Lateral play in Gibraltar-III retrofit: need advice - Jemsite
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 917
Lateral play in Gibraltar-III retrofit: need advice

I'm working on a project where (among other things) I'm replacing a wrap-around style bridge with a string-through setup. I'm referring to the style similar to what's on the Ibanez SZ series or Schecter C-series, where the strings are loaded from the rear, pass through ferrules to the front of the body, and then over a tunematic style bridge.

I bought an Ibanez Gibraltar III style (SZ series) bridge which is unique in that the stud spacing closely matches the 3-1/4" spacing found on many wrap-around style bridges and tailpieces. This differs from most tunematic-style bridges, which have a ~2.9" spacing.

My problem is that although the spacing is very close, there is a small (~2mm) amount of lateral play when I set the G-III bridge in place. I'm wondering if this amount of play might be acceptable, or if it would be a "deal killer" in terms of using the original anchor holes? I'd obviously prefer to not have to pull the old anchors and redrill just to make up 2mm of slack, but I'm concerned that everytime I bend a string, the bridge might shift side-to-side. It's possible that once I string it up, the string tension will hold the bridge firmly in place, but I'm not sure how much that'll help for lateral motion. Plus I can't string it up until I drill the holes for the ferrules and if this bridge isn't gonna work, I might end up staying with the original wraparound bridge.

Anyone with advice?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 04:34 PM
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Location: California
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String through the body will put enough downward pressure on that bridge to keep it in place. A trapeze tailpiece or a stop bar tailpiece that was set too high wouldn't. You could fashion a couple shims out of brass or even toothpicks to lock it in place. I thought the Gibraltars could be locked in place from the top. You could also drill and tap for little allen screws like the tonepros.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 917
Thanks Frank! I figured you'd be the first to respond. I didn't notice any way to lock the Gibraltar in place, but I'll check again tonight. I thought about using some little shims to take up the slop. I'll see if I can find some thin strips of brass to wrap around the posts.

Actually, I've gone back and forth about using the original wrap-around bridge versus the string-through design, but it seems like the string-through is currently the rage, so I'd like to give it a try. At first, I didn't think it'd be possible to do the conversion because every tunematic bridge I checked had the narrower stud spacing. It's strange that Ibanez designed the G-III with 3-1/4" spacing (plus the stud threads are exactly the same as the original Shortstop II threads), but it works out well for me in this case.
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matic bridge , string tension

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