Can the bridge effect tone?

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Jeffytune, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Jeffytune

    Jeffytune Well-Known Member

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    Hi all.

    I want to start this thread with the hopes of a open discussion and exchange of opinions. Lets all try to keep it civil and respect other opinions please.

    In the video, the poster took an 2016 Historic Gibson Les Paul and tried three different ABR-1 bridges made from different metals to try and see if he could hear a difference.
    I found the three bridges to have very different and distinct Tones. While I know the one I liked the best, I also acknowledge that all three will have some who like them that one best.

    So, we are not looking for a winner here, just showing how a small change can make a difference.

     
  2. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    First observation. Where the tone changes the most is between 2:02 and 2:07. But so does the picking spot.
     
  3. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    It's not a blind test, you were told what each bridge was and what they were made of.
     
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  4. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    Sure different bridges can make a difference tonally as well as the saddles based both on the materials used and how they are anchored to the body itself. I've used several different ones.

    I replaced the stock bridge and zinc pot metal bridge anchors on my '56 Gold Top with a Faber Steel Bridge locking bridge with steel saddles and solid steel body inserts. The guitar came more "alive" tonally. Brighter, snappier, more sustain and clarity both clean and when playing with overdrive.

    I replaced the steel saddles on a '62 style Telecaster with compensated brass saddles giving the guitar a warmer tone.

    I replaced the standard 3 saddle bridge on another Telecaster with a Babicz FCH Bridge with steel cams. That bridge has much better saddle to bridge and bridge to body contact than a stock Tele bridge and yields a brighter tone with more clarity and sustain. The saddles also lock in place.

    IMHO the hardtail bridge on my Robt. Cray Strat yields a very different tonality than a standard tremolo bridge. It's much snappier and more percussive. Listen to anything Robt Cray has recorded and the tone of that bridge is very recognizable.

    I've used the bass version of that Babicz FCH Bridge on two basses with very similar results. Even with flat wound strings the response is more clarity and far better snap and sustain.

    I also like the Saddle Lock Bridges G&L uses on certain models of their guitars and basses. The bridge has a oval flange on the bottom which is sunken into the body itself to provide better transfer of string vibrations into the body and the saddles themselves are locked together by a grub screw so the bridge functions more like one solid unit.

    But the question is always does everyone appreciate these changed or advantages over vintage bridges and their specific tonality. Some will and some won't.
     
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  5. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    All I'm saying is: if you're going to make or tout a comparison video make it a blind comparison.
     
  6. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Not everything has to be follow a clinical trial protocol.:) Then we'll each need the same viewing platform (computer or mobile), speakers, room acoustics, and enough listeners to do a qualitative analysis of the survey results. Also, the question of which one is best, was never posed. It's just, "Do you hear a difference?"
     
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  7. Jeffytune

    Jeffytune Well-Known Member

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    If you want it to be a "Blind test" then all one need do it listen and not watch.
     
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  8. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Of course the bridge affects tone, so does humidity, string material, gauge, and scale length count, too, I still have a wooden compensated bridge saddle from a ES-330, but I sound the same through all of 'em. I will take the flack and say that 90% of the differences in "tone" between bridges is subject bias and the the other 10% is irrelevant to anyone but the guy wondering. I'm gonna go play my stock Riviera, now.
     
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  9. Nikki M

    Nikki M New Member

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    Try 1 bridge with 3 different guitars..all les pauls..same pickups and pots..same strings..same nuts..bet theres a difference..
     
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  10. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Winner, winner chicken dinner.
     
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  11. AJ6stringsting

    AJ6stringsting Well-Known Member

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    The bridge and the tailpiece does lots of changes in the dynamics of a vibrating guitar string.

    One night I was play my Gibson 1971 Flying V and 2007 Epiphone LPC, like all my Epi's and Gibby's, they all got Wilkinson roller bridges and Schaller tailpieces with fine tuners.
    My wife said she would hear it in the other room and I wasn't on my amp.
    The sustain improved and natural / pinched harmonics are stronger. And I could feel the notes vibrate through out the body more.

    Plugged in, it was like a new guitar.
     
  12. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    I can see a bridge having a really light influence on tone. Strings are resting on a really really thin section of saddle or ridge or roller, depending on model. It might be transfering vibrations to body differently, that somehow travel to the pickup mounting legs or screws or springs, and then added to the magnetic vibration of the string received by the pickup magnet. So yeah ... it might change something.

    Now ... once that vibration has gone through that sequence, what's left of it to hit the really short untuned section of string to the tailpiece and then do the same traveling sequence from tailpiece to pickup magnets ?

    One word comes to mind ... farfetched.

    Disclaimer: this was wrtietn afetr a petrty well spkied ruhm & Coke :cheers:
     
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  13. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    https://www.youtube.com/c/JohanSegeborn/featured

    This guy does great comparisons. One of the barriers may be: comparing apples to apples. Most bridges are made of the same materials...

    I'd rather have a pot-metal bridge set up perfectly than a solid billet milled bridge that wasn't set up well. BUT.... the differences between metals can be pretty substantial.

    Check out. Johan's video on saddles comparisons. surprising.
     
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