Did/does Gibson ever make SG's with non Gibson bridges / tailpieces?

FreeCat

New Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Messages
16
Reaction score
8
I recently started playing guitar again so I bought a beat up 2001 Gibson SG Special. I noticed the tailpiece is a Gotoh. Does Gibson ever build their guitars with non Gibson bridges or tailpieces or do you think this was a replacement? It really doesn't matter... just a curiosity I had.

PS - I learned a lot from this blog over the past week so thanks for that.
 

eS.G.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
15,308
Reaction score
10,424
Location
The SWAMP (central Florida)
WELCOME.

I am not sure about the Bridge........where is that confounded bridge? .........

Perhaps others here will be along to answer

Enjoy the forum
 

SG John

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
3,342
Reaction score
1,850
Location
North of Boston, on Atlantic
That would have been a replacement. Gibson has used four styles of bridges over the years. They did use Bigsbys in the 1950s that retained the Bigsby name. They also used CTS branded pots up until the early/mid 70s(don't quote me on the pots).
Other than that, they've licensed everything so that it would have their own name on it. Such as Kluson tuners with the rear covers stamped Gibson.
Welcome to the asylum.
 

FreeCat

New Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Messages
16
Reaction score
8
Awesome. That answered my question. Thanks guys.

I've come to realize the previous owner(s) also changed out the original ABR bridge for a Nashville but didn't change out the studs. I noticed it was fitting loosely on the studs, there were no bushings in the body, it had the flywheels, and the studs were threaded up the top so that's why I'm guessing it originally came with an ABR. That raised another question... I thought I read that Gibson began using the Nashville bridges sometime in the 70's and only used the ABR's for reissue's after that? According to the SN my guitar was made 1/9/2001 in Bozeman. Plus I saw another SG Special (also Jan 2001) with the same very dark brown finish on YouTube being worked on and it had an ABR bridge. Am I wrong about Gibson no longer using the ABR's after the 70's or maybe these are odd ball SG's?

He's working on two guitars... an SG Special Faded first then the dark brown guitar like mine with the ABR at 13:45 minutes.


PS - I didn't even know Gibson made two different TOM bridges before this forum so thanks again!
 

FreeCat

New Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Messages
16
Reaction score
8

Bettyboo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2015
Messages
4,216
Reaction score
2,634
Location
London
Oh, so maybe the tailpiece is original.

I don't know because:

I'm not sure exactly the period that Gibson used the Tonepros bridge/tail - I thought it was used on the guitars between 2012-2015, but not sure how many of them or what periods of time outside of this.

I'm not sure if the Tonepros stuff used for Gibson were stamped with 'Gibson' or 'Tonepros' or Gotoh. I was under the impression that 'Gotoh' was stamped on many Tonepros bridges. I also know, having bought some 'Gibson' packaged Grover tuners that although the packaging had lots of Gibson branding the tuners themselves did not; they were only stamped Grovers.

My impression is that things change and there might not be any consistent branding/stamps. Also, some brands exist as companies and or own their own factories whereas others do not. For example, Gotoh are a company and have factories in Japan and Korea. But Kluson seem to be a patented name that are made in other company's factories (some, I think, in the Gotoh Korea factory). I remember, a while back, I got some cheap Thomman branded Kluson style tuners, they were not packaged as Klusons but they were stamped as Klusons and seemed the same quality as Kluson branded tuners I've seen.

Also, MiJ guitars: many have Gotoh bridges and/or tuners; the guitars are advertised and sold as such. But others are not although they seem identical; some have the Gotoh stamp, some do not. For example, I get the impression that the Fender MiJ 62 tele has an unstamped Gotoh bridge whereas the more expensive Edwards has the same bridge that's stamped Gotoh. Maybe, the Gotoh Korea stuff isn't stamped? Also, companies buy in batches, often from the cheapest supplier that meets their quality criteria, so it's likely that Fender Japan use many different parts. Of course, there are rumours that fender Japan has now lost its right to use the name Fender Japan (and they had their guitars made by various different factories over the years such as Fujigen). It's all very confusing...

I don't think companies such as Gibson, or the owners of trademarks, etc, particularly want us, the consumers, to know. It's sometimes as clear as mud.
 
Last edited:

Gibsg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
2,140
Reaction score
1,259
I recently started playing guitar again so I bought a beat up 2001 Gibson SG Special. I noticed the tailpiece is a Gotoh. Does Gibson ever build their guitars with non Gibson bridges or tailpieces or do you think this was a replacement? It really doesn't matter... just a curiosity I had.

PS - I learned a lot from this blog over the past week so thanks for that.


Ah Ah ... 2001 ... Gibson ABR-1 or Nashville , not Gotoh . Gibson never used Gotoh hardware .
 

Bettyboo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2015
Messages
4,216
Reaction score
2,634
Location
London
Gibson never used Gotoh hardware .

From the Gibson site:

Stopbar:

Gibson’s original stopbar tailpiece was designed by legendary Gibson president Ted McCarty in the early 1950s as a modified version of the earlier wraparound bridge/tailpiece. When combined with Gibson’s pioneering Tune-o-matic bridge, the stopbar tailpiece delivers increased sustain, enhanced harmonic overtones, and improved tuning stability. Together, the combination form an industry standard considered the epitome of form and function in electric guitar bridge design. This OEM part is available in either Chrome, Nickel, Black Chrome or Gold finish.

ABR-1:

The ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge was the brainchild of legendary Gibson president Ted McCarty in 1954, setting a standard for simplicity and functionality that has never been bettered. The ABR-1 is slotted directly into the body of the guitar using a separate stud and thumbwheel, providing a firm seating for the strings and allowing players the ability to adjust and fine tune intonation and string height in a matter of minutes. It also yields a great union between the strings and body, which results in excellent vintage tone and sustain. This OEM part is available in either Chrome, Nickel, or Gold finish.

Nashville:

The Gibson Tune-o-matic bridge remains one of the most revered and copied pieces of guitar hardware ever developed, and the Nashville Tune-o-matic bridge offers un-notched saddles with individual saddle screw retainer clips, and a wider footing for increased intonation range. The stud and thumbwheel are also cast directly onto the bridge, allowing the Nashville Tune-o-matic to slide directly into place. This OEM part is available in either Chrome, Nickel, or Gold finish.

All clearly state "OEM part".

Gibson have used Gotoh (Tonepros), Schaller, Grover, the list goes on, OEM parts. It often changes, and it's not always clear which OEM parts they are using at any given time.

Some tailpieces/bridges do seem to be made by Gibson themselves in the US, such as:

Straight from Gibson Guitar’s Historic Re-issue guitars come Gibson Gear’s new Historic Spec series – parts that have been specially designed to replicate the original parts used by Gibson in the late 1950s. With this Historic Non-Wire ABR-1 Bridge, Gibson has re-created the famous non-wire bridge it used on its electric guitars until 1962-63. “GIBSON ABR-1” is featured in raised letters on the base of the bridge. The vintage bridge also includes un-notched saddles. The Non-Wire ABR-1 Bridge, which comes with the full assembly, is available in nickel or gold.

But, even then I wouldn't be 100% sure. Gibson brand themselves as US made guitars, so they wanna keep that image, but the reality is that many (most?) Gibsons are NOT 100% US made; not suggesting that affects quality, just saying it's the reality of modern global production, and has been for Fender/Gibson for decades.

Production costs change, production choices change, year upon year.

Gibson have used Gotoh parts, and probably (almost certainly) still do either all the time or from time to time.
 
Last edited:

Bettyboo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2015
Messages
4,216
Reaction score
2,634
Location
London
2001 Gibson SG Special

This info is from a LP forum, just showing that sometimes, Gibson used different OEM products at the same time:

Q: What bridge was used on the 2002 Standards? PING or Schaller?

A:
If you look at the bottom of the bridge, Ping Works usually has their logo on there, I think it is PW inside a circle or something. And the Schaller seems to have "made in Germany" on it. There are also construction differences that I can't recall, I think the Schaller is more solid, the Ping more "open".http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...Schaller-Nashville-vs-Gibson-(ping)-Nashville

I believe that Ping are a Korean company, btw.
 
Last edited:

Bettyboo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2015
Messages
4,216
Reaction score
2,634
Location
London
Gibson never used Gotoh hardware .

Incorrect...

Locking version of the Nashville type standard small post and threaded insert as found standard on current USA Gibson Les Paul GT and Gibson SG GT models.
http://www.tonepros.com/products/

tonepros-gold-bridgebar.jpg

(You can see Gotoh stamped on the Tonepros bridge above.)


Here's an add for a Gibson ES-335 from Sweetwater that lists a Tonepros (i.e. Gotoh made) bridge in the spec list:

Gibson Memphis ES-335 Semi-hollowbody Electric Guitar at a Glance:


Here's another, this time an SG:

2012 Gibson unveils SG Diablo Premium Plus
Gibson says the Diablo Premium Plus has been borne out of a desire to give "the hallowed SG all the respect I deserves" and it's primarily set about doing this by topping the traditional mahogany SG body with luxuriously-flamed grade AAA maple.
However, the US guitar giant is clearly keen that this guitar be seen as more than just a standard SG in a nice jacket and has kitted the new model with branded components throughout, including Grover tuners, a PLEK-cut Corian nut and TonePros Tune-o-matic bridge.

http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/gibson-unveils-sg-diablo-premium-plus-553610
 
Last edited:

Madmatt

Active Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
513
Reaction score
240
Location
The rust belt
The bridge/tailpiece on my sg future tribute is stamped with what looks like the name of the company that plated it. I don't remember exactly what it was just that it was along thOse lines, that is a metal plating company, not a guitar parts company.
It's definitely not a grotoh tonepro schaller or ping product. but its also not a Gibson branded part.

Someone motioned gibson using cts pots too, and the pots on that were in my guitar were "gibson" branded, but they were rebraded cts pots. They had gibson etched into the bottom, but had cts printed in tiny but clear letters on the top.
 

Gibsg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
2,140
Reaction score
1,259
Ah Ah ... 2001 ... Gibson ABR-1 or Nashville , not Gotoh . Gibson never used Gotoh hardware .
 
Last edited:

Gibsg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
2,140
Reaction score
1,259
2001 is the year Gibson switched bridges ABR-1 to Nashville.

If your 2001 SG Special have a Gotoh bridge I think this is not the stock hardware .

Anyway Gotoh hardware is not bad.
 

Bettyboo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2015
Messages
4,216
Reaction score
2,634
Location
London
Let's be very clear: Gotoh are an OEM, they make many different branded parts, for example: Gotoh, Tonepros, Kluson, Fender, Gibson... It's not a linear relationship; sometimes a company such as Gibson/Fender will pay Gotoh to make parts that have Fender/Gibson stamped on them; sometimes Gotoh will make parts for Tonepros with Tonepros and/or Gotoh on them - these products might be sold in shops as Tonepros products or be put on Gibson guitars as Tonepros product; sometimes, Gotoh make products for Tonepros which have Kluson stamped on them that go onto Gibson guitars! Many other OEMs do the same, and have been doing the same for decades.

Tonepros Kluson tuners for Gibsons (come as standard on some Gibsons); I'm almost certain these are out of a Gotoh Japan factory:

1517c.jpg

https://www.guitar-parts.com/catalog/tonepros-tuner-set-gibson-0

Regardless, most folks agree that Gotoh make excellent products.

Out of interest, I found this link that says Tonepros is a very small company with 1-4 employees. I don't know how true this is, but it'd make sense - they basically rebrand high-end Gotoh products with some modifications, so their business is dealing with companies such as Gibson to sign contracts that bring in high quality components at the right price for Gibson. Knowing that Gibson has a massive corporate portfolio, you wouldn't be surprised if there's a very close ownership/management link too.
http://www.manta.com/c/mm8g8bv/tone-pros



I have seen some people saying that WDMusic own Tonepros, but maybe WDMusic just distributes them?

They appear to own Kluson (probably brought the rights somewhere along the way), they are a major distributor and also manufacture. So, it's a very tangled web indeed...

With a dealer base numbering in the thousands, and literally tens of thousands of satisfied retail customers, WD Music has supplied a number of manufacturers and luthiers including BC Rich, EMG, Mosrite, Fernandes, Pedulla, Ernie Ball/Musicman, Peavey, Schecter, Reverend, G & L, ESP, Heritage, Wilburn Custom Shop, Wishbass, Melobar, RS Guitarworks and many, many others. We also supply parts and accessories to distributors such as Musicians Friend, St. Louis Music, HHI, Musicorp, Kaman, Harris Teller and Stewart MacDonald, to name a few.

Today WD Music is a proud distributor of parts manufactured by Kent Armstrong, Graph Tech, LR Baggs, Wilkinson, Grover, Bigsby, Switchcraft, TKL, Sperzel, Q-Parts, Big Bends, El Dorado , CTS and many others. WD Music maintains our own large manufacturing and distributing center in SW Florida . With the resurrection of Kluson machine heads and Stromberg Jazz Guitars WD Music is moving into our fourth decade proudly carrying on a tradition of quality, service and respect for the legacy of the brands and products we represent.
http://www.manta.com/c/mwzjndp/wd-music-products-inc
 
Last edited:

ScottMarlowe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
1,748
Location
Denver, CO
The bridge/tailpiece on my sg future tribute is stamped with what looks like the name of the company that plated it.
plating companies don't stamp stuff generally, and definitely not with the kind of very deep impressions we're seeing here.
 

SG standard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
1,746
Reaction score
2,314
"Advance Plating Inc." - that's probably what it said. It's on the bottom of the Stopbar from my '14 Standard. Looks like it's the casting, not a stamp.
 

Gibsg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
2,140
Reaction score
1,259
Let's be very clear: Gotoh are an OEM, they make many different branded parts, for example: Gotoh, Tonepros, Kluson, Fender, Gibson... It's not a linear relationship; sometimes a company such as Gibson/Fender will pay Gotoh to make parts that have Fender/Gibson stamped on them; sometimes Gotoh will make parts for Tonepros with Tonepros and/or Gotoh on them - these products might be sold in shops as Tonepros products or be put on Gibson guitars as Tonepros product; sometimes, Gotoh make products for Tonepros which have Kluson stamped on them that go onto Gibson guitars! Many other OEMs do the same, and have been doing the same for decades.

Tonepros Kluson tuners for Gibsons (come as standard on some Gibsons); I'm almost certain these are out of a Gotoh Japan factory:

1517c.jpg

https://www.guitar-parts.com/catalog/tonepros-tuner-set-gibson-0

Regardless, most folks agree that Gotoh make excellent products.

Out of interest, I found this link that says Tonepros is a very small company with 1-4 employees. I don't know how true this is, but it'd make sense - they basically rebrand high-end Gotoh products with some modifications, so their business is dealing with companies such as Gibson to sign contracts that bring in high quality components at the right price for Gibson. Knowing that Gibson has a massive corporate portfolio, you wouldn't be surprised if there's a very close ownership/management link too.
http://www.manta.com/c/mm8g8bv/tone-pros



I have seen some people saying that WDMusic own Tonepros, but maybe WDMusic just distributes them?

They appear to own Kluson (probably brought the rights somewhere along the way), they are a major distributor and also manufacture. So, it's a very tangled web indeed...

With a dealer base numbering in the thousands, and literally tens of thousands of satisfied retail customers, WD Music has supplied a number of manufacturers and luthiers including BC Rich, EMG, Mosrite, Fernandes, Pedulla, Ernie Ball/Musicman, Peavey, Schecter, Reverend, G & L, ESP, Heritage, Wilburn Custom Shop, Wishbass, Melobar, RS Guitarworks and many, many others. We also supply parts and accessories to distributors such as Musicians Friend, St. Louis Music, HHI, Musicorp, Kaman, Harris Teller and Stewart MacDonald, to name a few.

Today WD Music is a proud distributor of parts manufactured by Kent Armstrong, Graph Tech, LR Baggs, Wilkinson, Grover, Bigsby, Switchcraft, TKL, Sperzel, Q-Parts, Big Bends, El Dorado , CTS and many others. WD Music maintains our own large manufacturing and distributing center in SW Florida . With the resurrection of Kluson machine heads and Stromberg Jazz Guitars WD Music is moving into our fourth decade proudly carrying on a tradition of quality, service and respect for the legacy of the brands and products we represent.
http://www.manta.com/c/mwzjndp/wd-music-products-inc


1517c.jpg



Gibson tuners are green, not yellow. They are called "green keys" .

Have a look


img_0010.jpg
 


Latest posts

Top