Worked on this Breedlove Discovery last week.
The Breedlove dreads have a slightly rounder shape than the usual dreads. It’s quite like the Goodall shape.
Breedlove guitars have this pinless bridge system and as the name implies, does not use bridge pins to secure the strings. Instead, it employs a system that’s similar to the Gibson style stoptail. Some other brands like Takamine and earlier Taylors are known to use such bridges too.
Now that’s going to cause some concerns because there won’t be any holes for the anchors in order to install the transducers.
So i exchanged some emails with Jessie from JJB (this guy really rocks!) and he gave me some tips for installing the JJB on pinless bridge guitars.
Drilling the saddle slot
The idea is drill two small holes at the saddle slot for the anchors. I chose the 2mm drill bit for this.
Remember to tape up the area to avoid dents or scars.
Now we have two holes for the anchors. I use two toothpicks since the holes are just 2mm.
Making a jig for the transducers
The next step was to make a jig for the installation later on. I use hard cardboard from the cereal box.
Trace out the saddle line and mark the spots where you want to place the transducers. We will use this later.
Drilling a 12mm for the end jack
This is quite the standard affair for all pickup installations. Be sure to use masking tape to prevent chipping or cracking.
After the pilot hole is drilled, I went from 4mm, 6mm, 10mm,and finally 12mm. I threw out the step drill bit method because it takes too long.
The new method is much faster and cleaner.
OK, let’s clean it up later.
Installing the end jack
I use a strong copper wire as fishing line. Go in through the 12mm hole and exit from the sound hole.
Tie the wire to the hole at the end jack.
Slowly guide the end jack into position. This takes lots of patience. You need some sanding to the 12mm hole to ensure the end jack fits well.
Sticking the transducers to the bridge plate
Using the jig I made earlier, I can safely and accurately mount the transducers.
I use gel superglue. It’s non-drip and easier to work with.
After many dry runs, I could get a good sensing of where to position my hand for the fastest method to get the entire jig/transducer into position.
Bone saddle upgrade
The owner wanted to upgrade to a bone saddle at the same time so here comes some sanding and shaping.
Work with fresh sandpaper because they cut faster and you’d not get tired hands so soon.
OK, we got an identical bone saddle.
Fits nice and snug in the saddle slot and action is slightly under 3/32 inch at 12th fret capo on 1st.
Gave it the Bearclaw Special – fret care, body polish and hardware clean. Restrung with Elixirs 12-53 and this guitar is ready to bring some smiles to Rainbow and Brownie.
New bone saddle gave it extra clarity compared to the stock plastic one. All good.
The owner definitely smiled when he collected his guitar.