*** 1950's ABR1 Saddles ***

boogieongtr

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Any ideas on how to fill in notches on vintage 50's saddles? I have 3 sets of 50's saddles that have a couple notches on each saddles or have been notched too deep. Is anyone making replacement brass saddles to vintage 50's specs?

1.JPG
 

sws1

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Pigtail saddles are much sharper on top than original. At least on the bridge I have.
 

Brek

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Pigtail saddles are much sharper on top than original. At least on the bridge I have.
Same thing with the area ‘59 saddles from crazyparts, very sharp angles, did they round the original ones by hand I wonder?
 

jwinger

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All the old ones I've seen have been fatter on top than most new ones, which tend to have a very sharp ridge. Gibson ones are actually a bit fatter and fitted my pigtail. Believe it or not they sound better. You can also file them down a bit top to bottom to make them a bit fatter on top. That additional surface area for contact can impact the sound quite a bit in my experience. I think it's a big part of why some people say the old bridges sound better...it's the saddles and the size of the contact area with the string
 

boogieongtr

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What about brass wire and a torch, then file it down smooth , sorta like soldering?

I thought about that, might give it a try. I agree with you, the 50's saddles had about 3/32" surface on the top of the saddle, That's a big part of their tone. I have Pigtail and Callaham saddles and they are NOT the same as a 50's saddle. The top or flat area is less than 1/16" and the body has less mass.
 

RandK

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Brass can be soldered, think plumbing, but that along with the plating off/on seems hellish to me. I wouldn't want to try to make a string slot in the patch.

Some work in progress. I need to finalize my dimensions, make more and plate. The ears to top height from your picture
is about .010" shorter than these. I wouldn't call that significant but shorter would bring the strings closer to hitting the back of the bridge. It's also easy for me to change. The specs on the originals I've looked at have been all over the place, no cnc lol.

I've been making vintage correct saddles out of nylon for the 60's ABR's for a couple of years now, and also make the
pre-slotted nylon nuts for vintage and historic.
vintage style d1.JPEG
 

korus

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Brass can be soldered, think plumbing, but that along with the plating off/on seems hellish to me. I wouldn't want to try to make a string slot in the patch.

Some work in progress. I need to finalize my dimensions, make more and plate. The ears to top height from your picture
is about .010" shorter than these. I wouldn't call that significant but shorter would bring the strings closer to hitting the back of the bridge. It's also easy for me to change. The specs on the originals I've looked at have been all over the place, no cnc lol.

I've been making vintage correct saddles out of nylon for the 60's ABR's for a couple of years now, and also make the
pre-slotted nylon nuts for vintage and historic.
View attachment 511569
This is excellent news. I have your Nylon nuts on all of my guitars with back angled headstock and I guess I was among the first customers who bought 8 or 10 of them in first purchase. Which means on several Gibson CS guitars also, instead of the ones Gibson puts on them.

I know this question might seem like overkill and inventing a problem where isn't any - but what about the exact brass alloy used for these back in '50s? My guess - based on their resonance tone when dropped and more importantly their tone when used in either modern ABR-1s and early '60s ABR-1s - is they were made of some softer brass alloy than these alloys currently used for saddles and screws.

If I had to bet I would go with something like 20% of Zn ("red brass"?). That would have obviously less treble in tone than current most common C36 which has 36% of Zn.

Also have you considered to produce saddle screws also? I guess it might also bring other problems with fitting them on various ABR-1s ... but if both saddle and screw are made of softer brass - it would bring tone the closest to original.

And there is also an issue of plating - modern one is surely more durable - because it is harder than the plating used in '50s. Everything metal is much harder since ~ 1980 due to advancement in metallurgy. Which is good for all aplications - except for tone of guitars ...

Maybe I let my mind go and this is too many questions too early ... so I'll use a PM next.

But the way you have chosen exact modern Nylon to use for nuts (the closest to '50s original) I am sure your choice of brass and plating will be excellent tonewise. Again this is the most excellent news.
IMG_5942.jpg

(guitar in photo - obviously, not mine)
 
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jeggz

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Brass can be soldered, think plumbing, but that along with the plating off/on seems hellish to me. I wouldn't want to try to make a string slot in the patch.

Some work in progress. I need to finalize my dimensions, make more and plate. The ears to top height from your picture
is about .010" shorter than these. I wouldn't call that significant but shorter would bring the strings closer to hitting the back of the bridge. It's also easy for me to change. The specs on the originals I've looked at have been all over the place, no cnc lol.

I've been making vintage correct saddles out of nylon for the 60's ABR's for a couple of years now, and also make the
pre-slotted nylon nuts for vintage and historic.
View attachment 511569
Very interested
 

RandK

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Good thoughts, and as always korus you've done your homework !

I would like to get very close to nailing the vintage specs but with the requirement of tryng to keep the price reasonable. Later, if possible, have a premium version that takes everything further, including the saw marks, so it is more of a replica with a much higher price due to the higher costs involved with that. I'm not sure there is demand to pay for the tooling etc. I was told by my supplier that red brass is used in casting (plumbing etc) and not available in shapes and sizes for fabrication. Currently I've been using C360 but also have some C260 (70/30) which I have to cut from sheets to use yuk.

I'm going to try doing the plating myself and will keep that thin. I think nickel is nickel but it is a very hard metal and should be there to offer corrosion protection and durability. The modern saddles are very shiny but some of that comes from polishing the brass before plating not all from excessive plating thickness. The vintage saddles were not shiny and must have been left pretty rough coming from the deburring process which I'm also trying to do. The wide tops are not as easy to slot and the nickel will make that a little tougher to get started.
 

jeggz

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Good thoughts, and as always korus you've done your homework !

I would like to get very close to nailing the vintage specs but with the requirement of tryng to keep the price reasonable. Later, if possible, have a premium version that takes everything further, including the saw marks, so it is more of a replica with a much higher price due to the higher costs involved with that. I'm not sure there is demand to pay for the tooling etc. I was told by my supplier that red brass is used in casting (plumbing etc) and not available in shapes and sizes for fabrication. Currently I've been using C360 but also have some C260 (70/30) which I have to cut from sheets to use yuk.

I'm going to try doing the plating myself and will keep that thin. I think nickel is nickel but it is a very hard metal and should be there to offer corrosion protection and durability. The modern saddles are very shiny but some of that comes from polishing the brass before plating not all from excessive plating thickness. The vintage saddles were not shiny and must have been left pretty rough coming from the deburring process which I'm also trying to do. The wide tops are not as easy to slot and the nickel will make that a little tougher to get started.
I’d probably like em better unplated, myself.
 

raul

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Being that old saddles tend to have brass showing after wear and tear, I think unplated would be cool
 

Netwarrior

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Let me jump on this thread to congratulate with @RandK for the amazing R&D work he is doing. In case these became available I'm also very interested.

Also just a heads up that nickel plating can be achieved very easily at home with common household items. I've personally tested the method described in this video and it worked perfectly the first time:
Electroplating - Easy DIY Nickel, Copper, Zinc Plating - YouTube

It can definitely be applied to small items such a as bridge saddles.
Also, using a more powerful power supplier, the timing can be drastically reduced, compared to what the video is mentioning.

Hope this helps

Cheers
 

boogieongtr

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I like em naked. How much for a set? PM me or email me. Thanks I found some brass saddles that were on a cheap knock off bridge. I took the saddles out and put them in a good ABR1, here's the result.
ABR1013.jpg
 

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