Installing Schaller 456/455 Bridge on a Gibson guitar

darkvoice

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I am looking for instructions or videos on how to install a Schaller 456 or 455 bridge on a Les Paul, SG or Flying V.

On existing posts or installed together with new Schaller posts that come as part of the set.

Thank you!
 

ARandall

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Did you do any research on the new bridge vs the measurements of the old bridge to see if it was compatible with the drillings of the body??

And additionally have you actually taken the bridge and tried to either lay it alongside, or put it on the old posts yourself - I mean thats the first step to any logical mind.
 

strayedstrater

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You just slide the stock wrapover bridge/tailpiece backwards off the posts and slide the 455/456 onto the posts.

You can use the stock posts. If the Schaller posts are a tighter fit you can use them instead. Either with the stock bushings, or pull the stock bushings out and push the Schaller bushings in.

The saddles plus the post grub screws have enough range that you can use the 455/456 on either straight or angled posts.
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You mention the Flying V. Only the Melody Maker Flying V had a wrapover bridge/tailpiece. And except for the R4 LP, only LP/SG Juniors and Specials have wrapover bridge/tailpieces.

That plus your asking how to install a 455/456 makes me wonder if you understand that the 455/456 is only a direct replacement on guitars with wrapover bridge/tailpieces.

On any guitar with a tunomatic bridge and separate tailpiece you'd have to plug both the bridge and tailpiece holes, then drill new holes about where the bridge holes were.
 

Slashperryburst

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You just slide the stock wrapover bridge/tailpiece backwards off the posts and slide the 455/456 onto the posts.

You can use the stock posts. If the Schaller posts are a tighter fit you can use them instead. Either with the stock bushings, or pull the stock bushings out and push the Schaller bushings in.

The saddles plus the post grub screws have enough range that you can use the 455/456 on either straight or angled posts.
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You mention the Flying V. Only the Melody Maker Flying V had a wrapover bridge/tailpiece. And except for the R4 LP, only LP/SG Juniors and Specials have wrapover bridge/tailpieces.

That plus your asking how to install a 455/456 makes me wonder if you understand that the 455/456 is only a direct replacement on guitars with wrapover bridge/tailpieces.

On any guitar with a tunomatic bridge and separate tailpiece you'd have to plug both the bridge and tailpiece holes, then drill new holes about where the bridge holes were.

A very good and detailed response and probably eye-opening for the OP, but there have been LE runs of wraptail Vs, so it's not totally beyond the realms of possibility.
 

darkvoice

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Did you do any research on the new bridge vs the measurements of the old bridge to see if it was compatible with the drillings of the body??

And additionally have you actually taken the bridge and tried to either lay it alongside, or put it on the old posts yourself - I mean thats the first step to any logical mind.
I just received the Schaller bridge, as such I didn't have a chance to take off current bridge from my guitar and measure new bridge against the posts.

From what I read on the web so far it looks like the bridge isn't going to fit over existing posts.
 

GrunGie

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What strayedstrater is trying to tell you, is that these bridges are direct replacements, only on guitars with wraparound bridges.
If you have ''regular'' 2 pieces setup (Bridge and stop bar tailpiece) then you will have to modify your guitar.
You don't need to take off any hardware to see that.
You either have wraparound bridge and the schaller fits or you don't.
 

darkvoice

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Thank you for all who responded. I understood about replacing a stock wraparound with Schaller.

In my case I have regular 2-piece Gibson hardware. The idea is to get rid of stop-bar tailpiece and have Schaller 456 take place of adjustable bridge.

Attached photo is what I am trying to achieve - see how posts from tailpiece remain unused and Schaller sits on the posts for the bridge:

GibsonV_7L.jpg
 

strayedstrater

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That's a curious conversion. The only thing I can guess is he wanted the fine tuners and didn't know about the TP-6 tailpiece. Is that someone famous and you're doing a tribute? Or you just like the look?

If you don't mind the empty tailpiece holes, all you have to do is drill new big holes up near the existing bridge holes, push in the Schaller bushings, and use either the Schaller or Gibson posts.

Earlier I mentioned plugging the bridge holes before drilling. That's because I was envisioning a conversion that would leave no trace of the conversion after refinishing. But for results like that you most likely don't need to plug the existing holes.

You won't find articles or videos about how to install a 455/456 like that. I'm pretty sure that no one else has ever replaced a tuneomatic & stopbar with a 455/456 (or even wanted to).

First, set the saddles on your 455/456 to match the saddles on your tuneomatic and then lay your Schaller on top of your tuneomatic (while the tuneomatic is installed in the guitar) to get a ballpark idea of where the new holes need to go. There will be some "wiggle room" afforded by the adjustability of the bridge -- but if you err a little it's better to have the posts a little too close to the bridge since you can compensate with the bridge grub screws to move the bridge back. (If you mount the bridge too far back you might not be able to intonate the high E string.)
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My unsolicited 2 cents: that's a pointless, ill-advised conversion that will dramatically lower the value of the guitar while not providing any benefits. If its a 456 with fine tuners you can get the same function with a TP-6 with no mods to the guitar. If it's a 455 you're not gaining anything at all.
 

strayedstrater

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848a8d4124ba274c0b27b0fafbc2cbde.jpg

Oh, Wolf Hoffman from Accept.

I found several pics but nothing's really clear about whether he had to make significant changes to the pickguard like cutting it away under the Schaller to let it sit lower. The guard in this pic is a little different than the one in your pic.
 

strayedstrater

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Does the V you're going to modify have an ABR or a Nashville bridge?

I was thinking of an ABR when I said you probably don't need to plug the existing bridge holes. Nashville bushings might overlap the locations of the new post holes. If you have to remove the bushings you'll have large holes near where your new holes will go, so for strength/stability I'd plug those before drilling the new holes.
 

darkvoice

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Is that someone famous and you're doing a tribute? Or you just like the look?
I was going to respond, but you already posted photo of Wolf Hoffmann :)
I am basically trying to recreate his white Flying V.

Here's a modern video of him playing that guitar and you can see Schaller 456 better with more details.

My unsolicited 2 cents: that's a pointless, ill-advised conversion that will dramatically lower the value of the guitar while not providing any benefits. If its a 456 with fine tuners you can get the same function with a TP-6 with no mods to the guitar.
Under normal circumstanced - yes, I would have to take a perfectly fine Gibson Flying V and by doing these mods the value would take a huge hit. However, I managed to find a cheap Gibson Flying V with some defects and repairs. It was way below market price for such guitar, so I figured I could use it for this project. I doubt my mods will lower its value significantly.
 
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darkvoice

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A less invasive option would be to keep the posts on the guitar as is and to modify the Schaller 456 bridge. I've seen people doing this - there was a Schaller for sale with this modification.

The difference between exiting bridge poles and Schaller is about 8 mm. Basically you remove about 3-4 mm of metal on the inner side of each opening, which will make openings for studs wider (going from 7mm to 10-11mm), therefore enabling them to accept shorter distance between existing studs.

Schaller456_Mod_1.png


By going with this option I leave value of Gibson V guitar unchanged and only lower the value of a $200-300 Schaller bridge.
 
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darkvoice

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Does the V you're going to modify have an ABR or a Nashville bridge?

I was thinking of an ABR when I said you probably don't need to plug the existing bridge holes. Nashville bushings might overlap the locations of the new post holes. If you have to remove the bushings you'll have large holes near where your new holes will go, so for strength/stability I'd plug those before drilling the new holes.
I am not sure, but here's a photo of current hardware

Existing_Hardware.png
 

strayedstrater

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Looks like a Nashville bridge that threads into metal bushings in the body.

Widening the slots won't work in this application. That's for putting the Schaller on metric-spaced tailpiece studs that are closer together than imperial-spaced studs.

A bridge drops down over a narrow bridge post. A tailpiece slides into a groove in a large diameter tailpiece post. You can't put the Schaller onto bridge posts, even if you make the slots in the Schaller wider.

You need to pull the bridge mounting bushings, plug the holes, and drill new larger diameter, differently spaced holes for tailpiece bushings. Press/hammer tailpiece bushings into the holes, screw in tailpiece studs, put on bridge.

If the ground wire currently goes to the tailpiece, you'll also need to drill a hole from the control cavity to the new hole and run a ground wire to it. (If you have EMG's in it they recommend not grounding the strings, but it would be good to install the wire and not connect it in the control cavity so that's it's there if you ever want to install passive pickups.)
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The 456 is no longer in production, and it's in high demand for Iommi tributes/replicas. Gibson will always make Vee's so I see no issue in modifying the guitar. But there's a finite number of 456's and I really don't like the idea of modifying them.

Plus it's not needed and wouldn't be accurate to Wolf's guitar. You can see that his bridge posts have been replaced with properly spaced tailpiece studs.
 
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darkvoice

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Another option would be to use a different guitar for this project instead of Gibson. I have a vintage white Korean Epiphone which looks very similar to Wolf's 1970s Gibson V.

I will feel less guilty by drilling holes in Epiphone...
 

Blue Blood

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I'm putting a 455 on my SG as well.
Gotta plug the 4 existing holes and redrill for the 455. Measure twice drill once for the scale
 

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