The original Gibson Tune-O-Matic bridge is probably the best sounding best
working bridge that was ever designed. Almost every company that builds a
quality guitar uses some variation of the original Tune-o-Matic bridge. Even PRS
used them up until 1991, Currently the are using a much cheaper one piece
wraparound unit that reminds me of the old Leo Quan Badass Bridge from the 70's.
Gibson still uses them but they are no longer using the German made Schaller,
Gibson opted for a less expensive version of the Tune-O-Matic made in Korea.
The Tune-O-Matic may be the best bridge that ever was available but it
still wasn't perfect. One of the inherent problems was every time you changed
your strings, the bridge & tailpiece unit would fall off the guitar. Unless you
were incredibly careful you could easily have to reset your thumb wheels and
possibly redo the intonation.
Recently a Seattle based company "Tone/Pros"
made some vast improvements on the Tune-o-Matic.
1, The Bridge & Tailpiece locks tightly on the studs preventing them from
from falling off and causing your settings to get changed.
2, More important the TonePros unit actually makes your guitar sound
better. It increases the sustain dramatically and the tone is noticeably better
When Paul Reed Smith put out his Les Paul Style Single Cut model in 1999.
The biggest mistake was not using the Tune-O-Matic bridge. I didn't like the way
the guitar looked anyway and I hated the neck heel.
If he had used a
better bridge it might have at least been acceptable to a Les Paul player. All
the other High end guitar companies I carry except Warrior have switched
to the TonePros.
Baker. Companies who are not using the TonePros are guilty of
I have built and retopped a number of PRS guitar bodies as special orders
for customers. On 98% of them I have switched the bridge to the TonePros
Tune-O-Matic. See Picture Below