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  #1  
Old 08-17-2017, 07:38 PM
landolaguitar landolaguitar is offline
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Default Replacing silvertone archtop bridge with tune-o-matic?

Hi everyone. I have a 1950's Silvertone archtop. Its in good shape, Straight neck,good playability...but the intonation seems to go off at the 7th fret or so. I like the look, sound and feel of the guitar and would like to get the intonation adjusted. Could replacing the stock bridge with an adjustable one allow me to correct the intonation, or would I run into to issues with string spacing? Any info or recommended replacement bridges would be much appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:02 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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In theory, yes, but measure the height. Most old silvertones, kays, harmonys, etc have much less neck angle, which means the old school bridges sit lower...the modern tune o matic will raise the action to unplayable levels, even at lowest setting.

Can you post a picture?
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:49 AM
landolaguitar landolaguitar is offline
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Thanks I'll look into that and see if I can picture too
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:02 PM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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Most Silvertone/Kay/Harmony archtops have a moveable bridge, so you can always move the bridge to correct the intonation. With that said, they also often have straight bridge toppers with no angle, so you can kind of choose the strings you want correct and live with the ones that aren't. On my Silvertone archtop the bridge base has to be at quite an angle to get the intonation right. I have a 1962 1445 hollowbody electric.

Anyway, if it's an electric and the neck angle is ok, a TOM can be a good choice. But they really kill acoustic tone for me, I must have tried TOM's on three or four archtops and taken them off. Some have notches on the saddles and it's hit or miss if they match your strings spacing and fingerboard radius. It's is very easy (for me anyway, your skills may vary) to get a chunk of ebony or rosewood, drill a couple of holes for the posts and file/sand for a couple of hours until it turns into a custom bridge...
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:06 PM
landolaguitar landolaguitar is offline
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Thanks mc5c, I play my archtop as an electric so I'm willing to sacrifice the acoustic tone. I'm going to have an adjustable bridge professionally installed, as well as nut replaced, tail piece and tuners. I'll post pics of the new upgrades, I'm considering a lollar. 50s wound. P 90 too,
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:03 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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Silvertones are rapidly increasing in value, so I would save the originals, put them in a bag in the case, and get screw-hole correct replacements so you don't ruin the collectibility of the guitar. You can usually find new identical replacements that are high quality if you look.
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Brian Evans
1935 Dobro model 25 resonator
1943 Paramount (made by Kay) mandolin
1946 Epiphone Zephyr electric archtop
1957 Hofner Senator archtop
1962 Gibson Melody Maker electric
1963 National Dynamic lap steel
1996 Landola jumbo
1998 Godin Artisan TC electric
2003 Epiphone SG electric
2010 GoldTone PBR-CA resonator
2015 Evans electric archtop
2016 Evans archtop
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  #7  
Old 08-20-2017, 08:06 AM
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Al Acuff Al Acuff is offline
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Here's a TOM bridge top from Stew Mac. You don't have to modify the guitar at all to try this.

Also, Lollar makes a floating Gold Foil pickup that you can attach to your pickguard. Again, no mod to the guitar (except an endpin jack). I have the Lollar Gold Foil installed on my 1954 Gibson L4 shown in this photo. Schatten thumbwheel volume and tone controls are attached to the underside of the pickguard. On an archtop the Gold Foil sounds a little like an old DeArmond single coil pickup.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0877.jpg (76.1 KB, 23 views)
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Last edited by Al Acuff; 08-20-2017 at 01:05 PM.
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