Suggestions for an intonatable wraparound bridge for a modern SG Special

An Abiding Dude

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Hi Everyone,

In my never ending quest to own way more guitars than I'll ever need, I picked up this pelham blue SG Special a while ago (the 2019-2021 model). Just dropped a set of Fralin stock P90s in her, and it sounds awesome, beautiful clarity, low noise/hum. I like dialed-in intonation and so my next step is replacing the the lightning bar tail piece with an intonatable wraparound bridge. The lightning bar is decent, but i want something a bit more precise. I had the replacement bridge Gibson sent me for the Iommi and I tried installing it but even with the posts grounded, the action was waaaaay too high and I had to max out the set screws to even come close to getting proper intonation across the bridge. So I come to you, hat in hand, for some wisdom/knowledge that this community can provide. So whadda know about the best possible replacement bridge with adjustable saddles for this model? IMG_0912.jpeg
 
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skelt101

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I had the same issue with the stock bridge on my Iommi SG Special and ended up replacing it with a Schaller 455.
27EA96C2-14D0-41D4-AB51-9985AB27EA40.jpeg
It is sadly discontinued, along with its big brother, the 456. You can occasionally find them for sale, but they typically demand high prices. Failing those, the Tone Pros and Pigtail Music wraparounds usually get high marks. The main things are to find something with a lower profile and SAE threads on the studs.
 

DrBGood

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I had the same issue with the stock bridge on my Iommi SG Special and ended up replacing it with a Schaller 455.
View attachment 48497
It is sadly discontinued, along with its big brother, the 456. You can occasionally find them for sale, but they typically demand high prices. Failing those, the Tone Pros and Pigtail Music wraparounds usually get high marks. The main things are to find something with a lower profile and SAE threads on the studs.
Just a suggestion ... if you don't use the two long intonation screws, you thought of taking them off ? It would make the whole a bit less visually cumbersome.
 

DrBGood

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I like dialed-in intonation and so my next step is replacing the the lightning bar tail piece with an intonatable wraparound bridge. The lightning bar is decent, but i want something a bit more precise.
That bridge takes patience and determination to get it right. As you move one end, the other end ever slightly moves. So back and forth and again, until you're there. I have a few guitars with it and they are 99% intonated (I play 9's, that could be part of the trick). Even a barre chord on the 12th fret will sound right.

I don't like a saddle wraparound. They are visually bulky and I find they rob some of the crispiness from an SG, even on a LP Special. The other thing is that they are often too high and leave you with an action you can't lower enough. You only know once it's on the guitar.

Whatever you decide, NEVER go for a Badass style bridge. The worst design ever.

One you could try is a PRS wraparound or similar it is easily the most accurate simple wraparound. The Resomax is similar.
https://graphtech.com/products/8595...d-bridge-select-finish?variant=29499494137879
 

skelt101

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That bridge takes patience and determination to get it right. As you move one end, the other end ever slightly moves. So back and forth and again, until you're there. I have a few guitars with it and they are 99% intonated (I play 9's, that could be part of the trick). Even a barre chord on the 12th fret will sound right.

I don't like a saddle wraparound. They are visually bulky and I find they rob some of the crispiness from an SG, even on a LP Special. The other thing is that they are often too high and leave you with an action you can't lower enough. You only know once it's on the guitar.

Whatever you decide, NEVER go for a Badass style bridge. The worst design ever.

One you could try is a PRS wraparound or similar it is easily the most accurate simple wraparound. The Resomax is similar.
https://graphtech.com/products/8595...d-bridge-select-finish?variant=29499494137879
Just a suggestion ... if you don't use the two long intonation screws, you thought of taking them off ? It would make the whole a bit less visually cumbersome.
I specifically chose the Schaller 455 with of the long intonation screws because I didn’t want to stray too far from the stock look. (And they are being used…)
The PRS is definitely a nice design. One should be aware it has a 10” radius, as opposed to Gibson’s 12”. I’m curious if the magnets in the Graphtech have any affect on the performance of the pickups…
 

Bad Penguin

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I'll respectfully disagree about the Badass. It works and has worked for some 50 years.
Tonepros makes a nice wrap-around, that I personally find stupidly designed. You need a wrench, against the body of the guitar, to adjust the action. What were they thinking?
Wilkenson makes a wrap-around that is damn near perfect.
 

An Abiding Dude

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Thanks to everyone who replied. Been looking at StewMac and they offer the Tone Pros AVT2M, Pigtail, Golden Age, Hipshot, Schaller Signum and the cheapest of the bunch is a generic wraparound that suspiciously looks like the Iommi bridge (thanks Gibson!). It's weird how that wraparound works on the Iommi (being able to achieve reasonably comfortable low action) but doesn't on the Special.


I'll look into seeing where I can find the Gotoh and the Wilkenson.

How difficult is it to remove/replace the mounting posts if I don't find a drop-in that I like?
 

Decadent Dan

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Thanks to everyone who replied. Been looking at StewMac and they offer the Tone Pros AVT2M, Pigtail, Golden Age, Hipshot, Schaller Signum and the cheapest of the bunch is a generic wraparound that suspiciously looks like the Iommi bridge (thanks Gibson!). It's weird how that wraparound works on the Iommi (being able to achieve reasonably comfortable low action) but doesn't on the Special.


I'll look into seeing where I can find the Gotoh and the Wilkenson.

How difficult is it to remove/replace the mounting posts if I don't find a drop-in that I like?
I’ve removed inserts by using a bolt with same size threads and a pair of locking pliers. That way you won’t mess up the studs. Gently pull and wiggle, rotate 1/4 turn and pull/wiggle. They’ll slide out. Remember the ground wire is in the hole nearest to the controls. Make sure it makes contact with the new insert, if that’s what you’re doing. Also, if the top edge of the insert has finish on it, you might want to score around it with a blade to prevent chipping when it comes out.
 
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Grizzlyman

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I always thought the Schaller Signum bridge looked the nuts!
 

DrBGood

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Just be mindful of the finish around the bushing. 👍
On a Gibson maybe where it's painted over the bushing, but on an Epiphone the bushing sits on top of the finish, which is nuclear bomb proof.

I used that method a few times and never had a problem. You usually don't even feel it come out. If there's resistance, make sure the guitar is on a flat surface and you push down on the body as you go.
 

jonnyfez

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I have the same PB Special and I'm happy with that bridge. Every guitar is different though and my old Jr was way off with the lightning bridge. The intonable wraparound Pigtail bridge did the trick. Quality. Low profile. a3ludozs27qhniaqnyij.jpg
 

beerbelly

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I have a Pigtail if you're interested; WAY more intonation range than a Gotoh 510.
$75 shipped, PayPal. PM if so.

20220707_134454.jpg 20220707_134517.jpg
 

An Abiding Dude

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I have a Pigtail if you're interested; WAY more intonation range than a Gotoh 510.
$75 shipped, PayPal. PM if so.

View attachment 48515 View attachment 48516
Ah, a little late for that. Went for a Schaller Signum. It was described as both low profile a a drop-in replacement for a Gibson. I'll let everyone know how it goes once it gets here.
 


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