ABR and Tailpiece Studs - Locking vs Non Locking

gilmanoel

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What do you think about it? Any A/ B tests?

Is there any difference (in sonic terms) between locking vs non locking? I own a CreamTone hardware set and use steel locking studs from TonePros. I wonder if I'm missing something, if I should use CreamTone's steel studs again (without locking), if I should leave everything as it is, or if I should use a locking ABR bridge too...

I know this has been discussed many times, but I thought it would be nice to have a newer post on the subject.

Cheers!
 

ARandall

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Technically, keeping the two bits more solidly connected will have a minor effect, as there will be fewer losses in the interface.
The practicality is that the string tension holding the bits in place probably accounts for 99.9% of the requirement for solid connection.
The most practical benefit for most is the keeping together of the bridge and tailpiece during string changes.
 

korus

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Whenever any 2 separate guitar parts underneath vibrating string are tightened more - tone becomes more fundamental less overtones, sustain reduces (less resonance) and overall tone becomes more generic/boring. If in doubt test my claim and your hearing ability by increasing/decreasing how tight are the screws that hold in place tuners, pickup rings, pickguards, contol plates, bridge plates, dogear pickup cover...any screw on guitar (by 1/4 or 1/2 of turn). Functional parts underneath tensioned and vibrating strings will be equally firm in place but tone will change according to description in the first sentence.

Those who cannot hear the difference = do not know what I am talking about should just ignore my post and 'simply enjoy the journey'. If a person does not hear a problem, there isn't one.

That is the true beauty and universal appeal of this particular sparetime of ours. Hence all the obsolete 'improvements' in materials and construction used throughout these 5 decades cementing the degradation of original tone of stock originals since mid/late '60s. Locking screws for tailpiece (or ABR-1) are neither first nor the last one.
 

moreles

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I don't know what Korus's phrase "more generic and boring" can possibly mean. I do prefer the tone of my LPs and SG with the tailpiece snugged down and the bridge snugged as well. (I use skateboard speed rings here and there to provide full tight contact.) Since I only have human ears and there are too many variable involved anyway, I can say no more than that doing this gives a tone I like with what I experience as slower mot decay. I do not use locking parts, however, because my experiences is what A Randall describes. As long as the parts fit snugly to begin with (which is frequently not the case with many makers' hardware) string tension and plain old "fit" will provide good, hard contact. I find that loosely fit parts seem -- and I mean "seem" as I have not scoped the signals -- to cause mids and bass notes to decay faster than higher frequencies. It's a result I like far less than what tight, clean contact and fit seem to deliver.
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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I replaced my original '73 ABR-1 bridge with a locking Faber, still using the original Gibson studs. I was going for tuning stability as the Gibson bridge was a bit on the shaky side with saddles that could move about.

There was also play between the holes in the bridge / studs and the threaded holes in the maple are no longer that tight.

The locking bridge fixed all of that. Tuning is rock solid now. Theoretically it should transmit vibrations to the top more efficiently. The tone? I really can tell no difference.

I'm a top wrapper for more than 40 years.
 

korus

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Many thanks for the comments and opinions so far!
It costs https://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/bridge-and-tailpieces/vintage-length-steel-tailpiece-mounting-studs-posts-for-gibson-guitars/ $7.49 + cheapest/longest shipping to find out if you hear the difference.

No one knows but YOU whether it makes a noticable difference or not - on YOUR guitar for YOUR ears. I'd say it is a test cheap enough to perform and remove any doubt whichever the outcome, and even if one pair of studs (locking or non-locking) remains in the drawer.
 




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