Dumped the Graph Tech bridge. Sounds better, looks better.

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by Ayton, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Ayton

    Ayton Senior Member

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    Never quite trusted the Graph Tech bridge that came on my old 'graintop' when I bought it used. The saddles, no matter what graphite-infused jargon you use, look and feel like black plastic. Doesn't seem like a great contact point for the strings.

    Sunday, I finally got around to switching it out for something more traditional. Had a nice ABR with brass saddles in the parts box for at least two years, so I just drilled the post holes out to 4.5mm and it fit nice and flush on the Nashville posts. The guitar is immediately louder and more open. Looks sexy, too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Note: This isn't a conversion, I know I'm not getting the benefit of an ABR with direct body mounted posts etc. It's about getting rid of those String Saver saddles for something made out of metal.
     
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  2. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    Want to sell me the graphtech bridge? Message me, I'd like to have it.
     
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  3. Christosterone

    Christosterone Premium Member

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    That’s a seriously cool plaintop...wow
    :drool:

    -Chris
     
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  4. Ayton

    Ayton Senior Member

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    Sure. Was going to eBay it.

    Can you say what you like about them?
     
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  5. hamerfan

    hamerfan Senior Member

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    The resomax bridge come with different kinds of saddles. This one comes with string saver saddles. I have the same combination and i like it very much on a ES clone. A bit less spikey highs like nylon saddles.
     
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  6. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    Thanks, I'll message you.

    For a few years now, I've used them and graph tech nuts on my guitars when I can find them at a reasonable price. Strings don't break, they help with staying in tune, and I do find them to be warmer and more resonant. I tend to aim for a Dickie Betts warm tone, so they suit me well.

    That's my two cents. The tone part people could dismiss as more snake-oil tone genie nonsense, and that's fine. I do firmly believe I could quantify less broken strings and better tuning stability when using them.

    I can't speak to the composition from a chemical or scientific standpoint other than to say graphite is certainly a metal, and MANY great tones came out of non metal nylon nuts and saddles. Not looking to debate your preference, I'll always say use what works best for you.

    I have a new Traditional I've been wanting to put one on. They work for me.
     
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  7. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    In my experience, both Graphtek and Tusq products are "solutions" for problems that don't exist. They yield slight degradation in exchange for "fixing" situations I never experience anyway. If yu're constantly breaking strings with an ABR, your doing something way wrong, or have improperly notched saddles. As for improving tone, if absorbing high overtones is an improvement, then, well, I guess so. But the rest of us know how to use a tone knob, and prefer to retain those highs even if we don't always use them. I'll take bone nuts over Tusq any day, and brass or steel saddles over "graphite" any time. I'd love to meet those guitarists who find themselves breaking strings all the time. Intense whammy users are an honest exception. Everyone else -- just don't play with a hacksaw.
     
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  8. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    +1. +1!!!!!!!

    :drool: :wow:
     
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  9. Ayton

    Ayton Senior Member

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    Cheers, lads. Here's a nice one from the NGD some time back.
     
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  10. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    Well, there it is. End of discussion.

    I'm glad you're confident in your beliefs when it comes to something as subjective as an individual player's tone. I am equally confident in my assessment. The difference is, I am concerned with my tone, not someone else's that I've never heard play. As I noted in my post "use what works best for you".

    I know how to use my tone knob just fine, and do so to make my tone work. Good day to you.
     
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  11. vetteman

    vetteman Member

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    I put Graphtech saddles on an adjustable bridge on my old PRS and made the mistake of trying to adjust the intonation screws without loosening the strings and the graphite saddles crumbled. My error, but maybe this can save someone else's day.
     
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  12. Latearrival

    Latearrival Senior Member

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    Firstly - Graphite certainly is NOT a metal! Graphite is a form of carbon, where the atoms are arranged in layers which can slide over each other, giving good lubricant properties, and allowing the conduction of electricity...

    Secondly (despite the name) Graphtech products use a composition consisting mostly of PTFE (Polytetraflouroethane) - as used on non-stick frying pans (Teflon) and claimed to be 500% more slippery than Graphite!
     
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  13. Latearrival

    Latearrival Senior Member

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    It's funny how people always thing "the old materials are always best"!

    I agree that graphtech saddles could change the tone, in fact they claim as much on their website - claiming more mids (which is obviously what the OP likes), however I prefer a bright tone, and stick with steel for saddles.

    But I had the original nut replaced with a tusq nut, and I think it is better than bone. It's certainly better than the original "corian" material Gibson use! I know it's not the most scientific test, but my guitar tech demonstrated how different nut materials sound (for open strings at least!) by dropping them onto a concrete floor! The tusq was the brightest and most resonant mateial - more so than bone. A corian nut landed with a dull thump......

    People who break strings regularly most likely have a sharp edge or irregularity on the saddle (something that doesn't happen with Graphtech saddles) or are simply hitting them too hard! I break about 3 or 4 strings a year, and it is always after they have been on a few weeks.....
     
  14. Ayton

    Ayton Senior Member

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    Ahh. It's good to learn something about what's actually in these products. Do you happen to know what's in their ResoMax alloy, which is what they build bridges etc from? With the saddles, I could just tell that they're not cold to the touch like metal, but room temp, plasticky, and I thought this might be responsible for the softer tone. (Which seems to be true. On their site, Graph Tech makes note that you will lose the familiar 2kHz spike of metal.)

    However it's become clear to me that I shouldn't have used the word "better" for metal saddles in the title. We're all looking for something – I've probably had six sets of pickups in this guitar alone – and tone is so subjective. I don't like that anyone feels as if they're on the back foot for preferring the GT, or nylon, or whatever gets your sound! I'm shooting for something like Gary Moore's Stripe, and sometimes I forget that not everyone has the same idea of perfect LP tone.
     
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  15. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    Hmm, interesting. I'm always happy to learn, and be corrected. Now I have to go learn what constitutes a metal. Thanks for the correction and insight.
     
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  16. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    @Ayton and I got a deal worked out. I finally got around to installing it. Boom! IMG_20171215_224628127~2.jpg
     
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  17. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah The Worst Premium Member

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    I install the supercharger kit on all my guitars. Don’t care what it does, don’t care if it snake oil, for me, I like how it looks
     
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  18. Ayton

    Ayton Senior Member

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    It's great that, thanks to MLP, I can see my old bridge get a new job on a sexy Trad, rather than going to some random on eBay or more likely living in my parts bin for years.
     
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  19. Platte City Paul

    Platte City Paul Senior Member

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    No opinion on the bridge discussion, but MAN that is a pretty guitar!
     
  20. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    Chris took the words right out of my mouth!! Gorgeous top!! Love the subtle burst! :applause:
     

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