SG wraparound conversion

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SGMarshall, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. SGMarshall

    SGMarshall New Member

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    This is what I want to do. I have a 2009 Gibson SG Standard and I want to remove the stock APR-1 style bridge and replace it with a Tone Pros style or Bad Ass style wraparound bridge. I realize I'll have to drill and do all that stuff. I've been thinking about for a while now and wanted to post my thoughts before I get crazy. My question concerns the position of the new bridge. The ABR is angled so the low E string is futher away from the nut. Now all the photos I see of the 70's style SG's the bridge is perfectly parallel, with no rise/run away from the nut. That's what it looks like anyway. If I do replace the bridge, do I have to angle the bridge as such, or can I fit the new post straight in line with nut? I know this is going to de-value the guitar, so from a economical perspective, its a no, but I don't care about that. What I do care about is renduring the guitar unplayable and having to have some major luthier work done to bring it back to normal. I'm also open to people arguing me out of it, albeit within sound reasoning. With all that said, my question is, will I be able to install this bridge (whether I do the work or not) and keep the guitar within the acceptable tolerances for proper intonation and tuning stability?
     
  2. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to stop your creativity, but I would not alter the guitar; if you really want a single-unit bridge, get a guitar made that way; besides I much prefer the ABR style bridge as far as intonation and others adjustments are concerned.

    However, good luck whatever you do!
     
  3. SGMarshall

    SGMarshall New Member

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    I understand. Thanks for the feedback. I've been looking for SG "bodies only" on ebay and SG's specials and what not that people are trying to get rid of. If I do find one, I probably will go with that. I've always liked the idea of customizing.
     
  4. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    The answer all comes down to how much forward and backward adjustability there is in the bridge.

    Many of the '70s SGs used the Schaller "harmonica" bridge, pictured below. This is the kind I originally had on my guitar, but replaced it with a Wilkinson roller bridge.

    Even installed straight, there was enough play for the saddles on the Schaller bridge to be moved quite a bit, to achieve proper intonation.

    Some of the modern wraparounds, including Badass, are adjustable, as well. The answer to your question all depends on whether you're able to adjust the saddles enough for proper intonation. In addition, the Badass has setscrews that allow you to angle it, even on posts that are not installed "angled." See the bottom pic.

    Schaller "Harmonica" Bridge

    [​IMG]


    Badass Intonatable Wraparound Bridge

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    There are other options besides the Badass.
    Schaller makes a very good intonatable wraparound.
    Check www.Stewmack.com for others.
     
  6. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    As others said, it's doable, but you aren't gaining anything, and pretty much any chance of a vibrato install is gone as well. The fact that wraparounds have seen many improvements, such as the Badass (there are better ones out there now) while the 2 piece setup hasn't required much improvement should tell you that what you have is slightly easier to work with. It's totally doable though, and it's what I'm stuck with on my Norlin.

    If you do it, just aim higher than the Badass one. Someone retrofitted mine with one and I've had a couple other guitars with Badass ripoffs. They're not the best at fine tuning when compared to the Schallers or baby grand styles.
     
  7. Tenafly Viper

    Tenafly Viper Member

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    I did mine, there is a lot to it. Yu need to establish the correct distance for intonation and set the poles so the mid point of the travle of the bridge is in the middle. I don't suggest using dowel to fil the holes, but plugs cut in the proper grain direction. There are plenty of good wraparound bridges. Good luck with the conversion.
     
  8. SGMarshall

    SGMarshall New Member

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    I've decided against this, at this point anyway. If I do try something like this, I'll buy a cheaper SG, like a Special or a kit and do it. I really want a 70's style SG without paying for it. I'm obsessed with the Toni Iommi monkey SG, it's that guitar's fault.
     
  9. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    I do prefer the look and resting point a wraparound provides. I think it's just because my first electric had one. I'm looking at ditching the Badass on mine (stripped threads for intonation adjustment) and while the Babygrand and Schaller look okay, I'm eying one of these:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges...n-trem_bridges/Schroeder_Stoptail_Bridge.html
     
  10. SGMarshall

    SGMarshall New Member

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    I would really hate to de-value my guitar. That's the only thing stopping me. I love he look of those bridges on SG's though. If I were to put a wraparound bridge, it would be the Schaller.
     
  11. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    If I had a two-piece, I'd already being going crazy with the vibrato options that fit right up. It's only 2 or 3 that I know of, but that's 2 or 3 more than exist for a wraparound.

    I did see, somewhere, some long-gone tremolo bar of the 80's that worked on just 2 posts, but I've only seen one, and it was in the packaging still.
     
  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    sooo... before you start carving up your SG Standard, here's a suggestion that you can try and doesn't cost anything or involve any plugging of stud holes with dowels or refinishing guitar tops. Just change your strings, insert the strings from the front, wrap them over the top of the tailpiece, check that the twisted part of the string doesn't emerge from the rear of the tailpiece (slide a string bead on first if they protrude), screw the tailpiece down very low, or tight to the deck, tune to pitch and listen.

    People favor the old wrapover bridge because of the tone that these have. That's why they still exist. The TOM bridge has more technical precision for tweaking intonation, but the wrapover just sounds so good, there has always been a demand for them. Top wrapping a TOM tailpiece is an attempt to get the best of both worlds, and it works for me. I like what I hear, and get good intonation. Keep it simple...

    So if this doesn't do it for you, my next suggestion would be to buy a used SG special that features this wrapover bridge, and leave your Standard alone. Filling the stud holes on your Standard, and buying and installing the cool new bridge properly and refinishing the top might cost you almost as much. and you can kiss that money goodbye. If you take my suggestions, you end up with two guitars that are still valuable, and you can sell the one you aren't playing.

    having said all this, I still get the appeal. How many pictures have we seen of fairly famous pro players using SGs that have gaping bullet holes in the tops where they did what you are considering, but left the holes showing? Or where they yanked out one pickup and left it wide open... go figure.
     

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