Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

New bridge for my R7 Goldtop??


Recommended Posts

Hi there,


I love my Goldtop, its a great guitar but the one thing Im not totally happy with is the bridge. Looking online I saw that some people replace the ABR1 with a Tonepros version which is more functional. Apparently replacing the bridge and using locking screws/studs improves the tone too..... supposedly.


Im not too bothered about it being an "Authentic" looking 57 Goldtop, I just want it playing and sounding as good as it can.


Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is it about the original bridge that you do not like? Tone Pros has several features that you may or may not think are important, but check and make sure that the investment is going to give you some real benefit. Remember that to do it properly, you should get a bridge with un-notched saddles and have it professionally installed so the strings are proportionally spaced (they're not equidistant) and sit properly over the edges of the fretboard.


1. The Tone Pros biggest feature from a marketing standpoint is the setscrews that hold it on. Certainly it will lock it in place so it doesn't fall off and you don't need to fiddle with the height adjustment screws every time you remove the strings to clean the fretboard. It's also said to improve tone because of better coupling, which makes sense but is hard to objectively confirm.


2. Another feature that's probably more important in my opinion is the fact that the bridge is slightly wider front to back, so that the saddles have a greater range of travel for compensation. If you cannot get proper intonation with the Gibson ABR-1 then you need the TonePros AVR-II. First, however, try getting a new saddle, flip it around, and have a new notch cut in it so you can use the original bridge if all you need is more travel (for instance on the G string).


3. Lastly, and perhaps the thing that would definitely require that you replace the bridge, is the design of how the saddles are held in place. Sometimes the Gibson bridge saddles rattle, and if that happens you'll be pulling your hair out. The Tone Pros bridge looks like the Gibson, but that's so it's stealthy. In fact the saddles are held in place in a much different fashion so they do not rattle. The little wire is just for appearance. The Gibson bridge, on the other hand, relies on that wire and it sometimes is insufficient. If your saddle rattle, some recommend bending the wire down between the screws with a small screwdriver blade. If they still rattle, it's time for a Tone Pros bridge.


By the way, these are common problems with the ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge, so Gibson redesigned it when they came out with the Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge (no wire, wider travel for the saddles, saddles are held with spring clips from underneath, the studs are beefier so they don't lean forward, and the thumbwheels are integral, and they fit in threaded studs in the top, oh and if it's still mounted properly the screws face the tailpiece on a Nashville bridge). The Nashville bridge, however, sits in different hardware in the guitar body and the spacing is different between the posts so they're not directly interchangeable. People were worried that so many technical improvements might affect the sound so they went back to using the original ABR-1 bridge on things like the Historics (besides if you pay a premium for a reissue it should be accurate, with all its warts).

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...