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Thread: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

  1. #1
    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    I'm just a player, not a tech or a connoisseur, so here's a simple question:


    I often see people saying that they dislike the Nashville bridges, and replacing them with ABR-1 or other types of bridges.


    What's the difference?


    My SG has the Nashville and I never had a problem with it. I have been playing Fenders for quite a while, maybe that's why I don't get the point.

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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    The vintage guitars from Gibson mostly had abr's. That's why most change them out. The Nashville has more mass, more travel and fatter studs. They each sound slightly different. It's a taste thing.

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    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    hmmm interesting... Do you think there is a noticeable difference in the sound?

  4. #4

    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    I think this is very subjective... akin to tone-wood debates. Some say that tonal differences between the two are noticeable but most seem to agree that any change/ benefit in that regard, is quite subtle. Both posses pros and cons but that may be more relative to what ( if any) issues someone is having with their current equipment. If intonation is a constant issue with an ABR equipped guitar, then Nashville might be something to look into. If tone is of primary concern with a Nashville equipped guitar then maybe an ABR I... or even ABR II, or possibly even a saddle change ( Gotoh) might be worth looking into.

    FWIW- I've got a Schecter Hellraiser, a PRS C22, and a Gibson SG... all with completely different TOM-type bridges. All sound completely different but none of that has to do with the bridges, rather the construction, pickups, and materials... at least I believe these are more distinctive contributing factors then the actual bridges.

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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sérgio View Post
    hmmm interesting... Do you think there is a noticeable difference in the sound?
    Yes. And many people hear it. Sustain also (better on the Nashville).

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    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    Very interesting, thanks so much, guys!

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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    Yes. And many people hear it. Sustain also (better on the Nashville).
    You do realize that the people "on the other side of the hall", would strongly disagree with that statement... Not me, of course...

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    I like the Nashville bridge well enough. I'm sure there are good arguments for the abrs, but i already get great tones and wonderful sustain with the Nashville bridges. Being from Nashville, I've driven many times over Nashville bridges...
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    I've experimented with both on the same guitar and am not sure if I've heard a difference. I installed an ABR-1 on a 2001 Gary Moore Signature LP using Faber BSWKIT studs. I think they made a bigger difference in sound than the bridge did. In fact, I put the BSWKIT in my ES-135 with the stock Nashville bridge and perceived a tone improvement.

    I like the looks of the ABR-1 because it's a little smaller.

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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyF View Post
    You do realize that the people "on the other side of the hall", would strongly disagree with that statement... Not me, of course...
    I much prefer the ABR. If that is the "other side" I am on it. If the other side is "you can't hear a difference" I would contend that "some people really can't". And that's cool. My particular hitches make it rather easy for me to tell when I am comparing them. And trust me, that ain't an "I am superior" thang. I wouldn't wish it on anybody...
    Last edited by renderit; 05-11-2017 at 03:50 PM. Reason: had "ain't and" meant "ain't an"

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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    I much prefer the ABR. If that is the "other side" I am on it. If the other side is "you can't hear a difference" I would contend that "some people really can't". And that's cool. My particular hitches make it rather easy for me to tell when I am comparing them. And trust me, that ain't and "I am superior" thang. I wouldn't wish it on anybody...
    By "the other side", I meant the Gibson aficionados at the LPF... I'm quite sure that their argument would be, "the ABR1 bridge studs, being screwed directly into the body of the guitar, improves tone, sustain and fuel mileage"... I'm just sayin'...

    I personally like the ABR1... In fact, I don't own a Gibson that doesn't have one...

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

  12. #12
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyF View Post
    I'm quite sure that their argument would be, "the ABR1 bridge studs, being screwed directly into the body of the guitar, improves tone, sustain and fuel mileage"... I'm just sayin'...
    This is where I think the Faber BSWKIT helps with a Nashville bridge.

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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    This is where I think the Faber BSWKIT helps with a Nashville bridge.
    I agree...

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

  14. #14
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    My experience. The inserts and studs sound are also of point. Go to ABR if you can not get the break angle you want to the TP (I try to match mine to break angle at the neck)
    I will say I converted from Nashville to Callaham ABR (with studs and inserts) as well as changeout the TP (with studs and inserts). I feel it made a noticeable difference. My sound guy, not knowing I had done this, also noticed a difference. He described it as more defined.
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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackonblack View Post
    I will say I converted from Nashville to Callaham ABR (with studs and inserts) as well as changeout the TP (with studs and inserts). I feel it made a noticeable difference. My sound guy, not knowing I had done this, also noticed a difference. He described it as more defined.
    That's a machined steel bridge, rather than die cast zinc alloy, right? I'd expect a big difference from that.

    Notice that '50s and '60s Fenders don't have any die cast parts other than the tuner buttons. I think that's important to the tone. Gibson always used a die cast bridge (zinc alloy) and tailpiece (aluminum, later zinc alloy). That's part of their tone recipe. Changing any part should make some difference, better or worse, depending on the listener.

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    Forum Member Laker's Avatar
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    Re: ABR-1 vs Nashville?

    All the great blues players were playing the original Tune O Matic bridge so I guess that would be good for me if I were a guitar player. There has been a hell of a lot of great music created with the original set up and it seems the sound most attempt to recreate would be the original.

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