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Post new topic Gold Tone LS-6 bridge - is this normal?
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Author Topic:  Gold Tone LS-6 bridge - is this normal?
Justin Lee


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 10 Jan 2017 4:25 am     Reply with quote

Hoping someone can give me a reality check on how the bridge seems to be mounted on the new Gold Tone LS-6 I bought. It looks like the bridge is rolling forwards towards the neck instead of sitting flat against the body. I haven't tried adjusting the two bridge screws but the the bridge doesn't budge if I loosen the strings and try to rock it.

Figured I would ask here before contacting Gold Tone. Can anyone with one of these comment?










Last edited by Justin Lee on 10 Jan 2017 5:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post Posted 10 Jan 2017 5:16 am     Reply with quote

Well, it might not be normal. My eight string is maybe six years old and doesn't angle the same way. However, yours may have had a design improvement because, as you can see with the original design, you need a bit of bluetack to hold the ball end in position while you are restringing. Don't know, but if yours is sturdy, it would be an improvement.
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Justin Lee


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 10 Jan 2017 6:06 am     Reply with quote

I don't think it's an improvement - I had to use a pair of needlenose pliers to bend the ball-end and shove it under. The ball-ends are sort of held in place by the what I would describe as jagged, rough millwork in the retainer slots.

Overall I’m happy with the lap steel but I noticed a couple of oddities after getting it home and spending some time playing it:

1) A faint noise present when playing either of the two unwound strings that sounds like a cross between a buzz and harmonic overtone. It's not present when playing the wound strings.

2) The 12th fret harmonic appears to be 2-3mm offset from the 12th fret marker.

This is what led me to remove the bridge cover plate, and I noticed that the bridge appears to be tilted forward towards the neck instead of sitting flat against the guitar body, which is what I see when I look at pics of the LS-8 bridge (couldn't find anything with the LS-6 sans bridge cover)



If this is not by design, my layman’s conclusion would be that the strings are leaving contact with the bridge slightly behind the edge (which is slightly below the bottom of the strings at this angle,) and that this might account for both the intonation being slightly out of alignment with the fret markers, and would explain the overtones in the unwound strings due to the shallower break angle.

I shot the pics and info to Gold Tone just now after I registered the guitar with them. I know several people on here spoke highly of these and would be very interested to know if anyone owners can comment on the appearance of my bridge compared to theirs.
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Jack Gentle Jr


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 10 Jan 2017 6:19 am     Reply with quote



Doesn't look right to me.

On my 6 string Goldtone the bottom of the bridge is flat and the front of the bridge is tilted slightly away from the pickup so that the strings contact the front edge on the bridge. The front edge of your bridge looks to be tilted toward the pickup so the stings contact the top surface of the bridge instead of the front edge. This is the way a Sitar bridge is and is what gives a kind of fuzzy sound.
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Justin Lee


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 10 Jan 2017 6:24 am     Reply with quote

You rock, Jack! This is exactly what I needed to know, and the pic says it all.Thank you so much. Hopefully Gold Tone will either send me a new bridge or an RMA to have them remedy it.

Jack Gentle Jr wrote:

Doesn't look right to me..
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 10 Jan 2017 7:18 am     Reply with quote

Quality control is not the hallmark of Asian mass market instruments. Sometimes their importers will make the necessary adjustments to ensure a modicum of playability. Unfortunately, that apparently didn't occur with yours.

For a few dollars more you can purchase a new RAM Speakeasy, built in Illinois by SGF member Ron Mielzynski. For quite a bit less, you can purchase a new Melbert from fellow Forumite Robert Allen in Tennessee. Neither Ron nor Bob would ever ship a new instrument with its bridge installed cockeyed.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 10 Jan 2017 8:25 am     Reply with quote

Tighten the screws.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 10 Jan 2017 8:51 am     Reply with quote

I don't know why these makers just don't use string-through-the-body design.
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Justin Lee


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 8:11 am     Investigating the bridge Reply with quote

Investigated the bridge and discovered it was loose: https://youtu.be/flG6SbnROZc

One screw didn't tighten firmly, so I decided to have a look underneath:


Wondering WTF was in the holes, I found this:


Okay, so it's a load-bearing scrap of wire Very Happy I guess they were out of toothpicks that day, but the plastic coating on the wire wasn't holding against the wood fibers. Pulled that crap out and replaced it with matchstick-sized dowel pieces.

Decided to take a closer look at the bridge, which was decidedly rough in the channels and around the back where the strings retainers would fit (if you could get them in)





That looked a little too chewy for my tastes, but here was the kicker https://youtu.be/i1mHfziWoRI

I drew pencil marks all over the bottom of the bridge and went to town using some cheap harbor freight diamond plates. You can see the worst of the high spots here:



After a few minutes on the crappy diamond plates I moved over to a 1000 grit waterstone:



I finished by polishing it on a 4000 waterstone. With the bridge flat, I moved on to smoothing and polishing the string guides and correcting the shape of the string retainer channels. I did the rough work with a set of small needle files, then smoothed and polished with small 1000 and 4000 grit rounded slipstones.

While I was at it, I checked the nut and snapped these pics of the nut before reshaping and polishing the slots with my fancy torch tip cleaner nut files Very Happy







Needless to say, it sounds better and holds its tuning better as well.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 8:20 am     Reply with quote

Good for you! Very Happy
It's refreshing to see somebody taking care of a problem instead of just whining about it.
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 8:47 am     Reply with quote

I agree, good repair. Did you ever get the tailpiece flush?
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 9:55 am     Reply with quote

Excellent repair. Congratulations. Nevertheless, you shouldn't have had the hassle.

You should document all this on a YouTube video, and then sit back and wait for Gold Tone's offer to remove it.
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Justin Lee


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 12:23 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for the kudos on the repair! I put the screwdriver to it as soon as the guy from Gold Tone tech support suggested it. And yes, the sole of the bridge leveled out quite easily. I'm sure the biggest gain came simply from tightening the screws and dressing the nut, but the rest was easy work.

I wanted to document the repair here purely for the sake of capturing the knowledge for others who may run into something similar. Still more tweaking to do, and I'll document anything interesting.
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