Which Faber® Bridge Posts should I use?
For guitars with Nashville bridge systems, you must convert your bridges studs to Faber® in order to use the Tone-Lock™ Bridge. This is true, because the lock nuts used by the bridge need to have threaded posts to lock onto. If you don’t intend to use a Faber® Tone-Lock Bridge, it is not an absolute requirement to convert your bridge studs. You can use the Faber® ABRN model bridge with your existing Nashville bridge system.
If you do plan on using a Faber® Tone-Lock bridge, or are just interested in replacing the tone-robbing alloy Nashville body inserts with sustain enhancing German steel, there are two Faber® bridge conversion posts you can use for that purpose: BSWKIT™ or iNsert™. There is a third choice, with the Faber® NSWKIT™, as well. You can use the latter if you would like to use a Faber® Tone-Lock™ bridge or ABRN bridge without making any modifications to your guitar. Use the following list as a guide to determine which of the three types of Faber® Bridge posts to fit your particular circumstances.
- Faber® BSWKIT™: The BSWKIT™ is the most difficult of all Faber® Bridge Studs to install, but it is also the most desirable from the standpoint of maximum sustain and the vintage look. In order to install the BSWKIT™, the exitisting Nashville body inserts need to be removed (a 5mm bolt is included for easy removal of the inserts) and the holes in the body need to be tapped using an 8M x 1.25 metric tap. It is important that the new threads are tapped perfectly straight. Most problem BSWKIT™ installations are caused by tapping and installing the BSWKIT™ crooked. Another thing that can cause problems is warpage of the guitar body. If the body is warped, even if the BSWKIT™ kit is installed perfectly straight, the posts themselves can either point inward or outward at the tops. You can determine if the body is warped by laying a perfect straigtedge across the back of the guitar at its widest point. If there is space under the middle of the straightedge, most likely the tops of the bridge studs will be further apart than they should be. If there are spaces at the ends of the straightedge, most likely the tops of the bridge posts will be closer together than they should be. This warpage can be compensated for by a skilled technician, so we recommend that the BSWKIT™ only be installed by persons with the skills necessary to complete the project successfully. People sometimes say, “My Nashville fits properly, but not after installation of the BSWKIT™.” This can very well be the case, because the Nashville sytem is designed to compensate for a lot of different problems, such as warpage and slightly out of spec placement of the inserts. The post holes of a Nashville bridge are conical: larger diameter at the bottom than at the top. It is a “sloppy” system by design to compensate for some of the irregularities mentioned. Please note that Faber® Germany and/or FaberUSA cannot be held responsible for any damages caused by installation of the BSWKIT™
- Faber® iNsert™: The iNsert is a much easier installation, providing virtually the same sustain benefits as the BSWKIT™, without the vintage look. A 5mm bolt is included to easily remove the existing inserts (simply screw the 5mm bold into the insert until the insert rises out of the body), and a plastic installation tool is provided to install the Faber® iNsert™ (see the installation video when viewing the product, or under the “HOW-TO Videos” menu tab). Care must be taken prior to installation to determine that the depth of the holes in the body are deep enough so that the iNsert™ will fit flush to the body when installed. Also, we recommend checking for warpage of the body before ordering and installing the iNsert™. Unlike the BSWKIT™, there is no way to compensate for warpage with the iNsert™. Usually, however, slight warpage doesn’t present a problem and the vast majority of iNsert™ installations are successful. Can the iNsert™ be removed to revert back to the original Nashville inserts? Yes, but, depending upon how tight the iNsert™ is in the body, it can be easy or more difficult. Most times, the iNsert™ fits snug, but is not overly tight, and can be removed by hand just by screwing on a thumbwheel for grip and pulling straight up. If the iNsert™ is too tight for that procedure, the best and safest way to remove it is using a puller, such as the Schatten Design stud puller. That is what we use. If no such puller is available, it is possible to remove the iNsert™ by screwing on a thumbwheel and using a pair of pliers or Vise grips on the thumbwheel and pulling straight up. Please note that this procedure will likely mar the thumbwheel. Faber® Germany and/or FaberUSA cannot be held liable for any damages caused by installation or removal of the iNsert™.
- Faber® NSWKIT™: This replacement bridge post is straightforward and requires no modifications to your guitar. While any tone enhancement is minimal from this part (it is made from the finest German steel, as opposed to the original Nashville zinc alloy posts, so some benefit will be noticeable), it will allow the use the original Nashville bridge, or the Faber® Tone-Lock™ or ABRN bridges.
For most Epiphone guitars and many other non USA made guitars using a bridge system with large body insertswe have the Faber® E-Sert and ESWKIT™, the former of which is very much like the Faber® iNsert™, and the latter very much like the NSWKIT for Nashville conversions. All information about the Faber® iNsert™ applies to the selection, removal, installation and other considerations listed for the iNsert™, above. Please see the E-Sert™ product description for an image of the type of bridge system the E-Sert is intended to replace.