The Guitar Gallery Forums - The Guitar Legacy of Matsumoku

Q&A, discussion, and information for the labels covered by The Guitar Gallery (Specifically and exclusively guitars made by Matsumoku up to 1987)
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PostPosted: Mon 31 Oct 2016 06:36 PM 
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splodger wrote:
Didn't Westbone on the Westone forum have fix for this? I think it involved adding some circular bar to strengthen it up...???
I did a quick search on Westone site, but couldn't find the post I am thinking of.

Good memory. Took a bit of searching but it may be this post you were thinking of: http://westone.netboarder.com/t2131-westbury-track-ii-bass
Unfortunately, Westbone had all his images disappear when ImageShack stopped their free hosting service a little while ago, so the post has no pictures. :(

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PostPosted: Mon 31 Oct 2016 09:45 PM 
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Hi guys,

Thanks for the input, much appreciated.
Always nice to know you're not alone fixing these things.

I see that metal bar design has shown up on the bay, it showed up in international results when I was looking for the Epi bridge.
It goes by the name of: GIBSON® EPIPHONE® BASS BRIDGE 3-POINT (MOD-BAR!)
I don't do Facebook, but he has a page here for anyone interested:
https://www.facebook.com/WEBBTECA-MUSIC ... 564663019/
Not an endorsement on my part.
I can see how it works, but it's a bit primitive and does not change the fact that like Barry says, these bridges can be very soft.

And Barry is correct, it is too soft.
I work on a lot of guitars and do a lot of trem stabilising work and intonation on Floyds and the like.
This Bass bridge is behaving like a Floyd on the tuner, tune up all 4 strings, go back to the first and it has dropped substantially. It's not the neck either, that's solid as a rock. It's the bridge bending slowly outward.
My photos don't properly show it, but the bridge has lifted about 1mm where it was bent flat yesterday, so the bending thing has indeed, failed. Worth a shot for the price.
I must remove it before it flies to pieces, shrapnel goes everywhere and the strings take my head clean off like a garotte.

Yesterday:

Image

Today, under the D string, up it goes!

Image

Not a problem, onward and upward as they say...

I am still trying to work out which replacement bridge would be better.
Babicz or SuperTone and I'm not talking about tonal properties of unobtanium, this Bass has more than enough sustain already. It's all about form, fit and function.
I've read heaps of Ebay feedback for those buying Hipshot SuperTone bridges as drop in replacement for their Epiphones and Gibsons. Reports vary from some not fitting at all, to some fitting great, to some even fitting foreign Basses, like a Vantage Bass is. I think I saw feedback that said a Hipshot fitted another Aria Pro II, it was a Mats guitar anyway.

What makes me wonder about the Hipshot is it's height, height is not listed on their PDF.
One of your forum members, zagratt34 (Michel) posted an excellent fit up of a Hipshot on a Vantage Bass here:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8897&hilit=VP710B
I wonder why he had to route out a cavity? If this bridge was too high to work with?
I would grab the hipshot in a nanosecond, were it not for the mention of autocad and routers needed to fit it.

If the Hipshot is too high, it may make the Babicz a better option, as it has an optional 1/8" shim plate and a height of .888" or 22.55mm with further recessing of the saddles, so string height should come down a bit closer to the Vantage's specs I guess. But the Babicz may still be too high. I guess I'll have to buy one of them and see what I can do.

I just checked the Vantage Bass here, which is "close" to setup correctly, except for obvious bridge issue.
String heights are about 17mm on mine, give or take the bending bridge... :

Image

Image

Apologies for the less than average photography.

I shall bite the bullet and buy the best measuring one I can find, but I'll need some more accurate measurements first.
I will keep the site updated.

What can I say about image hosting?
Mine may disappear too, unless I find another host.
Image hosting is going to be a big problem as you guys are discussing.
I went first to Postimg to post these pics, as I had done with many before.
(I used to get around on the Harmony Guys forum which uses PostImg)
PostImg are getting slapped with a massive $12k per month bill for cloud hosting and look like they're going to fold.
That is absolutely scary for all guitar and other forums alike.
Most threads will end up looking like the one Barry linked above and it's a shame.
So many pictures will be lost forever, unless some of us can get them into the wayback machine first.
For this hosting here, I went to Image shack, but I never used them before.
It looks like I have a 30 day trial account and they will pull the pictures.
I must get these pics over to a new host.

Does anyone know of an image host that is free, that can be used on this forum?

Thanks again Barry and Splodger!

Cheers.


Last edited by Gonzo on Mon 07 Nov 2016 08:08 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon 31 Oct 2016 10:24 PM 
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Quote:
Does anyone know of an image host that is free, that can be used on this forum?

Many of us use PhotoBucket. So far, so good for quite a few years now.

But they are becoming increasingly more commercialized and are inserting a lot more popups for various offers. I hope that's not a sign of desperation but who knows?

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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov 2016 09:43 PM 
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Hi Barry - I've tried to join up at Photobucket, but they want a subscription and I'm not set up for that.
It does look like the "Freemium" model for image hosting is going the way of the dodo.
Very sad that an entire generation of knowledge and experience in all things expressed on forums will simply fail to exist one day, because we collectively forgot to back it up...
I stand to lose many years work from this development and it's not a welcome one, indeed.
I'll try to replace the images here in Postimg.org, but I don't like my chances of them staying up for long either.
I used to run a forum back when and we had server space for control over our own uploaded pics, but they were a small size back then and not many people uploaded. There was no "cloud" in those days... other clouds but nowhere to store data...

As for the Vantage Bass, the bridge has lifted even more now, so I took the stings off it and ordered up a Babicz replacement. That just increased my investment by orders of magnitude, but it's a good instrument, worth the spend I feel. From the Hipshot Supertone vs Babicz reviews on Ebay feedback, right through to product reviews, it seems both have an equal chance of fitting or not fitting directly.
There will be wriggle room I am sure, if not I will have to make it fit.

If the pics drop off, bear with me, I will re-upload to another host (when I can find one) and re-post them here.
I will keep the thread updated for the few who do appreciate it.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov 2016 10:17 PM 
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That's not good news. Coincidentally, their site has been down for "Maintenance" at least all day today. I have a queasy feeling that they may indeed be on the way to dropping their free service. So far so good, but I hope I'm wrong.

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PostPosted: Sat 05 Nov 2016 09:42 AM 
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Gonzo wrote:
Hi Barry - I've tried to join up at Photobucket, but they want a subscription and I'm not set up for that....

I think you're getting confused by all the %$#@* popups on the site. It is getting top heavy with them but I can't blame them for trying to make a buck I guess.

Anyway the good news is that they do indeed still have a free account. If you go to the signup page https://secure.photobucket.com/register you can confirm it. What you saw, I think, was the "upgrade" pitch for a paid account which gives you more storage.

The site has been reliable but it is rather sluggish lately and a bit annoying with all the popup ads. Try it again.

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov 2016 02:10 AM 
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Hi to all,

Got the Babicz 3 point Epi/Gibson replacement bridge and fitted it on the Vantage VP710B Bass.

Here it is in-situ:

Image

Image

Flush against the body:

Image

Image

With the Babicz' 1/8" shim, which was not required on this Bass:

Image

Just doing my A string height.
These saddles have 2 grub screws in them.
One is a locking screw and must be undone before adjustment and nipped up afterward.
The second screw is for saddle height adjustment, it winds in & out, and the saddle goes up & down.
Simple:

Image

How it looks on the Bass:

Image

A few observations from the install:

The 3 main bolt holes of the Babicz are a perfect fit on the Vantage VP710B body, no filing required just bolt straight on.
The intonation & string height adjustments are just bliss, so easy to do (I wish more bridges were made like this).
I had them set in a little under a half hour, having never clapped eyes on a Babicz before, it was an easy install.
String spacing is non-adjustable and could have been a bit wider for this instrument, but I'll have to live with it.
The Bridge height could probably be recessed into the body by 1-2mm if one could really be bothered, but I still have room to drop saddles approx 2mm lower, so you can get this bridge on without any recess work, unlike the Hipshot Supertone.
The Vantage existing recess is nicely covered by the Babicz footprint, although about 1mm of the Vantage's cavity can be seen either side of the Babicz, it is hardly noticeable.

The Bass plays so much nicer now. I am sure it would have been an improvement over what it was like with either a Babicz or a cheaper Epi replacement.
For the tone buffs, yes it sustains for far longer if that's your thing.
Vintage tone is gone, as in the faster decay "plunk, plunk" P-Bass type of thing, but it can still be found through technique on this Bass with it's pickup selections on offer. It retains all of it's growl, maybe even a little more Rickenbacker-ish, think Chris Squire of Yes. I would have no idea, my Bass playing sucks.

If I had my time over again on it, I would probably pick an Epi bridge and live with it, but at $120+ shipping for those VS $180 free shipping on the Babicz, I am glad I chose it in the long run.
It's up to whomever is reading this to decide if they want to do recess work with the Hipshot and get adjustable string spacing, go with an Epi replacement, or bolt one of these on and sacrifice maybe 2mm total string width, I guess.

All things considered, it makes the Bass an easier one to play, which in turn has a player doing things they otherwise would not be able to do.
It's a different Bass with this Bridge on it, but one well worth keeping.
It is different to what a Vantage Bass typically is, but still a very nice Bass, reminds me of the Mats Vox Bass a lot more now, sustain for weeks.

As a "save" from death by inferior hardware, or the resultant languishing under a bed for another 30 years, I would call it a success, as it is going to get played, recorded and used. Most of all, loved.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov 2016 09:53 AM 
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Thanks for that detailed documentation, I'm sure it will come in handy for anyone else who finds himself in the same dilemma.

Your comment about a change in the tone rang true for me when I replaced my Danelectro bridge mentioned earlier in the thread. Changing from a metal plate with a rosewood saddle to an all metal (brass saddles) configuration, unfortunately lost some of the vintage mojo as well. But the guitar still sounds really good and more important, it can be adjusted properly and can be played!

Well done and nice save!

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov 2016 07:49 PM 
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Nice save indeed!
I'm really surprised that bridge was that affordable. :rockwoot:

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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov 2016 09:58 PM 
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Thanks Guys.

I see I'm not in bad company, Billy Sheehan just fitted a Babicz according to Jeff Babicz's FB page.
Billy has stuck with the same Yamaha Basses for many years, so I doubt he would use it unless it was "better" for him.
He used to play a cousin of this Vantage Bass, a Vox I believe from Mats also.
I set one of these Vox Basses up and played it once, beautiful instrument, very heavy though.
Sorry, could not get a jpeg to work: http://www.rockstarsguitars.com/mr-big/ ... bass-1490/

I'm told the Image hosting will continue to host my pictures here for free, I just cannot add any more. If the pics drop off, I will use another host and post them again, but only if they drop off here first, as it's a large job to move them all over.

The Bass is great.
Any reservations I had about the new bridge have disappeared since I've been playing the thing, it is awesome.
I don't even have "Full contact" with the instrument top yet, thanks to the cavity on the VP710B.
I may fill that cavity with a block of something hard, I cannot see me wishing to fit a stock Epi bridge ever again.
The rattles and buzzes in hardware just seem normal, even desirable in some cases, until they are gone with a bridge like this.
I see Babicz now do individual saddles, Solorails? for problems like the one I have had, it would have got the string spacing much closer to stock if I had used these instead:

Image

Well, that's enough free press for Mr. Babicz, he's doing quite well for himself anyway and I'm no endorsee!

Maybe the Mods can re-title this thread to VP710 bridge replacement or something similar. so people are not running into the same roadblocks I got with Allparts no longer making the Epi bridge, and the Hipshot requiring significant work to get install.

I have G-A-S and have too many guitars, but gee Barry that 6 stringer version of my Bass looks real nice!
I've already got a Vantage Avenger and played an Avenger Bass at school, I like the Mats guitars, indeed.

Thanks again to the folks who keep this forum up & running.

Cheers.


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