ABR-1 Bridges

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ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Don Butler » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:02 pm

Hi! Iwant to take a little time here and let you all know about a new ABR-1 bridge that I recieved today. It'as from the nice folks at Callaham Guitars. Bill Callaham is now making Gibson replica ABR-1's out of Cold Rolled Steel. Gibson has traditionally used zinc or Zimarc. Zinc ABR-1's are cheap and easy to make. Sadly they do nothing to enhance the tone of the guitar. Basically it's the opposite. They rob your tone. That's one reason people like KTS, Pigtail and others have done well with their Titanium, aluminium and yellow brass saddles. Because they do make an improvement. But I installed a steel ABR-1 that is machined out of a solid billet of cold rolled steel by a CNC machine. The improvement was not slight. I would put these two guitars I installed them on up against anyone's old `50's Les Paul or early `60's SG. It did not make the guitar brighter or zingy. It increased the overall Freq. response and increased the note detail and sustain.
I'm not affiliated with Callaham or did I get them for free. I paid full pop. I'll be buying more of these for certain. I know a couple of the Pigtail alminium bridges I bought were double the price of these. These seem to transfer alot more string energy to the body and neck.
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby bassbob » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:06 am

Is there a website or a place where we can view their stock. I would consider swapping out the tune-o-matic on my SG, at some point in the future.
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Epidrake » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:52 am

That sounds awesome Don. I know you are right because when I changed the trem block on my Strat to steel, my Strat went from crap to great.
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Don Butler » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:56 pm

http://www.callahamguitars.com/abr1.htm

check this page out!! Thanks!
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Epidrake » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:03 pm

Wow, that is so reasonable! I wonder how hard it would be to notch the steel saddles?
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Don Butler » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:23 pm

Bill Callaham told me the saddles are brass.
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Epidrake » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:45 pm

Even better, my 52 reissue tele has brass saddles and they sound great.
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Greggman » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:39 pm

Arent they half brass?
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Epidrake » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:07 pm

What do you mean?
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes. (Prov. 26:4–5).
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Don Butler » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:38 pm

Greggman wrote:Arent they half brass?

As opposed to half-assed...? :D
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby sapi » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:42 pm

Hi Don, glad i found out this site ;) How are ya :)

Did you change out the thumbwheels? The Callaham thumbwheels are made out of steel also. However... i didn't like the tonal result with these, it's like the freq spectrum result was flat, sustain ok but no character, vs the stock brass (i have the Pigtail brass thumbwheels at the mom). Callaham apparently also say steel saddles were too bright.
So the formula right now on my ABR-1 is brass (saddles), steel (ABR-1), brass thumbwheels, steel posts :D
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby bassbob » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:18 pm

Welcome to the forum Sapi. We're glad you found it too. :)
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Epidrake » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:48 pm

Welcome Sapi!

I can't wait to get this setup. It sounds like you guys did all the experimenting already!
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby Don Butler » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:59 pm

I've got the thumbwheels from Retro-Spec which are exactly like original `50's thumbwheels and are made out of brass. Everyone else's thumbwheels are too thick. The brass saddles/steel ABR-1/brass thumbwheels and stainless steel 1.5" bridge posts are the perfect combo on my sunburst R-0. I've also got steel bushings and original `50's steel studs.
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby sapi » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:25 am

Thanks all of you :) I just got the Retrospec thumbwheels. Gotta put them on... eh?
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Re: ABR-1 Bridges

Postby sapi » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:40 am

Don Butler wrote:I've got the thumbwheels from Retro-Spec which are exactly like original `50's thumbwheels and are made out of brass. Everyone else's thumbwheels are too thick. The brass saddles/steel ABR-1/brass thumbwheels and stainless steel 1.5" bridge posts are the perfect combo on my sunburst R-0. I've also got steel bushings and original `50's steel studs.


+1 on the long (vintage type) steel studs and steel bushings. That was when that vintage tone started to happen on my guitar when i replaced the stock brass and i got the Pigtail. With the Callaham ABR-1 the character of the LP as we know it is all there and now when i strum the strings everything rings like a bell. Very nice, acoustic-like and very musical tonal quality. Obviously other factors taken in consideration: strings, pu's, tuners, other HW, etc.
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