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Bending ABR1 posts and doubled up thumbwheels

ADP

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Jul 16, 2015
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143
How do we feel about adding a second thumbwheel to an ABR1 system in hopes of preventing bending from the string tension? After extensive play time over the years, my ABR1 is leanin! I've added a second thumbwheel to each post but now there's a different vibe to the guitar - not worse, just different.

I should also add; I don't think these modern day thumbwheels come even close to a "real" one. They are too thick and seem to be harder metal than an old one from the 50's.

I have also heard of players replacing the threaded posts altogether with longer posts and/or stainless steel, if memory serves me correct.

What do you think the best solution is to a leaning post and how important is the ABR1 in the total sum of parts?


hYNVcyO.jpg
 

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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One of my Les Pauls has the double thumbwheel treatment. No complaints.
 

J.D.

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Swap out the nickel plated brass ABR1 posts for nickel plated steel.
 

ADP

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Jul 16, 2015
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143
Swap out the nickel plated brass ABR1 posts for nickel plated steel.
How can I tell what they are made of? One set is from a 2010 Aged Clapton. And one set is from a 2014 R8 VOS.
 

Morgan24

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Nov 1, 2020
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How can I tell what they are made of? One set is from a 2010 Aged Clapton. And one set is from a 2014 R8 VOS.
Don't change to steel, they have a different sound. Just change the posts to a new real brass from crazyparts or creamtone.
 

ADP

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Jul 16, 2015
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Don't change to steel, they have a different sound. Just change the posts to a new real brass from crazyparts or creamtone.
This seems like the proper fix. What are the posts made out of from the factory?
 

J.D.

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How can I tell what they are made of? One set is from a 2010 Aged Clapton. And one set is from a 2014 R8 VOS.
Brass bends easy, steel doesn't. Steel is magnetic, brass is not. Scratch test on brass will show yellow metal.

If the stock (presumably brass) ones bent, replacement brass ones might as well. Steel likely won't ever bend.
 

J.D.

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Longer ones won't solve the problem. The part that is bending is above the wood.
 

ADP

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Jul 16, 2015
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What does a real post measure, lengthwise? And by "real" I mean one from 1958-1960.
 

vim

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Oct 10, 2008
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Brass sounds better (warmer) than steel, even though the difference will be marginal.
I use double set of thumbwheels on all my ABR-1s, and have done so for many years. ever had them bending.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,547
How do we feel about adding a second thumbwheel to an ABR1 system in hopes of preventing bending from the string tension? After extensive play time over the years, my ABR1 is leanin! I've added a second thumbwheel to each post but now there's a different vibe to the guitar - not worse, just different.

I should also add; I don't think these modern day thumbwheels come even close to a "real" one. They are too thick and seem to be harder metal than an old one from the 50's.

I have also heard of players replacing the threaded posts altogether with longer posts and/or stainless steel, if memory serves me correct.

What do you think the best solution is to a leaning post and how important is the ABR1 in the total sum of parts?


hYNVcyO.jpg
Greetings, is this caused by using a very heavy string guage ? I can't understand what causes this ?
 

C-4

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Jan 5, 2005
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1,756
I have always used double thumb wheels on my Gibsons and ordered guitars that way from Kalamazoo.
My latest R9 does not have them because the thumb wheels are really low on the guitar, preventing me from adding a second thumb wheel to this guitar.
 
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guitplayer

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Mar 8, 2008
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1,879
Longer ones won't solve the problem. The part that is bending is above the wood.
Yeah, I don`t know. It sounds like the wood is giving way. Longer would seat better and stronger.
Plus the added sound from being in direct contact/bottomed out with the wood.
If the metal is bending ...then WOW!
 

dwagar

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Apr 18, 2005
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4,309
I use the stainless steel posts on my R9 (search the Mapleflame mod). IMO it does change the tone a bit, which I like.

On my '64 ES330, the posts were getting a bit loose, so I used double thumbwheels to correct it. I can't remember where I bought them, but IIRC I used vintage style thin thumbwheels.
 

brandtkronholm

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Dec 3, 2006
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2,240
Greetings, is this caused by using a very heavy string guage ? I can't understand what causes this ?
Indeed, the OP top-wraps his Les Paul which reduces the downward pressure on the bridge and would prevent the posts from bending. If the posts were bending, then I would imagine there was a massive defect in one or both posts. If the OP was using really heavy strings (without top-wrapping; stop tail piece all the way down + bridge raised high) I'd think that the bridge would show signs of bending/warping too. (ABR-1s are made of zinc/aluminum/brass, essentially pot-metal, no?)
A picture of the bending before the extra thumbwheels went on would be very informative.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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Indeed, the OP top-wraps his Les Paul which reduces the downward pressure on the bridge and would prevent the posts from bending. If the posts were bending, then I would imagine there was a massive defect in one or both posts. If the OP was using really heavy strings (without top-wrapping; stop tail piece all the way down + bridge raised high) I'd think that the bridge would show signs of bending/warping too. (ABR-1s are made of zinc/aluminum/brass, essentially pot-metal, no?)
A picture of the bending before the extra thumbwheels went on would be very informative.
Thank You for the detailed and informative answer . As I have read of this issue before and always scratched my head as to the how and why . Today I just guessed about the heavy string gauge . I have seen photos of bent ABR-1's and the bent posts on vintage Gibson's and modern ones as well .
 

gmann

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May 26, 2003
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5,868
You can get accurate thumbwheels fm Marks Guitar Loft. Correct material and dimensions.
 
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