Hello all my new friends, this is my first post. Glad to be here! I'm looking forward to learning a lot, by asking many annoying questions. I've built a few electric guitars, but am by no means a luthier. I'm fairly handy with a file and some sandpaper though ;-)
Anyway, here's my current situation. I have an Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500R, and it seems to me like either the neck or the bridge is not exactly centered. Here are some hi-res photos:
I think maybe it's screwing up the overall intonation, but my tuner isn't precise enough for me to be quantifiably sure. Does this look like it needs to be addressed, or should I just live with it?
I could conceivably add some slots or grooves to the saddle (I did make this nut and saddle myself), to keep the strings from wandering, but someone told me that this might introduce new and different problems.
So, I am looking forward to hearing opinions and suggestions from you, the experts! Thanks all :-)
Should be fairly simple to work out where the problem lies. Using masking tape, mark the centreline of the FB at nut and last fret, then project this line onto the bridge using a long straightedge (protecting where the straightedge will touch the guitar). Looks like it won't hit the centre of the bridge. Then project your FB centreline all the way to the tail of the guitar.
If your line is out at BOTH bridge and tail, the neck is misaligned. If it's out at the bridge but NOT at the tail, the problem is at the bridge. Fixing either (properly) is a significant job, so you need to decide if the problem is bad enough to need fixing!
I can't see that the lateral misalignment alone is enough to have a significant effect on intonation.
If the high e string doesn't jump out f the fretboard when you fret it, and considering the mis-alignement is very slight, I wouldn't do anything. The fix would either be to unglue and reglue the bridge + touch-ups, or unset and reset the neck + touchups. Both operations are quite on the heavy side.
In addition to what has already been said - if you do decide that you can live with this at least the fret ends have not been radically beveled either reducing top/playing surface. Had this been the case in the upper registry and on the high e the string might be slipping off the neck when fretted. It does not sound like you have experienced this, correct?
Thanks all. No Hesh, I have not had any problem with playability; it's more my OCD and my thoughts about the intonation and appearance.
So would putting some light grooves in the saddle be a bad idea then?
Hi Dave & WELCOME.
My observations & a few options:
First of all, don't file groves or slots into the bridge saddle. That's a major "never do this" thing on a flat top.
Are you the original owner? If so, any defect will be covered under the warranty. Unfortunately, in today's world, a warranty claim usually results in them sending you a new guitar as opposed to repairing yours. The new one may have the same flaw. FYI: the guitar you sent in will most likely be marked as a 2nd or USED and sent back into the market 'as is' through a legitimate 3rd party seller.
My diagnosis of your issue: The low E and the A strings' bridge pin holes are misaligned. The A string; not so bad. The low E; really bad.
If it were my guitar & not under warranty, I'd plug the E&A bridge pin holes & the bridgeplate, mark out new locations for a straight string pull, drill, refine & touch up. That would be your least expensive and easiest solution. With some care & finesse, the modification will be essentially invisible.
BTW: I think that we're all a bit OCD. It's a good thing and it's almost a requirement for our work (:
Very best of luck with your project,
i would have to agree with Paul V on this one from looking at the pics of the bridge. Pretty simple fix
I glued my first bridge on a flat top a little off center. The guitar was luckily for me not someone else,so I left it as a reminder of what not to do in the future. It did not affect intonation or playability. If you are having no playability issues and if you can determine intonation is not thrown out by this (i cant imagine itd be off any amount that couldnt be fixed in notching the saddle appropriately) then my opinion is leave it and avoid a potentially costly repair. I understand of course if it just drives you nuts as its a new guitar you have paid $$$ for & want it right.
Thanks all, I appreciate your advice. Sounds like my best bet is: leave it alone and just play it :)
Hi Dave - Don't ever be afraid to ask a question, (as the saying goes) "Its better to ask a stupid question and get a stupid answer than to make a stupid mistake" by annonymous.
So Don....what's your question???
I was refering to Dave in his origonal post where he said that he might be asking a lot of annoying questions..