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Gibson bass bridges

Part descriptions for Gibson bass guitars

Gibson bar bridge - first version Gibson bar bridge - first version Gibson bar bridge - first version
Gibson bar bridge - first version. Part number BR-655N. Nickel. Notice the straight, thin mounting arms. Although the strings can not be intonated individually, the whole bridge could be moved slightly, with adjustment of either of the hex-screws perpendicular to the bridge posts. As used on the Gibson EB bass, EB-0, EB-2, EB-3, and Epiphone Newport and Rivoli. Phased out in 1965, in favour of the chromed version, below.

Gibson six string bass bar bridge Gibson six string bass bar bridg Gibson six string bass bar bridg
Gibson six string bass bar bridge. Part number BR-650N. Nickel. This bridge is the basically same as part number BR-655N above, except that it is made for Gibson's six-string bass, the EB-6, and the Epiphone equivalent the six-string Newport EBS-6.

Gibson bar bridge - second version - as mounted on a Kalamazoo KB bass Gibson bar bridge - second version - with mounting posts Gibson bar bridge - second version - underside
Gibson bar bridge - early version. Part number BR-655CH. Chrome. Notice the rounded, wider mounting arms. Like the previous version, an approximation of intonation could be acheived by adjusting the hex screws. This bridge appeared on the EB3 in 1965, perhaps earlier, whilst the EB0 continued to use the nickel version (part BR-655N, above) until stocks were used. When the intonatable bridge came in in 1967, last stocks of this bridge were used on Gibsons budget brand bass; the Kalamazoo KB bass

Gibson Thunderbird bridge (1960s) Gibson Thunderbird bridge (1960s) Gibson Thunderbird bridge (1960s)
Gibson Thunderbird bridge (1960s). Part number BR-750N. This was Gibsons first bass bridge to allow seperate intonation of each string, and was used on the reverse and non-reverse body Gibson Thunderbird, and the Epiphone Embassy from 1963-69. Unlike all other Gibson bass bridges, it required a seperate tailpiece, and was fitted with a damper spring, which acted as a mute by pushing felt blocks (not pictured) against the strings. The bridge posts were short-bushing type, nickel (early) or chrome (later) plated

Even though this bridge was designed to be intonatable, in practise this was not always possible, leading people to reposition the bridge slightly. A replacement bridge by Scott Dasson (Dasson or Badbird bridge is currently available that resolves this issue, with no modifications necessary to the instrument itself.

Gibson two-point Tune-O-Matic bridge Gibson two-point Tune-O-Matic bridge Gibson two-point bridge
Gibson two-point Tune-O-Matic bridge. Introduced in around 1967, the two point bridge was Gibsons first attempt at a bass bridge that allowed separate intonation of each string. The bridge attches to its posts by means of two hex screws. When posts or hex screws are worn, the bridge can tip forward to some extent (some people call this bridge the Gibson ever-tilt), which can cause problems with action, and intonation. This is common in basses with no under-bridge mute. Notice also that the silk wraps at the ball end of the string don't always stop before the bridge saddle, avoided, by removing some of the wraps with a razor blade, or better still buying strings with no wraps. Most versions had the nylon saddles pictured here, though around late 71, early 72 some of these bridges were equipped with chrome plated metal saddles.

Gibson three-point bridge Gibson three-point bridge Gibson three-point bridge
Gibson three-point adjustable combination bridge. Introduced in mid 1973, and still in use today. This bridge is a sturdy, heavy-duty bridge which overcomes the tendancy of its predecessor to tip forward, by having an extra post at the front. The bridge pictured has black plastic surrounding each post hole - though this is the exception rather than the rule. As used on the EB-0, EB-3, EB-4L, Thunderbird, SB-350/SB-450, Ripper, RD series basses, Les Paul Signature and Les Paul Triumph from 1973 onwards.

Gibson Grabber bridge Gibson Grabber bridge Gibson Grabber bridge
Gibson Grabber bridge. Part number 10149 (1977), 81554 (1981). As used on the Gibson Grabber and Gibson G3 basses. This simple Fender-style bridge was considerably cheaper to produce than the three-point (above) in use at the same time, and far more reliable than the SB bass bridge that was Gibsons previous budget version. Size: 2 5/16" x 2". Note the G-string screw is longer (1 1/2") than the other three (1 7/32"). The spring is also slightly longer to compensate for this.

Gibson wedge bridge Gibson wedge bridge Gibson wedge bridge
Gibson TRI-4 wedge bridge. As used on the Gibson Victory and Explorer basses.

Underbridge mute, fitted to a Gibson EB-3 bass Gibson underbridge mute, unmounted The disassembled mute
EB string mute Introduced in 1960 (see the Gibson Gazette July/August 1960 and 1962 mute patent) and fitted to Kalamazoo-built basses until 1971. This mute was widely used on practically all Gibson EB3s, and very many EB0, EB2, Epiphone Newport, Epiphone Rivoli and Les Paul basses. The principle was very simple: by pulling the lever away from the bridge, it's raised part pushes a piece of felt up, under the strings, dampening vibrations. Listen to these soundclips of a muted and unmuted Gibson EB3.

Gibson bass handrest Gibson bass handrest Gibson bass handrest
metal hand rest EB0, EB2, EB3, Epiphone Newport, Epiphone Rivoli, Kalamazoo KB bass. These hand rests were initially nickel plated, then chrome-plated from the mid 1960s.

Chrome bridge cover Chrome bridge cover Chrome bridge cover
Chrome bridge cover Introduced in 1963 - the earliest (nickel plated) covers were only used on the Thunderbird. From around 1967-80 these covers (now chrome) were fitted to all EB, Thunderbird, Ripper and Les Paul basses. When under-bridge mutes were phased out in the early seventies, many of these covers had a strip of foam glued to the underside, which acted as a mute. To 'unmute' the cover would be removed


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There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
RICK LUCERO Comment left 23rd August 2013 16:04:24
Might you know where I might find the Hand Rest for my Newport Bass?, you mention it on your website: metal hand rest EB0, EB2, EB3, Epiphone Newport, Epiphone Rivoli, Kalamazoo KB bass. These hand rests were initially nickel plated, then chrome-plated from the mid 1960s. Thanks! Rick Lucero, Denver Co.

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