There are two constants when it comes to the type of parts used on modern electric guitars:
- ALL GIBSON® guitars with real “ABR-1” bridges (see notes below) use all INCH (Imperial) parts
- ALL Imported guitars (guitars not made in the U.S.A.) use METRIC parts
Other than those, things can get a bit confusing. Let’s examine a few of those:
- Gibson® guitars with NASHVILLE bridges: these guitars use METRIC parts for the bridge and bridge posts, and INCH tailpiece studs.
- Heritage® guitars: are made in the U.S.A. and have essentially the same bridge system as a Gibson® with NASHVILLE bridges, but they use METRIC tailpiece studs.
- Other AMERICAN brands that are made outside the U.S.A.: these guitars use ALL METRIC parts and, for the purpose of parts selection, should be considered as “imported.”
Notes about Gibson® ABR-1 bridges:
Gibson® confuses things by using what they call an “ABR-1” bridge on some newer model Les Pauls, such as the LP Traditional and LP Classic. In fact, the bridge mounting hardware on such guitars is “NASHVILLE,” with a bridge that “looks like” and ABR-1. But, there are differences and a “real” ABR-1 bridge cannot be used on these guitars. Why? Because, in addition to the difference in the size of the post holes, the post spacing is different. It is a good bet that Gibson® will, at some point, expand the use of the “NASHVILLE ABR-1” to other models, because “ABR-1” is a buzz word and makes sense to them from a marketing perspective.
Many players have asked us why Faber® doesn’t use 6-32 size bridge posts on Nashville conversion posts, thinking that if we did they could use a “real” Gibson® ABR-1 bridge. The simple answer, as explained above, is that because of the post hole spacing used on Nashville systems, even if we did use 6-32 posts a real ABR-1 would not fit. ABR-1 spacing is narrower (73.6mm) than Nashville spacing (74.4mm). One can also make the case that conversion posts like the Faber® iNsert and BSWKIT have more mass that actual ABR-1 thin 6-32 posts, which could result in more sustain. Furthermore, since Gibson® still uses a retaining wire for the saddle screws on both types of ABR-1 bridges, the better choice is to use a Faber® ABR-59 or Tone-Lock™ bridge, which eliminates the rattling commonly found on ABR-1 bridges with a retaining wire.
We have had many players purchase a Faber® ABRH model bridge (fits “real” ABR-1 equipped guitars) for their newer LP Traditional/Classics, which prompted us to provide a warning on the ABRH product page advising that the ABRH is not the proper replacement bridge for such guitars. If in doubt, have a look at this image to determine if you have a “real” ABR-1 (click to enlarge image).
Real “ABR-1” bridge posts are thin and mount directly into the wood. Nashville systems have metal bushings mounted in the wood. If your Traditional or Classic with “ABR-1” DOES NOT have thin posts as seen in the above image, you must select bridge and bridge parts for “Nashville” equipped guitars.