Roller Bridge on a Hardtail SG - Pro or Con?

WytchCrypt

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Hey all,

in another thread I mentioned putting a roller bridge on my hardtail SG and some commented that it would have a negative effect on tone and sustain. I always thought roller bridges were best on everything because they were more stable from a tuning standpoint. Even on a hardtail, you're still bending strings and I thought a roller bridge would make the return to pitch more accurate than a standard tune-o-matic bridge. Also I'm downtuning to C# with light gauge strings and thought the roller bridge would be especially good in this situation.

Ideas?

04db3a7178ba7d62010862d10bb94d6b.jpg
 

Von Trapp

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A roller bridge will not affect your tone or sustain. On the other hand I would say it's completely unnecessary on a guitar with no trem and the not returning to pitch part would have more to do with the nut, tuners or the way you string it. In short, no need for that at all. On a side note I've noticed that they are a tad higher than a regular bridge so if you still want one make sure you can lower it enough so I doesn't affect your action.
 

WytchCrypt

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A roller bridge will not affect your tone or sustain. On the other hand I would say it's completely unnecessary on a guitar with no trem and the not returning to pitch part would have more to do with the nut, tuners or the way you string it. In short, no need for that at all. On a side note I've noticed that they are a tad higher than a regular bridge so if you still want one make sure you can lower it enough so I doesn't affect your action.

Thanks for the info. I already have it (shown on the pic at the start of the thread) and have experienced no problem getting it low enough for the action I want ;)
 

living room rocker

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I went through a period of mod fever after buying my first and only electric guitar 3 years ago, an Epi SG G400. I selected a Schaller roller (yours too?) because it was advertised as a drop in replacement and eliminated any need for filing bridge saddle string slots. Replaced the nut with a Tusq pre-cut at the same time. Didn't perceive any loss of sustain whatsoever and it holds tune extremely well.
 

WytchCrypt

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I went through a period of mod fever after buying my first and only electric guitar 3 years ago, an Epi SG G400. I selected a Schaller roller (yours too?) because it was advertised as a drop in replacement and eliminated any need for filing bridge saddle string slots. Replaced the nut with a Tusq pre-cut at the same time. Didn't perceive any loss of sustain whatsoever and it holds tune extremely well.

I wanted a black Schaller, but only found their roller bridges in chrome or gold so got a Golden Age. I was concerned I hadn't heard of Golden Age before but they had 4.5 stars and 147 ratings on StewMac so decided it was worth a shot. Unfortunately it wasn't a drop in replacement so I had to work with it for a good fit as the adjustment posts were much smaller than the originals. Oddly enough, while the screw posts were way too small the cups that held them were nearly a perfect size to drop in to the original cups with a good tap or two so that's what I did. Also, at first I was concerned this bridge didn't have screw access from the top to adjust the post heights, but the thumbwheel post adjustments are super smooth and easy to adjust even under string tension :thumb:

Here's a link to the Golden Age bridge...as I said, be aware this isn't a drop in solution (at least not on my Epi SG)...

https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_an...o-matic_Bridges/Golden_Age_Roller_Bridge.html

Thanks for the recommendation on the Tusq nut...by any chance do you have a link to the one that fits our Epi SG's?
 

living room rocker

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I wanted a black Schaller, but only found their roller bridges in chrome or gold so got a Golden Age. I was concerned I hadn't heard of Golden Age before but they had 4.5 stars and 147 ratings on StewMac so decided it was worth a shot. Unfortunately it wasn't a drop in replacement so I had to work with it for a good fit as the adjustment posts were much smaller than the originals. Oddly enough, while the screw posts were way too small the cups that held them were nearly a perfect size to drop in to the original cups with a good tap or two so that's what I did. Also, at first I was concerned this bridge didn't have screw access from the top to adjust the post heights, but the thumbwheel post adjustments are super smooth and easy to adjust even under string tension :thumb:

Here's a link to the Golden Age bridge...as I said, be aware this isn't a drop in solution (at least not on my Epi SG)...

https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_an...o-matic_Bridges/Golden_Age_Roller_Bridge.html

Thanks for the recommendation on the Tusq nut...by any chance do you have a link to the one that fits our Epi SG's?

https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Nuts_and_Saddles/

Black Tusq XL.....item # 1873.
 

Norton

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Roller bridges on hard tail guitars are not necessary.doesnt mean you can’t use one.

Roller bridges can be super helpful with some vibrato systems, but shouldn’t have any affect on tuning stability in a hard tail. Unless you’re using some heavy behind the bridge string manipulation. Your string gauge or tuning range shouldnt matter.

I haven’t used every roller bridge but every one I have used & seen has been full of play and rattle at the saddle.

People love to talk about how much better a lock down bridge is or locking saddles are. I don’t really need locking bridges or saddles just ones that aren’t sloppy and rattle prone.

I’d suggest you yes try them both. If you don’t care about the difference or don’t notice a difference then roll with whatever you like and don’t ever think about it again.
 

WytchCrypt

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I can definitely see a problem with a loose or sloppy roller bridge, but I put a Golden Age roller bridge on my new SG and have had a Schaller on my Epi LP Custom for years and both are solid...no rattling or looseness so I'm happy with them ;)
 

papagayo

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Don' t worry, the Genuine Gibson humbuckers sound incredible.
 

dub-setter

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i also know roller bridges only on guitars with vibrato/wammy.

but if yours is staying in tune and no probs with bends and playing...
why not ?? :)
 

axemanv90

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I have a pair of SG-Zs. I do a lot of string stretching and was having string sticking problems at the nut and to a lesser extent at the bridge. On one of them, I installed a String Butler to straighten out the strings at the stock nut and a TonePros locking roller bridge. The other has the stock nut and a TonePros standard Nashvile bridge. I was rehearsing a few weeks ago and after awhile switched to the "stock" SG-Z and while tuning up, got the snapping sound of a string unsticking. I immediatly put down the guitar and ordered another Tonepros roller bridge TP6R. I already had an 2nd String Butler and was waiting to change strings to install it. Now, I am waiting for the bridge to come in.

There is no noticeable difference in tone or sustain between these two guitars.

One thing that is very important with selecting a roller bridge! I tried a few models and on some, the string groove is narrower than others....some are even U shaped instead of V shaped. If you do a lot of fingered string bending, you can bend the string right up to the metal and get instant muting! The ones I tried that have 3 saddle adjusters facing opposite the other 3 do this.

Pay close attention to the string groove. The TonePros TP6R is pricey, but doesn't have this problem.
 
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WytchCrypt

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One thing that is very important with selecting a roller bridge! I tried a few models and on some, the string groove is narrower than others....some are even U shaped instead of V shaped. If you do a lot of fingered string bending, you can bend the string right up to the metal and get instant muting! The ones I tried that have 3 saddle adjusters facing opposite the other 3 do this.

Pay close attention to the string groove. The TonePros TP6R is pricey, but doesn't have this problem.

Thanks for the warning. I haven't noticed any string muting with extreme bending and with super light gauge strings downtuned to C# I'm able to bend 2 full steps. The TP6R is pricey and comes in at 2x what I paid for the Golden Age roller bridge, but whatever works. Shoot, I paid an obscene amount for the TonePro's T1Z tailpiece because it was the only drop in one I could find in black so they eventually got me too :rofl:
 

Flotrain

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723A4ED8-CFC5-4462-B9D5-A11DA354C24B.jpeg Imho a roller bridge improves tuning stability on hardtail guitars, especially over a standard TOM bridge. The string winds on the top 3 strings can get hung up in the saddle groove/ edge, causing the string to not return fully to pitch after a hard bend. Just a tiny fraction of a mm of movement is enough to mess with the tuning. The roller allows the string to more easily return to pitch. The Wilkinson roller bridge is very stable, it has grub screws that lock to the bridge posts.
 

WytchCrypt

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Was just watching a vid on the new Gibson Custom Shop Iommi Monkey Reissue - and no I won't be dropping a cool $20K+ on this :rofl: At the 12:15 mark they talk about how Tony was having tuning problems on his original SG and one of the solutions was to go to a roller bridge. They show a closeup and it's pretty primitive compared to the fancy roller bridges we have today. I thought it interesting that along with adding a zero fret and swapping out to Schaller tuners, moving from a tune-o-matic to a roller bridge was part of his solution to a tuning problem ;)

 


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