Faber Tone-Lock Bridge Filing

Pappy35

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
348
Reaction score
461
Quick question: I have one of Tone Lock bridges arriving today. The saddles have slots filed in them but do you guys know if it's recommended to refile them to fit the string thickness more closely? I'm thinking that the pre-cut slots are really only needed to maintain the string location for bends, but then again, I'm a neophyte when it comes to Les Paul setups. I do have a set of nut files in the needed sizes but would rather not mess with it if it's not necessary.
 

Pappy35

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
348
Reaction score
461
You don't need much of a slot. Less is better in my opinion.
Thanks to you and CB (and anyone else who replies later of course). It seemed to me that a deeper notch would result in more friction but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.

The way the OEM bridge flops around just didn't seem right to me.
 

afjungemann

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
866
Reaction score
781
you are going to love it. One of my ABR bridges was completely dead for whatever reason. Any guitar I put it on, it would kill the sustain and the guitar lost all of its high end and clarity. I got the tone lock bridge and it sounds fantastic. Plus it stays put which is great too.
 

RocketKing

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
1,090
Reaction score
898
I have had issues with that bridge.
The high e saddle specifically, it wasn't cut properly.
I had to take it twice to the tech to get it done properly.
 

Roxy13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
9,533
Reaction score
25,709
I have several of the tone lock Fabers. My favorite bridge.

You probably don't want any notches deeper, but maybe just a bit wider. I use my nut slotting files and follow with abrasive cord, but see how they are first with your string gauge.
 

John_P

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
99
Reaction score
87
If you don't take notice of the difference in bridge radius and string alignment it won't matter.

Arguments for un-notched saddles:

  • Not all Gibson guitars are meant to have a 12" bridge radius. And even though most of them are, you still have to measure the radius under string tension and when intonated to find out the actual radius. If the radius isn't right the guitar plays stiff.
  • The player/tech may decide to slot the saddles off-center to spread the strings in alignment with the fretboard. This is due to variation in bridge post alignment as well as player preferences.
Radius adjustment and string alignment are not "user friendly", there's no possibility to fine tune by turning a screw. You need tools and skills (or have to pay the tech). But if you don't notice the difference then nothing matters. (some people hang guitars on the wall for no other purpose, some make a living of guitar trading, some sell hardware etc and they post on guitar forums just like you and me.)

And I have to say, the force required to make a slot for the low E by using a mallet (!) is likely to make damage. Regardless of what the Gibson workers used to do or didn't. Buy a set of nut files or pay the tech.
 

Pappy35

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
348
Reaction score
461
If you don't take notice of the difference in bridge radius and string alignment it won't matter.

Arguments for un-notched saddles:
  • Not all Gibson guitars are meant to have a 12" bridge radius. And even though most of them are, you still have to measure the radius under string tension and when intonated to find out the actual radius. If the radius isn't right the guitar plays stiff.
  • The player/tech may decide to slot the saddles off-center to spread the strings in alignment with the fretboard. This is due to variation in bridge post alignment as well as player preferences.
Radius adjustment and string alignment are not "user friendly", there's no possibility to fine tune by turning a screw. You need tools and skills (or have to pay the tech). But if you don't notice the difference then nothing matters. (some people hang guitars on the wall for no other purpose, some make a living of guitar trading, some sell hardware etc and they post on guitar forums just like you and me.)

And I have to say, the force required to make a slot for the low E by using a mallet (!) is likely to make damage. Regardless of what the Gibson workers used to do or didn't. Buy a set of nut files or pay the tech.
Great post!
 

MSB

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
5,224
Reaction score
6,670
on a LP, radius- NO, string spacing- YES

unless you have a wiggle stick, i've never really had an issue with precut saddles other than string spacing.
 

Pappy35

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
348
Reaction score
461
Lesson learned over the weekend: Measure the depth of the existing hole after you pull out the old insert and before you tap in the new one!

I didn't and thus discovered the hard way that Gibson didn't drill the hole as deep as they have been. This is exactly the kind of thing that Faber can't account for when they design this stuff unfortunately and so I had to devise a method to extract the Faber stud without damaging the finish.

As for the method, I had a bunch of round wafers laying around from another hobby project which I glued together to make a piece about 5/8" thick and drilled a hole down the center large enough to clear the width of the insert's flange (about 7/16"). Any piece of hardwood the right width and thickness would work fine of course. Placing that above the insert and using an old fender washer and a 6-32 wing nut, the post came right out.

I deepened the holes with a hand drill <gasp> and bit marked to the correct depth and reinstalled the posts flush to the top. Not best way to do it but I don't have a drill press that's large enough to fit the guitar into and I'm pretty handy with high precision tasks. Important note here is that selecting the drill bit diameter is very important and keeping it concentric to the centerline of the hole is critical. You DO NOT want to increase the hole's diameter or the stud will not be held in place properly. Using a hand drill is not for the faint of heart.

I was a bit skeptical about the supposed improvement in sustain but man, I was flat wrong. It's sounds like a whole new guitar. A very nice and highly recommended upgrade!

1604324284221.png


1604324349147.png


1604324404125.png
 

David Garner

Senior Member
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
1,226
I used a rag and small pry bar when that happened to me. Came out very easy. I actually used the thumbwheel as a lever and it didn’t damage a thing.
 

jstarr823

Starr Guitar Works
Silver Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
5,495
Reaction score
9,255
Another option is to grind off a small amount on the bottom for the new Faber post. No drilling required.
 

Justin_Case

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
6,330
Reaction score
3,997
Lesson learned over the weekend: Measure the depth of the existing hole after you pull out the old insert and before you tap in the new one!

I didn't and thus discovered the hard way that Gibson didn't drill the hole as deep as they have been. ........
What model / Year did you do the install on?
 


Latest Threads



Top