#1
A friend of mine just scored an Epiphone Les Paul Custom for $300. After hearing that he was going out of town for three weeks on a business trip, he loaned the guitar to me. I've worked on several of his guitars in the past, and he basically gave me free reign to do whatever I wanted to improve the playability of the instrument.

When I received the instrument, I found that it's everything you'd expect in a Les Paul, but there were more than a few improvements needed to make the guitar perfect. The first and biggest problem was intonation.

After trying to set the intonation on the E, A and D strings, I found that the saddles couldn't be moved close enough to the neck. Anyone that's familiar with tune-o-matic bridges knows that the E A and D string saddles are flipped around, showing their sloped faces on the neck side.



So, in order to set intonation properly on certain guitars, these saddles must be flipped around to move the string breaking point closer to the neck.

This is a very simple modification that is outlined in serveral Stewart MacDonald articles. For more information, go there. This thread should cover everything you need to know.

First, you need to remove the TOM from the guitar. You don't need to unscrew the posts from the guitar, the bridge simply lifts off of those posts.

Second, you'll need to get a small, thin tool to pry the saddle retaining wire off of the bridge. I used a set of tweezers from a PC tool kit. Slide this tool in between the retaininng wire and the bridge body next to the high E string saddle. A little pressure should make the wire pop out easily.



Next, you'll remove the saddles ONE AT A TIME. The reason I stress one at a time is due to the fact that the saddles are different heights. If you mix them up, you'll need to take the bridge apart again to swap them back. So, one at a time, remove the E A and D string saddles, unscrew the intonation adjustment screw from the saddle, flip the saddle around and re-insert the adjustment screw into the saddle.



Re-insert the saddles.



And finally, reset the retaining wire in the bridge. Make sure that all of the saddles are seated properly before replacing the wire.



If you had any intonation adjustment problems before, this should allow you to set your intonation properly now.



On this particular guitar, I also adjusted the neck relief and pickups. The neck had about .045" of relief at the 12th fret. After adjusting the truss rod, I dialed that down to about .004". String height at the nut is very low (.008" at the high E, .016" for the low E), and a low string height is maintained across the entire fretboard. The pickups were adjusted and the pole pieces arched to maintain a consistent 1/16" distance from the strings.

Last edited by TwoString at Nov 30, 2007,
#2
I don't own any TOM guitars right now, but this seems to be helpful.

You explained very well how to flip the saddles but there is no explanation for the truss rod adjustment nor the action adjustment. (i know that this is an intonation mod but you should have explained it IMO)


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#3
good post.
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#5
hmm a guitar store guy did this to my guitar when he was setting it up once cause it was the same problem.
but now all saddles are flipped around but my high e string saddle still isnt close enough to the neck and its adjusted to the max.
is their anyway i could fix this?
i am going to be buying a new bridge for it soon so that may help.
it is a cheap guitar so its bridge is cheap and crappy.

and good post i think alot of people will find this quite useful.
#6
Quote by UniverseZero
I don't own any TOM guitars right now, but this seems to be helpful.

You explained very well how to flip the saddles but there is no explanation for the truss rod adjustment nor the action adjustment. (i know that this is an intonation mod but you should have explained it IMO)


I'll hopefully get some time to do a full set up tutorial for both Les Paul and Strat style guitars. I guess I should have left out the other adjustment information and kept this thread for the intonation mod alone.

Quote by wongacaster
hmm a guitar store guy did this to my guitar when he was setting it up once cause it was the same problem.
but now all saddles are flipped around but my high e string saddle still isnt close enough to the neck and its adjusted to the max.
is their anyway i could fix this?
i am going to be buying a new bridge for it soon so that may help.
it is a cheap guitar so its bridge is cheap and crappy.

and good post i think alot of people will find this quite useful.


If your high-e is still reading flat, you can flip the entire bridge around. If you take a close look at the bridge, you'll notice that there isn't as much adjustment room on the screw side of the bridge as compared to the "rear" of the bridge. Flip the saddles around so the flat side of the saddles faces the rear of the bridge and then flip the entire bridge around. So with this arrangement, the flat sides of the saddles should be facing the neck and the screw adjustment side of the bridge should be facing the tailpiece. This will give you a little more adjustment length on the neck side of the bridge but you might have difficulty clearing the adjustment screws if you crank the tailpiece all the way down to the body.
#7
wow,I know who to ask if I have any questions for my les paul
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#8
Hey just wondering if this would work on my Sheraton, but the other way around? Cause my treble strings read too sharp, and it might help if I turned the saddles around so that the flat end faces near the bridge.

Or, would it be better if I just flipped the bridge? Would I have to switch the saddles around if I did so?
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#10
Can any irreversible harm come from flipping the saddles or bridge? My LP was $2000+ (shocker, i know...) and i dont want to do anything thats gonna permanently screw it up
#12
This is a good little mod to do. I tried it on my dean but one of the strings still wouldn't go back far enough... :/
EH


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#13
Quote by eddiehimself
This is a good little mod to do. I tried it on my dean but one of the strings still wouldn't go back far enough... :/

Dude 3 year old thread dude...
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#14
Quote by oneblackened
Dude 3 year old thread dude...


Right what the ****? I swear this was on the front page. Did someone delete a previous post or something?
EH


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