Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

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P90_Luv
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Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by P90_Luv »

Just landed a used RS502 (billet green) and it hit all the checkmarks for a keeper. I did notice a janky saddle screw while setting her up. Thinking a quick upgrade would be the Tonepros AVTII used on the upper end Rev flavors. Distance between stud posts and metric thread size should be correct to accept the TP locking studs. The nickle studs and wrapper may be close to Yamaha's units which look satin or brushed in images. Here's the thing - the 502 has a 13.77" radius neck where the TP is 12". Wait...the radius and finish has me wondering?

>> The question. Is the AVT2G (new TP model number) the same as what ships on Revs or are they possibly a part made for Yamaha with a different spec.? I have Emails in to Yamaha and Tonepros but no one has replied. Shocking!

*We used ta make our own bridges outta wood*
Last edited by P90_Luv on Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by P90_Luv »

Replying to my own post is slightly off but this may turn into a Revstar bridge upgrade thread?

So after more Intraweb plodding I found Schaller offers what some are calling a "drop in" wraparound for Revstars. The interesting bit is Schaller states - String radius 12“ (usable for fretboard 10-14 inch). Okay, that's good to know for these 13.77 fret -"boards".

Here's what Tonepros replied back to my question:

"Thanks for contacting us! You are correct the AVT2 is a 12” radius that comes on Revstar models. The slight difference in neck radius will not actually matter with the proper setup. You run into issues when the radius is drastically different like say a 20” radius or a 7.5” radius. With a 13.77” radius the board will be just slightly flatter than the bridge and will still play and feel great! Hope this info helps! The exact model Yamaha uses is our AVT2M in Satin Nickel". Replied back to TP for availability as Satin Nickle is not to be found at StewMac, Reverb, etc.

Schaller offers the Signum in "Satin Chrome" that may be close to the factory satin goodness? They ship with metric locking posts and bushings. Pretty sure the Revstars are metric thread bushings where the supplied metric studs will thread in? Shaller's pre notched saddles make the drop in concept even easier. Still looking at Tonepros or a Pigtail with TP lockers. So many choices!

The prior owner managed to mess up the factory saddle height adjustments even galling out a couple allen screws with the effort. Oh yeah, the post screw heads are also mangled from mystery tools. Thinking some owners hack adjustments while the strings are under full tension to create this "relic" screw head art form? So without a radius gauge I drew a 13 3/4" circle on heavy paper and cut out a bridge shape. The bridge template revealed the prior "adjuster" arched her like a Roman doorway. It's cool that these saddles are adjustable to allow basically any radius but a fixed radius bridge is indeed safer for adjust-O-morons.


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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by P90_Luv »

Summary for stoptail bridge fitment. Revstars use the Gibson 3.25" stud spacing where PRS is 3.20". It bugged me when I spotted a post where the owner installed a PRS, USA fixed intonation bridge on his Revstar. They fit the studs but PRS bridges are optimized for a longer scale length so they may have to be shoved far forward toward the headstock to intonate? String spacing, radius and heights seem very close across the aftermarket lineup. The materials vary from cast zinc, bell brass, 70% zinc/30% aluminum, and machined billet aluminum to pick from. Wow.

I eliminated bell brass as heavy, Tonepros are a pain to fish the strings through. Zinc? Um, no. I like the zing my LP Junior gets with its Tonepros aluminum vintage wrapper so aluminum is the pick for me. That leaves Pigtail, Schroeder and Mannmade. I ordered the Mannmade 2310 as polished aluminum, brass saddles, and polished brass studs. It will dull and patina very nicely with the Revstar's matte goodness. So why the bridge swap anyway?

The Rev is a great guitar but like many mass produced products there's a weak link. Normally the pickups and tuners are suspect but I find both of these excellent quality. The stock bridge? Not so much. They are made by Alchemy for Yamaha. It's the LT-10 "Soul to Metal, Tune-O-Matic, zinc plated zinc" according to their website. They are very light. When I switched to .009 strings, the high E wanted to "sitar" as not pinned down to the round saddle. As another poster advised, move the bridge max forward (toward headstock) basically removing the two rough adjustment allens for the posts. I needed to also remove 4 springs from the saddle screws in order to get the saddles back far enough. Moving everything back changes the break angle of the string creating more downward pressure. The high E stopped the sitar affect but the saddles still rattle and buzz. Yes, even the saddles with tension springs are buzzers. They have individual saddle height adjustment screws but the saddles are fully dropped to the deck from the factory. I found raising the two outer most adjusters (a touch) on both E's tightened spacing gaps. Unwound strings move easily back and forth in the saddle slot - that's bad. The saddles themselves also have movement side to side setting off rattles and buzz. The break angle is shallow by design so light strings have weak downward pressure. These may work for higher action setups or heavier strings but I'm not seeing much hope to eliminate bridge buzz for me.

You don't have to spend big bucks as there are many choices to be found. Pretty sure an upgrade is welcomed for tone and setup ease. The stock wrapper is fiddly when restringing. The string guide slots underneath don't really align the sting path so you have to center the string with your finger nail or they angle when wrapping around. Look for bridges that have tunnels to pass the string through not separate holes on each side to fish for.


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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by Quietly »

I have the 620 with the wraparound bridge. Needless to say this makes an excellent read so thanks for all the detailed information. Plus I didn't want you to think you was talking to yourself LOL.

Quietly


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Cooksey
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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by Cooksey »

How long do you think you can use the Rev before getting issues with the stock bridge btw?


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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by P90_Luv »

The stock Rev bridge is fine for certain setups. Pretty sure many keep them on. I don't think time or use will wear anything to an unusable condition. I'm fussy about certain parts for my style of spankin' the plank. Had a factory Adjust-O-Matic on a Gretsch Jet that needed both the tuners and the bridge swapped for part fails. That bridge buzzed horribly sucking any sustain out of the string energy. Bye-bye Gretsch, the Rev smokes it for tone, playing, weight,and style. For my application I need more saddle bite and the string break angle sharpened. I run .009 strings at 1.5mm at the 12th fret where the stock bridge is not happy this low.


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SeamusMacD
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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by SeamusMacD »

Hi,

Thanks for this thread!

I just purchased a Revstar 620 used on reverb with the stock bridge. I almost bought a different 620 on Reverb where the owner had replaced the bridge with the TonePros AVTII and hyped it as basically the same as the 820, but that sale didn't work out, so I bought a stock unit, excellent condition, no fretware...

However, something's funky with the intonation, thought it was just old strings but even with the new strings its hard to get in tune across the fretboard. Odd that intonation would be that funky on a fairly unused guitar, but it is. Not sure what's going on...

So, either I take it to a luthier to be intonated and possibly replace nut. Or, I also, replace the bridge while I'm at it, and the TonePros AVTII seemed like the call based upon this other Reverb seller. Then ran into the 2G vs. 2P issue...

From reading this thread, the 820 really has the "AVT2M in Satin Nickel" which I believe you are saying is unavailable for purchase?

It also appears that the 2G is closest "Revstars use the Gibson 3.25" stud spacing"...

So, can I install the AVT-IIG and intonate, and would it be worth the cost?

Thanks much!

Seamus


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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by P90_Luv »

Correct, the AVT2M is only available in nickel. The satin flavor is exclusive to Yamaha.

The stock bridge has ample adjustment range to cover intonation. A replacement would not gain anything for better or further adjustments. Unless you're maxed out with both the post allen and the saddle adjuster screws. That would be doubtful. The reason I ditched mine was due to rattles and buzz. Gibson spacing and metric studs is correct. The PRS spacing is slightly back away from the headstock in length due to scale difference.

These have excellent quality necks that shouldn't have mystery issues. Start from the low E string. You have adjusted the saddle length to match the open low E string tuning to the lightly touched 12th fret note (holding in a playing position) right? I'll assume you have a quality tuner, fret lightly, and don't pick hard when testing. So if everything is at the same pitch including the harmonic pinged at the 12th, you should be good. Now simply play the G note on the low E. Is it sharp or flat more than (1) cent? Are you pressing hard on the fret? It's a common problem for low scale notes to be sharp where "cowboy chords" sound horrid. I've seen this where the 1st through third frets play sharp from the factory. It's a nut issue where the slot groove needs to be "cut" downward a tad with a nut or jewelers file. Once the nut is cut, the notes will play true up through the 3rd fret. It's due to the string bending hard (sharpening) when pressed. When cut properly, the string is easy to press and doesn't pull it sharp. If the 5th fret and 9th fretted notes are within 1-2 cents of center, you're pretty much done. I've never seen mid-neck issues after the basic intonation is set. If you are trying to get all fretted notes dead-on, it won't happen. Placement of frets is never perfect on any guitar so the basic rule is "within 2 cents" for fretted notes.

Note: Tuners can be misleading. Most are "damped" to not make them over twitchy when tuning. They may not even indicate a 1 cent increment. Chromatic tuners have trouble locking on the note when they hear noise from other strings. Tune carefully without other strings ringing in the background. Don't trust a fading string after a pluck as they always flatten slowly. The true pitch is measured within a second or two after the initial pick strike.


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SeamusMacD
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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by SeamusMacD »

Thanks much for the response, P90_Luv!

I tried to intonate using just the saddle adjuster screws and a few strings were still sharp. Have never adjusted the post allen's before - a little hesitant... looks like the bridge is all the way forward so clockwise turns push the screws against the posts to push the bridge back - lengthening the string which is what it needs as they are sharp.


Do you just crank both treble and bass sides equally a turn or so at a time?

Can't find instructions/video for this style wrap around bridge combo... thanks for your comments...


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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by P90_Luv »

It's easy to eye the 1/8" additional gap length you need. 2-3 full turns at a time is a good starting point for the post adjusters. If you go over, back it up. It's a rough adjustment where you're increasing the saddle (adjustment) gap by pushing the bridge back toward the tail. Set the intonation with the saddle adjustment screw which now allows more rearward (flat) range. You can move both sides back but it's not an absolute turn for turn adjustment.

With strings loose, increase the gap for needed adjustment length on the troubled side, adjust the opposing side by eye. Now adjust each saddle starting with the one that was maxed out. The black springs should not be over compressed when properly adjusted. If they are getting smashed, scoot the bridge back.

50's Vintage, non-intonated wrappers had a serious angular post placement. The two post adjusters were all you had, so basically crank the screws to adjust the high and low E's and you're done as the rest of the strings fall in "close enough". Mystery technique for wraparounds in the days of yore. But modern adjustable wrappers are no different from any Tune-O-Matic bridge once the saddle range needed is centered between the posts. They just have stings stuffed in 'em backwards. Any Gibson-ish bridge tuning tips will work for yours. In several ways these are better then separate bridge/tailpiece style for tone transmission into the body.


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Spuds
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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by Spuds »

So you went with the tonepros in the end?

I'm actually not really in need of replacement but I love my rs502 so much that I can see myself pimping it out with more premium parts over time. That Schaller signum in the brushed finish looks like the best fit to me aesthetically and it's supposed to be an excellent bridge. Plus they do locking tuners in the same finish.

Why did you decide against the Schaller? Did you try it? Or do the specifications not line up in terms of fit?


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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by P90_Luv »

I went with a "MannMade USA" bridge with Schaller as my second pick. You can see it below. More detail in the thread I linked. I wanted an aluminum bridge for the sound and unfinished Brass studs for an old-skool look. TonePros wrappers are tricky to restring unless you yank the bridge off. There are gaps in the casting between the two holes to fish the string through which is a bear in low lighting. Schaller and others use a pass-through tube. I'm posting another thread on the push-pull tone pot replacement. Those two items are the only weak link on this excellent guitar worthy the right parts.

Bridge install - viewtopic.php?f=24&t=15379&p=88481&hili ... dge#p88481

MannMade Bridge
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Spuds
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Re: Revstar with Tonepros AVTII question

Unread post by Spuds »

Thanks for the reply. That certainly does look good. Nice to know there are a couple of options there.


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