Roller Bridge for a New Standard w/Maestro Vibrola

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Jess 1971, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. PauloQS

    PauloQS Member

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    I don't currently own many guitar with vibrato and the strats I currently have, I have blocked the bridge for personal preference reasons. However, every guitar I own or have owned stays or stayed in tune. Even the ones that I did not block the bridge or Gibsons, which the internet says have an inferior design headstock compared to other guitars like Fender, PRS, Ibanez etc. My secret is that I take care of my nuts. Every guitar I own or have owned, the first thing I do to it is make sure the nut slots are sufficiently wide for the gauge of strings I'm using.

    Most guitar makers do not spend enough time making sure the action at the nut or making sure the slots are wide enough for the strings the guitars are shipped with. Almost every guitar I've had required a bit of touching up. The only ones I can remember didn't require a touch up were my Gibson Custom, core PRS, a Gibson acoustic (studio), and two Gibson USAs, one of which had titanium nut, so I don't really count that one. Martin, Fender, PRS from CE down, most Gibson USAs, LTDs, Samick Greg Bennett etc. all needed some adjusting at the nut.

    PRS SE's, for instance, were notorious for poorly slotted nuts (they seem to have gotten better since 2018), hence the popularity of MannMade USA aftermarket bridges and locking tuners or nut replacement. Some of the worse dressed nuts I've ever seen were on PRS SE's. I saw one that you literally had to push the high E string with force inside the slot even using 9s. I saved friends so much money by addressing their SE tuning issues just by just dressing the slots properly. Thus, while I have worked with vibrola guitars before, I don't have a ton of experience with these particularly vibrato systems. However, I'm inclined to agree @fuzbuzz78 here, because, although I have encountered cases where a bridge was the main culprit of tuning instability, I found those to be very rare and more often than not, nut unhealthiness is the main villain of tuning problems.
     
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  2. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    FABER iNsert, Nashville to ABR converter studs, 7mm ==> 6-32inch are perfect parts for Gibson ABR-1 conversion.

    Gibson SG White 255.JPG


    On my Trans Ebony SG Standard I used Black inserts strongly glued with 6-32 inch studs. I used LOCTITE 648 retaining professional compound

    SG Standard TBK 71.jpg


    The adapters are invisible and the bridge don' t move, perfect.

    SG Standard TBK 232.jpg
     
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  3. Mats Sandnes

    Mats Sandnes New Member

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    My Gibson Les Paul Standard 2020 has an ABR-1, but the stock posts are not vintage correct for ABR-1. Actually, the posts have the exact same dimensions as Nashville posts and they are screwed into anchors that are mounted into the body. Just like a Gibson with Nashville bridge.

    In fact, I’ve tried a Nashville bridge with its original Nashville posts onto this 2020 Standard and it was a perfect fit.

    I would guess that the Gibson SG Standard 2020 has the same bridge as the Les Paul line of Gibson USA. If that’s true, I would go for the Tonepros Small posts Roller bridge if I were you.
     
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  4. dandaman456

    dandaman456 New Member

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    I have an Epiphone SG '61 (2020) minus the vibrola and I recently bought the Tonepros TPFR roller bridge which is a drop-in replacement roller bridge for my guitar. Not sure this is drop-in for Gibson. It's early days & I'm not sure yet if it improved anything. I have a basement man cave which is where I play (really just learning). Now (in winter) there can be as much as a 7 degree temperature swing from morning till I fire up a portable heater & I think it shows in tuning stability. When new I replaced the tuners with vintage Kluson locking tuners thinking they might help with stability. They didn't. I think the new roller bridge may have just slightly affected the tone but I don't think it was dramatic. YMMV. I'm thinking maybe the last thing I might try is having a new nut put on by someone who knows what they're doing. But I'm not too optimistic about fixing the tuning drift.
     
  5. Kirk Larsen

    Kirk Larsen New Member

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    I have a Wilkinson roller bridge on my SG Std with Vibrola. It helps quite a bit with tuning stability when using the Vibrola. It dropped right on the existing studs. I did not notice any major change in tone from the TOM. The Wilkinson has a 14" radius instead of the Gibson 12" but this does not seem to be an issue.
     
  6. PauloQS

    PauloQS Member

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    Okay troglodytes, outside, let’s go, bring it on

    The posts on USA models with ABR-1 do not have the same dimensions. In fact you can put an ABR-1 from the custom shop on a Gibson USA with ABR-1 and vice versa. The only real difference from a custom shop ABR-1 to a Gibson USA are the rounded edges and sometimes R9’s comes with a different shape ABR-1 that is slimmer closer to the posts. Here are some pictures comparing different bridges and posts.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Gibson has been using these posts for USA models with ABR-1 bridges since 2017. I didn’t see much talk about it, maybe because it was used on the LP Traditional. Now that it’s on the Standard and someone on YT called the bridge a fake ABR-1 I see it being repeated left and right. The bridge is in fact an ABR-1 the part that has people call a fake ABR-1 is not a bridge, but are called the bridge posts.
     
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  7. Jess 1971

    Jess 1971 New Member

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    Tuning issues are almost always related to the nut, so it needs to be set up properly. Locking tuners rarely correct tuning issues, IME.
     
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  8. Wild Bill212

    Wild Bill212 Active Member

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    I would skip the Roller-Bridge and get the Kluson 'REVOLUTION' Locking Tuning-Machines.
    A properly cut Bone NUT will help as well.
    The TM's just mentioned are 19:1...I put a set on my 2019 SG 'Original' 2 weeks ago and its staying in tune better than it ever did.....not that it was bad to begin with, but it is a noticeable improvement and worth the $110.
     
  9. Wild Bill212

    Wild Bill212 Active Member

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    BTW, when you play an Open chord ('A', 'E' or 'D') does the tuner say the chord is pulling Sharp? If so, the NUT Slots need to be filed down, this is a common problem with the USA line GIBSON's as well as the entire USA Electric line needing to be Shielded, but that is another thread entirely.
     
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  10. Wild Bill212

    Wild Bill212 Active Member

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    plus w/Chrome H'ware already on the Guitar, the Chrome T.M's are a really good looking compliment.
     
  11. PauloQS

    PauloQS Member

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    In my experience with most non custom shop guitars as well. Most of them need the action lowered at the nut an the slots widen a bit.
     
  12. Mo' Easy

    Mo' Easy New Member

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    I got a new '61 SG with Maestro about six months ago. I popped in a TonePros bridge with the nylon saddles and it's perfect, great tuning stability with the Maestro and improved overall tone. I did have to reverse the G string saddle as is necessary with vintage ABR-1 bridges. Love the guitar. It's a great pair up with my '65 ES335 that I've owned since it was new.
     
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  13. Jess 1971

    Jess 1971 New Member

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    This is good to know. Thank you. Glad you had a positive experience with it.

    I just got the TonePros bridge with the nylon saddles too (as well as the Faber insert posts), so I'm going to install them soon.
     
  14. gypsyseven

    gypsyseven Member

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    Maybe it’s just luck, but my SG with the Maestro Vibrola stays in tune, dead stock...:)
    Little bit of nut sauce and that’s it...
     
  15. Velhotedocarmo

    Velhotedocarmo New Member

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    Hi folks first time here!
    I’ve had the same problem with tuning stability with my 61’ maestro 2020.
    The solution was locking the bridge using some electrical tape on the studs, that kept the bridge fixed.
    Then I’ve used some grafite on the nut and bridge saddles and stretched the strings a lot.
    And now I can assure that I can do gentle action with the maestro but I can do almost “dive bomb” and she comes beautifully in tune.
    Hope that helps!
     
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  16. Goldtone

    Goldtone Member

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    No need to reinvent the wheel
    gentlemen

    Domed thumbwheels
     
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  17. Wild Bill212

    Wild Bill212 Active Member

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    AH, NUT HEALTH, yes, yes. IMO,a properly cut NUT is crucial, for many reasons:ping's/Bound strings, open chords not playing sharp, among others.

    Totally agree. I put a Golden Eagle Roller-Bridge on an SG Faded that I put a Bigsby B3 on, ICBI, the guitar all of a sudden sounded flat.That bridge came right off and is now enjoying being a paper-weight.That li'l Faded was a Rocker, one I was sorry I sold.

    BTW, your 2013 SG 'Original' what profile neck is on that ? I got one of the 2019 Originals, w/Chrome Maestro, and to chrome it out completely I put a set of Kluson Chrome Locking Revolution TM's on it....... w/100% Chromed H'ware & '57's stock, it looks as good as it sounds. IJW it had the rounded Neck, like the Bat-wing SG's. For me, slim tapers, IDK, w/relief under .004"@7TH fret they can start twisting.
     
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