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Converting From Tom To Flat Mount


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Sorry, I hope I'm not considered spamming, because I posted this same post in the wrong section.

Could a mod delete my htread in the Tutorial section?

Hopefully I'm posting in the correct section now.

OK, first off, Hi, I'm new here, but have been reading the forums for quite a while.

Nice place! It's inspired me to try my hand at guitar building/modding.

Having played guitar for 33 years now, I'd like to overcome the "Mysteries" of my favorite instrument and see if I can build/mod one for myself smile.gif

I have 3 ESP F-50's (I'm in LOVE the body shape, especially the extra long horn on the top for balance reasons)

Now they all have String through the body, over TOM bridge type deal.

I'd like to upgrade one or all of these to the Ghost Graphtec Hex MIDI thing, because I use a VG8 and GR33, soon to be upgraded to a VG-99)

According to the GraphTec website there's a slight issue with installing one of these systems on a guitar with string through the body, because of the difficulty of grounding the strings.

Also, I personally HATE TOM's because of the lack of individual string height adjustment (I know there's a 3rd party bridge that let's you individually adjust string height on a TOM,

but that option is out of the picture because the saddles would still get replaced by GrahTec saddles anyway)

My question(s) is/are: Can I route the angle out of the neck pocket so the neck sits flat so the guitar would accomodate a flatmount bridge?

There's plenty of thickness for the neck pocket, that I wouldn't have to worry about removing like an 1/8 to 1/4" to remove the Angle.

Also, I would only be removing the wood towards the pocket closest to the body to remove/reduce the neck angle.

I might also have to route a bit of wood off the neck under where the fingerboard overlaps the neck pocket, maybe 1/8" at the most.

Second question: Would removing the angle affect the Scale of the guitar a bit? (Although that problem would be taken care of by mounting the flatmount bridge to

compensate for any loss of scale)

The holes/ferrules left by the String-thru-body wouldn't be a problem either, because I'm thinking of doing something like putting fiber optics in the holes and lighting them with an LED,

or going REALLY crazy and doing a mod I found on the boards of wiring the strings and frets as pseudo-switches that would light each LED depending on what string I was fretting

Any help/opinions appreciated

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you can't move the neck closer, or further away. You will stuff up the intonation and have tuning problems. You can put a shim or something in the neck pocket to make it flat with no angle. You will have to put the bridge so that the saddles of the hardtail bridge matches up with the bridge where the strings first meet the tom. or you can move the neck a hole lot back and put the bridge where the tailpiece used to be.

To get the correct scale length, you must measure from the nut to the 12th fret and then double that to get the scale length. This is how far your bridge must be from the nut.

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My question(s) is/are: Can I route the angle out of the neck pocket so the neck sits flat so the guitar would accomodate a flatmount bridge?

In the strictest sense, yes. Pretty easy if it's a bolt on neck. If it's glued in, you have to remove the neck without damaging anything.

But there are other considerations: Is the top carved around the neck pocket? You may have to shim the neck up then. If you do that, what does it do to your needed bridge height? Can a flat hardtail bridge deliver? Will you have to shim that too? There are so many variables... you MUST draw this out fullsize. But...

There's plenty of thickness for the neck pocket, that I wouldn't have to worry about removing like an 1/8 to 1/4" to remove the Angle.

Also, I would only be removing the wood towards the pocket closest to the body to remove/reduce the neck angle.

I might also have to route a bit of wood off the neck under where the fingerboard overlaps the neck pocket, maybe 1/8" at the most.

... it sounds like you're on the right track.

Just keep in mind: by changing bridge and neck angle, you are essentially redesigning the guitar, like taking the chassis out of a car and trying to reshape the body for a different chassis.

Second question: Would removing the angle affect the Scale of the guitar a bit? (Although that problem would be taken care of by mounting the flatmount bridge to

compensate for any loss of scale)

I don't think you need to worry about that as long as the neck joins the body at the same fret and you calculate your bridge placement correctly. The nice thing with Strat-style hardtails is that if you do mount it a little too short or long, you can fill the holes with dowels and drill new holes, because the bridge plate covers a big chunk of the body.

or you can move the neck a hole lot back and put the bridge where the tailpiece used to be.

Don't do that.

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