Gibson Flying V 74/75 restoration - HW - tailpiece/saddles/bridge/nut...

citizen.one

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Hi there,

as the title states - i do own a 74/75 Flying V (probably some kind of limited edition, since it does have a oval stamped serial number, but that does not probably matter). Its all original except nut, tailpiece and three saddles. Its a great guitar, so im a chase to get it all original. Wanted to ask about something - the tailpiece is supposed to be the non-lightweight version, some collectors told me, that there were some steel made ones while some other told me its a nonsense and gibson made only chrome plated zinc after the alu version - as far as i know, this should be true?
Anyways - whats bothering me more are the saddles - the abr has collapsed a bit, so somebody replaced it completely, however the original remained aside the guitar. So i have made it straight again using several days tension on it and now it seems to be perfectly straight. Still, three saddles - G-B-E were lost during some time. A good friend of mine setted the guitar up with the non original bridge, the guitar sounded better than i remember, yet i have tryied the original bridge and now it sounds even better - yet theres is a certain harshness in top three strings which i think its because of the newer saddles. And here comes the question - the original ones are milled brass ones, with pretty big top (so the string is in contact with it in like 1-1,5mm) and i want to ask - were all these 70s ABR bridges fitted with these milled brass ones or was it some remains of 50s/60s ? Really want to complete the guitar with as original as it gets parts, so this post is also ment as a offer in case someone here does have these parts and dont have use for it ;) thanks! martin
 

ARandall

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Bridges were made on demand....and abr's were used all through the 60's right until 75. There were no mythical stashes of 50's parts that somehow surfaced again. This sort of story keeps doing the rounds from many angles, no matter how many times the stories get debunked.
If you want to be optimistic, they might have made batches of fresh vintage correct ones as in the early 70's they made the first reissues and who knows they might have made some parts for them.
 

citizen.one

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thanks - well i just wondered if the milled saddles were made even in 70s - i have a harmonica bridges here, so nothing to compare with - i have orderes some (claimed) NOS saddles from an old service, but the photos were blurry, so its mostly a shot in a dark - just want to have the correct parts - at first the guitar had nonoriginal poles etc., and every step back to original made it even better - perhaps by calming my "all original OCD", that must i admit ;D
 

ARandall

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70's parts are about, and despite some skyrocketing prices are somewhat reasonable still if you pick the right things (tuners for example). You might be able to source some more vintage correct saddles from replica parts makers - that wide saddle thing was certainly more prevalent in the 50's.
Also you could see if simply filing down a more modern saddle would work.
 

citizen.one

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i have tried modern replicas (crazyparts, pigtail, etc.) - most usually not as big contact surface with the string and the difference between the 3 original ones and the new ones was always pretty significant - newer much brighter, less body, etc. Almost the same result as here
. Its even worse because 3 saddles are highly used, but "perfect" and 3 are in perfect condition but "bad sounding" :(
 

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