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Tune-o-matic bridge mod made easy...


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Hi guys, I thought I'd wade in on the tune-o-matic bridge mod topic as this may be of some help to you all. Especially those of you who are new to taking their pride and joy apart or are apprehensive about what it is they may be doing or buying to complete the task.

I did a little research and found that Fender make their own version of the Tune-o-matic called the Adjusto-matic. I picked mine up new from an eBay shop called The STRATosphere for a good price and then fitted the beast.

Looking at the profile of the saddles they are arranged in the same order as the original Mustang unit ie: two high central saddles, either side of these there are two intermediate saddles then either side of these there are two short saddles. This arrangement allows the strings the correct profile for the neck radius... Nice... Problems solved for both string profile and spacing...

The usual rules apply for the bridge posts in the respect of taping the stems to fit the cups. All that remains is to drop the bridge on to the posts...

The neck now needs to be shimmed to slightly alter the neck angle. I found that the Subway loyalty card provides the correct size and shape for this simple task although any store loyalty card will do as long as there are no embossed or raised design features... Cut a strip, 1cm in depth, from the end of the card, remove the neck and place it in the neck pocket hard up against the wall at the pickup end of the pocket... Screw the neck back on tightly (the rear two screws will require extra pressure as they will need to pass through the shim...) As the shim is quite thin there are no detectable gaps between neck and body so no ugliness worries there.

All that remains is to string up, tune up and intonate...

There's a link at the bottom to the place where I got mine...

Hope this helps you out if you are thinking about undertaking this easy mod. Best thing is that it only takes a few minutes to effect and is totally reversible... I use my Adjusto-matic equipped Mustang for all my band's live shows and I love it over the stock unit...

My link

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Hi guys, I thought I'd wade in on the tune-o-matic bridge mod topic as this may be of some help to you all. Especially those of you who are new to taking their pride and joy apart or are apprehensive about what it is they may be doing or buying to complete the task.

I did a little research and found that Fender make their own version of the Tune-o-matic called the Adjusto-matic. I picked mine up new from an eBay shop called The STRATosphere for a good price and then fitted the beast.

Looking at the profile of the saddles they are arranged in the same order as the original Mustang unit ie: two high central saddles, either side of these there are two intermediate saddles then either side of these there are two short saddles. This arrangement allows the strings the correct profile for the neck radius... Nice... Problems solved for both string profile and spacing...

The usual rules apply for the bridge posts in the respect of taping the stems to fit the cups. All that remains is to drop the bridge on to the posts...

The neck now needs to be shimmed to slightly alter the neck angle. I found that the Subway loyalty card provides the correct size and shape for this simple task although any store loyalty card will do as long as there are no embossed or raised design features... Cut a strip, 1cm in depth, from the end of the card, remove the neck and place it in the neck pocket hard up against the wall at the pickup end of the pocket... Screw the neck back on tightly (the rear two screws will require extra pressure as they will need to pass through the shim...) As the shim is quite thin there are no detectable gaps between neck and body so no ugliness worries there.

All that remains is to string up, tune up and intonate...

There's a link at the bottom to the place where I got mine...

Hope this helps you out if you are thinking about undertaking this easy mod. Best thing is that it only takes a few minutes to effect and is totally reversible... I use my Adjusto-matic equipped Mustang for all my band's live shows and I love it over the stock unit...

My link

Nice! After working on my Jaguar Special that has this kind of bridge, I might consider buying two to go in my Jagstang and Mustang.

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Using the Fender TOM presents a problem rather than convenience.

You always need to file the slots deeper on a Gotoh/Gibson TOM not only to match the radius but also (and most importantly) to get the strings to not pop out. If you just use a TOM with shallow slots on a Jag, JM (Jag/JM especially) and even a Mustang strings are going to pop out all over the place.

By the time you have filed the 1,2,5,6 slots(3,4 need only minor filing)deep enough to take the TOM from 12" to roughly 7.25" they are deep enough so the strings will NEVER pop out.

Thus it is actually better to use a Gotoh/Gibson TOM and put 30 minutes worth of work into it to get it right as if you just use the Fender TOM (like on a Jag/JM) it is actually defeating the purpose of using one entirely!

I've been playing Jags/Jazzmasters for over 16 years and I worked out every quirk they have many years ago.

:mrgreen:

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You always need to file the slots deeper on a Gotoh/Gibson TOM not only to match the radius but also (and most importantly) to get the strings to not pop out. If you just use a TOM with shallow slots on a Jag, JM (Jag/JM especially) and even a Mustang strings are going to pop out all over the place.

Hey there dude, thanks for your reply...

In regards to the above: I took a standard Adjusto-matic, I didn't file any of the saddles (they didn't look nor feel as if this was required), strung it with 56 - 13 gauge strings and tuned two full steps down to C (the standard setup for all my guitars...).

One live show later (one and a half hours of Punk Rock...) and not one string popped out... So... Am I just lucky or does this mod work... Hmmm, I've been playing guitar in Punk bands for over 30 years and the only time I have had strings pop out has been on my first guitar (a K Les Paul copy) and on the ####ty affair that is the standard Jazzmaster bridge... It works for me...

The reason I posted was to try and help the people here to affect this mod with the least aggravation possible. If you stop to think about it, most folk are really hesitant about taking tools to their instruments. Most would rather take it to the shop for even the most minor of jobs as they don't want to hurt their pride and joy or end up paying more to have it fixed due to their lack of experience/skill in effecting the task. So to present them with filing bridge saddles down to follow the profile of the neck radius might be a tall order to some. My point is that if you choose (and it's all about choice) to use the Fender produced Adjusto-matic the profile is already there... There isn't a need to file... Besides, a string should sit ON a saddle not IN a saddle... otherwise it's life is shortened considerably and it will fail..

It seems to me that by using the AOM and not the TOM you save yourself time and aggro. Plus, above all, it is a simple task which is able to be carried out by even the most ham-fisted of blokes ie: myself...

:mrgreen:

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I will try and post some pics of my conversion so you can view for yourselves if it is what you are after for your own guitars... Bare with me as this image posting thing via server is new to me... LOL...

Any advice re hosting sites would be great as Imageshack won't play ball...

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Photobucket, get a free account then its your own private album.

All I see with this TOM on Jags/JMs is problems. It may work on mustangs due to the shorter and sharper break angle (like on Gibsons you get away with it not a problem) but its only gonna be problems on Jags/JMs IMO.

I feel this way because I have tried non filed TOMs on Jags/JMs and the E-A strings pop of continually. Playing style comes into play also.

The E even pops out of mustang saddles on Jags/JMs for me.Hence, I use modified Nashvilles.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Does anyone know what is the radius of AOM? 10"? 9.5"?

I assume it is not 12" since this is meant for Fenders.

I've seen one at guitarpartsresource but the radius was not mentioned.

I think it is 9.5. I have one on my Jaguar Special and CP Jazzmasters have them and they are both 9.5 radius necks.

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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 month later...

Well, I bought this Fender Adjusto-matic from Stratosphere ebay shop. And I planned to install it on my Jag-Stang in order to replace the buzzy stock bridge.

Unfortunately I found out that without shimming the neck it won't fit, as it puts the strings too high over neck in normal position. 

 

Variable radius of Fender Adjusto-matic is it's main and only advantage, as you got no filing job with saddles because of correct profile.

 

But in general it needs a lot of work to be done if you want it on JS without neck shimming.

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I have TOMs on all of my Mustangs and Jag-Stangs. I went with Nashville style at first, but the ABR-1 style is what I have now. The work involved to get them set up correct isn't hard, but does take a little while. Follow the tutorials on this website and you will have no problems. The Fender TOM will work, but the post for it are the long threaded ones, and I am going to assume they are adding to your bridge height problems. You may have to cut them down, along with shimming the neck. I also recommend doing away with the vibrato, flipping the tailpiece and lock it down. This to me is the most solid way to have a TOM bridge on a Mustang or Jag-stang. If you aren't going to do all of the work, there is really no point in taking the stock bridge out. 

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