• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Faber Tone-Lock or Retrospec Steel Studs?

Brad737

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
99
Hello all,

I have a 1989 Pre-Historic Flametop Reissue that I'm starting to upgrade a bit. I'm definitely going to do the Mapleflame bridgepost Mod, and I'm going to order the vintage-length 1" tailpiece bushings.

I've also read that steel tailpiece studs are a great addition to the lightweight tailpiece I've already added. My question is which studs seem to offer the best tonal improvement, the Faber Tone-Lock studs, or the vintage-style nickel-plated steel studs such as the Retrospec steel studs? The Fabers are around $40, while the Retrospecs are around $20. Have any of you tried both? Which do you all think sounds better?

Thanks,
Brad
 

Minibucker

Active member
Joined
Jan 12, 2003
Messages
6,340
I've gotten the Faber 'lok' studs, and they didn't really seem to do much for any of my guitars. Actually sounded a bit thinner if I noticed anything. The actual stud shaft thickness that the tailpiece hooks onto is narrower than on most regular style studs. So even though you're getting the 'locked' coupling of screwing down firmly, it may be offset by less area of contact to the studs/posts. I ended up using the spacer washers under both Gotoh shorter brass studs and longer RS steel ones. They just feel better as an overall system (with their respective tailpieces...brass studs/ aluminum on a LP, steel studs and zinc on an ES-335) than the Faber studs and washers on either. Both offer a pretty snug fit to the tailpiece flanges, so even though they aren't 'locked' down like the Faber or TonePros systems, they offer almost no tilt or play and a solid-feeling overall connection.

I have not tried the Retrospec ones, but if they are anything like the RS steel ones they should be worthwhile on the right guitar. Some might be better than others with it.
 
A

AndrewSimon

Guest
In my experience anything with a LOCK on it is great for "high gain shredder type guitars".
On vintage type guitars they kill the whole vibe of "vintage".

Retrospec steel studs are one of the most impressive upgrades I ever did.... and since I top wrap the tail it gets highlighted even more.

As for the Mapleflame mod I ended up doing it with nickle plated brass (not titanium... too bright)

My suggestion is to take it slow.... do one upgrade at a time, take your time see if that's what you really need before proceeding to the next mod.
If you can, give yourself a few months between mods.

:wah
 

tdarian

Active member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
3,518
In my experience anything with a LOCK on it is great for "high gain shredder type guitars".
On vintage type guitars they kill the whole vibe of "vintage".

Retrospec steel studs are one of the most impressive upgrades I ever did.... and since I top wrap the tail it gets highlighted even more.

As for the Mapleflame mod I ended up doing it with nickle plated brass (not titanium... too bright)

My suggestion is to take it slow.... do one upgrade at a time, take your time see if that's what you really need before proceeding to the next mod.
If you can, give yourself a few months between mods.

:wah

I was thinking of swapping out the TonePros long locking TP studs that came stock on my WW Spec R7, have a pair of Retrospec steels vintage length. Might as well.
 

Brad737

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
99
Well, I went ahead and ordered the Retrospec vintage-length studs and bushings. I like the idea of the Faber unit, but decided to go the vintage route.
Thanks,
Brad
 

TM1

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,114
I've tried both and then went with the RetroSpecs!
 

Black58

New member
Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
10,139
How should that work:bug :bug :bug :bug

According to the settling factor,
and the fact that everyone's ears are different,
that amount of time is a very fair "starting" point! :ganz


.. some sooner, some later; BTW! :ganz
 

tdarian

Active member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
3,518
I should document this thread that I did replace the TonePros locking tailpiece studs that came stock on a WW Spec R7 with the vintage long steel studs from Retrospec. They were a very snug and perfect fit over the stock tailpiece, and while I did not notice any real tonal/timbral difference it does seem like there is more sustain overall and I like the change.

This was the 2nd change that I made in rapid succession...I first pulled the stock steel thumbwheels and replaced them with some brass wheels, and that change took everything that was not bell-like and "round" right off the top end. This secondary change was far less noticeable and could be cumulative with both changes, but I do like the effect of the Retrospec 1.5 inch steel TP studs and the sense that there is more sustain.

Out of curiousity I'd like to find a source for 1.5 inch TP Studs in brass composition...if Retrospec had them in both steel and brass I would definately have tried them both, but I'm high on the Retrospec Steel Studs and thought I should circle back and report that here.
 
Last edited:

Brad737

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
99
Did you install the bushings as well? Do the long studs fit in the stock bushings?
 

tdarian

Active member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
3,518
Did you install the bushings as well? Do the long studs fit in the stock bushings?

My Wildwood Spec R7 came stock with the TonePros locking tailpiece studs, and according to Wildwood Gibson did the install on those at the factory. As I recall the ad copy stated that these were the "long anchors", so the holes were bored out deep enough for the 1.5 inch Retrospecs, but I'm not sure about which bushings are in my guitar. I simply pulled out the TonePros and inserted the Retrospecs, and in my guitar it was a direct replacement and perfect fit into the bushings with just enough slack to turn but otherwise snug. A better fit into the bushings than the TonePros, which themselves were not at all sloppy. The mating of the Retrospec studs to the stock tailpiece was also snug enough to be functionally locking with no apparent tilt.
 
Top