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If not an original Sustain Block bridge, what?


Drew816

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Sustain block bridges are unique to Hamer, there isn't really any 'alternative' version that I'm aware of that gets close to fitting the bill of the original bridge.  The first very early bridges that Hamer used had kind of like a Fender hardtail Strat bridge base with a rosewood shim underneath for height, but sustain block bridges after that version had a lot of mass due to the milled solid brass base, you can check it out under 'Bridges' in this Hamer reference page:

http://www.buddlejagarden.co.uk/hamer/hardware.htm

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I think the Hipshot Hardtails are excellent. They're close to the sustain block, not identical, but tonewise you'll get real close. They're a bit of a copy, with the nickel plated  solid brass base. I like how the saddles are are kept in place nice and tight by the side walls,  which I think is an improvement of sorts over the sustain block. Perhaps blasphemy here, but my opinion anyway... Don't ban me mods LOL.  If I was reworking a guitar for myself, I'd be using the Hipshot. It's a good choice IMO.

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24 minutes ago, David B said:

There are many great bridges that will work very well, but resale value will really drop without a SB.

When you’re talking about stripping the original finish, re-topping a guitar pulling the original maple cap and replacing it with another, and refinishing it, among other things, I think being concerned with resale value becomes a moot point, especially considering the fact that a sustain block purchase will apparently be between $300 & $450.

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Wilkinson or Schaller bridges are great. I‘d go for something that supports a through body construction for sustain.

Would you want to stick to a tremolo?

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1 hour ago, gorch said:

Wilkinson or Schaller bridges are great. I‘d go for something that supports a through body construction for sustain.

Would you want to stick to a tremolo?

Dirk, look at this and read the specs. It’s a great bridge option 🙂

https://hipshotproducts.com/collections/guitar-bridges/products/fixed-guitar-bridge?variant=27822074120

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1 hour ago, gtrdaddy said:

Dirk, look at this and read the specs. It’s a great bridge option 🙂

https://hipshotproducts.com/collections/guitar-bridges/products/fixed-guitar-bridge?variant=27822074120

Quite the "ultimate marriage of performance, beauty and ergonomics". 😉 I always like the marketing word washings.

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Mill the sides off the Hipshot and you're pretty close. A little thin at the bottom, though. The shimmed hardtail bridge idea is more accurate.

14 hours ago, gtrdaddy said:

I like how the saddles are are kept in place nice and tight by the side walls,  which I think is an improvement of sorts over the sustain block.

I agree. Probably more comfortable under the hand as well.

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  • 3 months later...
On 9/22/2018 at 2:49 PM, hamerhead said:

Mill the sides off the Hipshot and you're pretty close. A little thin at the bottom, though. The shimmed hardtail bridge idea is more accurate.

I agree. Probably more comfortable under the hand as well.

The base of this Hipshot bridge is HALF the depth of a real Sustain Block Bridge so you would still need a shim underneath which seems to defeat the the whole object of the exercise and not only that but the saddles are completely different and don't look even close to the original design if you want your guitar/bridge to be historically accurate/vintage correct... just saying!! :rolleyes:

 

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12 minutes ago, DaveX said:

The base of this Hipshot bridge is HALF the depth of a real Sustain Block Bridge so you would still need a shim underneath which seems to defeat the the whole object of the exercise and not only that but the saddles are completely different and don't look even close to the original design if you want your guitar/bridge to be historically accurate/vintage correct... just saying!! :rolleyes:

 

It can't be 'that' off...the standard neck joint, fretboard height from the body, pup/ring height, etc are fairly standard  dimensions.  Any workable bridge design would have to 'clear' those items plus provide additional clearance to adjust string height from the fretboard.

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It's worth giving John at Mannmade a call. A couple of years ago John was provided a sustain block bridge by another HFC'er and was working up a replacement.

http://www.mannmadeusa.com/

Edited to add: I just had a call with John at Mann-Made. He did machine a sustain-block bridge a couple of years ago for another HFC'er. He would like an order for 5 or more sustain block bridges. 20 or more brings the price lower. Pricing has not changed, with an order for 20 units s/b approx. $175 each.   He can deliver by late Feb. or early March.

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7 minutes ago, Never2Late said:

It can't be 'that' off...the standard neck joint, fretboard height from the body, pup/ring height, etc are fairly standard  dimensions.  Any workable bridge design would have to 'clear' those items plus provide additional clearance to adjust string height from the fretboard.

We are talking about a difference of around 0.125 (inch) difference which is a hell of lot when you consider, for example, that when you insert a shim double the thickness of a piece of normal office paper under the neck of a stratocaster you get a difference of approx.2mm at the bridge...

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1 hour ago, Steve Haynie said:

Wouldn't the sustain block trem bridge be more rare than a regular sustain block? 

Nope... it's not readily available, but I see at least 6 or 7 to every 1 sustain block Bridge... people like to replace them with Schaller or OG Floyd's...

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36 minutes ago, Joe G said:

It's worth giving John at Mannmade a call. A couple of years ago John was provided a sustain block bridge by another HFC'er and was working up a replacement.

http://www.mannmadeusa.com/

Edited to add: I just had a call with John at Mann-Made. He did machine a sustain-block bridge a couple of years ago for another HFC'er. He would like an order for 5 or more sustain block bridges. 20 or more brings the price lower. Pricing has not changed, with an order for 20 units s/b approx. $175 each.   He can deliver by late Feb. or early March.

I visited John's shop a couple of years ago. Super nice guy and he makes some fantastic products. 

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55 minutes ago, Joe G said:

It's worth giving John at Mannmade a call. A couple of years ago John was provided a sustain block bridge by another HFC'er and was working up a replacement.

http://www.mannmadeusa.com/

Edited to add: I just had a call with John at Mann-Made. He did machine a sustain-block bridge a couple of years ago for another HFC'er. He would like an order for 5 or more sustain block bridges. 20 or more brings the price lower. Pricing has not changed, with an order for 20 units s/b approx. $175 each.   He can deliver by late Feb. or early March.

WTF? I'd Pony up for 2. 

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1 hour ago, Joe G said:

It's worth giving John at Mannmade a call. A couple of years ago John was provided a sustain block bridge by another HFC'er and was working up a replacement.

http://www.mannmadeusa.com/

Edited to add: I just had a call with John at Mann-Made. He did machine a sustain-block bridge a couple of years ago for another HFC'er. He would like an order for 5 or more sustain block bridges. 20 or more brings the price lower. Pricing has not changed, with an order for 20 units s/b approx. $175 each.   He can deliver by late Feb. or early March.

I'd need to see his version before I threw down my greens. Obviously, his work is beyond reproach, but is his bridge an exact replica of the Hamer part, like a @hamerhead replica or @stonge's 2FIG bridge?  If not, you could shim up a hardtail Strat bridge for $20 and call it a day.

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1 minute ago, kizanski said:

....you could shim up a hardtail Strat bridge for $20 and call it a day.... 

^^^This. Exactly.

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2 minutes ago, kizanski said:

I'd need to see his version before I threw down my greens. Obviously, his work is beyond reproach, but is his bridge an exact replica of the Hamer part, like a @hamerhead replica or @stonge's 2FIG bridge?  If not, you could shim up a hardtail Strat bridge for $20 and call it a day.

 

image.png

Agreed. That # to me seems ridiculously low. Like its for the bridge with no saddles. 

If that was a repo bridge, lock, stock and barrel up for the whole 20 and charge you guys more. LOL 

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