Tone Pros

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Redbell, Feb 26, 2006.


  1. Redbell

    Redbell Member

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    Has anyone tried the Tone Pros replacement bridges for Les Pauls?
    Thinking of buying a set, input needed, thanks.
    www.tonepros.com
     
  2. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    I've put Tonepros bridges on several guitars. A couple tune-o-matics and a couple of wraparounds. I think they do what they claim. Its not a dramatic difference, but it is noticable.
     
  3. scuff

    scuff Member

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    Same here.
     
  4. ricoh

    ricoh Member

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    I have a set on a Hamer. Since it came -w- them I can't say what it sounded like w/o it................but the guitar sounds great and has a very solid feel. Really top quality stuff too. I don't think you could go wrong installing it on your guitar

    Rico
     
  5. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    I have it on my Heritage 535.
    I suppose I am in the minority here... I really wanted to hear a difference.
    I.M.H.O. It is of use if you are concerned about your setup changing when changing strings, but I have to tell you, I hear absolutely no improvement in sustain or tone.

    As a test, I played it with the set screws loosened as well as secured.
    With the screws loose, I see, and hear no difference between this and a standard Gotoh bridge, for app $20 I might add. (My T.P. clearly says Gotoh on the bottom) I hear no change when tightened.

    Have others done this and actually heard an improvement in tone and sustain???

    In the past, my views have pissed off folks who may or may not have some sort of connection to this product. It isn't, and never has been my intent to EVER bash any product for sport. That is simply not my style.

    When I love a product, I feel compelled to share that, as evident from many of my postings.

    Quite a while ago, a gentleman with far more knowledge about physics than I, (hey, I'm a full time musician/instructor) proceeded to say, by design the T.P. HAS to improve tone and sustain as it makes a better contact... and apparently, I simply don't have the aural finesse to hear it.

    Well, that does make perfect sense to me... on paper.... Next time I perform for an auditorium full of physicists, I'll keep that in mind :)

    I have and always will simply call 'em as I see them... believe me, I wanted to "see" it! Right now, I'd rather see the $40+ difference in my wallet

    Harry Jacobson
    www.harryj.net
     
  6. CAFeathers

    CAFeathers Member

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    A noticeble difference is not always noticeble by ear. The difference is there. I have noticed this is especially true on better made guitars.
    While it is unseen the standard T-O-M (or ABR and wrap-around) bridges rock slightly while playing. By using a TonePros locking bridge or TonePros locking studs the bridge is secured in place completing a solid link to the wood of the guitar.

    If you have any questions feel free to email me.
     
  7. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Yup that's similar to the replies I got before:

    1. I have yet to be able to rock a T.O.M. with all the string pressure on it.

    2. "A noticeble difference is not always noticeble by ear"

    K... Please, I truly don't mean to be rude, or in any miniscule way affect anyone's business but... If you don't HEAR the difference...(cough, cough)... am I missing something here?

    Once again, I mean no disrespect. I got flamed by a couple of tone pros dealers last time when I said mine was made by Gotoh. I was told they were not. Till others jumped in and also said their's said Gotoh on the bottom.

    HJ
     
  8. CAFeathers

    CAFeathers Member

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    TonePros are made by the exact same company that makes the hardware for Gibson, which by the way is GOTOH!
    The new mold TonePros do not say GOTOH, they say TonePros. Some of the old mold TonePros is still in stock in places.

    As far as not being able to hear the difference, there are people out there that claim they can hear differences in paint, finishes, strings, types of wood, tuners, pick used, etc., I find all of those questionable.
    I have experimented with some of my own guitars. I had an el-cheapo $300.00 335 copy. I played it for a while with the factory installed bridge and tailpiece. Then I installed a TonePros bridge and Tailpiece with locking studs. The difference was very noticeble just tuning up.
    I have installed TonePros on every guitar I have/had that would accept them. Brands including: Gibson, Epiphone, PRS, Jay Turser, Schecter.
    On some I could hear/feel a difference while on others I could not.
    I personally consider TonePros an upgrade. Although I may not be able to hear/feel a difference I am confident that TonePros hardware makes my guitar a better playing and sounding guitar.
    And as a bonus, when I service my guitars I don't have to worry about my bridge and tailpiece falling off my guitar, AND I can remove ALL the strings and put on a new set and as long as I use the same guage strings I don't have to re-intonate when the new ones go on.
     
  9. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    If you have a guitar with a Bigsby and a T-O-M, you can see the bridge rock when you work the Bigsby.
     
  10. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    I have swapped out the old hardware on two Gibson Les Pauls and one Heritage H150 for Tone Pros. I have also had a custom guitar built with the Tone Pros T.O.M. bridge already installed (sting through instead of a tail piece).

    Of course I don't know what the guitar that came with it sounds like without it, but that guitar sound the best of all the guitars I own. I don't think the Tone Pros has 100% to do with the great sound or if it has no effect on the great sound. My suspicion is that it contributes to it.

    On the guitars where I used to have other hardware and switched to the Tone Pros stuff, I noticed a difference on each one, but to varying degrees. It seems to me that the higher build quality the guitar is in the first place, the less you will hear the difference. It was a big difference on my Les Paul Studio. It was less of a difference on my '73 deluxe. It was barely noticeable on my Heritage H150.

    So maybe HarryJ has a guitar that is already such a good build quality that the Tone Pros doesn't make a noticeable difference to him. I would believe that, given it's a Heritage 535.

    The other thing I would comment on HarryJ's findings is this: the way the Tone Pros bridge makes your tone better isn't simply the fact that you tighten the set screw. It's that when you are NOT under string tension, and you tighten that screw, you pull the entire inside wall of the post hole in the bridge up against the post. This give you WAY more surface area contact between the post and the post hole.

    So if you tighten the screw, put new strings on, and tune up to pitch, you will have that maximum contact area thing working for you. Like HarryJ said, once a bridge has that string tension on it, it really doesn't rock. SOOOO, loosening the set screw won't really do anything to change the amount of contact area you have against the post. Therefore, you wouldn't hear any difference between tightening and loosening that set screw once under string tension. It works the same in reverse. If you leave the screws loose, put the stings on then tune up to pitch, you will have a very slight tilt in the bridge against the post. Since both the side of the post and the inside of the post hole are strait lines, that tilt yields a VERY small point of contact. If you try to tighten the screws after the strings are under tension, you likely won't move that bridge back to the optimal position without breaking your little allen wrench or stripping the set screws. It's just too much tension. So you tighten it as much as you can, it doesn't change the physics of the bridge to wood transfer of energy, so you hear no difference doing it that way either.

    So HarryJ's test on his 535 proves nothing about the effectiveness of the Tone Pros hardware. A) His guitar is probably too good to notice the difference and B) the test is bogus as I see it.

    The smart money would be this...if you have a cheap guitar and you believe that it has a tone or sustain problem that is caused by a cheap or faulty bridge, upgrade to the Tone Pros. If your guitar already sounds good to you, or you believe that a deficiency in tone or sustain is coming from some other aspect of the guitar other than the bridge, stick with the stock hardware.

    I will go on record to say I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH TONE PROS. :)
     
  11. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    When you work the Bigsby you are actually decreasing the tension the strings have on the bridge so that is quite possible if the bridge is a sloppy fit on the posts. Under normal string tension on a non-Bigsby guitar though, that bridge likely won't move at all. If that were the case, you would be fighting a severe tuning and intonation problem all the time. I bet you do with a Bigsby anyway.

    Best way to go with a Bigsby is have a bridge with well lubed roller saddles.
     
  12. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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    I'm planning on puting a set on my Epi, I like the fact that it's locked in place and wont come off when I remove all my strings.
     
  13. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    Actually, I don't have a problem with tuning and intonation on my Bigsby guitars because I use Tonepros bridges and have well-dressed, polished saddles.
     
  14. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Bailnout,
    That is the first time someone responded to this that made perfect sense to me. I can't count how many times I have replied to folks who say a T.O.M. bridge will rock... I mean Jeeez have they tried to do this with full string tension on it. Perhaps I need to visit the gym more :)

    This type of thread has been going on for years on various sites and the groups.

    You really should have an affiliation with Tone Pros, as every reply I have ever had from one of the offended dealers has been shall we say less than convincing... well you read it... no?

    I must say that I would like to see a test between a T.P. and the Gotoh version, without the hex screws. That would be a good indicator IMHO

    I, for the life of me cannot remember if I locked the T.P. before or after the string tension. It was so long ago. I will try your approach. I truly hope I hear an improvement... nothing would make me happier that to say I was totally wrong!

    HJ
     
  15. Praline

    Praline Member

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    I laughed at that reply myself. Ridiculous. I think tone pros is selling a load of crap.
     
  16. CS'56

    CS'56 Member

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    I had put them on my old Rosewood McCarty. I thought I MIGHT of heard difference unplugged.
    There was no difference plugged into an amp.
    Very high quality product but I would never buy them again.:(
     
  17. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    Sounds like that would work to me. Way to go! I was just saying that if you used the standard T.O.M. and it was a sloppy fit you would have tuning problems. You don't use a standard, sloppy fitting bridge so you would have those rocking problems. Dressing those saddles well will help you tremendously with that Bigsby, but I still think that roller saddles would be a better and easier way to go. But then again, I think roller saddles rob tone a little bit so if the Tone Pros with the well dressed saddles is working for you, rock on.

    When I said "I bet you do [have tuning problems] with the Bigsby anyway" I meant "you do" as in "one would" not you as in "tinman". I don't use a Bigsby personally so I can't really say. Just knowing what I know I bet "one would" have some tuning issues if their T.O.M. was a sloppy fit on the posts.
     
  18. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    Thanks, I try to make sense when I speak! :)

    I don't know if I would make the best spokesperson for Tone Pros though unless they didn't mind the fact that I speak my truth and wouldn't recommend the swap for everyone with every guitar. Like I said, the higher quality the guitar, the less of a difference I've found that it makes.

    Like you said, your Tone Pros bridge IS a Gotoh with just the set screws added, so I don't think you would need to go get a regular Gotoh to make the comparison. I think you could possibly do it with yours.

    Try this on your next string change: remove the old strings, loosen the set screws on both the bridge and the tail piece so that they fall right off like a normal set of hardware, put them back on, restring and really TRY to get that bridge to cock even just a little bit, tune up to pitch, play and record yourself. Try to record things that would be telling in regards to what the folks at Tone Pros say improves by using their product. Hit a few open and a few bar chords in various areas of the neck and just let them ring until they die. Bend some single notes and hold them until they die. Play some complex chord voicings to see how well the notes retain their individual identity but yet resonate together evenly. You get the idea. Then loosen all of your stings to the point that there really is NO TENSION AT ALL on the bridge and tail piece. Tighten the set screws then tune back up. Record all the exact same things you recorded before and compare the recordings.

    Again, you may not notice any difference because you have a real nice guitar and there might not be much room for improvement. Also, some of the Gotoh bridges fit damn snug on the posts so they are already getting great tone transfer. On my custom built guitar, it has the metric on and it's a pretty sloppy fit without tightening the set screw. On my Heritage it's I guess what they would call the American style. The post and the hight adjustment wheel are the same piece but you can see the top of the post. That bridge fits REAL snug before I even tighten the set screw. I'm betting that's the kind you have too.
     
  19. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    I'm not sure what he was really talking about there either. Maybe that it's more of something you feel rather that a real audible difference. If that's all a set of hardware had to offer I would probably pass on it too. Maybe he meant that not all ears can really hear a difference. I believe there are people out there that can hear things that I can't and that doesn't mean that what they are hearing doesn't actually exist. He did say that in those cases where it's not really something you hear, its usually on the higher end guitars.

    I'll say it again, IMO, the higher build quality you have, the less of a difference a Tone Pros system is going to make.
     
  20. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    This strengthens my point further. The Rosewood McCarty is a DAMN fine instrument from the aspect of build quality. I wouldn't expect a big difference on that one.

    IMO though, if there was a noticeable difference unplugged, then that difference is still there when it's plugged in. If there really was a difference that was there before you plugged in, your rig is probably set in such a way that it would mask that difference. For example, complex chord voicings would ring nicely on a Rosewood McCarty with a Tone Pros (or probably any bridge for that matter) when unplugged but if you plug into a Mesa Triple Rec. with everything dimed, you might not be reaping the sonic advantage of the TP hardware. :)

    Then again, it might have been something "psycho-acoustic" when you played unplugged because you really WANTED to hear a difference. Your mind may have tricked you.

    Either way, the Tone Pros hardware is good, high quality stuff. If you want a guitar with the all the best, go with it. At least with my very high end stuff, if I have the TP hardware on there and I'm hearing something lacking in my tone, I'm pretty confident that it's not because of my bridge or tailpiece. Being able to eliminate that from the trouble shooting process right away makes is worth the extra bucks to me. As far as the lesser quality guitar that I've put the TP hardware on (the LP Studio), it absolutely made that guitar better.

    I think I've done all I can here. Redbell, I hope all this helped you out.
     

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