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Author Topic: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap  (Read 2327 times)

Offline daveh

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1997 Nitefly bridge swap
« on: July 20, 2016, 09:49:12 PM »
I am new to the forum, and new to Parker guitars. I just purchased a 1997 Nitefly as a project and I have a question about swapping out the bridge.
This Nitefly came with the piezo and ball bearing setup. Note the past tense there. All the bearings are gone, inspecting the underside of the bridge shows none of the piezo wires are present, and it looks for all the world like one of the piezo elements itself is missing from the saddle. There is a shielded wire coming off the plate which I presume to be the ground, but it was not connected to anything and is way too short to reach the electronics cavity. In addition the tremolo arm mount appears to be broken at the top side of the bridge. I think it's a goner.

I seem to have three options:
1. Swap the bridge out with a non-piezo bridge, stick with just passive magnetic pickups
2. Replace the bridge with a newer passive piezo bridge with the Graphtec saddles
3. Go whole hog and swap the bridge with a MIDI piezo bridge (and install the 13 pin connector and all)

Does anyone know if a bridge swap is possible between this older model and a newer one?

Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap

Offline TinMachine

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Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2016, 11:45:54 PM »
Just grab some replacement saddles from wiguitar on eBay. Or he also has the graph tech ones as well. The Fishman preamp  is probably better than the graph tech one anyhow. Any saddle with piezo will work.

Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap

Offline Piplodocus

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Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 05:17:32 AM »
Keep the bridge, change the saddles. If you don't want piezo sounds any old lot will do, working or not as long as they have balls. If you fancy midi though the graphtech saddles are a good bet as then you can get a acoustiphonic preamp now, then add the 13 pin and clip on hexaphonic board later if you like.

I think my graphtech ones in my 2014 sound better than my fishman ones in my 2004, but to be honest I rarely use either and only through the clean channel of my amp, so I'm probably not the greatest judge. I did fit the hexaphonic 13-pin board to my 2014 one though and apart from cutting the hole in the end edge for the 13-pin port it was a total breeze.
2004 Fly Mojo Flame (TTBB), 2014 Fly Mojo Flame (TBB), 2001 Customized Midifly (w/Tripleplay), 2001 HSS Swamp Ash Nitefly SA (NFVSA/SB), 2000 Mahogany Nitefly (NFVM/TR), 2007 Southern Nitefly (BS), mostly all modded, Bareknuckle pickups, and also a "needs work" shagged 97 Maple Nitefly...

Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap

Offline Piplodocus

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Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 05:21:19 AM »
P.s. The trem arm mount (I assume you mean the hole where it goes in) is just a plastic bush. You can just replace that bit. I've got these bridges in 5 of my parkers and never had a single issue with any after years of playing except a chunk broke off the newest one that has been played least! Just unscrewed the trem arm grub screw and forced it out from the back, popped a new bush in, and good to go. As long as the bearings are good, just change the bush and saddles...
2004 Fly Mojo Flame (TTBB), 2014 Fly Mojo Flame (TBB), 2001 Customized Midifly (w/Tripleplay), 2001 HSS Swamp Ash Nitefly SA (NFVSA/SB), 2000 Mahogany Nitefly (NFVM/TR), 2007 Southern Nitefly (BS), mostly all modded, Bareknuckle pickups, and also a "needs work" shagged 97 Maple Nitefly...

Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap

Offline daveh

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Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2016, 11:18:55 PM »
Just now had some time to dig into the bridge. I have attached a picture with 3 images on it.  I cannot get an image to load, grrrrrrrrr

The first shows the underside of the bridge, and you can see there are no wires connected from the piezos to the circuit board on the bridge. In addition the shielded wire was cut way too short to reach the electronics cavity. Pity it will have to be replaced, that is a nice solder job on that part, makes for a really good ground.

The middle image shows the underside of the saddles and it looks like the wires have literally been pulled out of the saddles. These are shot. However I would like to confirm that there was only one wire coming out of the piezo, and the circuit was completed by internally grounding the piezo to the saddle casing, then in turn through contact with the bridge casting.

The third image shows a close up of the tremolo arm socket. It is difficult to see but there are no threads, no clips, no anything to hold an arm in place, and not ever having seen a Parker arm I don't know what part is missing. From the top it looks like the center section will pull out, but from the bottom it really looks like part of the whole casting. I did remove the set screw, you can see it in the photo, but nothing moves.

When I removed the bridge it made me wonder how the height adjustment works. In this case the bridge posts were screwed tight against the bottom. But if I adjust the height, that means the bridge is now resting solely on those 2 small screws at the base of the bridge posts, and they have a lot of play in them. Granted string tension will take out some of the play, right up to the point you use the tremolo arm. Is this correct???

Finally I took the suggestion to look at that Ebay site, and individual saddles are $25, while a whole bridge with all the saddles is $95 - $120. A Bridge swap is more economical.




Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap

Offline TinMachine

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Re: 1997 Nitefly bridge swap
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2016, 11:47:21 PM »
Why not graphtech?  Wiguitar sells a set of those for almost the price of a single one like you are looking for