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Is it possible that a 1980 Sunburst could’ve come stock with a Schaller Roller bridge? I just tried swapping it to what I thought would’ve been original. A Sustainblock bridge, and the neck doesn’t angle back enough. Action too high, with saddles all the way down, and zero relief in neck. 

Strangely, I did not find any lacquer impression of a sustainblock, only of the Schaller roller bridge which was on it when acquired over 5 years ago. 

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Pics?

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Hey Chris! I failed to take shots when it was off, but I’ve a side by side I took to a new Sustainblock. It’s proud, and would need to allow lowering of close to 1/8” for decent action. (Not appearing to want to upload. Will try retake something smaller in size). Interestingly I didn’t see any Sustainblock impression under the Schaller bridge that was on it. I’d expect to see evidence of one being there before?

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Posted (edited)

Trying again... Two photos. I now have Sustainblock mounted (saddles low as possible)w/Schaller roller bridge which originally was on the guitar, sitting next to It. Note height difference, of which the Schaller lies at a lower profile. 
The other photo illustrates action still quite high. Saddles are as low as possible. Neck has very minimal relief, if any. 
My thought is this didn’t have a Sustainblock to start with for two reasons. 1) The only impression I see in the finish under the bridge is of the profile of the Schaller roller bridge. 2) Inappropriate neck angle of the set neck. 
Maybe this was, or wasn’t meant to be. In any case it needed a lower profiled bridge, and so it had the Schaller installed. Being 1980 this should be one made in whole at Arlington Heights. Customer request? Goof/fix?
See photos. Thanks. 

C96285C4-23A3-40CD-8E7E-A2B6EA898B59.jpeg

F9216CCA-165E-4353-911D-341925533E7B.jpeg

Edited by Hamer Dave

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Did they even make those bridges in 1980?

 

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Posted (edited)

FWIW, Carvin used flat-mount bridges with string rollers (Schaller LP6) on their guitars in 1988-1989...scroll down the Carvin Museum page below about 2/3 of the way to find it:

http://www.carvinmuseum.com/whatmodelguitar.html

I don't know of any other history of it being used by anybody else other than this.  Schaller might be able to tell you the intro year for this bridge in their parts line-up.

Edited by crunchee

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Chris,

Yep, that needs to be determined. Will dig a bit. I do recall seeing these in the 80’s, how early though is to be determined.

crunch’,

I checked out the Carvin museum page. Nice resource on Carvin! These were heavily used on Hamer Basses around that time as well. 

Going to try and find the year these were introduced. 
Thanks. 

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I've heard of this neck angle problem before – I believe Hamer were still assembling some guitars from Holmes-made parts (mostly the bound-bodies) in 1980, and possibly they got the neck-angle a bit wrong. I've seen another Sunburst (can't remember if it was 1980) that had some thickness machined off the underside of the bridge block to compensate. I have a letter somewhere where Frank Untermyer recommends this as the solution.

I would also point out later sustain blocks (86-88) were higher, possibly to equal the height of a floyd, and if you've used one of these it will be too high.

As for the Schaller - little chance it's original. A photo of the screw holes sans-bridge might offer some clues.

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8 hours ago, Hamer Dave said:

Chris,

Yep, that needs to be determined. Will dig a bit. I do recall seeing these in the 80’s, how early though is to be determined.

crunch’,

I checked out the Carvin museum page. Nice resource on Carvin! These were heavily used on Hamer Basses around that time as well. 

Going to try and find the year these were introduced. 
Thanks. 

The bass version of that bridge was very popular, used on Hamers, Carvins, and Gibsons, among others.  The guitar version, apparently not so much.

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On 3/30/2020 at 4:11 AM, Bennyboy-UK said:

Thats a bit high, even for slide!

Yes, for sure. Why I’m suspicious. 

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On 3/30/2020 at 5:29 AM, Andrew said:

I've heard of this neck angle problem before – I believe Hamer were still assembling some guitars from Holmes-made parts (mostly the bound-bodies) in 1980, and possibly they got the neck-angle a bit wrong. I've seen another Sunburst (can't remember if it was 1980) that had some thickness machined off the underside of the bridge block to compensate. I have a letter somewhere where Frank Untermyer recommends this as the solution.

I would also point out later sustain blocks (86-88) were higher, possibly to equal the height of a floyd, and if you've used one of these it will be too high.

As for the Schaller - little chance it's original. A photo of the screw holes sans-bridge might offer some clues.

Andrew!

Appreciate your input. I got the new SustainBlock that Mann created, duplicating the HAMER SustainBlock bridge.
I thought the same, of having a base plate made up with some thickness removed. 

Interestingly, there’s only the Schaller impression evident in the lacquer. I’m going to pull another SustainBlock off another similar era Sunburst to see if it has left an impression. If it does I would have to believe the Schaller is the only bridge this guitar has had installed. I will also need to confirm Schaller made these that early. What I did discover is that Schaller was making bridges decades earlier. Just haven’t confirmed for this model (3D-6?) bridge. 
Also, the three mounting holes are a perfect match! The Schaller roller bridge layout is same as the Mann SustainBlock reproduction in terms of where the mounting holes are. Another telling sign is this... When I went to use mounting screws for the repro SB to mount it. Those screws were thicker/longer and didn’t want to go in as I’d expect, so rather than fight them I utilized the original mounting screws that were from the Schaller, to mount the repro SB. I will compare to the mounting screws of the other donor sample when I observe for any impressions on it, as well as compare height of the real SB, to the repro SB. I presume with all the legwork over the years, that the heights will be similar. Just need to negate that hypothesis. Observing the mounting screws will also be of worth weighing in on what’s going on. If they are also larger, then that further confirms no SB was ever installed. 
Angle likely didn’t allow a SB from original construction on this particular one at the least. So they used a bridge with a lower profile. Or, if these Schaller roller bridges were available then, maybe was a ‘special request’ by the customer? They did a lot of that back then, as I’ve heard. And, in 1980, these should be Arlington Heights made guitars, no? At 0 15?? in production, the Specials were also being made as well at Arlington Hts? Think this would rule out it’s possibility of being a Holmes product?

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11 minutes ago, Hamer Dave said:

Andrew!

Appreciate your input. I got the new SustainBlock that Mann created, duplicating the HAMER SustainBlock bridge.
I thought the same, of having a base plate made up with some thickness removed. 

Interestingly, there’s only the Schaller impression evident in the lacquer. I’m going to pull another SustainBlock off another similar era Sunburst to see if it has left an impression. If it does I would have to believe the Schaller is the only bridge this guitar has had installed. I will also need to confirm Schaller made these that early. What I did discover is that Schaller was making bridges decades earlier. Just haven’t confirmed for this model (3D-6?) bridge. 
Also, the three mounting holes are a perfect match! The Schaller roller bridge layout is same as the Mann SustainBlock reproduction in terms of where the mounting holes are. Another telling sign is this... When I went to use mounting screws for the repro SB to mount it. Those screws were thicker/longer and didn’t want to go in as I’d expect, so rather than fight them I utilized the original mounting screws that were from the Schaller, to mount the repro SB. I will compare to the mounting screws of the other donor sample when I observe for any impressions on it, as well as compare height of the real SB, to the repro SB. I presume with all the legwork over the years, that the heights will be similar. Just need to negate that hypothesis. Observing the mounting screws will also be of worth weighing in on what’s going on. If they are also larger, then that further confirms no SB was ever installed. 
Angle likely didn’t allow a SB from original construction on this particular one at the least. So they used a bridge with a lower profile. Or, if these Schaller roller bridges were available then, maybe was a ‘special request’ by the customer? They did a lot of that back then, as I’ve heard. And, in 1980, these should be Arlington Heights made guitars, no? At 0 15?? in production, the Specials were also being made as well at Arlington Hts? Think this would rule out it’s possibility of being a Holmes product?

It's certainly a mystery why there is no impression of an historical sustain-block. When was the Schaller introduced? Possible something else was originally fitted with a similar footprint?

I don't know the height of the Mann reproduction, so I can't comment…

0 15XX would be amongst the earliest Arlington Heights guitars, and the body will be Holmes; the neck you can tell by the spacing of the 12th fret dots – wide is Holmes, narrow is Hamer.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Ok, this is interesting. I’ve four additional specimens to compare in the 0 15xx’s that are being examined tonight. Two of the bridges so far have had bottoms nicely machined (showing brass) to lower, another has a nice ‘teenie weenie’ TJH stamped at center bottom backside vertical wall (repro?), has a crowned unbound ‘EBONY’ board w/ ‘wide 12th fret side markers’ and earliest at 01522(?). One more to take off. STAY TUNED...

Edited by Hamer Dave

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have you removed the bridge from the body to check for a pre or post print of in the finish? also check to see if the string thrus have been altered.

I highly doubt that is a stock bridge or used from assembly.

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13 hours ago, Hamer Dave said:

Two of the bridges so far have had bottoms nicely machined (showing brass) to lower

Do either have the saddles adjusted so high that a swap with the Mann might be an option?

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Posted (edited)
On 4/3/2020 at 9:17 AM, murkat said:

have you removed the bridge from the body to check for a pre or post print of in the finish? also check to see if the string thrus have been altered.

I highly doubt that is a stock bridge or used from assembly.

Jay,

There was NO pre impression. I could only see that of the Schaller Roller bridge that was on it since I’ve gotten it. String thrus unaltered. They match exactly to the Sustainblock. I tried to put on one of the Mann repros a week back, and discovered it sits too high, so I took it off and there is now a ‘slight’ SB impression. Leaning towards leaving it be with the Schaller that was on it, as it is pointing toward having been originally shipped with it. I really need to confirm those Schallers were being produced in 1980 to further validate the thought. I included a couple photos showing Schaller bridge impression, and what appears to be unaltered mounting/string thru holes. Thanks. 

BB61BAB7-803C-42B8-9548-433B3706EAFF.jpeg

100651D6-2873-4683-B8BB-0C00A8798D10.jpeg

Edited by Hamer Dave

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Posted (edited)
On 4/3/2020 at 1:57 PM, cynic said:

Do either have the saddles adjusted so high that a swap with the Mann might be an option?

Those that are shaved are sitting in the sweet spot as far as saddle height adjustment. Appropriate to neck angle. Not set to extreme.

In other words... If a Mann was put on, it would likely be too high (by at least 1/16”). Apparently, as Andrew mentions, some of these didn’t have enough of a back angle to accommodate the higher stock height of an unmodded SB bridge. Hence, being milled down at the shop. If these are the first that were actually being built out of Arlington Heights (vs Holmes), maybe they were still feeling things out? John made a good point, that the Sustainblock bridge is similar in height to a Tunomatic, vs typical Strat bridge. I’d imagine the original Mighty Mite bridges would have worked nicely on these sans shim, ironically. 

Edited by Hamer Dave

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3 hours ago, Hamer Dave said:

I’d imagine the original Mighty Mite bridges would have worked nicely on these sans shim, ironically. 

Don't try it – the screw and string holes do not align; the Mighty Mite has much wider spacing.

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8 hours ago, Hamer Dave said:

Jay,

There was NO pre impression. I could only see that of the Schaller Roller bridge that was on it since I’ve gotten it. String thrus unaltered. They match exactly to the Sustainblock. I tried to put on one of the Mann repros a week back, and discovered it sits too high, so I took it off and there is now a ‘slight’ SB impression. Leaning towards leaving it be with the Schaller that was on it, as it is pointing toward having been originally shipped with it. I really need to confirm those Schallers were being produced in 1980 to further validate the thought. I included a couple photos showing Schaller bridge impression, and what appears to be unaltered mounting/string thru holes. Thanks. 

Crazy. but then, I saw some crazy stuff at the custom shop as well, so I am not totally surprised.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Andrew said:

Don't try it – the screw and string holes do not align; the Mighty Mite has much wider spacing.

Andrew,

And they’re not cheap if found! I’d no reason to add one to this. Just an interesting observation. Appreciate your input. Stay well!

Edited by Hamer Dave

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Hi - I might be of some help, your thread rang a bell so I had to find & charge up an old phone to dig out pics and a date. I have seen one similar on a '78 that was on sale in Guitar Village in Farnham, UK in August 2014. It was SN 8 0251 and it had a similar looking roller bridge with a brass plate on the back (and I thought - why do such a replacement??). I was quite interested but thought it might be difficult to get a decent 'original' bridge but then it was snapped up by @vitass in Munich, Germany. See:

https://www.hamerfanclub.com/forums/topic/22800-sunburst-appreciation-thread/page/11/

My interest was because I have '78 Sunburst SN 8 0253 - which has a shimmed bridge. I know you say yours is 1980 (could the '0' be an '8'?) but maybe it originally had a shimmed bridge and not a sustainblock? 

 

Cheers, T.

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On 5/12/2020 at 4:50 AM, tommyh said:

Hi - I might be of some help, your thread rang a bell so I had to find & charge up an old phone to dig out pics and a date. I have seen one similar on a '78 that was on sale in Guitar Village in Farnham, UK in August 2014. It was SN 8 0251 and it had a similar looking roller bridge with a brass plate on the back (and I thought - why do such a replacement??). I was quite interested but thought it might be difficult to get a decent 'original' bridge but then it was snapped up by @vitass in Munich, Germany. See:

https://www.hamerfanclub.com/forums/topic/22800-sunburst-appreciation-thread/page/11/

My interest was because I have '78 Sunburst SN 8 0253 - which has a shimmed bridge. I know you say yours is 1980 (could the '0' be an '8'?) but maybe it originally had a shimmed bridge and not a sustainblock? 

 

Cheers, T.

Hey Tommy! Very nice. I have an 8 0247 which is a favorite of mine, having been played heavily by a local hero Frank Jalovec, who left us way too early in a freak accident on his day job. What’s with that brass plate on the back? Mine is still strung through body, but yeah that looks like the same type bridge on my ‘80. Neck angles on these call for different bridges I am seeing, as they aren’t all the same. Some early ones didn’t need the shim, though most did. Thanks for the input. Stay well!
 

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