‘61 bridge position

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Anthony Tauchen, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. Anthony Tauchen

    Anthony Tauchen New Member

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    I just came into a 2002 ‘61 standard reissue. Loving the axe but immediately noticed the bridge is positioned with the screws down toward the tailpiece, my Les Pauls (purchased new) have the bridge screws up toward the pickup.

    I looked up pics online and I see this guitar setup both ways. I suppose at some point it’s an aesthetic choice. My question is: in 2002 would the ‘61 standard reissue have shipped with the screws up (pickup) or down (tailpiece). Thanks in advance!
     
  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    There was no '61 Standard Reissue in 2002.
    It would be an SG '61 Reissue.
    Standard '61 is recent model name that began in 2019.

    2002 SG '61 Reissue has the ABR-1 bridge and would have the screws facing the pickup when it left the factory.

    ABR-1: screws face the pickup

    [​IMG]

    Nashville: screws face the tailpiece

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
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  3. Anthony Tauchen

    Anthony Tauchen New Member

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    Interesting...thank you for your help!
     
  4. Anthony Tauchen

    Anthony Tauchen New Member

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    It was an ABR-1 but they notched it to be placed upside down, so I let it be and the intonation is fine.

    last question on the matter: is there a reason a lot of guys seem to have flipped these? Easier access to the adjust or any other practical reason? Thanks again in advance.
     
  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Personally I see no reason to flip the entire bridge to change the direction the screws are facing. Some ABR-1 bridges may have one or more saddles flipped for intonation reasons when more room for adjustment is needed due to the narrow dimensions of the bridge.
     
  6. SG John

    SG John Well-Known Member

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    I always figured the screws face in the direction of whether your right or left handed, and what is easier for intonating the guitar.
     
  7. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    or the person who last restrung, removed all strings,bridge fell out, then wasnt aware they put the bridge back in reverse :p
     
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  8. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    With my tail pieces always decked, I find it easier (less angle) to reach the screws.

    Bridge screws.jpg
     
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  9. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    There is no right or wrong way to orient an unslotted tune o matic style bridge.

    Whatever works best is best.
     
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  10. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    DSCN1335.JPG DSCN1130.JPG DSCN1131.JPG
    Which is so wrong, but popularly stylish.:cool: Why on earth would you choke the tailpiece? Wraptails don't even get decked most of the time. For a hardtail, the strings should clear the back edge of the bridge frame and the stopbar should approximate the to treble slope of the bridge. But rockers always know more than engineers and designers....:rofl:
     
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  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    You are really challenging my knowledge of the English language today.
    What is wrong, your OCD view of it ?
    How is a "choking" (whatever that means) tailpiece problematic ?
    Wraptail ... what is that ? Top wrapping the tailpiece ? If your thnking single wraparound bridge system, who said I decked them ?
    Should should should ...
    So, a bridge position is somethnig highly precise, similar to rocket science ? Hmmm ...
     
  12. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the bridge and its saddles of a TOM bridge is a highly precise component on a guitar.

    It has to be in order to set the intonation properly as well as the string action.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  13. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Right. I guess I shouldn't have used the word position by itself.

    Take II: What about the way the bridge is positionned ? What does it change in its highly precise function, if screws are facing one way or another ? When I play my guitars, I don't hear satanic reversed sounds (except if I play Black Sabbath) :shock:
     
  14. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I've had both ABR-1 and Nashville bridges in the past, pictured in my earlier post. Never had the inclination to change the direction the screw heads are facing from how it was shipped from the factory.

    The screw heads on the ABR-1 are closer to the top edge of the bridge. If they were facing the tailpiece, I would imagine they would be more difficult to access with a screwdriver because of the strings sloping downward toward the tailpiece.

    The Nashville has the screw heads lower from the top edge of the bridge, allowing for a little more room to access with a screwdriver.

    Once I set up my guitar, I never really have a need to mess with adjusting the saddles again. I just play it without giving much thought to where the screws are located.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  15. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    The ABR-1 bridge was designed in the early 1950s, like the F-86 fighter jet and the Boeing B-52 bomber and the Zenith color Television with rabbit ears, and the Ford Edsel.... oh and the Les Paul Guitar.

    In those days, guitarists had only one gauge of strings available to them: Heavy. A few creative souls began figuring out how to play lighter strings by using a banjo string for the high E and moving all the other strings up a
    notch, and using the heavy bass E string to snare alligators
    or something toothy like that.

    In the sixties, the experimentation continued, and enterprising string makers like Earnie Ball began to offer
    lighter gauges to electric guitar players. This caught on.

    The trouble began with putting light strings on a guitar with
    an ABR-1 bridge. The ABR-1 simply does not have enough travel in its screw to intonate with multiple gauges of string.

    So it became obsolete by the end of the sixties and was replaced in Gibson production by the "Harmonica Bridge."
    Guitarists hated this innovative new bridge, and demanded
    that Gibson make guitars the way they did in the fifties.

    This chorus has never stopped. "Gibson sucks because their guitars aren't the way they made them _____ years ago." Gibson's response was to design the Nashville bridge, which looks superficially like the old ABR-1, but intonate perfectly with multiple string gauges, and is not so obtrusively big as the "Harmonica" bridge.

    But the ABR-1, like the B-52, is still in service. I don't know why. When Gibson designed the '61 ReIssue, they
    equipped them with the same bridge used in 1961. Fair enough I suppose, it's a Re-Issue. So guitarists are stuck
    with the same obsolete bridge used in the sixties, and the cure is to flip the whole thing around so that the saddles face backward. That gives the saddles just a tiny bit more
    ability to be screwed rearward, and that's enough. And that's why your guitar's bridge is reversed, and that's why it intonate properly in that position.

    Gibson bashers will tell you that the Nashville bridge is no good because of the metal studs that protect the wood,
    or because of the metal they are made of, but none of that is true. There are thousands and thousands of Gibson guitar owners who are happily playing their Nashville equipped guitars with no problems at all.

    Gibson guitars render awesome tone with the Nashville, or with the Harmonica bridge. Everyone loves the tone of the "vintage" Gibsons so that is why the ABR-1 is still in use.
     
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  16. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    The early SG '61 Reissues had the ABR-1.
    Later on they were shipped with the Nashville.
    I had a 2009 SG '61 Reissue with Nashville in the past.
    It was sold in favor of the SG Special.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  17. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Right.
     
  18. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Neither OCD, nor mine.
    That's because you are putting pressure on the stopbar, inhibiting the resonance through the strings. (I'm pretty sure that's why it was designed to be infinitely adjustable) I play with extra-light strings and low action, I get an even lighter feel by raising the stopbar a bit higher than is needed to clear the bridge, making more fluid play possible.
    Exactly and you can't on most guitars because of the required string height. How do your wraptails sound? MINE ARE AWESOME!
    [​IMG]
    :lol:Like hot goose fat.:naughty: :rofl:
    Slicker than butter!
     
  19. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Ma honte est trop grande pour que de simples mots s'expriment pour taxer votre vocabulaire anglais, cher ami. J'espère que vous pourrez le trouver dans votre âme charitable pour pardonner ma grossièreté. Après tout, vous savez que je suis un smartass!
     
  20. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    So you really think the ±1" of string behind the saddles resonates to anything going on the other side of the bridge ? I don't. At least not to a level where the human ear, especially an old one, can hear it.

    EDIT: Where do you rest your hand as you pluck the strings ? Right on that precious resonance you talk about.

    9's for me and I don't think I can get less pressure on the bridge than this.

    bridge.jpg
     
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