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Recessing Tunomatics


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Ok. I am recessing a tunomatic for the guitar I am building. I know I have to be carefull of covering the intonation screws. Before I start, does anybody know a good break angle over the tunomatic? I know the strings should avoid contact with the back of the bridge. Since I am recessing the bridge do I need to recess my string ferrules as well?

Edited by riffster
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Ok. I am recessing a tunomatic for the guitar I am building. I know I have to be carefull of covering the intonation screws. Before I start, does anybody know a good break angle over the tunomatic? I know the strings should avoid contact with the bridge. Since I am recessing the bridge do I need to recess my string ferrules as well?

You need to draw this up(parts in hand). Nobody knows how deep you are recessing, or what bridge you are using, or even if the ferrules are to be placed on the same plane as the studs. You want to look at the angle in the adjusted up position and make sure they do not hit the back of the bridge, then look at the lowest position and make sure you have enough break angle. Be sure you are looking at the saddle in the forward position on the high E (that should be your tightest for clearnance). The strongest angle will be based on the bridge and possibly how you choose to place your ferrules, and also how high you want to allow for the bridge to be adjusted up. A wider bridge with a tall back will have a more limited break angle.

Luck,

Rich

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i think he is talking about the angle for compensation. the angle used on some factory guitars can vary a bit. I like to set mine so the saddles are all pretty much centred down the bridge once everything is intonated - or alternatively slightly forward so most of the adjustment is backwards (lengthening the string). If a TOM has less of an angle you will normally see some of the saddles nearly at the extreme of their adjustment either too far back or too far forward depending on how its been placed.

Some TOM's are wider than others so have more adjustment range and therefore need less of an angle, but personally i angle them all the same. The bass side stud goes 3mm back from the scale length and the treble goes back about 1mm

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I hate to be the negative Nancy here but why are you recessing? If you must recess the bridge that means the neck angle is incorrect. Is this a set neck? If so separating the neck from the body and putting the correct neck angle in would be a better option and would yield more professional results. It seems like a lot of guitars with set necks are not built with the right angle or with the right height off the body to accommodate the bridge.

If it’s a bolt on then you just need to angle the pocket to bring the height up. If it’s neck through, you’d be better off recessing at this point.

A friend of mine put together this excel sheet for calculating neck angle which is really helpful. I posted it on my website for free download

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Here is some pictures of a King V body I built some times ago. You can see that the break angle is pretty much flat. The trick is to position the ferrules so that the strings don't touch the bridge. I don't remember how deep is the routing. It worked very well. No problem whatsoever with this setup.

Why recess the bridge? Personnaly, I hate guitars with a neck angle. The bridge sits too high over the body and it's not comfortable. I also noticed that it is harder to get a very low action with an angled neck. It greatly depends on the build quality. Some high-end PRS or LP have a very fast action, but some entry level Tune-o-matic equipped guitars are impossible to adjust because of a bad neck angle. In my case, the client wanted a recessed tune-o-matic setup to replace the cheap Jackson body he had. Believe me, that body was horrible.

It's just my opinion. Some people prefer an angled neck. Both are good setups if it's well built.

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Edited by MescaBug
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i think there is something very sleek feeling about a superstrat style of guitar with recessed tune-o-matic.

There are many ways to achieve the same results and i see nothing wrong with recessing a bridge, much better than raising the fretboard which can raise the strings too far away from the body to feel comfortable... some people like guitars with a neck angle .. some dont. I tend to find shorter epople like the easier reach on a guitar with a neck angle, obviosuly scale length also plays a part there!!

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Ok, I am recessing because I didnt want to have to angle my bolt on neck. I know that angling is not difficult to do, but I ordered two Carvin humbuckers becasue they are cheaper than buying dimarzios or duncans. I have hearde many positives about Carvin's pickups as well. I'm kinda on a budget being a college kid. The bezels on the Carvin are low profile for the purpose of no neck angle. If I decided to angle the neck now then I would have to purchase new pickups becasue I am yet to find a replacable bezel for their own pickups. I was not worried too much about recessing the bridge, I was thinking I would have to recess the ferrules as well, but that doesn't seem to be the case I guess. I have heard of people and have seen recessed tailpieces before though. When I was talking about break angle, I was talking about the strings angle as it hits the saddle from the ferrules. I know that for intonation, I am angling the bridge 1/8 of an inch further on the base side. Treble stays the same, but that is what stewmac says at their fret calculator.

If I have time, I'll post my progress. The neck is curly Honduran mahogany and curly maple. The fingerboard is Madagascar ebony. The body is a 1 piece Hunduran mahogany body blank. Gold hardware will adorn it and it will have a clear finish

Edited by riffster
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Oh, I see. I took "angle" to mean the TOM was something other than 90 degrees to the body. Got it.

Riffster, which pickups did you get? I have upwards of a dozen Carvin guitars and have tried just about all of their pickups. They just recently started making the C22 series as "S22" with gold, chrome, or black metal covers (and potted as well). Pretty slick-looking.

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I purchased the holdsworth neck pickup and the M22T bridge pickup. I got carvin's new catalogue and those pups look sweet! I decided to get their pickups because it seemed like the only people that were not satisfied were those that did not know how to set up the pickups correctly.

Edited by riffster
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