bridge issues 61RI

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Igonuts, Oct 23, 2021.

  1. Igonuts

    Igonuts Member

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    have a new 61RI standard. havent had any gibson for a while. owned an SG in '70 and an LP in '75. dont get me wrong, but i love it. running .008 EB's. plays very nice. smooth and w the slim tapper and access to 22nd fret, its purdy fast. but something is missing in the feel as i remember them. this one seems a little light/tinny in feel/vibrational feed back. most notable when unplugged. then i read they're using aluminum bridge/stop bars. zinc saddles? curoius of the history on that. plus, when changing strings, the low E tagged its saddle and it popped it out. remembered my LP had a spring retaining the saddles. i remember one time i left the spring off after cleaning. broke the high E during a set and the saddle went flying. now i'm concerned with this design.
    so Q is, whats up w that???????
    ty
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
  2. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    Some bridges use a retaining spring on the saddles, and some don't. The ones that don't can drop a saddle in the event of a broken string, which sounds like the case with yours. I personally prefer mine with the retainers, and if you want to change the bridge out, it is easily done. Find a "drop in" replacement and it won't require any modification at all, just remove and replace. You may want to just take the guitar with you to wherever you get your supplies if you want to make sure you get the right thing.

    Adjusting the pickup height and screws should take care of any "thin" sounds while plugged in. I never really play an electric unplugged, so I don't worry about the "unplugged" sound. I never found the "unplugged" sound to be all that predictive of how it will sound when amplified. My LP for example has almost no sound beyond the string itself when unplugged, but sounds great with wonderful sustain when plugged in as intended.
     
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  3. Igonuts

    Igonuts Member

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    yea, checked schaller's abr-1/GTM nickeled steel w nickeled brass saddles. im blind in one eye and i'd need to cut the string groves which i cant see to do. depth issues. but those appeal to me. https://schaller.info/en/bridges/329/gtm closed w internal springs and reverse option.
    lack of spell check. sorry. i meant tin sounding. like something light. me thinks my memory is bouncing between st's and lp's. i remeber my 70 std w sun 100 w 4 jbl d130's. on three i just looked at the amp and the sg started singing. your LP "wonderful sustain when plugged in". ah yeah. arch top and pu's that way a ton doesnt hurt. my 20th aniv was the same. so warm. made me want to cuddle.
    still on my honeymoon. after 45 days i'l tak it to nashville GC and have them string it over stop bar cut and mount schaller bridge and stop bar. all steel should clear all that up. might i be on the right track?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
  4. SGBreadfan

    SGBreadfan Active Member

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    My ‘61 SG Standard is fairly unimpressive unplugged, same with my old Yamaha SG…but both are pretty spectacular when plugged in. I’ve also played more than a few guitars that were very resonant unplugged, but not very impressive into an actual amp. I used to believe that the unplugged resonance was a major factor in how a guitar sounds plugged in, but I believe that less and less nowadays…although sometimes it can be fairly indicative depending on the guitar. I’m not one of those players who won’t plug a guitar in and try it if it isn’t resonant unplugged…although I do prefer that the guitar feels resonant in my hands, but it’s never a deciding factor anymore for me.
     
  5. Igonuts

    Igonuts Member

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    Me not clear.. sorry.
    Its the "feel/vibrational" feedback in the hands that seems light for a gibson when unplugged. Y'all can tell a bolt on vs set vs neck through when unplugged. Kinda like that. why i was thinkin bout the aluminum. maybe its just my poor memory. And its been a while for me so... but all n all, i love this guit. I have an epi sg 400 in a case i wont go near because of this guitar. Truth be told, had more fun w the $155 epi special ll than the 400.
    Anywho, its just the feel. Aluminum? Hmmm. Plugged in? A dream. Clear or dirty. Ty fer y'alls input. still wondering if plated steel like the old days might help. If thats even so. Idk...... hence the post.
     
  6. gypsyseven

    gypsyseven Member

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    Not sure what you mean when you say old days, but old 50‘s/60‘s Gibson guitars had aluminum tailpieces and bridges with brass saddles…
     
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  7. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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  8. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Wraparound Bridge.
    No saddles, no issues.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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  9. Igonuts

    Igonuts Member

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    "old days" "if thats even so... idk." never played '50s. few late "60s thou. but they were aluminum? so its my poor memory. what i needed to know. ty gypsyseven. glad i posted. did not want to change things w/o checking first. anyway, cant do anything till the 45 day exchange policy lapses.

    papagayo. wired ABR-1. ty for that. OMG! me loves guitar porn. your example, fell in love w those after seeing alice cooper open for jethro tull in seattle in 69 er 70. opened w and spot lighted twin sg customs gold on white. halo of flies was the song. got it playing in the back ground right now. that song/presentation, made me seek and buy my first sg. couldnt afford a custom. so think i got a used standard for like $300~.

    is there a thread on here of just guitar porn?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
  10. Igonuts

    Igonuts Member

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    not for me sir. ty. functionality be forefront, but they look cheap imho. no insult sir.
     
  11. Decadent Dan

    Decadent Dan Active Member

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    HNGD I’m not sure if the ABR1 is aluminum, the Nashville Tuneomatic style have been for several years now.
    You can get a standard zinc Kluson tailpiece for around $25.
     
  12. Igonuts

    Igonuts Member

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    tnx. been lookin at the nashville style bridges. there are conversion adaptor kits out there too. more robust. thicker posts. more stable i guess. when i go to nashville GC i planned on sampling one. see how it feels.
     
  13. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to ETSG!

    And congratulations on buying one of the best guitars Gibson makes:
    The SG 61 Reissue... My suggestion to anyone buying their first Gibson
    or their first Gibson in a while is this:

    Appreciate your guitar for what it is and for what it can do.
    New guitars need a break-in period, so listen carefully while you
    play the hell out of yours, and enjoy the process as it gains its voice.

    Don't compare it to other guitars, or vintage guitars
    because it will never sound like anything but what it is: a lightweight and
    very versatile and gutsy rock an roll machine. You can EQ your SG to be
    smooth and jazzy, or gritty and growly or to howl like a banshee... at will.

    If you're playing eights, and you feel like the guitar is tinny feeling
    just use some heavier strings, like tens. If you don't like the tone with eights
    that's a matter of EQ, and surgery isn't necessary to change it. But I don't
    think eights need to be tinny sounding either, given proper EQ.

    I don't believe there's anything wrong with your bridge, the design of the '61
    is with the ABR-1 screwed right into the wood, it's the fifties method.
    The Nashville bridge has saddles attached with screws that go right through.
    They won't pop out. The Nashville bridge was designed to replace the ABR-1
    as well as the '70s 'harmonica" bridge. Nashville bridges have studs in the
    guitar body, which hold the bridge posts more securely. Some guys think this
    sucks tone, but I don't agree.

    There are literally tens of thousands of Gibson electric guitars
    in service, making great music with the issue bridge, with no problems. Gibson has
    been using aluminum hardware there for decades, on Les Pauls and ES series and
    SGs and Explorers and everything. They work fine and give excellent tone.

    Some of us do replace bridges... I did it on my '07 SG faded special. I installed a
    TonePros bridge which I really like. It clamps onto the post, and won't fall off when
    you remove your strings. On my 2012 SG special, I left the stock bridge on it
    and it sounds great and has plenty of sustain, it's given great service for nine years
    with zero problems.

    Nothing's wrong with installing a Schaller bridge, those are excellent too.
    I say enjoy your fine new Gibson. Don't worry if it doesn't sound like some other guitar.
    A new '61 will never sound like a '70 Standard, or a '75 Les Paul. Those had their own mojo.
    Just like the '61 does. Work with the tone controls, try some new strings
    in a heavier gauge and see what you think. I believe you'll find your new guitar to be
    capable of many tones... it's 100% Gibson SG.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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  14. Igonuts

    Igonuts Member

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    ty so much sir for covering all my concerns. i agree. never wanted to mod this persay. drop in trapped or wired ABR is what i had in mind. nothing that couldnt be undone. but addressing my ignorant issue w aluminum and its history was what i needed. tonal issues w eights are not an issue w me. old school there. been using them since day one. now days, amp/effects modeling can get one anything. but im one that bends strings routinely. have arthritis in my old age and left hand saw the inside of a log splitter. fingers are now wonky. prolly going to change to a wired or trapped ABR eventually. w eights (i pound my guitars when playing) i always run the chance of breaking an E string. EB used to pack and extra one in their xsuper sets back in the day. not so now. guessing materials and construction techniques are way better now days.
    as of this post, all i've only played through is a mustang lt25 or mustang micro amp w head phones. havent even plugged in my GTX100, let alone played outside yet. nor have i experimented with all its modeling choices. so ive a lot of honeymooning to do before i make any choices.
    bottom line is i am and ABR fan. but tossing a saddle, for my style of playing needs to be addressed. and you helped greatly in deciding what to entertain.

    lots of knowledgeable members here. glad i signed up
     
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  15. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    With Faber® iNsert™ studs SG body and threaded shafts are united, that make a big difference for vibrations, sustain and feeling.
    My SG Special with Faber adapters and Gibson® ABR-1 bridge (brass saddles)

    SG Faded 107.jpg

    SG Faded 112.jpg
     
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  16. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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  17. Igonuts

    Igonuts Member

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  18. kamil

    kamil New Member

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  19. kamil

    kamil New Member

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    Problem is your string gauge. install 10s and tone will come back.
     
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  20. Michael Hannigan

    Michael Hannigan New Member

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    What you want is a "wired ABR-1 bridge. That stops the saddles from coming off. The only reason some people don't like them is because they think that wire causes additional unwanted sound. That has not been my experience but I would suggest trying one out. In my opinion brass saddles are the best - but some people use nylon saddles and saddles made of various other materials. On an SG since they are often neck heavy you can actually benefit by putting heavier hardware on the guitar and making the body a little bit heavier. So I wouldn't even worry about looking for a lightweight replacement. I think what you'd be looking for is more of a full week replacement and there are plenty out there. It doesn't even have to be an ABR-1 bridge. Normally if you were playing something like a Les Paul your options would be limited because you really wouldn't want to make the body any heavier but with an SG the world is your oyster in most cases. Why would ever bridge appeals to you and drop it in. If you buy it from some place like Sweetwater and you don't like it you can send it back and try something else. I think you have a lot more flexibility with the SG so I think you're in a pretty good position to make it sound the way you want. Also as far as the tinny sound, the experiment a little with the height of the pickups. Depending on what pickups are in there they may have stronger magnets than others and that will affect the strings resonance since the magnets and strings are physically attracted to each other. It's usually not a big deal but it's something to keep in mind.
     
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