Of course, other things affect the tuning which we will discuss momentarily, but tuning quality and retention starts at the tuning machine. We will start at the head and work our way down to the body. To learn more and get in contact, please click the button below. Their String Saver line of products is made with materials infused with graphite to keep your strings in tune and prevent them from breaking. I hope this has given you some valuable information so you can effectively upgrade your guitar. Some Tune-o-matics have a retaining wire (the vintage ABR-1, for example), others have self-contained saddles like the Nashville Tune-o-matic. Using solid material gives your guitar the sustain, tone and clarity you have been searching for. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Please read customers testimonials. Your email address will not be published. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. This is also a common problem spot for crackling and sound cutting in and out. There are several models to select from. If you are the DIY type, then I will again point you to the experts at Stew Mac, this time with Dan Erlewine. Obviously, I’m excluding pickups because they need their own category entirely. Midlife Guitar is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Bridge materials and construction can also affect your tone and sustain. What you can do yourself is clean and polish your frets. It’s worth giving a look if you want something new in your recordings, even if you find everything outside of a fretted neck to be Greek to your fingers. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Starting at the top, one of the best ways to improve a cheaper guitar is to replace the tuners. On an electric guitar, the saddle is typically included in a bridge replacement as opposed to an acoustic where you can just upgrade to a better saddle. On certain Gibson style guitars, the “tune-o-matic” bridge is popular. If you don’t have a heating pad, place a thick towel over the bridge and run a clothes iron over the towel to warm up the glue. This can be a game changer for cheap or middle-of-the-road electrics that have cut costs at the bridge. Although it’s a bit of a rabbit hole, it’s pretty easily researched. Typically, it can't be reused. The concept of the solid bridge is to eliminate all the small parts that contribute to tone and sustain loss. This system picks up each string separately and sends those six analog signals down the 13-pin cable to plug into a MIDI guitar interface like the Roland GR-55 or Boss GP-10, which do the pitch-to-MIDI conversion for each of the six strings. A Powerful Custom Way To Improve Your Guitar… Quickly and Easily! Most commonly, you may find the V5 plate. The Tremol-No system gives you a variety of options on how your Floyd operates. You can tell just by comparing the original bridge to replacements on the market. Develop by: Jim Thompson | Privacy Policy | Contact us, Post Spacing - Fretboard Radius -  String Spacing, High-quality replacement for the stock Gretsch, Gibson, Guild, Fender bridge and most other guitars with posts spaced at 2.9" (73.66mm) or 3.0" (76.20mm). If you have a US-made Bigsby, Vibramate has made a plate for you. This kit includes all parts for permanent installation of a GK-3 Divided Pickup into an... First Look: Epiphone's New Prophecy Guitars, Choosing the Best Guitar Body Style for You. Gnarled frets can also be quite uncomfortable to play, especially if they are sharp on the edges. Check out our TUSQ acoustic products here. The saddle of an acoustic guitar is crafted to keep string alignment and intonation correct. The “True Historic” version, that matches the bridges built between 1954 and 1962, doesn’t have a retainer wire, so be careful when re-stringing your guitar as the saddles may fall off! Instead, a pickup upgrade is likely in order for you. Cheaper if done at one time, DIY Difficulty: Easy for a drop-in replacement, intermediate to do all the setup work yourself, Benefits: Intonation, playability, tone – really everything. If you find your tuning stability to be nonexistent, your sustain to be lackluster at best, and you’re just not using the tremolo, it’s best to take it out of the equation entirely. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. 6. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Most guitars with the standard tremolo bridge are easily replaceable. Now is the perfect time to get the gear you want with simple, promotional financing. By using our site, you agree to our. It is very common in some guitars for the selector to not click into the desired position at all due to one of the little half-moon metal snaps on either side breaking in two. Check out the link here for our Graph Tech electric accessories. You can go crazy with fossilized walrus ivory, but obviously that’s a bit excessive for a cheap-o as that tends to cost over $200. Hi, I’m Luke and I am the founder of Midlife Guitar. All guitars at some point in their life will need this work to be done. The Bigsby is almost a household name at this point. Happy customers, one piece of gear at a time! It is recommended you have a professional install a replacement nut for you, but with a little effort, it can be done for quite a bit cheaper. This is why you have the bowl of water and rags nearby—to wipe that excess glue off. MIM's typically have a different spacing to MIA, so I'm not sure how that plays with the 2-bolt mount bridges. Grovers (check price on Musicians Friend), Locking tuners (check price here on Musicians Friend), these ones available at Amazon (check price), Seymour Duncan humbucker pickups at Amazon, new set of EMG pickups available here at Musicians Friend, Electrosocket Jack Mount (check price at Amazon), What Is A Professional Guitar Setup And Why You Need One. Sand the back of the original bridge to remove any glue residue. It’s due to one of two things: either pure magic or (100% more likely) a piezo system. Players of all genres take up Bigsbys to achieve subtle bends with longer sustain from the aluminum construction. Over time, the wood of the guitar expands and contracts. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Some sanding will probably be required to achieve the proper height. On an electric guitar, the saddle is typically included in a bridge replacement as opposed to an acoustic where you can just upgrade to a better saddle. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. The fifth and final bridge for tele guitars on our list is the … wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. A great instructional video for this is found below from Erick Coleman with Stew Mac if you want to try doing this yourself. The frets wear over time and become pitted. Over time, hand sweat can corrode parts of the bridge and while that corrosion can be remediated, sometimes it’s better to go ahead and get a new bridge for a cheaper guitar. This blog and my YouTube channel are dedicated to helping those learning to play guitar. As with other upgrades, the choices here can be vast. If you are unsure where to start, just find out what kind of pickups your dream guitar has or what pickups your local repair tech might recommend. Research source, Learn how to manage stress like a therapist. Babicz Full Contact Telecaster Bridge. So yeah, we’re talking about it! Or perhaps you have a cheaper Fender or Squire Telecaster. Less expensive guitars will often have tuners that are mediocre at best and can fail rather quickly, causing tuning issues. Benefit: fixes noise problems and can add additional power to a weak-sounding signal, Cost: $30-$75 depending on number and quality of replacement parts.