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Tune-o-matic bridge put on backwards?

DotNeck3

New member
Joined
Sep 19, 2023
Messages
3
I think someone who restrung my Les Paul inadvertently put on my tune-o-matic bridge on backwards.
Should the bridge saddles have the sloped side of the bridge pieces facing to the rear of the guitar, isn't that correct?

Thanks for the advice,
DotNeck3
 

charliechitlins

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
1,109
I think it's preference...whatever floats your boat in terms of screw placement for adjusting intonation.
What is NOT preference is your strings being in their proper slots.
Wait a second...someone other than you strings your guitar?
 

somebodyelseuk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
457
Intonation screw heads should face the neck, but as long as they're not touching the strings, it doesn't matter.
As far as the saddles go, they're (usually) slotted to match the string, so that matters, but the 'direction' they face doesn't - they often get turned 'the other way', so you can get enough adjustment to get the intonation right.
 

Strings Jr.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
679
I think someone who restrung my Les Paul inadvertently put on my tune-o-matic bridge on backwards.
Should the bridge saddles have the sloped side of the bridge pieces facing to the rear of the guitar, isn't that correct?

Thanks for the advice,
DotNeck3
As a general "rule-of-thumb", ABR bridges should be installed with the screws facing the bridge pickup. Nashville TOM's should be installed with the screws facing the tailpiece. And yes, the sloped side of the saddle normally faces the rear of the guitar. That's the way they were designed. The only exception is on the ABR, the bass side E and A saddle is reversed with the sloped side toward the bridge pickup. Since the ABR is not as wide as the Nashville TOM, that gives you the extra room for intonation. (Actually, in late '86 we had the supplier turn all the ABR saddles the same. Not sure how long that lasted.)
And yes, it does matter if someone strings your guitar and puts the bridge on backwards. In my experience, bridge saddles are not always notched in the center. For example, sometimes they must be off-center to achieve the correct alignment on the fingerboard and/or pickup poles. And if it's done right, the saddles will have smaller notches for small strings, and wider notches for bigger strings, plus the angle of the notch should always be toward the tailpiece. That's the reason they come un-notched.
True that you can still play your guitar with the bridge on backwards, but the playability / performance of the guitar will likely suffer.
 
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DotNeck3

New member
Joined
Sep 19, 2023
Messages
3
Thanks for the replies.
Let's assume, for conversation sake, that the Gibson guitar in question with an ABR tune-o-matic bridge was made in Kalamazoo. How were the bridge saddles/pieces placed in the ABR bridge when it left the Gibson factory, the sloped side of the bridge pieces facing in what direction? If I remember right, it seemed all bridge pieces faced the same direction.

I did notice in many pics I saw of more recent Les Paul guitars with the ABR tune-o-matic bridge that the treble side bridge pieces (strings 1, 2, 3) has the sloped side facing the rear of the guitar but on the bass side bridge pieces (strings 4, 5, 6), were reversed with the sloped side of the bridge pieces facing the neck of the guitar. I realize this is for greater adjustment for proper intonation. I'm just wondering how this bridge and it's saddles/bridge pieces were set into the ABR when tune-o-matics first appeared on Gibsons.
Thanks,
DotNeck3
 
Last edited:

DotNeck3

New member
Joined
Sep 19, 2023
Messages
3
Thanks for the replies.
Let's assume, for conversation sake, that the Gibson guitar in question with an ABR tune-o-matic bridge was made in Kalamazoo. How were the bridge saddles/pieces placed in the ABR bridge when it left the Gibson factory, the sloped side of the bridge pieces facing in what direction? If I remember right, it seemed all bridge pieces faced the same direction.

I did notice in many pics I saw of more recent Les Paul guitars with the ABR tune-o-matic bridge that the treble side bridge pieces (strings 1, 2, 3) has the sloped side facing the rear of the guitar but on the bass side bridge pieces (strings 4, 5, 6), were reversed with the sloped side of the bridge pieces facing the neck of the guitar. I realize this is for greater adjustment for proper intonation. I'm just wondering how this bridge and it's saddles/bridge pieces were set into the ABR when tune-o-matics first appeared on Gibsons.
Thanks,
DotNeck3
 
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