The differences between the "original" style ABR-1 and the ABR-1 on newer Gibson USA model guitars
The ABR-1 Tune-o-matic was the only adjustable Bridge used on stoptail equipped Gibson guitars from 1957-1974. In 1974 Gibson introduced the Nashville Bridge. Since then, the ABR-1 has predominantly been installed on the Custom Shop and Historic models, and the Nashville on the USA line. For a detailed understanding of the 2 bridges see my prior blog post, What Is the Difference Between the Different Bridge Types
In 2017, Gibson started using an ABR-1 on it’s USA Models, most notably the very popular Les Paul Traditional. As of this blog post, I see that Gibson is fitting an ABR-1 on models in both the “Original Collection” and “Modern Collection”, not only Les Paul, but also the SG and ES models.
What does this mean to me if I own a USA Gibson® with an ABR-1 Bridge?
The first thing to know it that that your ABR-1 Bridge is the same one used on any other Gibson ABR-1. The difference is how your bridge mounts to the guitar. Study the below photos to understand this.
The “Original ABR-1” has 6-32 size threaded bridge posts mounted directly into the body and the thumb wheels are separate, has no metal bushing in the body. The USA models with “New ABR-1” have bushings inserted in body, like the Nashville Bridge system and has integrated bridge posts and thumb wheels, that screw in to the bushing
The actual differences and what it means for my upgrade?
Both the Nashville and the “New ABR-1” use the same size bushings mounted in the guitar body. However, the posts above the integrated thumb wheels that you drop the bridge on have different diameters. The image below shows the differences.
As an owner of a “New ABR-1,” what Faber® bridge upgrade is for me?
Faber® has multiple upgrade solutions
The Faber® ABRH Bridge from our collection of “ABR-’59” bridges. The ABRH is a simple, non locking, lightweight drop on replacement bridge. that uses your existing integrated Post / Thumb Wheels. This bridge eliminates the rattling often associated the with factory ABR-1 with a saddle screw retainining wire. No special skills or tools required.
Faber® Tone-Lock™ Locking Bridge. has the added beneifts exclusive “No Gap” technology. Offered as a standalone replacement bridge, and in our popular Tone-Lock™ Master Kit, To use a Tone-Lock™ Bridge with a USA Gibson with a “New ABR-1” system requires changing your bridge posts. Faber® has three types of conversion posts for “New ” ABR-1″, and I explain each in detail so you can choose the best one for your situation.
Can I use my existing ABR-1 Bridge?
Soon! Faber® is currently developing conversion bridge posts specifically for the New ABR-1 guitars. These new posts will feature proper ABR-1 sized (6-32) threaded posts with integrated thumb wheels. These new posts will allow you to use your original ABR-1, and or upgrade to the Faber® ABRH model bridge, or the Faber® Tone-Lock™ Bridge. You can order as either a standalone installation or in a Master Kit. Sign up to our mailing list to be alerted as soon as they are available