think of this option: getting an original bridge for the front bushings, and installing a bigsby using the back stopbar set, and one of these?
     
  10. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

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    Not a Bigsby fan myself, but that seems like a reasonable option that would use all the holes. :)

    I wouldn't get a bridge with the molded in zig-zaggy "saddles", though, I'd use a tailpiece so the strings could slide over it easily.
     
  11. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't. You'll need to drill ADDITIONAL holes in the body to correctly mount the Bigsby and the original bridge does not really sit all that well on those posts- ESPECIALLY if there is a vibrato tailpiece involved. There is probably a Tonepros or something that would lock on, but you'd still be drilling holes that will be very visible, should you not like the Bigsby.
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm kinda leaning towards "fill and drill for a real ABR-1", since the tailpiece studs are already added. The plugs under a tune-o-matic will be less visible than those extra studs hanging out.

    You could even do the vibramate thing with those extra studs, too.
     
  13. gfarina55

    gfarina55 Member

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    Right on, I'll take it to my tech to see about plugs. Thx for all the input!
     

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