ABR-1 differences. Help me out

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by pancake81, Dec 6, 2021.

  1. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I have two guitars with ABR-1’s on them, however they are mounted different and I was hoping you could shed some light on this for me.

    The first is what I understand to be traditional ABR-1 set up, with the thin studs going direct into the body. Not much for surprises here. I understand there is a pro and a con to this design. The pro being that the strings will resonate into the wood better and supposedly offer greater tone. The con of course being that the thin stud is a weak link and not very strong in comparison to a proper sleeve (body bushing) in the body that the post studs thread into.

    This is the bridge off of my 2001 61 RI - (officially turned 20 this year :cool:)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now, before I post a photo of my second ABR-1 I wanted to address that I know Gibson still offers an ABR-1 but with a slightly different mounting style. Additionally, there are good companies out there like Philadelphia Luthier tools that offer conversion options for folks that have a Nashville bridge and want to swap it to you an ABR-1. The bridge below is not an aftermarket swap.

    Now this ABR-1 is stock from Gibson from around 2008. There are a couple of things that stand out to me that I was wondering if any of you could shed some light on. First off, the body has been drilled and sleeved (body bushing) like a Nashville bridge. Not traditional, but stronger so I can understand the concept. However the studs on this Gibson ABR-1 have the slotted (flat head) screw head. Which I am used to seeing, but always on an Epiphone, not a Gibson. Can anyone shed some light on this set up? Do other Gibson models use the slotted stud top? What is the reason for this, does it just make it easier to adjust as appose to the thumb-wheels... If so, why doesn't Gibson use this design as a standard design? This was always a tell tale sign of a Chibson as well. They always used this set up, as did Epiphone.

    Please also note, I did not install this ABR-1 upside down. This ABR-1 is unique in the fact that the saddle screw heads are meant to face towards the tail.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
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  2. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Epiphone bridge for comparison:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    isn't that a Nashville on the angus?
     
  4. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Negative: ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic. Is it just the saddle adjustment screws facing backwards that l is throwing you for a loop?
     
  5. Decadent Dan

    Decadent Dan Active Member

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  6. Decadent Dan

    Decadent Dan Active Member

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    Does your second one have an inked serial starting with AY? Looks like Custom Shop.
     
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  7. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    cos i dont see the retaining wire for the saddles...
    is that angus the CS version?
     
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  8. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Yes correct, custom shop. But still curious about the ABR variation with the bushing and slotted adjustment screw
     
  9. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    No retaining wire in this one, slotted adjustment screws, faces backwards and yes, Nylon saddles
     
  10. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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  11. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    my best guess is it was a mod angus did, which carried over to his signature model...just like having pickup rings on the large guard.

    btw, i see the gibson pic of the 2009/10 CS model clearly showing the screws facing the correct way for an abr-1...
     
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  12. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the input. Yeah, must be a mod he wanted at some point and kept. I always just found it funny that it is basically an Epiphone style ABR mount. If there actually is some superiorness to it, why do we not see it more often


    I change my sting one at a time, and I am positive this is the way it was facing when I received it. Not to mention the slot sizes going from small to large. Gibson may have advertised it wrong, but you won’t see one for sale or online that way. As a matter of fact if you look at any one of Angus guitars, this is just “how they are”. Only one on his last tour that wasn’t like this was that gifted guitar from Paul Ray.

     
  13. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    easier to height adjust with slotted post caps???
     
  14. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Pancake's AY bridge is not backwards as I see in one Reverb listed AY SG.

    Angus Young SG Custom Shop Reverb.jpg
     
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  15. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Another guess I have about the nylon Saddle, Slotted head, plus thumbwheel ABR backwards etc scenario is maybe like Gib uses Kluson type, Grover, Schaller, etc parts, whatever company made the nylon saddle type bridge vs the normal one builds their with the specs Pancake's guitar has, so that is how Gib built the guitar for Angus, and for the AY models the general public can buy.

    Is it true as I read in the Reverb ad, that only 250 AY Custom Shop models were made in 2009?

    The ad says,"This IS NOT a Gibson USA "Thunderstruck" SG. This is the insanely rare and impossible to find limited run of 250 (200 VOS & 50 Aged/Signed) from the Custom Shop. The last time on of these surfaced was 3 years ago (aside from one recently listed at 200K). Needless to say, this is a very rare and very desirable SG. This is the only run of Custom Shop instruments that Angus Young, the most iconic and well known SG user, and Gibson ever made, making these the most highly collectable and coveted Angus Young Signature SG. Sure, you could buy one of his signature Gibson USA SGs for 4.5K, but if you have to have the best of the best of the best (like me), this is the one you want. Gibson USA is great, but the Custom Shop is on another level. It'll probably be years before you see another one of these, and it's not going to last long so make your move now..."


    https://reverb.com/p/gibson-custom-...YGihHZ0INmwgXTkbXenVoh7mkQ7eqFphoCsowQAvD_BwE
     
  16. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the response ChilliPepper. You are correct, Gibson just made it the guitar exactly how Angus' was built when he handed it over to the shop. I am happy that they actually made a faithful reproduction of the guitar and incorporated all of the little nuances that his had. I guess I was curious as to why Angus himself would want these specs. I can take a I guess myself (see below) but thought someone might have some knowledge or history of these features.

    Possible Suggestions to the set-up:
    • The original ABR-1 posts got damaged and the bridge needed to be rebuilt. This would be a good time for Angus to upgrade to the body bushings. I would imagine for sheer strength and reliability over the original design for the sake of his playing style. Additionally, depending on if the bridge posts and body were damaged, they may not have been able to repair the original ABR-1 mounting style?
    • The flat head slotted bridge studs may have been because Angus' sweats so much. I could imagine if you didnt adjust it for a year after that man was sweating on it the posts might become welded together. Or at least stiff enough the thumb wheels wouldn't budge without a pair of vice grips and a can of "move it". I guess the flat head design at least allows a tech to get some extra foot pounds on the post. Not sure if that design would be more precise when adjusting as appose to thumb screws.
    I guess I also wondered why this is the standard Epiphone bridge style, but you almost never see it on a Gibson. Perhaps Epiphone and Angus are onto something
    • Nylon saddles... Angus runs this on the majority of his guitars. I have heard some people say the nylon offers a softer /smoother tone than Brass and other materials. Clearly he likes it for his sound. I once read that nylon offers LESS sustain..? But not that I can tell.
    • ABR-1 bridge on backwards. Only two reasons I can think of for this.
    1. Putting it on reverse allows for more room with the adjustment screws for intonation
    2. Possibly easier for the tech to make adjustments when the adjustment screws face the tail as appose to the pick-up. Just a guess really

    In regards to the Custom Shop models, you read correct. They made 50 of the Tom Murphy aged ones, signed by Angus and handwritten serial number (1-50). And then they made 200 VOS aged ones as shown in my photo. Just beautiful guitars in my opinion. I wasnt apposed to getting the aged model, but they were impossible to buy. Never even saw one for sale worldwide when they were first released. The VOS was also impossible to find, took me over a week on the phone and internet to find one, and had to buy it out of country and have it shipped in. Well worth the trouble for me. I am sure others thought I was crazy
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
  17. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Can you post the photo you are reffering to Everdying? I have never seen a photo of that model with the ABR facing the "proper" way.
     
  18. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    https://solidguitar.fandom.com/wiki/Angus_Young_Signature_SG

    scroll down to about halfway...
    2009/2010 Custom Shop Signature

    that photo is probably from gibson themselves...can also just about see those slotted height adjustment screws...
    [​IMG]
     
  19. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I turn all my bridges that way. I just prefer the look with the adjustment screws facing the rear of the guitar. Functionally, it makes no difference.
     
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  20. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    To me, I have modified highly engineered and mass produced car/truck/motorcycle, parts, household appliances, house construction details, for the improvement of function over how it came from factories. Did so, because of flaws in the original, and improvement of efficiency, prevention of failure, and better function MY WAY.
     

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