Tone-Pros ... yea or nay?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by AbstractLunatic, May 10, 2005.

  1. AbstractLunatic

    AbstractLunatic Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    Hi folks. First post here. Great board!

    So I've been hearing great things about TonePros for months. Then today I'm on the phone with a guitar dealer and he's explaining to me that Tone-pros isn't "all that". He told me that it's basically a Gotoh with drilled spots for tap-screws. He said the bridge itself has poor quality of the saddles and saddle screws.

    I like the idea of being able to remove all 6 strings and clean the guitar without the specter of moving the height adjustment on the bridge. I'm not too worried about the stop bar because it's not going to affect the intonation or action. But the bridge is crucial.

    On that note he suggested I use some masking tape on the screws when I need to clean the guitar. Otherwise, just change 1 string at a time.

    Any thoughts?
  2. gomez1856

    gomez1856 Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Santa Monica, CA
    I have the Tone Pros locking bridges on 3 of my guitars and love them.

    I can't understand why someone would talk down about them and say... "just put masking tape on it to keep it in place while you clean"

    The point of the locking bridge is to avoid any possibility of it moving when you don't want it to and it works.... no need to put tape on your guitar and hope that it stays put.

    If you're concerned about maintaining the action and intonation in between string changes, their bridges are great. But then again, you could always use tape.... or glue... or clamps... or have someone hold it in place for you.... tie it up with twine.... , but I like the locking bridge. :D


    Oh... sorry.... Welcome to the board!!!
  3. CAFeathers

    CAFeathers Member

    Apr 17, 2003
    Vacaville, CA USA
    First off let me say that my opinion is biased as I am an Authorized TonePros Dealer.

    TonePros is made of the same quality parts as found on Gibson guitars. Not only will the bridge not move when you remove all 6 strings at the same time, but your intonation will not change. Most players also notice an increase in sustain.
    TonePros bridges are now also available with GraphTech Saddles and TonePros Bridges will except standard Piezo Saddles.
    TonePros bridges are factory installed on Schecter, Washburn, Dean, ESP, Chafin, BC Rich, Hamer, Thorn, and Baker guitars just to name a few.

    Read all about them on the TonePros website at
  4. CS'56

    CS'56 Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    I vote a big NAY. We all have our opinions and some people love them. That's fine by me.
    I think the studs are a big waste of money. YES, just put tape on the bridge or better yet, don't take al the strings off at once. Leave a string on when changing them out.
    At one time Tone Pros were the rage on the old PRS forum. Tone Pros threads were popping up every place.
    Then one day (I don't remember if it was the old or new PRS forum) a thread popped up with people comming out of the closet saying they didn't see much improvment if any on the Tone Pros.

    The man himself, Paul Reed Smith could have offered them on his stop tails but declined. He has always been known to make the smallest changes on his guitars if he thought it would improve tone.

  5. Occam

    Occam Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Oakland, Ca
    I have two tone pro's bridges...I think the one for the les paul jr. is far and away the best bridge I've ever used...on that guitar it addes quite a bit of sustain as well as has an incredible range for intonation. I have another one on my flying v and I've also noticed and increase in sustaing with that's not huge but to me it's worth the money.
  6. rooster

    rooster Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    I have an aluminum Gotoh tailpiece and Gibson (I think Schaller-made) Nashville bridge on my Heritage. I just drilled and tapped the screws in, and it works great. If you're not into basic machining, you could probably just buy theirs, but I liked saving the $75.

    They do a nice job on their drilling though, and I think the parts are Gotoh, IIRC, which is good stuff.

  7. 1guitarslinger

    1guitarslinger Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    I am a TonePros dealer as well, and have had nothing but shiny, happy customers.

    Their hardware is made by Gotoh and possibly others, but is made to their specs. You will notice, for example that the saddles and intonation screws fit much tighter than other TOM's. The AVR2 bridges are made of brass, but I have forgotten about the others.

    Drilling and tapping your existing hardware, will definitely work, but will break the plating, possibly causing corrosion and flaking around the holes. The Tonepros are plated after the drilling and tapping.

    They are happy to answer questions about the specs. etc. at
  8. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator ^/|\^ Co-Founder of TGP Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    TonePros is not only worth it, it is the way the parts should have been made in the first place. Period.

    I know some serious backstory on Mr. Smith's decision not to use TonePros on PRS, so don't buy into that story. Email me for details.

    I liked them so much I did some advertising work on a professional level for them and still remain in contact with them. Not only are they common sense quality parts, they are real players and good folks behind them. They do this for the right reasons.

    In the end, try it yourself and form your own opinion.

    And that is my opinion. :D
    SG_Junior likes this.
  9. Gadowguitars

    Gadowguitars Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    Durham, NC
    Like everything in the guitar industry, its personal preference. We use them on all of our guitars..with regards to tone and sustain its very minimal...but there is a difference. The quality is some times hit or mis.....we have to inspect each one when they come in. Usually the only problem when we find one is a saddle that rattles....that being said I believe its a worth while upgrade.
  10. cnardone

    cnardone Member

    Mar 7, 2002
    Stony Point, NY
    Check out the hipshot babygrand bridge it does the same thing but in a different form factor.

  11. erksin

    erksin Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    I like mine. I use the locking bushings with an RS Aluminum TP and their Nashville TP-6. I noticed an improvement in clarity, complexity, and sustain over my old Gibson parts. A worthwhile investment IMO...
  12. Ariel Pozzo

    Ariel Pozzo Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Buenos Aires

    You have my email!! ;)

    I really like TonePros hardware. I've been using their stuff since '02 with great Green Monster PRS SC wouldn't sound the same without it...I've tried and it's not the same, TonePros brings out much more sustain and low end out of the guitar's inherent tone.
  13. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2002
    Gulf Coast, AL
    Masking tape for me, on the rare occasions I remove all 6 strings for fretboard cleaning/conditioning.

    If the bridge is made of different materials, I can see it changing the tone and possibly the sustain. However, with all 6 strings on a guitar, any normal Gibson/Prs bridge is already locked down. The tapped screw feature seems like an occasional benefit to me, when you do remove all 6.
  14. sabbath90

    sabbath90 Member

    Apr 18, 2005
    i use tone pros hardware w/ graphtech saddles on my les paul silverburst, and i'm extremely happy with it.
  15. samdjr74

    samdjr74 Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    New Jersey
    I made my own tonepros bridge but bought the studs for the tail pieces on 3 of my guitars. To make the bridge drill and tap it then put in some set screws, about 15 minutes worth of work. I did notice a huge increase in sustain and am very pleased with the performance. Preference or not if the guitar sustains more then it's better in my opinion. But I do think the tonepros prices are a little high.

  16. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Northern California
    I have the Tonepros studs on my McCarty. Ron Thorn uses Tone Pros on his guitars, yet he designed his own trem. That tells me a bunch.
  17. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    I've used a few AVR-1 w/ the locking studs. I wasn't impressed. I've had a few with buzzy saddles. Sometimes you can move them around and get them all to lay in there nice and tight, sometimes you can't. I've also had several locking studs break (the top part that screws down). The ones that come with the avr-1 are thinner than the standard locking studs and those are troublesome. I will say that everytime I'd had a problem, they were eager to resolve it right away. Given the choice though, the Pigtails would be the one I buy.

    Also, if you can stand the look of the hipshot, they're very nice and I think their locking stud is a superior design. Poor finish though, practically rubs right off.
  18. AbstractLunatic

    AbstractLunatic Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    Thanks for all the replies folks. It's helping. I've made some progress in my research.

    A story. As told to me in reply to a question about bridges.

    The names have been changed because I don't know if these folks have contracts with competitors of the winning product...

    Once upon a time...

    A guitar dealer, a pickup maker, and a guitar legend were sitting in a room one day with a very expensive oscilloscope, some other gadgets, a few guitars, and a pile of bridges. They were determined to find out which bridge was superior to the others. They were expecting a certain outcome based on marketing and word-of-mouth information about a new take on a vintage design. What they found out, however, was that there was virtually no difference according to the sensors and gadgets they had. In the end, they decided to use the bridge that had the best machining quality; the best fit and finish.

    The bridge with the best fit and finish was manufactured in Germany. The guitar dealer continues to live and thrive in the deep south. The pickup maker has left an indelible mark on electric music forever. The legend is still in the spotlight. All others who share the stage with him are in awe of his ability.

    And they lived happily ever after...
  19. Blueser

    Blueser Member

    May 21, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    I love the Tone Pro stuff, and have it installed on both my Historic Les Pauls. It absolutely made a difference to my ears. That said, I still think their stuff is pretty pricey.
  20. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    3rd stone from the sun
    I have TP stuff on a couple guitars, it made a very small difference, not dramatic like some have stated. Seems like a big upcharge for run of the mill Gotoh parts with a couple holes tapped in them.

    FWIW, Ibanez used bridges and tailpieces on their old Artist guitars that were anchored to the posts. Guild used a Mueller tuneomatic in the 80's with set screws to lock them on the posts. Not exactly a new idea.

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