Vintage Hardtail Widening String Holes

clbraddock

New member
Messages
12
I have a body I like that is already drilled for vintage mount hardtail and hard tail string spacing. I think I’d prefer a little narrower, and saw that Warmoth and Wudtone make hardtail bridges for vintage mount with 54mm string spacing. I’d have to widen the string through holes from 1/8” to 3/16” though. It won’t be visible since it will be under the plate, but is there any downside to doing this? Any negative effect on tone or playability? If I don’t like it can I go back to the vintage string spacing or will I be stuck because of the larger holes?
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,311
First ... what brand is the body and do you have any pics and what brand is the current bridge? If you drill something generally you are stuck with the holes. Also pics with the bridge off. I’ve thought about doing that on other guitars but wound up giving the guitar away and starting from scratch. Should work as long as you don’t mess up the holes by going sideways but you’ll always have to futz a little when changing strings. I say go for it. The worst that will happen is you’ll have to buy a new body. You’d only be able to enlarge the ho,e to half their length because you you don’t want to mess up th ferrules.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,204
Any negative effect on tone or playability?
No.
If I don’t like it can I go back to the vintage string spacing or will I be stuck because of the larger holes?
The string through holes are generally counter bored at the back for string ferrules so as long as your string through hole enlargement does not enlarge the ferrule holes then yes, you can then retrofit the vintage bridge afterwards.
 

clbraddock

New member
Messages
12
I think I'll try a vintage bridge first and see how I like it. My other guitars are modern 2-1/16 spacing, so I was just thinking I'd try and make this closer to them, but maybe I will like the vintage spacing - who knows. If not, I'll get the 54mm vintage mount bridge and enlarge the holes.

Is it okay to go with a neck with a 43mm nut or should I go with a vintage size 42mm nut?
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,204
The nut size makes no difference to the bridge spacing. Use which width you prefer, either way with a vintage spaced bridge the E and e strings will be closer to the edge of the fretboard due to the wider spacing as the standard Fender heel dimensions of the neck is the same width regardless.
 

Spud

Senior member
Messages
927
If you are used to modern string spacing you may be surprised how close the vintage bridge puts the strings to the edge of the board.
 

clbraddock

New member
Messages
12
If you are used to modern string spacing you may be surprised how close the vintage bridge puts the strings to the edge of the board.

Yeah, I realize it will be different. Figure I will give it a try and if I don't like it, I'm just out the cost of a bridge and can do the 54mm mod.
 
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