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Macca's bridge mods....


EpiSheriMan

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Yup. It looks especially odd because those big tabs help to keep the guitar intonated better. Macca's Texan is a right handed guitar set up to play lefty, and the saddle still maintains the right-handed slant; the tabs are in the position where a left-hand slanting saddle would make contact with the strings. I *think* I read this this was done at The Mandolin Brothers on Staten Island, NY, some time in the late 90's. That's just my impression, though. I'm not 100% sure of either place or time. Maybe someone who knows can clarify.

 

I'm not entirely clear on this, but I think the entire run of Aged USA McCartney Texans (like the one pictured) were righty's set up for left-handed playing using the compensated bridge, just like Paul's guitar is today. The 250 USA McCartney Texans and Elitist McCartney Texans came both righty and lefty, and were in the condition Paul's Texan was when he first got it, with the adjustable bridge.

 

How's your Texan sound?

 

Red 333

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Not 100% positive but I am guessing the Texan came with one of those plastic bridges with the adjustable saddle.

 

McCartney may have simply had it removed - which was a pretty common thing to to do. It is hard to even find either an Epi or Gibson with those bridges still on.

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Yup. It looks especially odd because those big tabs help to keep the guitar intonated better. Macca's Texan is a right handed guitar set up to play lefty' date=' and the saddle still maintains the right-handed slant; the tabs are in the position where a left-hand slanting saddle would make contact with the strings. I *think* I read this this was done at The Mandolin Brothers on Staten Island, NY, some time in the late 90's. That's just my impression, though. I'm not 100% sure of either place or time. Maybe someone who klnows can clarify.

 

I'm not entirely clear on this, but I think the entire run of Aged USA McCartney Texans (like the one pictured) were righty's set up for left-handed playing using the compensated bridge, just like Paul's guitar is today. The 250 USA McCartney Texans and Elitist McCartney Texans came both righty and lefty, and were in the condition Paul's Texan was when he first got it, with the adjustable bridge.

 

How's your Texan sound?

 

red 333 [/quote']

 

I'm actually loving the sound of this guitar as is Red. I have also just bought a Gibson SJ 45 Modern Classic and the Texan is in a different league.

 

Everyone keeps telling me to go for a bone fixed saddle mod on my Texan but I'm thinking, "if it ain't broke don't fix it!" Have you moded the bridge on any of your texans Red?

 

With regard to the SJ 45, the bridge doesn't look to be bone so I may go ahead and try an upgrade to improve the sound when I take her in for a set-up....

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Have you moded the bridge on any of your texans Red?

 

With regard to the SJ 45' date=' the bridge doesn't look to be bone so I may go ahead and try an upgrade to improve the sound when I take her in for a set-up....

 

 

[/quote']

 

Nope. They're all on guitars that are arguably collectable (except for the Elitist Texan), so I've left them stock. PLUS, they all seem to be performing well. Maybe in time the mechanism will become loose or breakdown, leading to a loss in tone or sustain, but all the guitars I have equipped with a new adjustable bridge (surprisingly) sound very good. As I mentioned, that second McCartney Texan may be the best sounding guitar I have. I don't know if it would even sound better with a fixed bridge, but as you say, if it ain't broke...

 

If you're loving how yours sounds, I wouldn't mess with a good thing. Good luthiers can add a fixed saddle without changing the whole bridge, though. They fill the adjustable bridges' wide slot with a rosewood plug, and then the new saddle is slotted into that. If done that way, the operation is reversable if you want to put the guitar back to stock.

 

By the way, while it is common for owners to replace them, I've seen PLENTY of vintage Texans (and other Gibsons)with the original Adjustable bridge still on. And don't forget, the years Gibson was using the adjustable bridge (late '50s to late '60s) also coincided with the period in which they began making lots of changes to their guitars' construction, including beefing up the bracing, changing the neck angle, etc. During that period, which began in the mid to late '60s, Gibson was bought by new owners, Norlin, and were ordered to overbuild their acoustics to prevent warranty claims. The adjustable bridge gets a lot of blame for how poor some of the late '60s Gibsons sound, but these other, often unseen construction changes are also culprits, as the fixed bridge versiosn of these guitars (Gibson often built both) can also sound poor.

 

Non-historic Gibsons usually do have Tusq saddles, while historic models usually have bone. By historic, I mean those designated by Gibson as being built to historic, or vintage specs (like the J45 True Vintage). The same model is often available as a modern interpretation (J45 Standard, J45 Modern Classic) with modern style tuners, a different fingerboard radius, and electronics. The Tusq saddle is used on the guitars with under-saddle pick ups as the material is said to be more consistent in density than bone. The consistent densisty helps the pick up work better.

 

I'm glad you're loving that Texan, but don't give up on tha J45. I bet she opens up nicely given some playing time.

 

Red 333

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Not 100% positive but I am guessing the Texan came with one of those plastic bridges with the adjustable saddle.

 

 

I've never seen a photo of it close enough to be able to tell, but I suspect it is wood, for two reasons.

 

First, the entire bridge was not replaced when the intonated saddle was added; just the slot for the old adjustable saddle was plugged.

 

Second, Gibson used the plastic bridge from 1965-1967, and Paul's Texan is a '64.

 

I've heard that the bridge on Lennon's J160E (the one that had been George's originally) was plastic, though.

 

Red 333

 

EDIT on 6/9/09: Please see posts below for what I now believe is more accurate information.

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I'd also heard Mandolin Bros., but can no longer find my source.

 

But my understanding is that the plastic bridge was used from late-63 to early-65. Macca's Texan has no MOP inlays at the sides of the bridgepins. Most Texans with wood bridges DO have the inlays, so his is probably plastic.

 

It looks REALLY shiny here too:

 

P_PaulTexan.jpg

 

Here's the best pic of the intonated saddle (on the reissues) I've been able to find:

 

texan8.JPG

 

Lennon & Harrison's '62 J-160Es both had rosewood bridges.

Lennon replaced the stolen one with a '64 model that he later had the Fool paint all-psyechedelic, then stripped and drew doodles on it. It still has a plastic bridge.

 

Good to see you Red 333

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tedkul is an expert on adjustable bridges (see his excellent thread on the beatgearcavern), and now that he's pointed out the absence of pearl dots on McCartney's bridge on his Texan, I tend to think that the bridge is plastic. From what I can tell, the rosewood bridges had pearl dots concealing the bolts that helped hold the bridge to the top; the plastic bridges did not.

 

I've seen photos of Texans identified as '64s that had wood bridges. They might be misidenfied, of course, but it remains unclear to me (at least) when Gibson used plastic bridges on the Texan, or how consistently they did.

 

In my post above, I wrote that Gibson used the plastic bridges from 1965 to 1967, and with more research, I've come to the conclusion that the use of the plastic bridge became more standardized during this period (except for on the Super Jumbos with moustache bridge). It is well known that Gibson did use plastic bridges of a different design on budget guitars like the L models from the very early '60s, and from tedkul's point that John Lennon's 1964 J160E had a plastic bridge, and the existence of '64 Texans with rosewood as well as plastic bridges, we can assume they used them intermittantly on jumbos (or were transistioning to full use) at least as early as '64.

 

Red 333

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I'd also heard Mandolin Bros.' date=' but can no longer find my source.

 

Good to see you Red 333

 

[/quote']

 

I probably heard it from you!

 

Good to see me? I'm here all the time. You must have some kind of super-senses when it comes to adustable bridge discussions! You popped up on the Gibson forum last week when the thread was about the J160E, and now you're here with your THIRD post, LOL.

 

Take care, and thanks again for the good info.

 

Red 333

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Oh if anyone is interested to know,... I just "unsuccessfully" tried to bid on my UPS broken guitar which eventually just sold on EBAY for $661:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=250438068038

 

Someone just got themselves a very nice guitar for around $ 900 (after about $200+ in repairs)

 

Was it anyone from the forum by chance?

 

#-o

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Oh if anyone is interested to know' date='... I just "unsuccessfully" tried to bid on my UPS broken guitar which eventually just sold on EBAY for $661:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=250438068038

 

Someone just got themselves a very nice guitar for around $ 900 (after about $200+ in repairs)

 

Was it anyone from the forum by chance?

 

=D> [/quote']

 

I was wondering if that was yours!

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