The Last 1%...

drugprowlingwolf

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Hey guys,

I've really been putting a lot of play in on my R7 these days and I'm bored at home and lucky enough to have a bit of money to play with after purging a bunch of pedals.

Long story short - I want to try out replacing some of the hardware with more vintage correct materials.

This is a 2014 which seem to have pretty impressive specs so I'm not sure what really needs to be changed out. I am not doing this to chase a sound, just a labor of love for the LP. No need to reiterate about stock parts being good enough - I agree that they are.

I'm mostly interested in:

-ABR1 Replica with properly shaped saddles
-brass bridge posts
-proper thumbwheels
-tailpiece studs/bushings (I think these might be vintage correct?)
-tailpiece

I've been looking at Montreaux. Dave Stephens has some interesting suggestions about it too - recommending some Philadelphia Luthier parts and Faber as the most vintage accurate bridge. I'm not opposed to less expensive options provided they look the part.
 

Mike Irvin

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Don't forget the tuners.

Especially if the original H/W is chrome, and you'll be replacing with nickel plated parts.

I have the aged ones from Retrospec, as Victor pointed out above, and they're awesome.

And while you're at it, R/S also has the best replacement knobs. I think they had a very good switch tip as well.

Check out "Creamtone" for the pickguard and bracket. Also the switch nut and thumb wheels.

Hey, if you're gonna do it, do it right! :thumb:

BTW, the Faber isn't the most vintage accurate bridge and tail piece, but they look close. The thing about Faber that I and many others have found is they are Light, very well made with close tolerances, can come with saddles notched, or not, they look great and just work well! Love mine!

Enjoy!
 

drugprowlingwolf

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Thanks everyone.

The retrospec stuff looks right - any input on the actual materials/metallurgy?

The retrospec ABR1 bridge looks nice but the saddle geometry is off. Does anyone make the old school saddles?

The thumb wheels, bridge posts, and anchors look great.
 

VictorB

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Kim at Historic Makeovers has done his homework with his parts. I have a set of his bonnet knobs, they are awesome. You could email him and ask about the ABR-1 issues you have.

One needs to be wary, a LOT of “authentic” parts, aged or not, are repackaged/repurposed Gibson parts.

The Montreaux parts are great as well, but other than Reverb, they’re tough to find online.
 

drugprowlingwolf

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Kim at Historic Makeovers has done his homework with his parts. I have a set of his bonnet knobs, they are awesome. You could email him and ask about the ABR-1 issues you have.

One needs to be wary, a LOT of “authentic” parts, aged or not, are repackaged/repurposed Gibson parts.

The Montreaux parts are great as well, but other than Reverb, they’re tough to find online.
Thanks, Victor. I retract my statement about the saddles - I've been poring over threads (nothing to do!) and there is inconsistency - the first ones I viewed for whatever reason looked wider and more squat somehow. So yeah, I take back what I said about the saddle geometry - I'm not an expert and was referencing limited resources... I know a lot of people have put a lot of blood, sweat, tear, and money into this thing and I definitely don't want to ruffle any feathers about it.

Seeing other bursts, Kim's stuff does look pretty bang on - I will reach out to him.

I was hopinh to see Throbak had something given his grip on Kalamazoo era construction methods for all things Gibson.
 

VictorB

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Thanks, Victor. I retract my statement about the saddles - I've been poring over threads (nothing to do!) and there is inconsistency - the first ones I viewed for whatever reason looked wider and more squat somehow. So yeah, I take back what I said about the saddle geometry - I'm not an expert and was referencing limited resources... I know a lot of people have put a lot of blood, sweat, tear, and money into this thing and I definitely don't want to ruffle any feathers about it.

Seeing other bursts, Kim's stuff does look pretty bang on - I will reach out to him.

I was hopinh to see Throbak had something given his grip on Kalamazoo era construction methods for all things Gibson.
It’s all good man!
 

Mike Irvin

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Almost put this in my earlier post on the Faber, but one of the things I like the most about the Faber bridge are the Saddles!

Tight tolerances, no rattle, perfect intonation, screws adjust easily, and easy to pull or replace.
 

mdubya

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So, if I order up some brass saddles and bridge posts from Philadelphia Luthier, that will smooth out the top end on my bright guitars?

Or is it a wash?

My ABRs work fine. But a couple of my guitars are pretty bright and could use some sweetening up.

I wasn't sold by the tone results in the Dave Stephens videos. Lots of talk and conjecture (and damnation).
 

ARandall

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^ Pretty normal for DS, lets face it.

The 'problem' many have had with the super accurate vintage stuff is that its about a 50/50 wash as to whether your change will result in any sort of improved tone (and lets set aside the moving goalposts aspect of that for a second).

One of the early posts I read here on the subject of bridges was a shootout with several brands on a historic. The result was that for his guitar, the original Gibson ABR (with whatever construction it had in the 2012-ish type era) was the 'best'.

In short, changing the 1%ers can end up with the guitar 10% further away from where it started.
 

PauloQS

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I have a question about the ABR-1. I noticed that on some vintage 59 LPs, the bridge narrows a bit toward the posts, creating almost a point. However, others stay pretty rounded.

Here’s two reissues, but I’ve seen similar thing on vintage guitars as well



Were there two different shapes of ABR-1 bridges, or did they just get chewed up with intensive use?
 

d1m1

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Up to 60-70% of tone make the Pups. Get some good PAF´s or clones. Than you need pots with values well over 500K for more calrity. As for hardware i´m very happy DMC. To the best repros.
 

drugprowlingwolf

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Thanks guys.

All the electronics are as good as they’re gonna get for now. I emailed Kim - the DS stuff is kinda rambling. I don’t wanna open a can of worms but... for such sought after pafs it does seem very... never mind, hahaha. I do think his mention of no metallurgical matching going on interesting. I don’t subscribe to “vintage always better” but there can be differences. I think Johan Segeborn has great videos showing it - and Abr differences too.

DMC has one that looks good but I’ll be damned if I can figure out how one orders from them. They're paf covers look really good, though I’m sorted on those.

Thanks for all the feedback.
 

VictorB

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Dave’s Guitar used to carry DMC parts, but that was years ago...

Not sure where to source them these days. I always come up dry on Reverb.
 

mdubya

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Dave’s Guitar used to carry DMC parts, but that was years ago...

Not sure where to source them these days. I always come up dry on Reverb.
I hope you don't dwell on that too much.
 

Uncle Vinnie

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^^^^^

Highlight and copy the Japanese text, then go to Google's online translator.
 


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