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gibson 3point alternatives for better tone

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fraco, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. fraco


    Jun 29, 2011
    I`ve got a vintage greco 1977 SGtype bass. It has got a 3point gibson bridge. Ive read a few posts regarding cutting holes in the bass. And I`ve considered doing that. some say it doesnt make any difference, but some say it does make a difference on a 3point..

    most people advice bying a hipshot 3point replacement bridge. I dont want that.. why? It is UGLY! it doesnt fit the vintage look of the bass. furthermore, it is big, and I can no longer use the bridgecover wich looks awsome, is nice to rest my hand/fingers, and offers damping of the strings with a bit of foam.

    I`ve considered fitting the bass with a fendertype bridge.. anybody else have done that? it looks so much more "vintage" than the hipshot, and I can use the brigdecover. furthermore, because of the bridgecover it will look sort of like original anyways.. but the problem is that I now have three unused holes in my bass from the 3point..

    so there is basically 3 alternativesd for getting better tone.

    1) hipshot. dont want that. because of looks and no bridgecover

    2) Fender bridge. I can use bridgecover. better tone. vintage looks. BUT 3 holes in my bass. will need filling and painting to look good.

    3) cutting holes in the bass for stringthrough. don`T know if this helps a lot really..

    I could really like som input on this, because I want my bass to offer best tone. It sounds good as it is, but everybody says the 3point is not so good, so I want to improve it.. for tone.

    Does anybody know of another good replacement for the bridge than hipshot, or fendertype? I would probably buy a hipshot If it only wasnt to big for the bridgecover..
  2. fraco


    Jun 29, 2011

    this is the bass on top
  3. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    imo, string through is not going to change the tone. it's just a method of anchoring the strings. try to learn how to adjust the bridge that's on the bass, it's not that hard. do a search for adjusting a 3 point bridge and you should find several threads. good luck!
  4. fraco


    Jun 29, 2011
    I can adjust the 3point. It`s just that "everybody" says the 3point is not good for the sound because of it`s "floating" nature. I.E A bass bridge should be in contact with the body...
  5. gunlak


    Nov 24, 2009
    badass bass bridge. the first one
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Define "everybody"

    Most complaints of the 3 point are that it's a difficult to adjust and doesn't allow you to adjust individual string height.

    I doubt you'll hear much, in any, of a difference in tone. I recently replaced mine with a Hipshot Supertone so i could dial in my setup better, plus I changed to all black hardware. No difference in tone to me.
  7. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    if you're not happy with the tone you're getting now, I doubt changing the bridge will make any difference. changing the pickups or adding a preamp will have a greater effect on tone.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Your best solution: don't change the bridge.

    If you don't like the sound, it's not the bridge that's your problem. Its effect on sound is minimal and probably not even audible. Change strings, do a full setup, and learn how to set the bridge up well.

    There's nothing wrong with the bridge, but there could be things wrong with the setup, and the strings might not be what you want. Changing strings makes more difference in sound than almost any other change you can make - and it's totally reversible and changeable. If changing strings doesn't do it for you, then consider pickups. The bridge is the very last thing you should worry about.
  9. ErictheBastard


    Apr 16, 2012
    Sylmar, CA
    There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with 3-point bridge. I've had them on my Guild B302, my Alembic and a numerous other basses. I've never had any form of attack or sustain deficiency with this bridge vs. the countless Fenders and other basses I've owned. Think about how many guitars utilize the same engineering principles in their bridge design. You never hear Les Paul players go on about it.

    You have a groovy bass - don't bollix it up!
  10. Fly Guitars

    Fly Guitars

    Dec 29, 2008
    Gibson were always big on posts - they called the two posts that featured on most of their bridges 'sustain sisters' - because the relatively massive (compared to screws) posts extending deep into the body helped increase sustain.

    I feel this is a large part of their rationale for still using this bridge 40 years after it's inception. I guess an acoustic engineer would be required to quantify the differences in sustain between different bridge types, but this is the Gibson way.

    I agree with the other posters - stick with it!
  11. rockinrayduke

    rockinrayduke Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Absolutely right. Till you learn how to set it up you'll hate it. Do a search here, there's plenty of threads with tips how to adjust it and make it work for you. You have a setup problem, not a bridge problem. Would love to see a sideways pic of the bridge.
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Leave it alone! They are perfectly fine bridges as long as you know how to adjust them

    I love your Framus! Very cool. I personally would take the E and G strings or of the retainer if possible to get rid of the crazy angles back to the tuners. Hmmm.
  13. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I have to chime in here and agree wholeheartedly that, though it's a cumbersome device vs other bridges, once you learn to operate it properly it is perfectly fine. It's its own animal and you need to treat it as a unique item.

    As 'bassgod0dmw" said, you can change it out for more flexibilty in adjustment if that's an issue. The tone change won't be dramatic in any way.

    The only issue I ever had with the 3-point is that certain brands of strings introduced the last bit of string winding onto the saddle. This was particularly noticeable on short scale basses, but it did happen to my TBird now and again. My solution was to get one of the drilled out steel rods a guy has on ebay that went between the string ball and the back of the bridge. It added enough length to get the winding off the saddle and allowed for a better intonation setup. I have one on my LP Triumph and I had one on my TBird. To my ear it also helped just a bit with the sustain, but your mileage may vary. The real benefit was clean string location on the saddle. Some people have used washers or short pieces of steel tubing. I'm sure you can hunt down the threads.

  14. Fly Guitars

    Fly Guitars

    Dec 29, 2008
    If you play flats, Labella deep talkin' have no silk at the ball end. I would imagine that their rounds would be similar, but I have not used them. I use these on all my Gibson basses these days
  15. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    Thanks for the tip. I go back and forth between types and brands. I don't worry about the silk being on the saddle if the contact point is on the smooth part of the string. I can trim it off with a razor. With some brands you actually get the lumpy doubled over core part on them and that's where intonation becomes an adventure.
  16. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    There is nothing inherently wrong with a Gibson style three point. If you want to try and change the sustain of your bridge, try raising or lowereing it (screwing it in/ screwing it out). I have found on my gibsons that the further in the body the posts are screwed, the acoustic sustain increases. Further out, the tone warms up. And I am talking about an unplugged bass - not plugged in. So before folks pipe up regarding how action and string height affect the tone from the pickups - that's not what I'm talking about. Just the acoustic sound of the unplugged bass.