Harmonica Bridge Replacement?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Cableaddict, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Active Member

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    Yup, kinda spendy but If I was hell bent on a different bridge It would be worth a look see. If a person get thoughts like that though, it probably means that they think that practicing is for nerds and the reason their playing sucks is because clearly, something is wrong with their guitar.

    "I sure am having a hard time getting that ring finger bar to sound right. It must be because that cheesy zinc alloy inertia block on my MIA Strat is muffling the 3rd order overtones".

    Ah.........no. It's probably because your playing really sucks..........
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  2. Razor

    Razor New Member

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    Well put.
     
  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    well and so... much ado about nothing.

    >To answer the OP's original question (which apparently he knew the correct answer to
    all along)...

    The best way to replace an excellent harmonica bridge with an obsolete and rattly
    ABR-1 bridge is using the Dan Erlewine method. Erlewine is always worth listening to
    and he has clients who come to him to execute their most hair-brain notions.

    He is happy to do this if you can pay his prices. And if he does, you can count on Erlewine
    to perform a ridiculous stunt with grace and flair, and with the least loss of tone and
    functionality possible. That's one of the many reasons he is successful. He is also an
    excellent musician and performer, and he knows tone and sustain.

    Erlewine has been in the luthier biz all through the '70s, '80s, '90s, oughts, and the
    present. So he has plenty of experience with Gibson bridges of all types, as well as
    any and all Fender issues. Read his book: "How to make your Electric Guitar play great"
    and then you won't have to depend on "top men" or "well established sources" or any
    other questionable internet whiz-bangs. Erlewine is the real thing, and when he speaks
    we should all listen. Then we make up our own minds, but at least we listened
    to something real.

    And truly, many of our members here are the real thing, so I never object to the
    variety of opinions among us. I learn something almost every time I come aboard here.
    That's why I keep coming back.
     
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  4. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Active Member

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    I just re-read the first post and something really jump out at me that I didn't see any responses to. Really? (see above) The driving force behind the Harmonica bridge is that people were going to lighter strings and the Tune-O-Matic bridge (ABR) is that with light strings, they they just didn't have enough string length adjustment.

    IMHO, the biggest tone suckers are poor fretwork and to low of an action. People say I'm nuts when I say that the first thing you should do to a new guitar is a level and crown and professional setup.

    For string height, it should be set up to the factory recommendation and then you raise the strings from there to find the sustain sweet spot.
     
  5. rotorhead

    rotorhead Active Member

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    String height should always be refined once you bring a new one home. Gibson, like pretty much every other company, sets the action slightly higher at the factory. The reason is to reduce fret buzz in the stores and showrooms which can turn a potential buyer away from an otherwise perfectly good guitar.

    Get it home and adjust the intonation to suit your needs, or get it to a trusted tech to set it up for you :)
     
  6. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Active Member

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    I wasn't referring to the as delivered string height. I was referring to Gibson recommended string height which is :

    Gibson electric specifications are:
    • 1st fret- treble side - 1/64" = .015"
    • 1st fret- bass side - 2/64" = .031"
    • 12th fret- treble side - 3/64" = .046"
    • 12th fret - bass side - 5/64" = .078"
    http://www2.gibson.com/Support/Tech-Tips/Basic-Guitar-Setup.aspx

    And this is when measured with feeler gauges. What that gives you a place to start. With my SG I raised the height slightly (mostly the bass side) from recommended and the sustain seemed to bloom better. YMMV.

    If there is buzzing with moderate playing at the recommended string height, then you probably have fret or other issues that need to be addressed.

    My thought on the OP's reference to intonation is that judging by his remark on it, he is probably kinda vague on what intonation is..................
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017 at 8:54 PM
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  7. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    What am I missing here? To me the OP makes sense. He's asking the question to people who have replaced the harmonica bridge with an ABR. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the harmonica bridge lined up with the stop bar/pickup, rather than at an angle? Re-read the first post and he's saying, how do you deal with creating the required offset when fitting the ABR. One option being, "You just live with the slightly off intonation" - which comes from having the limited adjustment on an ABR bridge that is set square to the strings. Makes sense, no?

    Might explain why no one has responded to it: It's correct. Unless I'm misunderstanding something here...
     
  8. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Active Member

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    Thanks for the clarification on that. I had a brain fart and thought he was saying that a harmonica bridge has intonation issues. My bad. I guess I was the only one that didn't "pick up" on what he meant. My apologies to the OP.............
     

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