Saddle height - Gibson Explorer '76 Reissue

golivax

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Hi guys. Need help from my fellow guitar nerds! I have a Gibson Explorer '76 Reissue (https://www.long-mcquade.com/71160/...n/Explorer_76_Natural_w_Gold_Hardware_Ltd.htm) and I *really* love the way it plays. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the height of the G string saddle is a bit higher compared to the height of the D string. I've always thought that the D and G saddles had the exact same height (regardless of the string grooves I mean). And weirdly enough, I happen to love that. I can bend the B string without the G getting in the way while still having low action on the high e. Question: Are all Gibson Nashville bridges like this? How about Gibson ABR-1? I have a Non-wire ABR-1 from Philadelphia Luthiers and the height of D and G saddles are exactly the same. Thanks!
 

strayedstrater

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Nashvilles and ABR's aren't supposed to be like that, so you're unlikely to find another one that has the same manufacturing flaw.

If you like the feel and want that on other guitars, you'll have to just slot the other 5 saddles a bit deeper than the G saddle. (Some people will advise that you'll need to also file down the tops of the 5 saddles -- my own experience is that if the slots are cut properly, the top height of saddles and nuts doesn't make a difference -- but opinions and experiences vary on that.)

Nashvilles don't allow as much breakangle as ABR's, and if you file deeper saddle slots you'll lose even more breakangle (have to set the tailpiece higher). So if you want to modify other bridges you may want to start with an ABR or an ABR conversion that fits Nashville posts.
 

golivax

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Nashvilles and ABR's aren't supposed to be like that, so you're unlikely to find another one that has the same manufacturing flaw.

If you like the feel and want that on other guitars, you'll have to just slot the other 5 saddles a bit deeper than the G saddle. (Some people will advise that you'll need to also file down the tops of the 5 saddles -- my own experience is that if the slots are cut properly, the top height of saddles and nuts doesn't make a difference -- but opinions and experiences vary on that.)

Nashvilles don't allow as much breakangle as ABR's, and if you file deeper saddle slots you'll lose even more breakangle (have to set the tailpiece higher). So if you want to modify other bridges you may want to start with an ABR or an ABR conversion that fits Nashville posts.

Thanks for the very insightful comment, strayedstrater! All you said does makes a lot of sense to me. But I don't think I'm going to try it, as there's a high risk of messing things up. If I were to do it, maybe I'd try lowering the slots on the B and e only. But you got it precisely right: I was checking all this stuff to see if I could make my other guitars (e.g., Epi Les Pauls) have the same feel around the 12th fret when bending strings. Thanks again!
 

strayedstrater

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Replacement saddles for Nashvilles and ABR's are readily available. So if you deepen the E & B slots and don't like it (or screw them up), it's not the end of the world.
 

Wise Guy

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Hi guys. Need help from my fellow guitar nerds! I have a Gibson Explorer '76 Reissue (https://www.long-mcquade.com/71160/...n/Explorer_76_Natural_w_Gold_Hardware_Ltd.htm) and I *really* love the way it plays. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the height of the G string saddle is a bit higher compared to the height of the D string. I've always thought that the D and G saddles had the exact same height (regardless of the string grooves I mean). And weirdly enough, I happen to love that. I can bend the B string without the G getting in the way while still having low action on the high e. Question: Are all Gibson Nashville bridges like this? How about Gibson ABR-1? I have a Non-wire ABR-1 from Philadelphia Luthiers and the height of D and G saddles are exactly the same. Thanks!
Slightly off subject, my reissue came with gold hardware and speed knobs(2006). Did yours or no? Btw, my G and D saddles are level. Either way, I've had this since 2006 and it's still my favorite guitar. And that's saying a lot since i just purchased another Les Paul Standard 60's shown in my profile pic. The supposed AA flamed maple tops seem like an understatement!
 

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