Original 50's ABR vs R9 ABR Video

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by Jakatone, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Jakatone

    Jakatone Member

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    Guys maybe this was already posted here but the difference was VERY surprising to me. Even trough the shitty laptop speakers the 50's sounded so much clearer. Always thought that the bridge played a part but not this much.
    Any thoughts?
     

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  2. Subterfuge

    Subterfuge Senior Member

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    if you are comparing the 1950's bridge complete to the version it could be many variables ex. profile of saddles, flatter saddle top portion versus knife-edged saddle top, exact metal composition of saddles and weight, length of saddle screws, composition (metal) of saddle screws, hardness of metal used in saddle screws, weight of screws, weight of bridge, metal composition of bridge, hardness etc etc etc. There is a YouTube video showing a dramatic difference in sound between stock Gibson thumbwheels and the DMC thumbwheels .. huge difference in the sound but they both still sound like an electric guitar, how does one determine which of the two sounds "better?" ....
     
  3. Jakatone

    Jakatone Member

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    Yes, it's very subjective, however my point was that the difference was a lot bigger then I was expecting, it's like a different set of pickups. Did not know it made such an impact.
    Sound wise, the original does sound much closer to what's expected of a vintage LP, to my ears at least.
     
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  4. Frogfur

    Frogfur Senior Member

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    The 50s bridge was alien technology. Metal composition not of this earth.
    Thats why they're here. To see if we're stupid enough to believe we could do better.
     
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  5. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Very surprising results! The 50s ABR sounds much fuller (and better) to my ears!
     
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  6. Gtarzan81

    Gtarzan81 Senior Member

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  7. Pappy58

    Pappy58 Senior Member

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    :hmm::dunno::facepalm:

    And the other half the crowd swap's theirs for Faber or Callaham which are hardened steel. Totally subjective! ..anyway I figured all the originals had collapsed by now. They were basically pot-metal, were they not?
     
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  8. Jakatone

    Jakatone Member

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    Totally subjective if we're talking about tone, it's just the difference itself supriseds me. The first comment of the video goes in great detail about that, don't wanna paste it here cause it's way too long. In a nutshell Faber apparently makes the closest to the original, if that's what you're going for.
     
  9. Pappy58

    Pappy58 Senior Member

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    It's all kind of moot anyway. I'm certainly not planning to track down and pay big $$$$ for an original either way, maybe some would, IDK. :dunno: I have no issues with the RI bridge itself, but I have had to replace and re-slot saddles. Maybe I'll and grind a set more flat like shown on the original as an experiment. He talks about improved spectrum in the vid. A nice graph of that would have been neat to see. :cheers2:
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  10. Seahawk2982

    Seahawk2982 Senior Member

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    The 50's abr sounds richer, warmer.. just more musical all around. Would be interesting to see hows a Pigtail abr holds up since Steve apparently dissected the original metal composition of the originals for his bridges.
     
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  11. Pete M

    Pete M Senior Member

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    One thing I've always noticed is 50's saddles have a totally different shape, and are flat on top. It'd be interesting to do this again, swapping over parts, if they even fit.
     
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  12. crosstownblues

    crosstownblues Wraptail Fan Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    The saddles are only flattened on top over time, and weren't like that from the factory. Also, the radius of the bridge should relate to the fretboard radius - in theory you want a similar radius. The 50's ABR could have been filed down to follow the fretboard of a particular guitar that, due to refrets and planing, had a flatter board. The flatter radius would put the inner strings closer to the pickups, resulting in increased response from the pickups, but could negatively impact playability on the new guitar. Could be as simple as that. There also appeared to be less of an arch on the 50's bridge on the underside of the bridge, so it could be partially collapsed...
     
  13. markguitar

    markguitar MLP Sponsor

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    Sorry, but you are wrong. The late ‘50’s saddles were flat on top when new. I’ve had pristine bridges and seen a good number of NOS original bridges still in the box with flat top saddles. And yes this will make a difference in tone. The flat top of the original saddles makes for more string contact which absorbs more top end making for a warmer tone. Much the same as fretwire. Narrow frets are always brighter than wider frets.
     
  14. Les Paul John

    Les Paul John Senior Member

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    I’m a firm believer in the bridge, saddles and stop bar / studs making a difference in tone.

    I have a 2006 Gibson LP Classic “1960” model that got a Historic bridge and alumin7m stop barnwith studs and I was shocked at the difference in tone, sustain and feel of the resonance while playing.

    Huge noticeable difference.
     
  15. Midnight Blues

    Midnight Blues Premium Member

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    The difference was very surprising to me, although I felt the opposite of @The_Nuge ; the '08 sounded thicker/fuller to me, but the '50s seemed to produce more volume.
     
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  16. Les Paul John

    Les Paul John Senior Member

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    Very good point ...

    My favorite Historic has a nice aged kind of look now. I had replaced the saddles with some more flat on top as a “thicker” saddle. Still not like the originals but I’m so happy with this guitar it’s doubtful I would change anything on it after a couple of years.



    I also tried some Graphtech saddles which did sound great and they were fat like these originals. They really did sound great but they broke after a while as they stress fractured where the screw goes through on 2 saddles. Decided to yank those. Might be hard to see on this photo but you can see they’re dark charcoal gray.

     
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  17. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Since the LP design has the bridge and then two fairly insubstantial "studs" (just fairly narrow bolts in the space b/w bridge and top) as conduits for string vibration to the body, there's no surprise that metal composition makes a real difference. And I would expect alloys with a weak structure to filter and absorb frequencies differently than happens with another, denser, and more stable metal. And definitely ditto for the saddles. Having gone through a huge number in an effort to achieve clean break angles and reduce unwanted buzzes and other sounds, I certainly find that saddle shape and slotting make a very real difference, too. When you know this, you can at least select something that suits what you're hoping to achieve. Personally, I find the low quality and sloppy dimensioning of most saddles to be super annoying. Between wiggling in their tracks in the bridge to inexact heights and lame top contours, I end up having to work on each saddle individually to file things into proper form -- though the poor fit and seating on the bridge is not something you can correct. The boutique companies do this better, and so charge you a boatload of $ to replace a part that should not ned replacing. Basically, I think both Gibson and Kluson do poor metal fabrication.
     
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  18. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Senior Member

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    Having owned vintage and newer Gibsons, i've never been a Kool aid drinker from my experiences....but I noticed a brighter tone, though moreso in the earlier samples in the video,whereas the later samples sounded very close.
    Interesting!
     
  19. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    I have only had experience with Gibson Historic Bridges (Gotoh & Schaller), Tone Pros, Faber, MojoAxe & another I'm not sure about.

    I'm stating the obvious but the Guitar must have an impact on how a Bridge sounds, regardless of which Bridge is used.

    :cheers2:
     
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  20. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Mark do you by any chance have some high res pics of NOS Bridges you could post, just curious how they look.

    Thanks.

    Cheers, Rudi
     

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