Should I "upgrade" to Faber, Tone Pro's, etc...?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gasp100, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    Have used tone pros....so so results... did a full Faber bridge/insert install. What a difference!
     
  2. TubeStack

    TubeStack Supporting Member

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    Why not change one string at a time, leaving the other old ones on? Makes it a non-issue
     
  3. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    That's what I do whether Gibson, Fender, and even acoustic but some prefer to remove the old strings all at once
     
  4. tdarian

    tdarian Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a 2011 Wildwood Spec R7. It came stock with the TonePros Long Locking Tailpiece studs. I wanted to both improve the balance of the unwound and wound strings as well as move the unwound strings to more of a "round sound" even if it meant a little less bite.

    Here's what I did to alter the voice:

    • Replaced the stock steel ABR-1 Thumbwheels with a set of nickel plated brass wheels from Philadelphia Luther Supply and this totally accomplished the mission. A set of brass wheels from Retrospec was also tried, and they look allot better but had less of a damping effect on my guitar, but still were effective but the thicker brass wheels were better on my particular R7.
    • Replaced the TonePros Long Locking Tailpiece Studs with a set of Long Steel TailPiece Studs that I got from RetroSpec. These fit very tightly over the ears of the stock Gibson lightweight Tailpiece and were functionally locking. No real huge change in timbre but it did seem like there was more sustain, so these stayed. I did not replace whatever tailpiece bushings that were installed by Gibson when they installed the long TonePros studs, but the Retrospec studs were a "swiss watch fit".
    I also tried a Faber ABR-1 Bridge with the combinations of thumbwheels that I have here and decided that I actually prefer the stock ABR-1 for now. Legend has it that the wired ABR-1 is slightly warmer than the non-wired ABR-1 that I have, so that may be worth trying down the line if I feel the urge to tinker, but things are good right now.

    In "researching" what others have done with their Les Pauls, mainly over at both TheLesPaulForum and MyLesPaul, it seemed apparent that changes to the bridge, thumbwheels, and bridge posts/screws is going to yield some noticeable changes in the voice of a guitar with things like the Tailpiece and TailPiece Studs also making a difference in the combinations.
    So I decided to start where I thought I'd get the most immediate result, and the thumbwheels was the big game changer on this one. They cost about $4!

    Wheels:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brass-ABR-1-Bridge-Thumbwheels-with-Fine-knurling-fits-USA-Gibsons-Nickel-/111020806149?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item19d95b1005

    http://retrospec-guitar.com/store/i..._id=28&zenid=ca4c919cf647077a9c6be3fd48442fca

    TailPiece Studs 1.5 inches):
    http://retrospec-guitar.com/store/i..._id=29&zenid=ca4c919cf647077a9c6be3fd48442fca

    Every guitar is going to be different, most will need no changes!
     
  5. doc

    doc Supporting Member

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    If you want some really noticable change in your tone, I'd also consider the Callaham bridge. I'm in the process of switching to that from the stock bridge on my 2000 R9. I say "process" because I'm having other things done as well, and part of the plan is to nickel plate some longer brass studs to replace the stock ones, and reuse the stock brass wheels. I have mounted the unslotted Callaham bridge on the stock studs just to see how that changes the tone and I like what it does.
     
  6. makemusic84

    makemusic84 Gold Supporting Member

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    Tone pros locking are the way to go and love the fact that it does not fall off during string change and love what it does to the tone and sustain at least for me
     
  7. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    Cool info guys, I think I'm going to try either Tone Pro's or Faber kit. The guitar is exceptional so I might as well get it to where it's perfect for my hard gigging guitar.
     
  8. CS'56

    CS'56 Member

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  9. doc

    doc Supporting Member

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    The "Mapleflame" mod is the inspiration for my buying longer brass studs to use. The original mod was using stainless steel, which makes great sense from the structural standpoint, but changes the tone based on the material used. I'm planning to stick with brass, but make sure the studs go all the way in.
     
  10. CS'56

    CS'56 Member

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    I think the harder stainless steel played a big part in the improvement of the sound.
     

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