Everyone chime in on bridge & TP materials!

tdarian

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I went ahead and ordered a set of the shorter nickel plated brass TP Studs just to try brass in the mix with those pieces. I wish there was a longer length brass TP Stud that was identical in dimension to the longer steel studs (I have RetroSpec long steel studs in there now) for a more even comparison of materials, but hopefully this will give me an idea. Things are OK now with the longer steel studs but maybe they could be even more "OK" with brass.
 

lordraptor1

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ok i was just actually trying to look up diferences in tailpieces made from different materials and this is as close as i have found LOL. anyway, i am wondering about materials other than what we normally see ( brass, aluminum, steel, etc.). for example: what about a tailpiece made from unobtanium? ( basically the material used by team associated as shock shafts LOL), how about bronze?, iron?, etc. i really would like to know about tailpieces made out of pewter because there is an artist ( cant remember his name) but his tailpieces ( from what i have heard) are all made of pewter.
 

tdarian

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ok i was just actually trying to look up diferences in tailpieces made from different materials and this is as close as i have found LOL. anyway, i am wondering about materials other than what we normally see ( brass, aluminum, steel, etc.). for example: what about a tailpiece made from unobtanium? ( basically the material used by team associated as shock shafts LOL), how about bronze?, iron?, etc. i really would like to know about tailpieces made out of pewter because there is an artist ( cant remember his name) but his tailpieces ( from what i have heard) are all made of pewter.

If the material sounds good, it is good.

I've had no luck with steel tailpieces (tried the Callaham) and prefer the LW Aluminum TP on my LPs. I find that steel TP STUDS can sound different from each other, and different from the brass ones I tried.

At the moment, I've got the LW TP supported by a longer brass TP Stud on the treble side, and a Faber locking steel stud on the bass side. That has given the best balance with the high E being "fatter" relative to the how it was with the steel TP stud on that side and more in line with the other strings. A pair of the Brass TP Studs was too damped overall. The TP Studs look a little different visually but I'll take this tone!

I've got the Pigtail ABR-1 bridge on as well. The mass of the brass saddles is a little more relative to the zinc body on this bridge compared to the Gibson no-wires, and I think it sounds a little less bright. I've also got RetroSpec Brass ABR-1 Thumbwheels on both sides.
 

lordraptor1

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If the material sounds good, it is good.

I've had no luck with steel tailpieces (tried the Callaham) and prefer the LW Aluminum TP on my LPs. I find that steel TP STUDS can sound different from each other, and different from the brass ones I tried.

At the moment, I've got the LW TP supported by a longer brass TP Stud on the treble side, and a Faber locking steel stud on the bass side. That has given the best balance with the high E being "fatter" relative to the how it was with the steel TP stud on that side and more in line with the other strings. A pair of the Brass TP Studs was too damped overall. The TP Studs look a little different visually but I'll take this tone!

I've got the Pigtail ABR-1 bridge on as well. The mass of the brass saddles is a little more relative to the zinc body on this bridge compared to the Gibson no-wires, and I think it sounds a little less bright. I've also got RetroSpec Brass ABR-1 Thumbwheels on both sides.

yeah, i am more curious as to custom made tailpieces made from non traditional metals like pewter, bronze, and e even ran across a place selling sterling silver tailpieces but at 1,200.00 for a sterling silver tailpiece i dont think so LOL)
 

jimmyjames

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lordraptor1

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wonder about the softness of the metal used i should say. in regards to pewter for example. from my understanding pewter is a really soft metal ( think "white metal" gaming miniatures or if that doesnt give you an idea then think lead LOL). however, i have not heard one complaint about using pewter for a tailpiece but i would be interested as to the longevity of a pewter tailpiece on a les paul style guitar.
 

JeffBlue

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Anything with the normal [email protected]$$ zamak that Gibson uses will NEVER sound as good as a quality machined solid metal (brass, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, etc.) bridge and tailpiece.
 

tdarian

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Anything with the normal [email protected]$$ zamak that Gibson uses will NEVER sound as good as a quality machined solid metal (brass, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, etc.) bridge and tailpiece.

On some LPs the stock ABR-1s do sound best. I personally think that the wired ABR-1s sound a little warmer and I prefer the tone of my 2 LPs with them over the non-wired ABR-1. The Pigtail ABR-1 that I'm using sounds just like the wired ABR-1 to me but it is not a pain in the ass with wire rattle or flying saddles. I believe the body in the Pigtail ABR-1 is cheap zinc/zamak as well but they care enough make you feel better about it by charging a fortune for it.

I read quite a few stories regarding guys trying the Callaham steel bridge or the Faber which I've also tried and it can be hit or miss.
 

Frogfur

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Just my opinion, but tone is between the tuners and the bridge period.

The stop bar is nothing more than an anchor for the strings for the most part. This is subjective thing.

String vibration transfers energy to the saddles, through the bridge/studs and to the body allowing it to effect the tone, but is only part of the tone of any instrument. There is a combination of things that effect tone. We all know that no one single thing effect your over all tone, but for me, the stop bar is nothing more than a anchor.
 

Mark V Guitars

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NO! The type of metal that your tailpiece is made from has absolutely no effect on tone....cmon! We all know that.....:laugh2::laugh2::naughty:
 

David Mccarroll

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If the material sounds good, it is good.

I've had no luck with steel tailpieces (tried the Callaham) and prefer the LW Aluminum TP on my LPs. I find that steel TP STUDS can sound different from each other, and different from the brass ones I tried.

Interesting - I hear this a lot, yet I put Callaham bridges and tailpieces on all my Gibsons as a matter of course - including a 53 Goldtop (okay - the original bridge had worn to the point where the top E sounds like a banjo - the original is in the case pocket, safe and sound), and quite honestly they are the best sounding items I have ever heard. The Steel stoptail turned the 53 from an awfully nice sounding axe into the Hammer of the Gods.

It is, of course, all subjective, each to their own, and we are all looking for something different.
 

tdarian

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I think the best description of the change brought about by the Callaham steel TP was that things went from "light, bright and airy" with the LW Aluminum to "a heavy thud" with the steel. I know the Callaham TP and Bridge work great on some LPs.....and we are not all after the same exact tone.

I've been seeking a "rounder" tone for some old time blues stuff on an R7 that leans slightly lean but tends to go the other extreme with some hardware swaps like the steel TP or even dual brass TP studs on that guitar.
 

JeffBlue

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Anything and everything either contributes or detracts from your guitar's overall tone. Plastic pickguards as opposed to metal pickguards, aluminum neck as opposed to wood neck, (even different types of wood) body materials, density of body, metal pickup surrounds as opposed to plastic, etc.

I can tell you that these guitars with either a brass face or copper pickguards are not your run of the mill tones and sustain better than most guitars. Everything on your guitar either contributes or inhibits your tone and sustain including your tailpiece.
 

Will S

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I think of these differences more in terms of bicycle frame materials. Why? Because I ride a lot of bikes, and the resonant differences between them is very, very noticeable when it's pounding on your body for hours at a time. Steel vs Alum vs Titanium vs carbon fiber are night and day.

On a bike:
Aluminum = stiff, with more buzz, essentially transferring vibrations at a higher frequency with minimal dampening. 6-series is softer than 7-series.

Cromo Steel = flexy, with a more buttery resonance. Absorbs and dampens more than al, smooths out the ride.

Titanium - very flexy, very dampening. If you don't ride carbon fiber, and want a really smooth road bike that eats up road buzz and lets you ride longer in comfort, Ti is the way to go (I ride carbon road, alum full suspension mtn since frequent crashes won't kill the alum and the full susp and fat tires eats the vibration).

So I'd think you'd naturally want aluminum bridge for more richness/overtones and character of the wood coming through, since it probably dampens the vibration less than any steel, zinc, pewter,Ti, or brass. That said, I don't have a single aluminum bridge in my stable...but probably going to add one to a too-dark Norlin in the near future.
 

JeffBlue

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Interesting take on materials..........everything in the universe vibrates at their own frequencies.
 

sapi

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Bump! Was looking for info...

Tried the stock Gibson HW, Gotoh, Pigtail, Faber and others, and the combination which I preferred on my '07 R9 HM (DJ) was:

*Long Pigtail steel TP studs (preferred over brass) and sockets (bushes).
*RS solid aluminium TP (preferred over all other aluminium ones, but not tried brass). Airy but excellent bass response.
*Callaham steel ABR-1 (preferred over stock Gibson and Pigtail). String balance is better as is clarity and attack. Still retains the vintage vibe. Note that the saddles are brass.
*Brass thumbwheels (tried steel - too bright)
*Pigtail steel ABR-1 studs

It depends, of course, on what you are looking for. I was looking for that vintage vibe with clarity, warmth, sustain and good attack.
My guitar is equipped with Dave Stephens '59 NOS wire pickups and I use DR Pure Blues strings.
I hope this helps a bit, each guitar is different.
 

Dilver

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Bump! Was looking for info...

Tried the stock Gibson HW, Gotoh, Pigtail, Faber and others, and the combination which I preferred on my '07 R9 HM (DJ) was:

*Long Pigtail steel TP studs (preferred over brass) and sockets (bushes).
*RS solid aluminium TP (preferred over all other aluminium ones, but not tried brass). Airy but excellent bass response.
*Callaham steel ABR-1 (preferred over stock Gibson and Pigtail). String balance is better as is clarity and attack. Still retains the vintage vibe. Note that the saddles are brass.
*Brass thumbwheels (tried steel - too bright)
*Pigtail steel ABR-1 studs

It depends, of course, on what you are looking for. I was looking for that vintage vibe with clarity, warmth, sustain and good attack.
My guitar is equipped with Dave Stephens '59 NOS wire pickups and I use DR Pure Blues strings.
I hope this helps a bit, each guitar is different.

+1 on the Callaham ABR. I recently installed the Callaham bridge and a Pigtail lightweight aluminum tailpiece with Montreaux steel studs on my CS-336 and I actually think I'm done. Great acoustic volume, overall clarity and tons of sustain. Outstanding.
 

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