61 Reissue Bridge Saddle

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Slssh75, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    I also noticed that the 1950's bridge has a much more pronounced radius than the later one which is nearly flat. This means unless the setup included adjusting the string and pickup height, as well as the pole piece screws, the distance between the individual strings and the pickups could easily (and more likely) account for that difference in output and balance. The high and low E strings are going to be much closer than the middle strings than with the later bridge if no adjustment was made.

    I said I would be very surprised not that it was impossible, and I remain open to convincing but still unconvinced. If he had played both bridges, and then also played the later bridge with the wire removed and demonstrated the same difference it would be a bit more convincing. I would still need to be in the room and actually observe the set up to be 100% convinced.

    I like vintage gear as much as the next guy, but a lot of these claims need to be taken with a whole shaker of salt.
     
  2. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the guy in the video's bridge but my 1959 ABR-1 was new old stock, in the original box and it was dead straight. So that's what they were built to be. In fact the earliest ABR-1 bridges were thinner (from saddles to guitar body dimmension) and tended to collapse in the center so that second iteration (like mine) was a little thicker to prevent that and they still collapsed. This is why people with vintage bursts where everything is original still have a replaced bridge. The old ones collapsed and they are hard to find. Remember this was when everyone had one gauge of strings: THICK. There was a lot of force on those bridges. I don't know how the center would raise up compared to the treble/bass sides.

    But back to the original point, if the ABR-1 has no wire and isn't designed to keep the saddles in without strings mounted than it's probably a reproduction of a vintage style one and the reason is tone (whether we think it makes a difference or not, that's why they exist). Swap it out for any other ABR-1 and the saddles won't fall out unless it's another vintage reproduction.
     
  3. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    I should have specified, the one he shown in the video since I can't speak for all of them (never having owned one of these of any vintage). The one shown in the video, labeled as a 1950 shows a pronounced arch when viewed from the edge which the newer bridge does not have. Much less pronounced at any rate, but totally different. See it in the last half of the video, the bridges are shown off the guitar from multiple angles in a split screen while the demonstration clips are going on.
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That's not an ABR-1 bridge in the OP photo.
    It's a recent Nashville from 2015-present.
    Hex key adjustable posts started in 2015.

    Look at the bridge width in relation to the thumbwheel.

    top: ABR-1 (2000 SG Special)
    bottom: Nashville (2004 SG Special Faded)

    [​IMG]

    In addition to this not being the correct stock bridge for an SG Standard '61, it is also installed backwards.

    Regular production guitars have the bridge installed from the factory as follows:

    Nashville: screws face the tailpiece
    ABR-1: screws face the pickup

    A bridge can be installed with screws facing either direction, but the saddles need to be in the correct location so that the notches correspond to the correct string diameter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  5. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Nashiville bridges I've had, and the picture you show, do not have slots on the outside where the screw and saddle can just be lifted out. Where the ABR-1 has a slot they need to protect with a wire, the nashville does not, at least not the ones I've seen.
     
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  6. skelt101

    skelt101 Active Member

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    But the saddle/screw assembly doesn’t snap-in from the top on a Nashville, like it does on the ABR-1... The bridge in the OP seems to be a hybrid of the two. Saddles/screws install like on the ABR-1, but it has the width of a Nashville. :hmm:
     
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  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    You're right, I just noticed none of the genuine stock Nashville bridges have the notches under the screws.

    Whatever it is, it's not an ABR-1.
    Never seen one like that before.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  8. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    We can all agree that it's definitely not a harmonica bridge. Although.... nah, definitely not. :smile:
     
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  9. kongssund

    kongssund Member

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    What you have is an abr1 without the retaining wire, have one my self. And its like the nashville, using the studs in sockets, not directly to the wood. You could call it a modern abr1 :)
     
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  10. Richard

    Richard Member

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    I got a 62 Les Paul Custom that has an ABR bridge without the retaining wire. so the retaining wire must be added later than end 1962
     
  11. Les537

    Les537 Member

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    That bridge on the '61s is the new style ABR-1. It does not have a clip. The things fall right out. In fact the one on the b string on mine likes to lift up a bit and sometimes touches the string turning my B into a sitar. There is no spring on this model. It's more like the OG abr bridge then the most common one with the spring. It's not a Nashville bridge. It's called ABR-1 and I wish is wasn't.

    It has steal bridge height screws and I wish they were brass like my old ABRs.

    If I were to replace it I'd get an ABR with a wire. I'm not going to, but I'm probably going to swap the posts and thumb screws for brass to take out some of that SS metalic taste to the notes.
     
  12. Brooklyn Zeke

    Brooklyn Zeke Member

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    TonePros offer an ABR-1 replacement which is wireless. The intonation screws are locked in their respective places through the use of circlips and Delrin washers (there is a way to free the intonation screws from the bridge, and it comes with those instructions). Additionally, the bridge is made much more rigid, and one with the wood of the guitar, when snugging down the two, hex-head set screws within the bridge body which engage the bridge posts. Those lock it at its required height. I've had that setup with my '70 vintage SG Standard for about 20 years and it eliminates a tuning variable (I also have installed a String Butler). Ideally, if your guitar's neck is in good shape and geometry, the bridge and its adjusting washers below it should be properly placed fairly low to the pickguard. Mine virtually sit on the pickguard.
     

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