The Fender Forum
NEW! LPF Facebook Page
NEW! LPF Instagram Page
Merchandise & Donations
NEW! Burst Serial Log Home Page
LPF Homesite
Results 1 to 36 of 36
  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member JimFog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Philly, pa
    Posts
    177

    Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    So, I know the ABR-1 is generally preferred by far over the big clunky Nashville bridge. I have a REALLY nice '13 Traditional that I can't help but wonder if it would benefit by doing the conversion. I know there are a few companies out there selling conversion kits.


    I would imagine going whole hog and doing new posts, etc would be the thing to do, if you really want the full effect?

    Has anyone done it.........found it worthwhile, or not? How would you describe the differences? Any particular conversion kits recommended?

    Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Iíve done it at least 3 times. To project guitars. The last time I kept the strings on and did a before and after di recording to be able to verify the difference.

    removed bushings, wood plugs, tapped posts directly into the new wooden plugs etc.

    Thr recorded difference was less dramatic than I had expected. Mostly because Acoustically the abr1 set up is noticeably louder.

    A/B listening to the recordings the difference was a bit more subtle. But the volume, sustain and both treble and bass are increased with the abr1 setup. At least on the mik Sheraton I used as a test subject. That guitar was loud and had a focused voice prior to the bridge swap. But I like it even better now.

  3. #3
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,649

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    I changed the bridge on my Traditional just using the conversion posts and ABR-1. I'm not confident that plugging the holes with wood and redoing would sound any better than the bushings already set. IMNSHO, the plugging work has a chance of not being as dense, and there's be an added layer of glue between the posts and the body/top. High frequencies would suffer most, and I like a brighter guitar.

  4. #4

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Each guitar Iíve done this to has better high end content than stock with bushings. Different attack not as heavy on the transient but more high and low end content.

    So whatever.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member ivan H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    I did the Faber conversion to my '13 Traditional. The guitar was just a little dark sounding & I was told it would alleviate it. I did the whole "Tone Lock" conversion, so locking ABR-1 & locking aluminum tailpiece. I used the press in bridge studs for which I had to deepen the drillings by about 1.5mm. On this guitar the result was quite positive, plain strings are clearer, wound strings too with more of that "piano" type twang thing going on.. I'm considering either adding the screw in type bridge studs or plugging & drilling/tapping for proper ABR-1 type studs in the future. Cheers

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lake Ontario shore
    Posts
    13,462

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by zacknorton View Post
    Each guitar Iíve done this to has better high end content than stock with bushings. Different attack not as heavy on the transient but more high and low end content.

    So whatever.
    That has not been my experience. I've never noticed a positive tone shift from having the thin threaded post over the post bushing and adjustable wheel insert. The biggest thing I noticed was an improvement tone wise from the Brass Saddles of the old ABR1's I installed. Whether on bushings, ( I just drilled the holes wider on the ABR1 and used the whole Nashville assembly), or plugging the bushing holes and redrilling for thin ABR posts, (a waste of time, IMO with no sound improvement), the effect was mostly the same and I could detect no, zero, nada tone benefit to have easily bent thin whimsy posts over the sturdy bushing mount.

    I did switch to some all brass bushings and thumbwheel posts, (nickel plated) made by Mighty Might in the 70's and those did sound way better than the thin ABR posts. I still have a few as I bought a bunch. I also tried brass saddles for the older style, (late 70's early 80's Nashville tunamatics I stockpiled), and though I have no problem with the bridge itself and there was a noticeable improvement of tone, IMO, with the brass saddles, it is WAYYYY easier to widen an ABR1 Bridge post hole than it is to switch saddles on the Nashville Bridge!!!!!! For me it was a pain in the ass not worth it, and I do like the Vintage look of the ABR1 so that was what I ended up doing. I get the benefit of the brass saddles and the cool look.

    I thought about some conversion posts, but with my method the ABR1 is very, very tight on the adjustable thumb wheel of the Nashville bushing mount, so much that it won't fall off, and I think that is part of the tone improvement. It also sits more securely and doesn't rock. The only time I've used the classic thin threaded ABR1 post mount has been when I have converted from a wrap tail stud bridge, but as far as changing from a Nashville to ABR1 all I do is slightly widen the post holes and I'm good to go.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    1,237

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    I often do the budget conversion post thing, not really for tone though, just looks. That said, I did the whole shebang twice, ironically one of those guitars was also an early 90's korean sheraton, the other was a hohner 335 type. Both times I did a maple dowel insert glued in, it was a phase I had to go through, and drilled for the post holes. Both times I was "meh" on the results, as in maybe it was a bit different but nothing noticeable was a sure fire improvement, sure looked good on the hohner and that hardware on the early korean sheratons could survive a nuclear war. Both of those guitars, for the price, were quite nice.


    I'm also a saddle swapper, love the yellow brass but I do this silly thing where I file them a bit flatter/wider then sand smooth then barely notch by lightly imprinting the string to for a soft string break, no idea why, probably mental, but I dig the results. I have the pigtail saddles on my Heritage but TBH I didn't notice a difference between their brass and the brass on Kluson ABR's. I swapped a cheap set of ABS plastic saddles just for fun on my ES340 and really really dig them, not coming off. Reason I did it was the "vintage accurate" nylon saddles I paid extra for were hardly the same material as the strings kept sinking further and further into the saddle over a couple months to the point where the screw was about to touch the string...ebay purchases, ya never know, lol.

  8. #8

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    While I would have to agree that the biggest bang for the buck change in performance would have to be in material choice. IE...different metal for the bridge or saddles.... abr1 posts into wood has always been a positive move for me.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lake Ontario shore
    Posts
    13,462

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by zacknorton View Post
    While I would have to agree that the biggest bang for the buck change in performance would have to be in material choice. IE...different metal for the bridge or saddles.... abr1 posts into wood has always been a positive move for me.
    How so? Have you made direct comparisons of abr1/bushing to abr1/dowelled thin post? Or do you attribute what you hear just to the posts?
    The older I get, the better I was.

  10. #10

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    How so...

    In my first reply to this thread.

    I did do a di before and after recording with the same strings.

    basically....more highs more lows and more volume after the plugs and threaded posts.
    Easy to hear and see in pro tools. More dramatic difference when strummed acoustically.

    I would attribute the difference to the posts vs. bushings.

    Both Bridges are zamak or some such so I wouldnít expect much change there.

  11. #11

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    I've noticed a big difference in the sound of the guitar. I bought the Callaham bridge and the Faber locking tailpiece and I have very few handyman skills so in terms of effort it certainly was worth it for me. The guitar has opened up more and the seems to bloom a bit more than it had been. Plus I just like the way the ABR-1 feels under my wrist more than the Nashville does. It seems strange, but it feels more lively than it did with the other bridge on.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lake Ontario shore
    Posts
    13,462

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by zacknorton View Post
    How so...

    In my first reply to this thread.

    I did do a di before and after recording with the same strings.

    basically....more highs more lows and more volume after the plugs and threaded posts.
    Easy to hear and see in pro tools. More dramatic difference when strummed acoustically.

    I would attribute the difference to the posts vs. bushings.

    Both Bridges are zamak or some such so I wouldnít expect much change there.
    I know there is a difference with bridge swaps and especially brass saddles. What I'm asking is have you compared the same bridge to each post/mounting scheme? I have on multiple guitars over 30 years. The same exact abr1 on 6/32 thread screw vs the exact same bridge on the same guitar with bushing/adjustable post. I have not found any noticeable improvement in tone with a dowel/6/32 screw post vs the bushing. I will use the screw post when preserving vintage authenticity but not to improve tone or function.

    IMO and experience having an abr1 on a tunamatic bushing post does not negate any tone shift provided by the abr1. You lose nothing and get all the expected benifits. What I'm wondering is, what did I miss, or am not hearing?
    The older I get, the better I was.

  13. #13

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    I love swapping out Nashvilles for ABRs, especially the Faber Tone-loc ABR! And I prefer the Faber deeper Nashville inserts than the stock shallow gibson inserts. I have swapped the Nashvilles out on 1 USA Les Paul Standard, 2 SGs, 2 Firebirds, 2 Les Paul Specials, 2 Heritage H150s, and in all cases the guitar sounded better than before except for one of the SGs which was because Faber sent me a defective ABR which they notified me of and quickly sent me a new one that sounded great. And in almost all cases the Nasville inserts popped out of their holes with almost no effort. I think the deeper Faber inserts make a better connection with the body. Kind of like the Mapleflame mod with ABR bridge posts.

    Which insert would you rather have on your Les Paul???? The deeper Faber which is German Steel and integrated bridge post (on the right), vs the shallow pot metal Gibson...



    And I love the Tone-Loc ABR when changing strings because the bridge stays on the posts!


    Here's the Tone-loc system on one of my Heritages (all of my LPs are Historics so no Nashvilles to replace)...

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member ivan H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    I agree that the Faber tone lock ABR is a nice bit of kit. I also like the Faber locking tailpiece stud/shim kit. I added the lightweight aluminum tailpiece & studs/shims to my traditional, but just used the studs/shims with the stock tailpiece on my SG. Cheers

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    1,237

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    @rockabilly69, is that faber nashville sized insert a one piece thingy? And, if so, are those the regular abr post threads on it or is it only faber compatible?

  16. #16

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post
    @rockabilly69, is that faber nashville sized insert a one piece thingy? And, if so, are those the regular abr post threads on it or is it only faber compatible?
    yes it is, but I don't know if it's only Faber compatible, as that's all I've ever used them with! Call Faber, they have great customer service, and they may be able to help with the answer. Another thing that I like about the Faber system is replaceable ABR saddles so you can mix and match titanium and brass (plated or unplated, and notched or unnotched).

    Here's there contact info...

    Phone: 1.800.601.0212

    Email: support@faberusa.com

  17. #17

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Big al.

    I donít know what youíre missing or what youíre not hearing.

    I wasnít able to test or record the same bridge on posts vs. bushings due to bridge/posts compatibly issues. But itís an interesting idea. I have given credit to the small but obvious shift in volume and voice on these guitars to the bridge mounting method. But two variables were changed.

    Iím sure one zamak or similar bridge to another could sound different? But I wouldnít expect it because it wasnít the most dramatic change from A to B . And youíre right that could be attributed to operator bias.

    But it what do I know? I was happy with the results of the ďmaplefrlame modĒ.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member ivan H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post
    @rockabilly69, is that faber nashville sized insert a one piece thingy? And, if so, are those the regular abr post threads on it or is it only faber compatible?
    I bought the complete Faber Tone Lock kit for my Traditional. The Nashville inserts have a metric thread. They supplied both the metric lock caps & the correctly threaded ABR post lock caps in the insert zip lock bag. Hope this helps. Cheers

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lake Ontario shore
    Posts
    13,462

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by zacknorton View Post
    Big al.

    I donít know what youíre missing or what youíre not hearing.

    I wasnít able to test or record the same bridge on posts vs. bushings due to bridge/posts compatibly issues. But itís an interesting idea. I have given credit to the small but obvious shift in volume and voice on these guitars to the bridge mounting method. But two variables were changed.

    Iím sure one zamak or similar bridge to another could sound different? But I wouldnít expect it because it wasnít the most dramatic change from A to B . And youíre right that could be attributed to operator bias.

    But it what do I know? I was happy with the results of the ďmaplefrlame modĒ.
    My mistake, I thought you were saying the 6/32 screw post was an improvement over the bushing post. I've found noticeable difference between stock abr1 and nashville tuneamatics. BIG improvements with quality aftermarket bridges for both for sure and options to suit most preferences.

    The central question, I thought, was swapping a nashville out for an abr1. It is my opinion that using the existing mounting post is easier than dowel/ redrill and sounds as good.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,554

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Last week, I installed a Faber BSWKIT and ABRN bridge and an RS Guitarworks lightweight tailpiece and steel studs in my 2014 Traditional Pro II '50s neck. The BSWKIT, lightweight tailpiece and steel studs were parts that I had on hand. I just bought the ABRN bridge new. I like that it has the ABR-1 look and feel but fits the spacing of the Nashville. The previous owner had put a Tonepros Bridge and tailpiece on the guitar.

    The improvement in sustain is dramatic. I think that has a lot to do with the BSWKIT, though I installed the lightweight tailpiece and steel studs at the same time. The guitar sounds better too- there's more nasal honk and flutey sounds through a cranked amp than before. I would've normally associated with pickups but I made sure they were set the same as they were before I made the changes.

  21. #21

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    And that makes total sense to me. Those steel bushings are impressive.

  22. #22
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,649

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    For the record, I tend to prefer the vintage style 6/32 posts directly into the wood. When possible, I do the "Mapleflame mod" by using longer stainless steel posts which seat farther into the body hoping for better "coupling".

    My theory is that the lighter mass of the abr-1/smaller posts and tighter joint allows for higher frequencies (less energy) to be transferred to the body allowing for some effect. My preference is for lighter/more resonant body adding more overtones and wood reaction (not to be confused with feedback which is often easier to get with tighter focused guitars).

    While I shy away from plugging the holes for the fear of a negative effect, I hadn't never considered the longer post option to help counteract any losses that may occur from a less than optimal plug job.

    For my traditional I used the simple conversion posts and steel posts with a lightweight tailpiece. The results are nothing less than stellar for my taste. My Traditional is my #1 and allowed me to sell my '56 conversion without too much pain.



  23. #23

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    How do you deepen the bridge holes for the press in Faber inserts? Drill press? Man, that would make me nervous.

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Shakedown Street
    Posts
    2,410

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    This is exactly something I have been thinking about as I have one of my Les Paul's which has a Nashville Bridge and I want to convert it into a ABR-1 . What is the easiest and best way to do this ? Who should I buy this from ? Should I just get the conversion posts and if I did would that mean I could use a Gibson ABR-1 on top of the conversion posts ?

  25. #25
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,649

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    This is exactly something I have been thinking about as I have one of my Les Paul's which has a Nashville Bridge and I want to convert it into a ABR-1 . What is the easiest and best way to do this ? Who should I buy this from ? Should I just get the conversion posts and if I did would that mean I could use a Gibson ABR-1 on top of the conversion posts ?

    By far the "easiest" is to use the conversion posts. No mods needed. No risk of damaging the coupling between bridge and body. A simple swap and done.

    Gibson ABR-1 fits right on.

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Shakedown Street
    Posts
    2,410

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    By far the "easiest" is to use the conversion posts. No mods needed. No risk of damaging the coupling between bridge and body. A simple swap and done.

    Gibson ABR-1 fits right on.
    From who can I purchase the conversion posts please ?

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member JimFog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Philly, pa
    Posts
    177

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    From who can I purchase the conversion posts please ?
    https://www.philadelphialuthiertools...bridge-nickel/

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member ivan H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by mowelker View Post
    How do you deepen the bridge holes for the press in Faber inserts? Drill press? Man, that would make me nervous.
    To deepen the hole I used a (correctly sized) drill bit in a hand chuck. Mahogany is a soft, workable wood so its very easy to do. Just take your time & you'll be good. Cheers

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Shakedown Street
    Posts
    2,410

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Thanks for the link . Mucho Gracias

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member Hotshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Canadia
    Posts
    282

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Put Faber system on a 97 Studio i re finished. Cost a bit, but like it a lot. Used a drill and a hammer to mill out the added length.

    Having said that, I put the Faber system on my 80 KM just to see if the "upgrade" makes all better. It did not. Some machines play awesome just the way they are. So, On my 97, it was a great addition.

    And added brightness.

  31. #31

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotshot View Post
    Put Faber system on a 97 Studio i re finished. Cost a bit, but like it a lot. Used a drill and a hammer to mill out the added length.

    Having said that, I put the Faber system on my 80 KM just to see if the "upgrade" makes all better. It did not. Some machines play awesome just the way they are. So, On my 97, it was a great addition.

    And added brightness.
    Do you remember what size drill bit you used?

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    50

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    Thanks for the link . Mucho Gracias
    Great replacement parts, American made, steel and cost is almost a third less than other makes.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Shakedown Street
    Posts
    2,410

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by RicOkc View Post
    Great replacement parts, American made, steel and cost is almost a third less than other makes.
    Great parts, super great service , and great prices !

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member bern1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the edge
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Once again, the LPF a great resource so I hopefully make the right move. Aesthetically yes, the plug/thin ABR-1 posts has the most appeal, but I have the same concerns as Wilko with this approach. I considered the conversion posts from Philadelphia Luthier Supply (great company btw), however I think I am just going to ream out the post holes on a modern reissue ABR as Big Al and others have suggested. One of the reasons is that there seems to be some variation in in the post hole width between the Nash and the ABR, which might make it necessary to ream out the ABR anyway? Seems as long as I am going to retain the stock Nashville bushing, I can keep the stock Nash post that fits in that bushing. Looks like there is only a 0.3 mm difference in the post diameter anyway. An advantage to the conversion posts is that I could use the old style thin ABR thumbwheels. But realistically I canít see how that small mass difference would have any effect when I have these huge bridge post fittings factory installed. I guess Iíll find out how well this works.
    When you pick up the guitar, play it like itís the last time.
    E.C.

  35. #35
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,649

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    The conversion posts are cheap, no work needed and you won't be messing up any parts so you can easily swap back. They all fit so there is no worry there.

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member bern1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the edge
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: Changing a Nashville bridge for an ABR-1.......worth the $$$ and effort?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    The conversion posts are cheap, no work needed and you won't be messing up any parts so you can easily swap back. They all fit so there is no worry there.
    Philly supply out of them at the moment and unsure if/when they will be back. I still might wait, I think I would rather have the narrower posts and thinner thumb wheels all things considered. All mainly cosmetic and or mental considerations, Iím pretty sure it will have no impact on the actual sound or feel.
    When you pick up the guitar, play it like itís the last time.
    E.C.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Scroll Down And Click On All Of Our Sponsors' Logos For Their Websites!






i