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Other Gibson Solid Bodies Forum for SG, Firebirds, V's, Explorers, Specials, Jrs, Melody Makers -- everything solid body except the classic Les Paul.

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Old April 16th, 2017, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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SG - Different bridges = different sustain?

SG Experts:
There are the older SGs with the single tailpiece (or stop bridge) and the newer ones that have the tune-o-matic bridge PLUS the stop tailpiece. My first thought is to go with the bridge/tailpiece configuration because it allows intonation adjustments (length) and ability to raise and lower action. But I'm wondering if the guitar with the bridge/tailpiece configuration would have the same sustain as the single tailpiece guitar. Can anyone with experience on both these types of SGs wade in on this with any opinions or observations?

Thanks in advance.

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Old April 16th, 2017, 08:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't talk about sustain as I don't have a pair of guitars with each version. However, I just wanted to correct your one comment regarding the TOM allowing you to raise and lower the action while the lightning tailpiece doesnt. Both the TOM and the lightning tailpiece allow you to adjust the action using the screws on each side. However the TOM bridge allows "individual" string intonation as opposed to a "roughly adjustable" lightning bridge. Hopefully, someone else can answer the sustain question.

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Old April 16th, 2017, 08:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Infant: Thanks for that. That was what I meant, I just wasn't fully clear about that. The TOM bridge allows individual string adjustment which is much better for more accurate control of intonation. Whereas, the stop tailpiece only allows the raise or lowering of each of its ends (every string is affected every time you turn one of those screws). As it is with the Telecaster with the 3 barrel bridge... not as accurate... adjust for one string and it affects the other string on the barrel. I guess some would prefer the better sustain (if in fact these different bridge configurations do change the sustain) by having just the stop tailpiece on an SG or the 3 barrel on their Tele. Exact intonation might not be a undiscernable point to many or all. Maybe it doesn't matter that much to the human ear.

I just feel better personally when, after a slight relief has been put into the neck via the truss rod, that the nut to saddle is the exact scale length; and each string length has been adjusted to the perfect octave at the 12th fret.
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Old April 16th, 2017, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've got a lightning bridge on my 2014 Melody Maker and it intonates beautifully with a set of 9s or 10s.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 11:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The only SGs I've ever seen with a single piece bridge and tailpiece are SG Juniors and Specials and they were a cost saving to make those versions cheaper. I have both kinds and I really couldn't say that either one or the other is better for sustain. The intonation on my Junior is fine: it's the kind with compensated saddles for each string cast into the wraparound tailpiece.

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Old April 17th, 2017, 09:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yep, they're all good! When properly set up, you can get both kinds into tune. And with Telecasters you can now get compensated barrels that work wonders for those planks!
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Old April 17th, 2017, 11:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I think I'll go with the stop tailpiece/tune-o-matic bridge configuration. Any minor loss of sustain (which may not even happen) would be an ok tradeoff for the ability to adjust individual string length and height, plus have the ability to adjust the stop tailpiece too for more detailed set up.
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Old April 18th, 2017, 09:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Still not sure where the idea of additional sustain with the wraparound comes from. If anything you will have more downwards pressure on the bridge with a TOM and Stop Tailpiece arrangement which should give more sustain, in theory, I'd have thought
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Old April 18th, 2017, 11:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, in the case of a wraparound, string tension is pulling the bridge against the body of the guitar with roughly 100lbs of tension. I believe the tension is higher than downward force. but that's just my opinion FWIW.
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Old April 18th, 2017, 12:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screaming Dave View Post
Still not sure where the idea of additional sustain with the wraparound comes from. If anything you will have more downwards pressure on the bridge with a TOM and Stop Tailpiece arrangement which should give more sustain, in theory, I'd have thought
I currently have a wrap around on two of my LPs and to be honest have never noticed a difference. My sustain mainly comes from the vibrato of my fingers.

The only reason I have two wraparounds is that one is a Joe Bonamassa LP where the tailpiece was already screwed down and the other is an R0 where I wanted to try it on. Next time I change the strings I'll probably go back to 'normal'
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