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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Thanks Mapleflame!!

    On the Pigtail post here last week, Mapleflame posted that if you replace the ABR-1 posts with 6/30" x 1 1/2" Stainless Steel screws(cut the head off after you get them set to the right height) your tone will really improve.
    Well.. it ain't no joke! Wow!! I've done a number of my guitars in the last day and it's improved everyone of them.
    Anyway, just wanted to say THANKS to Mapleflame for that suggestion!!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Your welcome, and coming from an amp tech from the gods and a great guitar repair guy, I am glad it worked for ya. I have been helped tremendously from guys here that is fo sure.
    Top carves are sexy

  3. #3

    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Can you show a pic of that--im confused

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Go to Home depot and get Phillips head stainless steel screws that are 6/32 size and 1 1/2 inches long. Cut the head of the screw off right at the base grind it to a really round crown. and install them in place of the Historic or Gibson stud for the ABR-1. Not to be confused with the stud for the Nashville bridge. It's the screw pole the holds the ABR-1 and thumbweel.
    Top carves are sexy

  5. #5

    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    The previous owner of my '91 Classic removed the studs and replaced them regular screws with the head of the screw intact. He put spacers under the bridge to set the height and tightened the screw down against the bridge to hold everything together. I guess it was his way of locking the bridge tight to increase sustain.

    Anyway, I converted it back to a proper ABR setup by using a stainless steel screw with the head removed, just as TM1 described. Here are a few tips on doing such a repair:

    - The cleanest way to cut a screw shorter is the use a Dremel with a cutoff wheel. A hacksaw will shread the end of the screw damaging the threads.

    - Once the head is gone, of course there is nothing left to drive the screw with. Don't use pliers or you'll tear up the threads. You can make a drive for the screw by binding two nuts tightly against each other (use two wrenches). This locks them to the stud which you can now screw into the wood using a nutdriver. Once the stud is at the proper height, use the two wrenches to break the nuts loose and remove them.






  6. #6

    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Mapleflame, is this because the stock posts don't thread to the bottom of the hole? I've been thinking of buying some 6/32 threaded rod & installing them tight to the bottom of the holes, then cutting them to be just flush with the top of the bridge. Is what I'm describing the same basic principal? I know my posts do not bottom out in their holes.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Electric Lloyd View Post
    Mapleflame, is this because the stock posts don't thread to the bottom of the hole? I've been thinking of buying some 6/32 threaded rod & installing them tight to the bottom of the holes, then cutting them to be just flush with the top of the bridge. Is what I'm describing the same basic principal? I know my posts do not bottom out in their holes.
    Stainless has better sonic abilities, and as you say, with the post screwed down even father creates more surface area for vibration. Not all the holes are drilled a little farther past the original post length. If you cut the pole the same size as the original, it's defeating the purpose. Also the tilt factor of the bridge will be reduced.
    Top carves are sexy

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member keef's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Uh oh....gentlemen, break out your tools...

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member chux06r9's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    MapleFlame- This is a great tip. I have never taken these studs out of the guitar. About how much thread engagement into the guitar is typical with the stock studs? How much more should you achieve with the stainless studs? I think you are saying that if the stock studs are already at the bottom of the tap hole that you should tap deeper. That's the tricky part. Thanx for any more info.

    Also, Danelectro your pics and the tip with the two nuts and socket driver were fantastic!!! Thanx
    -Chuck

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member burst59's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Great tone improvement.


    Pure And Simple.


    www.vollmerrocks.net

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member toxpert's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    I did that to my 68 GT. I bought stainless steel screws; screwed them all the way down and tight into the holes; then cutoff the screw shaft with a Dremel cutoff wheel.

    My 68 has the brightest, most articulate tone of my lesters. I never thought much about the stainless steel sonic properties as I was doing this...I was just retrofitting proper sized studs to fit a ABR back onto the guitar.

    Makes me think about doing that to my R7 and see if the lower register of the low E string improves....???!

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Makes me think about doing that to my R7 and see if the lower register of the low E string improves....???!

    It sure will! My R-0 has more tone now than ever. Nice round lows, punchy mids and a smooth, sweet topend. It sounds alot like the "Fresh Cream" Lester now..
    I can't believe how much of an improvement two .39 cent a piece screws made. I also did my ES-339, R-7 Custom, `62 Hist.SG/LP, FB VII and a Casino.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    Makes me think about doing that to my R7 and see if the lower register of the low E string improves....???!

    It sure will! My R-0 has more tone now than ever. Nice round lows, punchy mids and a smooth, sweet topend. It sounds alot like the "Fresh Cream" Lester now..
    I can't believe how much of an improvement two .39 cent a piece screws made. I also did my ES-339, R-7 Custom, `62 Hist.SG/LP, FB VII and a Casino.

    Just had a go huh. Now that's some 6 X.39 cents of pleasure. I am sure it was easy to do this in the shop and on a nice bench.
    Top carves are sexy

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MapleFlame View Post
    Just had a go huh. Now that's some 6 X.39 cents of pleasure. I am sure it was easy to do this in the shop and on a nice bench.
    Yeah, took about 15-20 minutes for each guitar after I did the first one rather slowly to make sure I didn't run into anything weird. I used a power screwdriver to run them in and then measured the height, cut off the head with my Dremel and rounded it, thumbwheels & bridge on and adjust the action. It's interesting to see how loose some of the holes are at the first 1/2". The deeper the thread went the tighter it got.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member el84ster's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    This is why I love this place, thanks for posting this.

    BUT, I have to say that I didn't like the change to my R8. It was too bright, and seemed to take out some midrange. It was meatier with the stock brass screws. So, be aware it may not be best for every taste/guitar.

  16. #16
    Formerly Lefty Elmo Steve Craw's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by keef View Post
    Uh oh....gentlemen, break out your tools...
    Well, I broke out my tools last night, and installed stainless posts for the bridge. It's a simple mod, and only took about half an hour from start to finish. It seems to have given a little more sparkle to the top end, which is always welcome in my world. Thanks Mapleflame and TM1
    "The Dude abides"

    With me, you never know...Hell, I don't even know what I might do next.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member roadrunner's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Mmmm, very interesting...

    Were the posts on the old guitars stainless steel?
    Achieve the Possible!

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by roadrunner View Post
    Mmmm, very interesting...

    Were the posts on the old guitars stainless steel?
    brass coated with nickle they were. The point of doing this mod is not just for metal content, but it is for the length and the ability to go deeper into the maple top.
    Top carves are sexy

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member darkwave's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    I did something similar a year or two ago to a '77 Ibanez Destroyer. I got the guitar as an overspray with all of the parts changed. It had a Nashville bridge on press-in bushings (which were way loose) and didn't have enough travel to intonate properly.

    I dowelled the holes with mahogany and installed larger stainless screws (#8?)which fit the lerger holes in the Nashville bridge. I also added lock screws as on a TonePros bridge. It's a VERY solid installation now. Not stock, but this guitar was far from that to begin with.

    -Douglas C.
    Last edited by darkwave; 10-28-12 at 02:44 PM.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member MIKE20's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    ...I will have to try "The MapleFlame Mod"...

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKE20 View Post
    ...I will have to try "The MapleFlame Mod"...
    Mike my guitar Tech told me that the Home Depot screws have more steel in it so try to source some stailess that is mostly Nickle,Chrome, and Vanadium. I just picked up some from my tech yesterday and forgot to ask him what they were. I just asked.
    Last edited by MapleFlame; 12-29-07 at 10:38 AM.
    Top carves are sexy

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member MikeG59's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    This mod was actually given to me by Jay (Murkat) of the Gibson custom shop some time ago. I will paste the details here below:

    Go to a Ace hardware store with one the adjustment wheels, locate the screw parts aisle, find the correct threaded screw(s) @ 2,1/2" with a phillips mushroom top to replace the stock 1" brass ones.
    measure the height of the bridge setup on both sides, you'll need this to know where to cut the new ones.
    remove old pins, drill down approx 1, 3/4" to get down into the mahogany. screw new ones in to measured length, cut off tops, file and finish new tops, make sure new tops are just below the bridges top side, dont want them to protrude, setup guitar, plug it in. do a before and after reecording for reference if you can.
    Let me know what you think. Possibily... it will wake it up to a whole new level.....

    good luck, have fun with it, atb~
    Jay
    Last edited by MikeG59; 12-30-07 at 10:38 AM.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    the screws are 6/32's
    Top carves are sexy

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member MIKE20's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    we have Home Depot here,no Ace or Lowes...6/32 being screw size and thread...303 is a low grade stainless,304,309,310 is a higher grade...316 would be the highest grade stainless readily available to common folk...
    this is a simple mod...

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKE20 View Post
    we have Home Depot here,no Ace or Lowes...6/32 being screw size and thread...303 is a low grade stainless,304,309,310 is a higher grade...316 would be the highest grade stainless readily available to common folk...
    this is a simple mod...

    I must be smoking crack, I listed it in the opposite
    Top carves are sexy

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member dwagar's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    I tried the 'MapleFlame Mod' tonight, really easy, thanks man.

    I was surprised to see my original posts were slightly bent. SS shouldn't bend.

    I think it's added a bit more resonance and really digs the high notes. Maybe a bit more harmonic overtones.

    Great mod, cheap and easy. Hardest part was finding the screws (my local Home Depot didn't carry them that long, but, for Canucks, Canadian Tire did).

    Thanks!
    - Don

    Originally Posted by reswot
    A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

  27. #27

    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Last edited by 59Vampire; 01-02-08 at 07:00 PM.
    You make me want to pick up a guitar and celebrate the myriad ways that I love you.

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member MIKE20's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by dwagar View Post
    I tried the 'MapleFlame Mod' tonight, really easy, thanks man.

    I was surprised to see my original posts were slightly bent. SS shouldn't bend.

    I think it's added a bit more resonance and really digs the high notes. Maybe a bit more harmonic overtones.

    Great mod, cheap and easy. Hardest part was finding the screws (my local Home Depot didn't carry them that long, but, for Canucks, Canadian Tire did).

    Thanks!
    ...Canadian Tire has 'em?....


    guess, where I'm headed...

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    I just replaced the one's in the Prereissue, man did it make a huge improvement. What's funny is, that when you do the mod keeping the same strings on, the strings loose their freshness, but I still can dramatically hear the difference.
    Top carves are sexy

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member dwagar's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    I think quite a bit of the improvement probably comes from the extra 1/4" of coupling too.

    Either that or we're all crazy. There's always that possibility.
    - Don

    Originally Posted by reswot
    A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member MikeG59's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    well I just completed the pigtail studs, tailpiece, bridge and stainless steel bridge studs today and i left in the bushings. no point in taking any chances once I saw that the pigtail studs screwed in nice and firm and tight. this guitar friggin sings. very nice

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member dwagar's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    and the Gibson bushings are already steel. I never replace mine either.
    - Don

    Originally Posted by reswot
    A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member MIKE20's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    arrghhh...three crappy tires and two home despots later...no screws...will visit industrial supplier soon...

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKE20 View Post
    arrghhh...three crappy tires and two home despots later...no screws...will visit industrial supplier soon...
    I am sure you can go online and getem
    Top carves are sexy

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member MIKE20's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    yes,thanks,MF.It's no biggie.I know I can easily get them from a regular fastener company but none are open today.They should have them in a higher grade of stainless as well.

    BTW...the grade of stainless screws and fasteners I saw today were 18.8...

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member MikeG59's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKE20 View Post
    arrghhh...three crappy tires and two home despots later...no screws...will visit industrial supplier soon...
    mike i can get you all you want at Ace Hardware on Long Island. email me at mikeg@mikegervasi.com and give me your address and ill send you them 2.5" 16x32 stainless

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member radioscooter's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    I hate to ask the dumb question here but it hasn't been asked yet that I have seen (all the more reason I'm sure it's dumb)

    Concerning the other end of the screws - are these pointed-end wood screws or flat-end sheet metal tyoe screws? I would assume we are going for wood screws as you've described digging further into the wood of the guitar but having never removed my bridge studs - are the stock studs taper-ended like regular wood screws as well?

    Also - if we are digging further down into the wood - don't we need to be cautious of splitting? Or does the existent stud hole act as a pilot?
    "The thin of the soiling and paint calls and with feeling, the thornback wind it is atmosphere."

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member pepejara's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Another Dumb question:
    Is it part of this mod to drill the wood to reach the mahogany?
    Thanks!
    My blog, les paul X-Ray pics and more les paul pics...
    http://pepejara.blogspot.com.es/

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member fjminor's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by radioscooter View Post
    I hate to ask the dumb question here but it hasn't been asked yet that I have seen (all the more reason I'm sure it's dumb)

    Concerning the other end of the screws - are these pointed-end wood screws or flat-end sheet metal tyoe screws? I would assume we are going for wood screws as you've described digging further into the wood of the guitar but having never removed my bridge studs - are the stock studs taper-ended like regular wood screws as well?

    Also - if we are digging further down into the wood - don't we need to be cautious of splitting? Or does the existent stud hole act as a pilot?
    You will be looking for a MS - Machine Screw - threaded 6-32 X 1 1/2 length. If you are not sure, try putting one of the thumbwheels on a wood or sheet metal screw? It's not happening - you need threaded rod. What I dont understand is how the Machine Screw threads into the wood - but I wont bother with that thought, as it has been this way since the beginning of time!!!

    I went to Home Depot yesterday and found them - 6-32X1 1/2 Slotted Pan Head machine screws Stainless steel. They were buried so I had to do some digging. I also have looked on the web for these screws as anything in a 6-32 X 1 1/2 length is really not your standard size in that thread - they are on the web, but most screw dealers screw you in the shipping fee -

    I am getting ready to try this upgrade - thanks again Mapleflame for the information to enable this change.

    ..and also Danelectro for your information also....
    Last edited by fjminor; 12-31-07 at 06:01 AM.

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member MikeG59's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks Mapleflame!!

    Quote Originally Posted by pepejara View Post
    Another Dumb question:
    Is it part of this mod to drill the wood to reach the mahogany?
    Thanks!
    yes using a bit smaller than the original hole marking it with masking tape at 1.5"

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