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Vintage wood bridge ID

#1 User is offline   Auriemma 

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:49 AM

I am in the process of rebuilding a Ventura Barney Kessel. Its far from original. The bridge on it is interesting. Wood base with MoP inlays on the ends and a tune-o-matic with nylon saddles. What got my attention was the GIBSON stamp underneath the TOM. Does anyone have an idea how old or what guitar this came from?

See the attached pics.

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Thanks in advance.
--- Joe ---
Gibson: '11 Les Paul Studio 60s Deluxe
Martin: '09 OM-1
Ovation: '06 Elite-T 1868T; '79 Glen Campbell Artist 1627; '95 Balladeer 1751 & 1861; '94 Celebrity Deluxe CC257
Fender: '69 Mustang Competition; '91 Stratocaster Plus; '06 Telecaster American Special
Bradley: '77 Les Paul Custom
Ibanez: '04 Artcore AK85 DVS
Epiphone: '07 Sheraton II NA
Ventura: '70 V1400 Barney Kessel
Old Kraftsman: '50s Country

#2 User is offline   Searcy 

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 04:02 AM

The wood part of that bridge is the same as the one on my 1989 Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentlemen. Inlays and all. How ever the nylon saddles are not like mine.

#3 User is offline   pfox14 

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:04 AM

What makes you think it's not original to the BK?

#4 User is offline   Auriemma 

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:56 AM

The guitar is a Ventura V1400. Its a Japanese copy of a Gibson Barney Kessel. I think we can be fairly sure that Ventura did not use Gibson parts on their guitars.
--- Joe ---
Gibson: '11 Les Paul Studio 60s Deluxe
Martin: '09 OM-1
Ovation: '06 Elite-T 1868T; '79 Glen Campbell Artist 1627; '95 Balladeer 1751 & 1861; '94 Celebrity Deluxe CC257
Fender: '69 Mustang Competition; '91 Stratocaster Plus; '06 Telecaster American Special
Bradley: '77 Les Paul Custom
Ibanez: '04 Artcore AK85 DVS
Epiphone: '07 Sheraton II NA
Ventura: '70 V1400 Barney Kessel
Old Kraftsman: '50s Country

#5 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:54 AM

My educated guess is that the bridge base is a "Ventura" copy of an inlayed Gibson base. The inlay doesn't look quite right to me, and the base itself looks a little bigger and "bulkier". Since the bridge base on an archtop has to be (should be) custom carved to fit the arch of the guitar for which it is fitted, it is unlikely this is a authentic Gibson bridge base, for it would have had to be re-carved to fit this guitar. In addition, Gibson archtop bridge bases generally have the serial number of the guitar for which it was fitted written on the bottom, and the bass and treble sides marked.

As for the TOM, there was an era when Gibson was using nylon saddles, and someone just put a real Gibson Tune-O-Matic on the guitar. They may have wanted the intonation adjustability of the TOM, or maybe wanted the "deadening" effect of the nylon saddles on the archtop. When the Japs starting making quality copies of American guitars in the early 70's, they were building them to American specs, many with American hardware. To "upgrade" hardware was just a drop-in replacement.

#6 User is offline   Auriemma 

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:55 PM

Oddly enough, when I flipped the bridge over, there is a T and a B hand written on the bottom.

Take a look at this Johnny Smith...
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http://www.archtop.c...c_68jsmith.html

You can clearly see the identical base.

The whole bridge unit may be Gibson.
--- Joe ---
Gibson: '11 Les Paul Studio 60s Deluxe
Martin: '09 OM-1
Ovation: '06 Elite-T 1868T; '79 Glen Campbell Artist 1627; '95 Balladeer 1751 & 1861; '94 Celebrity Deluxe CC257
Fender: '69 Mustang Competition; '91 Stratocaster Plus; '06 Telecaster American Special
Bradley: '77 Les Paul Custom
Ibanez: '04 Artcore AK85 DVS
Epiphone: '07 Sheraton II NA
Ventura: '70 V1400 Barney Kessel
Old Kraftsman: '50s Country

#7 User is offline   Searcy 

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 07:42 AM

This is the bridge off my 1989 Gibson Chet Atkins.

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