bridge issues 61RI

Michael Hannigan

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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

Sorry, there is one other very important thing I missed. If you're using 8's and your nuts and your saddles are cut for nines or even tens - and many SG are set up for 10 - that can cause all kinds of weird stray sounds unless you get a new nut and saddles. Many people would disagree with me, but in my opinion if you're going to be playing strings that are different from what the guitar came with you should replace the nut and the saddles if they are slotted.

A lot of people think that just changing the strings to whatever gauge you want is okay. But it really isn't. The guitar is built specifically for the strings that are on it. In other words either the Luthier or the Plek machine is cutting the nuts and the saddles to accommodate those specific size strings. And there is a big difference between 8s and 10s. I'm so picky about that I almost always use the exact same string gauges for all six strings that were originally on the guitar. And if I don't want to do that, I will have a new nut cut, and sometimes new saddles. If you are moving up in Guage you'd have the same problem but it would be a little easier to deal with.
 

Igonuts

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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.

Exacerly.
Heavily leaning towards https://schaller.info/en/bridges/329/gtm steel, brass saddles, reverse, nickel plate. Internal springs on the screws. Thou I never experienced buzz/rattle w wired bridge on my LP.
 

Col Mustard

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IMHO the main thing wrong with the ABR-1 is that it was designed in the fifties.
In those days, there was only one string gauge... heavy.

Guitarists wanting to use lighter gauge strings found that the ABR-1 wasn't designed
to intonate them. Not enough travel. Which makes the ABR-1 hopelessly obsolete,
again IMHO. Maybe your new Gibson was built to address this issue... It should be.
The real '61s weren't. And the "vintage" SGs had some other problems that are
likely addressed in the new Re-issue.

Gibson created the "harmonica" bridge for their '70s models, in part to address the
demands of guitarists for a bridge that would intonate properly. Those developed a
bad reputation, simply because guitarists hated the '70s Gibsons and didn't think
the harmonica bridge was any good. Most of them got replaced by "Badass" bridges
and probably thrown in the trash. Now they've been re-habilitated by guys trying to
"restore" a '70s Gibson that had been butchered as mod fever swept the country.
I'd love to own a 79 Gibson "The SG" made of walnut, with a harmonica bridge and
with the 'velvet brick" pickup at the bridge... ebony fretboard... cool man.

So the Nashville bridge is the replacement for all that historical stuff. It's practical
and trouble free. Use it as is, or replace it with something after-market. I don't think
there will be much tonal difference. I do like my TonePros bridge, which fit right on
without fuss, and has given excellent tone and service since 2009.
Fig 08 tonepros bridge&tail.jpg
In this picture you can see the little set screw which holds the bridge onto
the post. Very solid mount... lots of sustain and no problems.
Lots of pick dust too, sorry.
 

cerebral gasket

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Keep it simple...

full
 

papagayo

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My 2000 SG Standard has a stock Gibson ABR-1 bridge, is it a vintage SG ?
 

MR D

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That guitar will play its best, when all things are set-up right, with the Neck as dead-Straight as possible...say Neck Relief set @ .004" @ 9Th Fret, even .003". Give it a shot, if you haven't already.
After the NR is set, on next string change, try some EB 'Turbo' Slinky's. they are a good set of strings to switch to as well.....46-36-26-16-12-095....you will hear a difference.
 

shreddy bender

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My 2000 SG Standard has a stock Gibson ABR-1 bridge, is it a vintage SG ?
Yes it is. It is a Gibson SG Standard of 2000 vintage. Vintage doesn't technically mean old. It tells the year of manufacture. "This wine is 2017 vintage."
 

Igonuts

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sorry. had connection issues. out in the sticks. arg!
too many important inputs to quote.
but i plan on getting the schaller steel bridge w brass saddles and internal springs along w their matching steel stop bar all in nickel. run the string over the stop bar to cut down on string breakage. less angle of attack to the bridge. i've always done that 'cause i tend to pound the bridge and strings w the heel of my hand when i get carried away. but that's back in the day w EB 8's in the 60's 70's. prolly a better string now.
so, addressing the cut. gibson states it's set up w 9's. y'all know better than i if that means the saddles are cut "specifically" for those. answer would interest me. however, since i'm blind in one eye, no depth perception, host of other hand issues, i had planned on having GC nashville install, cut, and intonate for 8's. hoping it will address the "tinny feel" when playing unplugged. that really means something to me. i like a very solid feel. gibsons always gave me that. but as "Col Musterd" pointed out, likely wont feel like the oldies i once had anyway.
but hey, all this has really interested me. received a good education as well as varying suggestions. helped me find my way.

all welcomed. ty all.
 

skelt101

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Exacerly.
Heavily leaning towards https://schaller.info/en/bridges/329/gtm steel, brass saddles, reverse, nickel plate. Internal springs on the screws. Thou I never experienced buzz/rattle w wired bridge on my LP.
Maybe I missed it, but where does it say the bridge is made from steel? I thought most bridges were made from "zamak", i.e. die cast zinc. Likewise with the tailpiece. (However, some new bridges and tailpieces are made from aluminum as you said.)
 

gypsyseven

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I‘m pretty sure you can go down to 8‘s without having to change your bridge..
At least that’s the case with my ‘61…
The most important thing is to set it up for a different string gauge…action, neck relief…
But that’s just me…
 

Igonuts

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Maybe I missed it, but where does it say the bridge is made from steel? I thought most bridges were made from "zamak", i.e. die cast zinc. Likewise with the tailpiece. (However, some new bridges and tailpieces are made from aluminum as you said.)
Oops!
i see. Ty. Did a lot of window shopping that nite. Schallers arent steel. Getting schaller and kluson options mixed up. Now i gotta do more window shopping. Cause. I do want steel.

Gibson SG Standard ‘61 strings gauge is 010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .046
https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Guitar/USAEDH414/SG-Standard-61/Vintage-Cherry
Ty. I be frickin old.

I‘m pretty sure you can go down to 8‘s without having to change your bridge..
At least that’s the case with my ‘61…
The most important thing is to set it up for a different string gauge…action, neck relief…
But that’s just me…

"At least that’s the case with my ‘61
Mine too. Changing the bridge/stop bar outa personel preferences. But yea, OE set up is effected. Bit of a puddle round the 3/4 fret g/b strings. Very subtle, but there. i dont have the dexterity or vision anymore to do adjustents or an install for that matter. Luthier time after bridge purchase, definitely.
 

papagayo

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Sorry, why do you need a luthier ?
The neck don' t move when you change strings gauge, the trussrod is here and it do the job.
 

cerebral gasket

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Nut slots need to be cut to correct size for the string gauge that is used. If nut slots too wide, can cause sitar effect on open strings. If nut slots not wide enough, strings will bind in slots causing tuning instability.
 

Go Nigel Go

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Yup, cutting nut slots is vital, and has little margin for error. The biggest mistake most inexperienced techs make is accidentally cutting the slots deeper when they just needed to be wider (or even just polished a little). A proper set of nut files are smooth on the edge to prevent cutting the bottom of the notch. Cutting the depth is done with a different set of files. You can do it with a less specialized tool, but if you are not careful you can make a lot more work for yourself in a hurry. The fix for slots that are too deep is either to fill and re-cut, or replace the nut entirely and start over.

The nut is a fundamental adjustment that affects everything else in the setup. If it is wrong, nothing else will be as good as it could be.
 

Igonuts

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I cant do it meself anymore. Arg.
Since one eye is blind (no depth perception), me old, arthitis, left hand saw the inside of a log spliter, set up will have to be done by someone else. Kinda like my cars lately (usually do my own work), this will be the first time a guit of mine will be worked on by someone else. I like 8s and slammed action. Old school. So everything might need to be addressed. What was acceptable w 10s maybe not be exacting enough w 8s. Trusting the right person to do the job, gibsons have always been able to give me what i want in that kind of playability. I know, when one goes from a 10 set up to 8s, different torque values are in play. And to slam the action, that will require someone w better skills than i have now. When done, as allways, it will be very sensitve to temps and humidity. Im used to that.

What i like about ETSG and, so far, is all its members, is keeping me honest w help and education. "Pancake81" warned me bout this in the "welcome wagon" (lol). Y'all dont miss a thing. Why i came here.
 
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papagayo

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You can use a billet spark plug gapper tool, you put it on the fretboard using the files perpendicular . (sorry about the wrong words, my english is bad)
 


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