Harley Benton SG Junior update/bridge change

Grizzlyman

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Hi all.
So, been living with the Harley Benton for a week or so now.
Finally got the action and intonation sorted.
Replaced the bridge with a Schaller 456, just need to get a shim for the pickup to get it closer to the strings, the neck angle is quite wide. My Gibson SG Junior 60s model has an almost flat neck angle, so this was a bit weird for me at first, although reading up on the subject, it seems that Gibson themselves have quite variable neck angles on their SGs…

What do you guys think?

cheers,
Grizz
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DrBGood

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That is some bridge. But it seem to be pulling the studs forward a lot. Not sure about all that lever torque.

AEC969BF-CF16-494E-8DF3-0069D51A2BE0.jpg
 

Grizzlyman

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That is some bridge. But it seem to be pulling the studs forward a lot. Not sure about all that lever torque.

Yeah I was worried about that too, but the old bridge was doing the same thing. I just hope the bushings don’t get ripped out of the guitar.
I’ll keep playing it and keep my fingers crossed!
 

ruster1

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yes, the schaller is nice construction, but that forward lean is troublesome.. I have a badass copy that does the same thing but it leans on the posts not pulling them toward the neck.. you may want to dowel fill and re-drill those post holes.. that schaller should sit flush with the flat top of the body for the most part.. nice mods to a nice budget guitar..
 

DrBGood

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My Badass copy has no lean at all. If it's because it is loose on the posts, try to find (or make) a U shaped washer/shim to slide under the bridge.

As for the one discussed above, on the photo the bridge seem snug on the post, bushings seem solid in the body but the threaded post look like it bent, which I doubt it is, it's so thick. What part is the culprit ?
 

Chuck.S

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Hi all.
So, been living with the Harley Benton for a week or so now.
Finally got the action and intonation sorted.
Replaced the bridge with a Schaller 456, just need to get a shim for the pickup to get it closer to the strings, the neck angle is quite wide. My Gibson SG Junior 60s model has an almost flat neck angle, so this was a bit weird for me at first, although reading up on the subject, it seems that Gibson themselves have quite variable neck angles on their SGs…

What do you guys think?

cheers,
Grizz
View attachment 46117 View attachment 46118 View attachment 46119
Those 456s are great bridge/tailpieces
 

Grizzlyman

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yes, the schaller is nice construction, but that forward lean is troublesome.. I have a badass copy that does the same thing but it leans on the posts not pulling them toward the neck.. you may want to dowel fill and re-drill those post holes.. that schaller should sit flush with the flat top of the body for the most part.. nice mods to a nice budget guitar..
Yeah i agree. I’m gonna keep an eye on it, and if it becomes a problem I’ll get it properly filled and re drilled as you say.
The thing is, the lean was the same with the previous wraparound bridge, and the Schaller is as tight as anything on there. The posts don’t move within the bushings, and there doesn’t seem to be any play in there.
Could be that they’ve been drilled a bit wonky. When I do a string change I’ll see if there’s any play developing…
Played it tonight through my gig rig, played really well but I’m definitely gonna change the pickup. It doesn’t sound terrible but it’s weak and harsh sounding in the upper mids compared to my bare knuckle pig 90.
 

Grizzlyman

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My Badass copy has no lean at all. If it's because it is loose on the posts, try to find (or make) a U shaped washer/shim to slide under the bridge.

As for the one discussed above, on the photo the bridge seem snug on the post, bushings seem solid in the body but the threaded post look like it bent, which I doubt it is, it's so thick. What part is the culprit ?
It’s hard to say, but I reckon the post holes have been drilled wonky. There doesn’t seem to be any movement in the bridge or any play. Everything looks and feels tight despite the bend. Those are the Schaller posts too, so they’re pretty strong compared to the originals. Could be weak bushings as I didn’t change those…
If it doesn’t go anywhere I can definitely live with it.
 

Grizzlyman

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Maybe
My Badass copy has no lean at all. If it's because it is loose on the posts, try to find (or make) a U shaped washer/shim to slide under the bridge.

As for the one discussed above, on the photo the bridge seem snug on the post, bushings seem solid in the body but the threaded post look like it bent, which I doubt it is, it's so thick. What part is the culprit ?
I’ll disassemble it all when I change strings and check the inherent straightness or lack of on the bridge posts…
 

Go Nigel Go

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Those posts appear to be bent in the photos above. The posts are fairly soft metal. if you turn them down a half a turn I bet they will lean back the other way... Is there any height adjustment other than the posts themselves? I had a stop bar bend the posts once when I backed them out like that trying to reduce down force on the Nashville bridge. Live and learn, I should have just top wrapped the strings from the get go, then I wouldn't have had to replace the posts.
 

Decadent Dan

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I’ve seen a 2-point bass bridge do that with bigger studs than a Junior but it’s over 50yrs old and an mdf body.
If the studs aren’t bent, maybe the wood is soft but let’s hope not.
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Grizzlyman

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I’m actually wondering if the Schaller posts are imperial but the bushings are metric?
They could be very close but enough of a difference to allow the lean.
I sure hope it’s not the wood that is soft… otherwise there’s gonna be some Frankenstein reinforcement required!
 

Grizzlyman

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Those posts appear to be bent in the photos above. The posts are fairly soft metal. if you turn them down a half a turn I bet they will lean back the other way... Is there any height adjustment other than the posts themselves? I had a stop bar bend the posts once when I backed them out like that trying to reduce down force on the Nashville bridge. Live and learn, I should have just top wrapped the strings from the get go, then I wouldn't have had to replace the posts.
Sadly the post height is the only height adjustment on this guitar, and it’s already as low as the action will allow…
The original wraparound bridge that was on there is one that you have to top wrap anyway, and it was leaning just as much…
 

Go Nigel Go

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Sadly the post height is the only height adjustment on this guitar, and it’s already as low as the action will allow…
The original wraparound bridge that was on there is one that you have to top wrap anyway, and it was leaning just as much…
If the posts are already bent, the only thing that will fix it is to either straighten them ore replace them. The thing that bends the post is when the exposed threaded portion is asked to hold the string tension through stiffness alone. The threaded part is the weakest part, and unsupported by the threaded bushing that is the place it will bend. '

Ideally, the flat base of your post should be in direct contact with the top of the guitar to help spread the force out over a larger area and eliminate the bending force on the threads. If you need to adjust the action height, you will want to use a spacer washer of the exact thickness needed to place your bridge/tail piece at the desired height. When you snug the post against the spacer most of the forces that want to bend the threads will be exerted in other directions and spread over a wider area of the top.

Step one is to verify if the posts are bent, or if there is some other problem. They look bent to me, but photos can sometimes trick the eye.

If the posts are bent, I would get some replacements, install them and adjust the action height. The space between the base of the post and the top of the guitar will still be there, so you will need to measure it and make (or have made) a couple of spacers of the exact thickness needed to allow the posts to be snugged down (not super tight) with the bridge at the proper height and the issue won't return. That is what I would do anyways. The spacers will spread most of the forces that bent the posts in a safer direction.
 


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