Callaham cold ABR vs. Tone pros etc.

Callaham cold ABR vs. Tone pros etc.

Postby tatittle » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:47 am

Hey Now,
Well I just scored a 2015 Gibson 335 in a trade. I was absolutely delighted providence shined its light on me...Ive wanted one ever since I gave the 1959 335 I had for years back to a high school friend. But here I am 2 days into the trade and I find Ive already messed up the "Tone pros ABR II" bridge. lol. Not an improvement in my eyes anyway. I must have over tightened the saddle screw which squashed the little weak clip (one of the "improvements" no doubt), hence broke the saddle screw head off when I went to adjust it back. Its stuck fully forward, so in order to move the saddle I will have to drill out the remaining screw. I am upset bc I didnt even tighten it hard at all, indeed there is still space left before the edge, albeit likely taken up by the clip I was unaware of.

Anyhow I am considering springing for a Callaham replacement, or even better a newcomer with lower prices but high quality. I have Strat Callahams, which I do like. But Im really not sure how much of a difference the "cold-rolled" steel makes bc Ive never done controlled testing. The ABR bridges are more expensive and harder to come by used. Any suggestions? If I am able to drill the broken screw out all I really need is a replacement screw (and perhaps some of those God awful plastic-quality clips to keep it snug) to make the original bridge fully functional again. Im a stickler for intonation.
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Re: Callaham cold ABR vs. Tone pros etc.

Postby TI4-1009 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:00 am

I used the Callaham on Wolfish and really like it, but there are so many variables it's impossible to isolate one factor. No A/B experience.

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Re: Callaham cold ABR vs. Tone pros etc.

Postby nopunin10dead » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:30 am

This is not the identical situation, but close. I have a 70s Les Paul with a Bad Ass wraptail bridge that never sat firmly on the posts, so there was no tuning stability. I replaced it with a Tone Pros in 2006, which was a big improvement. A couple of years ago, I sprung the $ for the Callaham, and the tonal improvement over the Tone Pros was noticeable. Life is short, and a small mod like that is worth every penny in playing satisfaction, IMHO. Good luck!
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Re: Callaham cold ABR vs. Tone pros etc.

Postby tatittle » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:10 pm

I would love to make the bass strings a little snappier, and the unwound strings a little warmer. Thats what they advertise as the improvement. Ill welcome cutting the slots myself as I often have to flip the saddles to obtain proper intonation. Doing that with the TonePros is a nightmare imo bc you have to fish out these tiny thin clips...not lose them...and then somehow manage to slip them back on as last step, without losing them again. I lost mine trying to re-install lol. Now the saddle can slide back towards tail of body and back out. So even a new TonePros could have me in a similar situation. Guess ill spring...got a nice deal on the guitar bc of some finish wear already. Thanks
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Re: Callaham cold ABR vs. Tone pros etc.

Postby tatittle » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:34 pm

So I installed the Callaham and it is pretty fantastic. I used the 2-3 nuts and a wrench trick to remove the studs to switch them to steel as well. Very solid and no buzzing. The intonation is right at the edge of tolerance though. The guitar still has some kind of strange echo seeming to eminate from the wiring harness a amplified by the hollow body. Never had that issue on the '59 I had that's for sure. Wasn't planning on changing the pots; the ghostrattle is not so bad I guess: very short and undetectable plugged in.
I picked up a Faber model ABR as well but haven't tried it yet. It has some kind of C clip to retain the intonation screws which was a problem for me in the Tone Pros. Maybe they don't rattle, apparently I can reverse them myself, hopefull w/o compromising clips.

My next project is to finally install my Wald buffer. That should be a real treat. Hope it isnt too tough squeezing it all in there; I have an OBEL in that guitar already so space is tight and the caps are delicately fit in etc lol. Ive been getting pretty good with the gun though.
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Re: Callaham cold ABR vs. Tone pros etc.

Postby nopunin10dead » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:16 pm

I'm glad you installed the Callaham. Hope it keeps working for you! I've had other S-type guitars with odd noises/sympathetic notes coming from the wiring or pickguard area... Good luck on your next mod!
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Re: Callaham cold ABR vs. Tone pros etc.

Postby tatittle » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:42 pm

To be clear, the ghost sounds I am complaining about is on a semi-hollowbody Gibson ES-335, not a strat type guitar. Probably wouldnt be audible at all if not for the hollow chamber amplifying it.
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