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Tune-O-Matic, Finding Lacation

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I know this may sound like such a basic question, but how does one find the right location for the Tune-O-Matic bridge studs?

I know the bridge is 2x from the nut to the 12th, but it needs compensation.

How much?

Do I measure from the first bridge saddle or the third saddle, etc.?

What is the formula for adding the little extra when drilling the bridge studs?

Once it drilled, there is no turning back.

Thanks for any help.


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Here's a little known but helpful tool. Head on over to stewmac.com, and go to the free information link. Then to calculators, and the fret calculator:


Enter your scale (and the number of frets, but that doesn't matter for this use) and it will tell you exactly where to place your bridge, based on a number of available bridge types.

For Tune-o-matic style bridges they list:

'ABR-1' Tune-o-matic Bridges
Nashville Tune-o-matic Bridge
Gotoh Tune-o-matic Bridge with Standard Posts
Gotoh Tune-o-matic Bridge with Studs/Bushings
Schaller Roller Bridge
L.R. Baggs T-Bridge
Locking Roller Bridge
Gotoh 510 Bridge & Tailpiece

For an example, I typed in 24.75" for the scale, and scale, and it calculated:

24.811" (?0.030") from nut to center of treble-side post. Mount bass-side post 1/16"-1/8" further from the nut.

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What LightninMike said. I draw the saddle witness point line on my body after working it out and place bridges manually based on how far forward the saddles can sit as opposed to locating the bridge posts off that line. Usually this already drops the bridge back a little further by about 4mm (just over 1/8"?) plus I add a little more on the bass side exactly as LightninMike says. My rationale is that you never need to adjust saddles forward from the calculated witness point so ramming them all forward ensures I have the maximum range of adjustment available out of whatever bridge. Especially ABR-1s!

LightninMike - does the Stewmac calculator add in the offset I just described? It sounds like this is what it is doing....

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