Callaham Billet Steel ABR-1 TOM bridge

tfarny

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4,481
Machined steel Callaham TOM bridge - any unbiased reviews?  http://www.callahamguitars.com/abr1.htm
The guy's parts are great, and he makes a good case against the zinc parts, which I've heard elsewhere from somebody reputable. And the price isn't actually any more than you pay for a top quality trem or tele bridge. I would be interested to hear anybody's experiences and also if the stud mounting is an issue for Warmoths.
 

DangerousR6

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Looks pretty solid, I'd say I'd rather have one made from billet than a cast one... :laughing7:
 

GoDrex

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3,619
seems good - I haven't been entirely happy with the gotoh TOM bridge - - but I can't tell from reading that if I'd need to pull the inserts out and put theirs in. I'm not thrilled about that idea. My guitar sounds pretty nice IMO.
 

Tonar8352

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2,195
You might try a search on the Les Paul Forum regarding that item.  There has been some discussion regarding it and they are real careful about the performance of aftermarket items.
 

tfarny

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Hmm, very positive reviews from those guys. Their persnickitiness over the presence / absence of the wire and even the holes to attach the wire was kind of funny.
 

stubhead

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Amazing how Duane Allman, Jimmy Page & (early) Carlos Santana managed to muddle through with such crappy tone.... :dontknow:

http://tela.sugarmegs.org/_asxtela/AllmanBrothersBand1971-09-16TheWarehouseNOLA.asx

(best Allman Bros. I ever heard... Dickie's on fire, four months after "Live at the Fillmore" and a month before Duane died)
 

tfarny

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That post is bound to crop up every single time someone tries to improve the guitar. If it were a new kind of paint or paintbrush, you'd say, "amazing how michelangelo muddled through with those crappy paints back then - snark snark".Noone is saying that a steel TOM will make you famous, but if it makes your guitar sound better why be sarcastic about it?  The guitar gods we always refer to spent a lot of their time trying out new stuff, trying to get better and newer sounds, was that all supposed to stop in 1969, 1979 or in 1989?
 

kboman

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2,378
tfarny said:
That post is bound to crop up every single time someone tries to improve the guitar. If it were a new kind of paint or paintbrush, you'd say, "amazing how michelangelo muddled through with those crappy paints back then - snark snark".Noone is saying that a steel TOM will make you famous, but if it makes your guitar sound better why be sarcastic about it?  The guitar gods we always refer to spent a lot of their time trying out new stuff, trying to get better and newer sounds, was that all supposed to stop in 1969, 1979 or in 1989?

I approve of this message :icon_thumright:
 

dbw

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4,531
tfarny said:
That post is bound to crop up every single time someone tries to improve the guitar. If it were a new kind of paint or paintbrush, you'd say, "amazing how michelangelo muddled through with those crappy paints back then - snark snark".Noone is saying that a steel TOM will make you famous, but if it makes your guitar sound better why be sarcastic about it?  The guitar gods we always refer to spent a lot of their time trying out new stuff, trying to get better and newer sounds, was that all supposed to stop in 1969, 1979 or in 1989?

...or 1999?  Or 2009?  Hell no!
 

stubhead

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if it makes your guitar sound better why be sarcastic about it?

This is the fundamental issue - DOES it make your guitar sound better? As you know, great tone is essentially subtractive. If high frequencies and optimized sustain were more appealing to the human ear than a tone which is reduced in certain frequencies by the choices of construction materials, we'd all be playing maple guitars, or even granite, aluminum and steel-bodied ones. Swamp ash absorbs and deadens more frequencies than maple, mahogany deadens even more highs. We even don't amplify electric guitars through speaker systems with tweeters or high-frequency horns, because those frequencies above about 6K are unpleasant to the human ear. Look at the frequency curves of the guitar speaker at USSpeaker.com - they die off completely above 6K.

So: the question is, does using a softer zinc bridge ON A LES PAUL result in a sound that has been historically pleasing, collectively, to a large number of people? That answer would be "YES!" Do tastes change? Of course! Is it possible, even likely, that a "soft" bridge on a harder wood would emit a frequency range similar, or even functionally identical to a harder bridge on a softer wood? Well, sure, maybe.... where's the research? Over the next few decades I'm sure we will hear recordings of guitars with machined steel bridges - I look forward to it! However, the assertion that these DO make guitars sound "better" remains just an assertion, until the evidence starts to pile up.

There have been machine shops, stainless steel, and wildly-experimenting guitarists for 40 years now (counting back to Rick Turner, Alembic etc.) I'm not even remotely a traditionalist - I don't care "how Leo did it" - but every week there's a new, better, greater "improvement" in tone - yet the standards for great tone relate back to what we've been trained to hear as "correct"... I don't hate billet tunematics, I just want to hear the EVIDENCE that this is finally the Keys to the Kingdom. And Gee, what'll it be next week? :dontknow:
 

DangerousR6

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Max said:
stubhead said:
.. we'd all be playing maple guitars, or even granite, aluminum and steel-bodied ones.

Heaven forbid! A metal tele?
What's wrong with a metal one? Someone on here has an aluminum one, I think it's badass, would like to have one myself... :laughing7:
 

Mor Paul

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7,238
DangerousR6 said:
Max said:
stubhead said:
.. we'd all be playing maple guitars, or even granite, aluminum and steel-bodied ones.

Heaven forbid! A metal tele?
What's wrong with a metal one? Someone on here has an aluminum one, I think it's badass, would like to have one myself... :laughing7:

Wasn't that Stubby?
 

tfarny

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That's why I started the thread - to see if anyone had evidence that it worked. I guess we're on the same page after all.  :eek:ccasion14:
 

stubhead

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4,669
Oh - you mean this aluminum Tele?

S6300143.jpg


S6300138.jpg


Way back in the 80's I had a Travis Bean TB1000 - the one that got away... the low strings sounded like a grand piano!

TB1000-1.jpg


My next build is going to be a 10-string lap steel made out of a 6" X 2" X 36" aluminum channel beam, I already have an old ShoBud keyhead for it. It'll end up something like a homemade Fouke Industrial steel:

Foulke575.jpg


"But... but... that's not the way LEO did it...." :eek:  :hello2: :blob7:
 

GoDrex

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I like my Callaham strat bridge  - BUT, I think the guy is somewhat nuts. Just my opinion.
 

DangerousR6

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15,453
I would imagine that it would have a bit more to add to the sustain, and vibration transfer being as it is made from a solid chunck of steel. Versus most of the lower end cast bridges, that would be less dense due to the casting process, same principle behind the larger sustain block for the Floyd Rose.... :party07:
 

DangerousR6

Senior member
Messages
15,453
stubhead said:
Oh - you mean this aluminum Tele?

S6300143.jpg


S6300138.jpg


Way back in the 80's I had a Travis Bean TB1000 - the one that got away... the low strings sounded like a grand piano!

TB1000-1.jpg


My next build is going to be a 10-string lap steel made out of a 6" X 2" X 36" aluminum channel beam, I already have an old ShoBud keyhead for it. It'll end up something like a homemade Fouke Industrial steel:

Foulke575.jpg


"But... but... that's not the way LEO did it...." :eek:  :hello2: :blob7:
Yes, that one... :icon_thumright:
 
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