The Fender Forum
NEW! LPF Facebook Page
NEW! LPF Instagram Page
Merchandise & Donations
NEW! Burst Serial Log Home Page
LPF Homesite
Results 1 to 29 of 29
  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member CatManDoo88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    99

    Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    When I was changing strings and oiling my fretboard tonight, I went to take my tailpiece off and the one side snagged on the post a little and when it came off a big chunk of nickel plating chipped off. I was shocked because I am pretty gentle with my guitar. Needless to say, it doesn't look pretty and I would like to replace the tailpiece. My CS9 has a VOS finish and it seems no one does their aging exactly the same. I figure I might as well replace the bridge at the same time so that the hardware looks consistent. What's the most accurate and sounding options out there? I've replaced a few things on my guitar with CreamTone Absolute Vintage parts, which I adore, but they don't seem to be selling nickel tailpieces or bridge currently. I understand Pigtail parts are well regarded, but I understand that they age rather quickly and turn dark. I would prefer to keep the hardware looking lightly aged. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member fernieite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    233

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    I don't know what's the best or most accurate, but I have a Pigtail bridge and tailpiece. I've had these on the guitar for 10 or more years and haven't had them turn black. I think that was a bad batch of plating or something that happened years ago and was corrected.

    Have you tried contacting Lonnie at CreamTone? Maybe he has another batch coming in the near future? Doesn't Mark's sell the same stuff?
    https://www.marksguitarloft.com/cata...at=accessories

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member CatManDoo88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    99

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Thanks, fernieite. I did contact Lonnie, who advised that they were not offering Absolute Vintage bridge or tailpiece going forward due to plating issues with the tailpiece and the fact that they cannot put the required "Gibson ABR-1" marks on the underside of the bridge to constitute a true reproduction. He did advise that their other tailpiece and bridge is at least equal to the stock Gibson Historic parts, which is very tempting because I really love the look of their LIX patina.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Old Flame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Westchester Cnty, NY
    Posts
    11

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Pigtail. Ithink the website is pigtail.com

    Awsome stuff, I have their ABR-1 bridge - excellent!
    Everything has its price.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Out here on the perimeter, stoned/immaculate
    Posts
    5,736

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    The folks at Crazy Parts have some great looking stuff.
    A smile relieves a heart that grieves.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Skydogfan81's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In the mountains by the sea
    Posts
    901

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    I've had pigtail hardware for a decade and all is fine (not black). The best stuff!
    Get Something out of Everything!

  7. #7

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    I got a set of pigtails recently and one of my saddle screws couldn’t fit and the slot had to be filed. The studs for the tailpiece were of the wrong size as well and my tailpiece had to be filed down for it to fit. Kinda iffy for the asking price.

    that said, they do look and sound the business!

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Concord, Ca USA
    Posts
    660

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by iknowpeanuts View Post
    I got a set of pigtails recently and one of my saddle screws couldn’t fit and the slot had to be filed. The studs for the tailpiece were of the wrong size as well and my tailpiece had to be filed down for it to fit. Kinda iffy for the asking price.

    that said, they do look and sound the business!
    I agree.
    I've had problems with 2 guitars and Pigtail's stop tail piece. 1) 2009 R9, Pigtail tail piece and studs do not fit at all, their too wide. I barely got the stop piece to work by using Retospec studs that fit looser. 2) 74 Custom that previous owner had chromed everything and I wanted to put it back to gold. Same problem as the R9. I ended up using the Pigtail studs and a tail piece from Philadelphia Luthier that I had. Not going to file the tail pieces because the plating chips, been there and done it!
    No problems with the bridges and the R9 really improved a lot.
    Last edited by maxwedge; 06-28-19 at 06:53 AM.
    53 LP, 74 Black Beauty, 09 50th R9 LP, 06 R6, 63 SG Special, 62 & 64 SG juniors, 60 Double Six, 1947 L7 and 1937-41 L30 archtops and a few Fenders, Voxs and Hagstroms,
    ___________
    Scott

  9. #9

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwedge View Post
    I agree.
    I've had problems with 2 guitars and Pigtail's stop tail piece. 1) 2009 R9, Pigtail tail piece and studs do not fit at, all their too wide. I barely got the stop piece to work by using Retospec studs that fit looser. 2) 74 Custom that previous owner had chromed everything and I wanted to put it back to gold. Same problem as the R9. I ended up using the Pigtail studs and a tail piece from Philadelphia Luthier that I had. Not going to file the tail pieces because the plating chips, been there and done it!
    No problems with the bridges and the R9 really improved a lot.
    I feel your pain. I ordered the parts on two separate occasions and I thought it was just my arse luck that both times there was an issue with the parts. Quite a bit was taken off; not sure if it will chip in the future but i'll worry about it another day. I matched the abr-1 with lonnie's studs and thumbwheels and i kind of like the look of it. My guitar has never sounded better as a result, so they're staying.





  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Concord, Ca USA
    Posts
    660

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Yeah, the Pigtail is too wide and you had to file the outside ear. Part of the problem or all of it, is that the area where it hooks on the stud, the diameter of their studs is about .030" greater than original 50's studs. I matched up the tail piece with a 53, 74 and R9 and it look the same to me. Different studs is the solution imo.
    53 LP, 74 Black Beauty, 09 50th R9 LP, 06 R6, 63 SG Special, 62 & 64 SG juniors, 60 Double Six, 1947 L7 and 1937-41 L30 archtops and a few Fenders, Voxs and Hagstroms,
    ___________
    Scott

  11. #11

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwedge View Post
    Yeah, the Pigtail is too wide and you had to file the outside ear. Part of the problem or all of it, is that the area where it hooks on the stud, the diameter of their studs is about .030" greater than original 50's studs. I matched up the tail piece with a 53, 74 and R9 and it look the same to me. Different studs is the solution imo.
    Your solution is much more sensible; for me I was just too tired to source for another set of studs lol. How tight is the fit of the retrospec stud in the bushing though? I liked the snug fit of the pigtail stud and bushing which was a big part of the reason i decided to keep the set

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Hot_Snake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    France
    Posts
    186

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    For the tailpiece DMC were great.
    Montreux looks great and are available.

    For the studs : Retrospec.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Concord, Ca USA
    Posts
    660

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by iknowpeanuts View Post
    Your solution is much more sensible; for me I was just too tired to source for another set of studs lol. How tight is the fit of the retrospec stud in the bushing though? I liked the snug fit of the pigtail stud and bushing which was a big part of the reason i decided to keep the set
    They fit good in the stock historic bushings so I didn't use the Pigtail bushings.
    53 LP, 74 Black Beauty, 09 50th R9 LP, 06 R6, 63 SG Special, 62 & 64 SG juniors, 60 Double Six, 1947 L7 and 1937-41 L30 archtops and a few Fenders, Voxs and Hagstroms,
    ___________
    Scott

  14. #14

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    the tailpiece/stud dimensions are all over the place ... DMC tailpiece with PigTail studs ? big gap .. True Historic tailpiece with Pigtail studs ?? zero gap .. there are no standards to my knowledge, it's all hit and miss .. I just measure the gap/lean between the tailpiece and stud with a feeler gauge, use some shim stock of the correct thickness, create a 1/2" circle, file out the inside bridge stud dimension, pop it in between the tailpiece and stud .. it's invisible, no gap or lean between tailpiece/studs .. and tailpiece sits level which I believe is the way God and Gibson designed it, cost of material ?? maybe $1.00 max and one hour of time .. easy peasy

  15. #15

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Did someone try the Abr1 / inserts /thumbwheels , as well as bushings / studs and Tailpiece from Retrospec / historic make overs ?

    do they have the same weight as original ones ?

    I was looking for some original ones for a LP conversion project but the prices are really high , so i was wondering if i could find some that really look like the original ones , have the same dimensions and weight ( although it seems they can't put the abr1 logo anymore), giving the same tone .
    I have been buying quite a few parts from different sources the past 10 years , including RS, Historic Collection , Kurrigan ...etc and crazy parts in Germany which sold me some inserts that were said to be like the original ones but were longer than the studs by 0,161" ( although i am not sure if original bushings were 1" or 1 1/4 ? ) and zinc plated whereas i learnt after original ones were raw although i suppose the plating might not change the tone (and also some aged key tuners that were rusty and unuseable , unfortunately i didn't see it soon enough as i had bought a few spare parts and did not use all of them directly ) and i had bought different abr1 , stop bars and bushings andstuds that were not right either , with different weight ...etc
    So this time i really would like to find the right ones as i am tired to spend money for repros said to be spot on which are not !
    Last edited by electricsky; 09-21-19 at 08:13 AM.

  16. #16

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Does anybody know the weight of the original abr1 , thumbwheels , as well as TP studs and bushings ?

    if i remember well the original TP was about 31 gr and i just read a post on my les paul forum where a guy was saying the wired abr1 gibson weights 51 to 52 gr , the same as an original one .
    correct me if am wrong but original thumbwheels were brass but the inserts were steel ,and the saddles were nickel plated brass as well ( and abr1 diecast zinc / zamac ) isn't it ?


    I remember replacing the wired abr1 of some guitars wwith an historic collection non wired abr1 and found the tone much brighter , is it the same with original 50's abr1 , do they give a much brighter tone than wired ones or do they sound the same as wired ones ?

    i know the metals used nowdays are not exactly like the vintage ones but i suppose ifi can find all the parts made of the same type of metal and with same weight , it shouldtake me close enough to the original ones .
    Last edited by electricsky; 09-21-19 at 08:11 AM.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,623

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by electricsky View Post
    Does anybody know the weight of the original abr1 , thumbwheels , as well as TP studs and bushings ?

    if i remember well the original TP was about 31 gr and i just read a post on my les paul forum where a guy was saying the wired abr1 gibson weights 51 to 52 gr , the same as an original one .
    correct me if am wrong but original thumbwheels were brass but the inserts were steel ,and the saddles were nickel plated brass as well ( and abr1 diecast zinc / zamac ) isn't it ?


    I remember replacing the wired abr1 of some guitars wwith an historic collection non wired abr1 and found the tone much brighter , is it the same with original 50's abr1 , do they give a much brighter tone than wired ones or do they sound the same as wired ones ?

    i know the metals used nowdays are not exactly like the vintage ones but i suppose ifi can find all the parts made of the same type of metal and with same weight , it shouldtake me close enough to the original ones .
    For the most part I agree however I thought the bridge posts were originally brass?

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,623

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by electricsky View Post
    Did someone try the Abr1 / inserts /thumbwheels , as well as bushings / studs and Tailpiece from Retrospec / historic make overs ?

    do they have the same weight as original ones ?

    I was looking for some original ones for a LP conversion project but the prices are really high , so i was wondering if i could find some that really look like the original ones , have the same dimensions and weight ( although it seems they can't put the abr1 logo anymore), giving the same tone .
    I have been buying quite a few parts from different sources the past 10 years , including RS, Historic Collection , Kurrigan ...etc and crazy parts in Germany which sold me some inserts that were said to be like the original ones but were longer than the studs by 0,161" ( although i am not sure if original bushings were 1" or 1 1/4 ? ) and zinc plated whereas i learnt after original ones were raw although i suppose the plating might not change the tone (and also some aged key tuners that were rusty and unuseable , unfortunately i didn't see it soon enough as i had bought a few spare parts and did not use all of them directly ) and i had bought different abr1 , stop bars and bushings andstuds that were not right either , with different weight ...etc
    So this time i really would like to find the right ones as i am tired to spend money for repros said to be spot on which are not !
    Most of the Retrospec parts are/were held in high regard. The bridge was constructed differently to an original. The pigtail and DMC are built closer to spec

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Concord, Ca USA
    Posts
    660

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Classic View Post
    For the most part I agree however I thought the bridge posts were originally brass?
    As far as I've been able to gather you are correct, nickel plated brass. Pigtail Arb1 posts are steel but the wheels are brass.
    53 LP, 74 Black Beauty, 09 50th R9 LP, 06 R6, 63 SG Special, 62 & 64 SG juniors, 60 Double Six, 1947 L7 and 1937-41 L30 archtops and a few Fenders, Voxs and Hagstroms,
    ___________
    Scott

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Concord, Ca USA
    Posts
    660

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwedge View Post
    I agree.
    I've had problems with 2 guitars and Pigtail's stop tail piece. 1) 2009 R9, Pigtail tail piece and studs do not fit at all, their too wide. I barely got the stop piece to work by using Retospec studs that fit looser. 2) 74 Custom that previous owner had chromed everything and I wanted to put it back to gold. Same problem as the R9. I ended up using the Pigtail studs and a tail piece from Philadelphia Luthier that I had. Not going to file the tail pieces because the plating chips, been there and done it!
    No problems with the bridges and the R9 really improved a lot.
    I Finally got around to putting the Pigtail stop piece on my 74 Custom using Retrospec studs and the combination worked great! The Retrospec studs are a bit looser looser for the vertical spacing allowing a bit more lean of the tail piece (unfortunately) but the diameter of the "hook" shank area is right on vintage spec. Pigtail needs to machine the center section down more, approx .035", to allow for more variances in the center/center spacing of the stud anchors in the guitars.
    53 LP, 74 Black Beauty, 09 50th R9 LP, 06 R6, 63 SG Special, 62 & 64 SG juniors, 60 Double Six, 1947 L7 and 1937-41 L30 archtops and a few Fenders, Voxs and Hagstroms,
    ___________
    Scott

  21. #21

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Classic View Post
    Most of the Retrospec parts are/were held in high regard. The bridge was constructed differently to an original. The pigtail and DMC are built closer to spec
    Are they the same weight and metal type as the original vintage ones ?

    I noticed the bottom of the Retrospec ABR1 seems different than the original one ( even when not speaking about the missing abr1 logo) .

    As we can't be sure they are made exactly with the same % of metals used in the alloy ( and we don't know if those metals are made exactly the same way and they are not and we can't know the differences ) , at least i think it is important to get some with the same weight , to get the closest as possible to the original tone ( when someone wants to get the original tone obviously ).
    Last edited by electricsky; 09-22-19 at 07:37 AM.

  22. #22

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    I weighted the abr1 of my Les Paul gold top 56 , it is 52,84 gr .
    The studs are not the 1" but the shorter ones ( i think they are the same size as on the R9 , unless they now use 1" ones ) and one weights 13,38 gr .
    Thumbwheels and posts are both non magnetic , brass i suppose .

    Something weird happened , when i put back the stud i had unmounted and the TP , the 56 Gold Top seemed to have more air, more high end in the tone and more sustain ! lol
    I have it for several years but i don't change strings often ( even quite rarely and i usualy never break strings even if i bend them much ) and i have always thought it had a rich medium tone with less high end than the earlier ones i have had ( 53, 54 , 55 ) but the tone really seems to have gain some high end and sustain !
    Who knows , the stud migh have been mounted badly ( i don't lock them down to the top as i don't like to have much tension on the strings ) or maybe just slightly less tension on the strings make it reach a sweet spot and let the high end really appear.

    And by the way , i remember a topic where Tom W. was saying the necks he prefers are the 56 ones and on this one, it is more of a C than a D neck shape , with less shoulders than on the 53,54 and 55 i have had which had a bigger neck with more shoulders .
    IT's a really nice neck , not too big nor too small .
    Last edited by electricsky; 09-26-19 at 02:19 PM.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Shakedown Street
    Posts
    2,500

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Try ThroBak as they sell aged hardware www.throbak.com

  24. #24

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    I removed the strings to weight the TP of my 56 Gold Top, the weight is 28,63 / 1.009 oz or 29,63 gr / 1.045 oz ( stupid as i am i did not write it down directly and just saw i had written both in two different places but it is one or the other for sure. I' ll verify again but i think it was 28,63 gr) .
    Last edited by electricsky; 09-26-19 at 02:19 PM.

  25. #25

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Mojoaxe?

  26. #26

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by djcmusician View Post
    Mojoaxe?
    I use a mojoaxe compensated wraparound bridge / TP on one of my original 50's Les paul Gold top , it works fine to get it on tune for the ones which are slightly out of tune when you play high notes on the last few frets near the body but there is a difference of weight between original wraparound TP and mojoaxe one if i remember well and the tone it gives is a bit different , brighter .

    By the way, someone was speaking about Throback , are their PU covers the closest to original ones , compared to Retrospec or other repros ( i mean about appearance , type of metal used and thickness ) ?

  27. #27

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    I weighted both original 54 wrap around and mojoaxe compensated wrap around and i made a mistake saying the mojoaxe was heavier cause the original is 33,37 gr and the mojoaxe 33,57 gr , so they are nearly the same weight .
    That said, ,if i remember well , the first studs he had sent me that were longer than the original ones made the tone quite brighter , whereas he sent me some other studs that were the same length as the original ones after that and the tone was closer to the original one ( i found back some emails i had sent to mojoaxe ).

  28. #28

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Just weighted a wired ( reference PBBR-015 gibson part ) abr1 Gibson and it is 50,66 gr , whereas my original 56 one is 52,9 gr and a non wired reissue abr1 from Gibson i believe , is 55,4 gr .
    And also 6 new saddles for non wire abr1 from Crazyparts.de , nickel plated brass which weight 4,6 gr for all 6 .
    i weighted some 60's wired abr1 , all with nylon saddles :
    64 SG STD : 49,24 gr
    65 SG STD :49,72 gr
    68 ES335 : 50,22 gr

    68 Es335 Thumbwheels = 8,69gr and posts 3,2 gr

    It seems there can be some weight differences between abr1 that were made within a few years difference , so i would be curious to know the weight of several abr1 made between 56 and 61 for example .

    I tried my 56 Gold Top unlugged , with different abr1 , the original , the wired and non wired reissue and i didn't hear much difference .

    I heard a slight difference with the 2 or 3 big strings but i would not really be able to describe it and i believe the difference i have heard , was because both abr1 reissues had new saddles with no notches made on the saddles , so the strings are higher on the 2 reissue abr1 s and i had the feeling the 2 or 3 bigger strings might have moved more than with the original one which has notches on the saddles, so they are held more firmly in place ,than the strings on the reissue abr1s which have no notches on the saddles .
    Last edited by electricsky; 10-04-19 at 09:59 AM.

  29. #29

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    @electricsky interesting observations. I had a kit LP Junior and used the Mojoaxe wrap tail compensated bridge. I also found that guitar to be exceptionally bright and eventually sold it. Never compared another bridge on the same guitar.

    I noticed Mojoaxe offers ABR bridges as well as regular stop tails. I wonder how they compare.

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