How to select the proper BRIDGE for your Epiphone, Tokai, Ibanez or other imported guitar.
While there are many different types of bridges used on imported guitars, such as separate bridge and stop tailpiece, separate bridge and trapeze tailpiece, wraparound (bridge and tailpiece as one unit), rosewood block, etc., the majority of guitars use a separate bridge and stop tailpiece, as used on most Les Pauls, 335s, etc. In this section, we will concentrate on that particular setup.
There are only two types of bridge posts used on separate bridge and stop tailpiece equipped guitars. Use these images to determine what type you have. This is important to know so you can select the proper parts needed to install a Faber® ABRM or Tone-Lock™ bridge on your guitar.
Note that the “Import Type ABR-1” uses thin 4mm threaded posts mounted directly into the wood. Separate thumb wheels are used to raise or lower the bridge. The “Large Bridge Post System,” on the other hand, has metal inserts mounted in the body into which integrated bridge post/thumb wheel height adjusters are used. Let’s discuss the parts available for each system.
“Import Type ABR-1”
With this bridge system, bridge selection is fairly straightforward. The proper non locking bridge for these is the Faber® ABRM model. The ABRM is a direct drop on replacement. Likewise, the Faber® Tone-Lock™ bridge can be used directly.
“Large Bridge Post System”
Selecting parts for the “Large Bridge Post System” is a little more involved than with the “Import Type ABR-1” system, because you will need to change the bridge posts in order to use the Faber® ABRM or Tone-Lock™ bridges. Luckily, Faber® provides two methods to accomplish this.
Either “Kit” will get the job done. The only question is which one will best suit your needs. Let’s discuss the details of each one.
The ESWKIT™ is a “no modification” solution. This steel kit simply replaces the existing and inferior “pot metal” posts. It will screw into the existing body bushings as it has the exact thread pattern of the original. While this in an improvement, is not the optimum, because the body bushings themselves are also pot metal which produce inferior tone.
The E-Sert is the best way to get enhanced tone and sustain from your imported guitar with large bridge posts. As you can see, this unit replaces both the original pot metal body bushings and integrated bridge posts. Separate thumb wheels are used to raise or lower the bridge. An 8mm bolt is included in each kit to ease in the removal of the body bushings. Since the bottom of the bushings are hollow, screwing the bolt into the bushing will cause it to rise as the bottom of the bolt comes into contact with the body wood. We have a VIDEO showing how to install the E-Sert™.
In addition to replacement bridges, other parts to consider upgrading on imported guitars are:
- Tailpiece: our 100% lightweight aluminum TP-59 stop tailpiece – much lighter than the stock tailpiece and provides a more “woody” and vintage tone
- Tailpiece bushings: our metric Steel Tailpiece Bushings provide much improved tone transfer over the stock “pot metal” bushings
- “Vintage Steel” tailpiece studs: our “Vintage Steel” Tailpiece Studs replace the standard tone robbing, non-locking tailpiece studs
- Tone-Lock™ tailpiece studs and spacers: our steel Tone-Lock™ Studs/Spacers not only provide the convenience of locking the tailpiece, also but provide enhanced sustain not available with any other locking system
- Tone-Lock™ KIT: The Tone-Lock™ KIT contains a TP-59 aluminum tailpiece and a pair of Tone-Lock™ studs/spacers at a discount over buying the parts separately. A Lock Nut and Stud tool is also included, which is used to tighten the tailpiece studs without marring the plating, as can happen when using a regular screwdriver
- Tone-Lock™ MASTER KIT: The Tone-Lock™ Master Kit contains a Tone-Lock™ locking bridge, TP-59 aluminum tailpiece, and a pair of Tone-Lock™ studs/spacers, at a discount over buying the parts separately. The included Lock Nut and Stud tool is used to tighten the lock nuts for the Tone-Lock™ bridge and the tailpiece studs. You may also an optional order a pair of our steel tailpiece bushings with the Master Kit.