BEST REPLACEMENT BRIDGE FOR LES PAUL
I've been a Les Paul owner for over 5 years now and it quickly became my number 1 guitar. As a result, this Les Paul guitar has seen so much use plus wear & tear over the years. This led to me realizing that I had to replace the bridge of my favorite Les Paul. The reason it needed replacing was that the saddles had become corroded from sweat and the whole bridge was rusting. This affected the performance of the guitar drastically in terms of tuning, constantly breaking and changing guitar strings. As well as affecting the intonation. I'd like to discuss the replacement Les Paul bridge as well as review some of the best replacement bridges for Les Paul guitars.
|Tonepros LPCM04-C||Gotoh Tune-o-matic||Graphtech String Saver||Roller Saddle Bridge||ABR-1 Style|
|Top Choice Bridge||Good Reputation||Reduce String Breakage||Enhanced Tune Stability||Budget Bridge|
What Is a Les Paul Replacement Bridge?
As the name would suggest, it is simply a bridge that had been designed for Les Paul guitars for when yours needs replacing. The Les Paul bridge is also known as the "Tune-O-Matic" bridge which I must point out is not only used on Les Paul but a wide variety of other guitars too. The problem with the replacement bridge for Les Paul's is that there are so many different options available on the market, it can be so hard to know which one to get. Fear no more as I shall guide you.
Characteristics of a Good Replacement Les Paul Bridge?
As I mentioned above, there are a lot of options when it comes to replacement bridges for Les Pauls. The best ones, in my opinion, are the ones that tick all boxes when it comes to the characteristics below. A good replacement bridge will:
- Hold tune well
- Keeps the guitar intonation on point
- Helps protect the strings from breaking.
When looking at the different options available to buy, it is evident that there are cheap options or expensive options for les paul bridges. There is no mid-range priced replacement bridges. I highly suggest going for the expensive one purely because they have been designed with all the best characteristics in mind. Also, a high-end bridge will save you money in the long run as the cheaper ones will need replacing more often.
Why The Need for a Replacement Les Paul Bridge?
There are a bunch of reasons why you'd need a replacement bridge for your les paul. The most common reason is due to the fact that your current one may be worn out like mine was which prompted me to write this article. A few more reasons why you'd need a new bridge are:
- To upgrade your guitar with a a better bridge
- Your current one is broken
- For aesthetic reasons (i.e. gold or black color replacement bridges)
Aesthetics are the last reasons I'd suggest getting a new replacement bridge. For me, the most important element to think about when acquiring the new bridge for your Les Paul guitar is performance. You want the new bridge to make your guitar play and perform better. A bad bridge can be detrimental whilst a good one can make your guitar perform like a dream.
1) TonePros Les Paul Replacement Bridge
This Les Paul replacement bridge by Tonepros is definitely the best and most popular one on the market. The technicalities of why this is the best bridge for Les Paul is beyond me but I can say that this is the one I have on my guitar and since putting it on I only have positive things to say about it. TonePros are known for their high quality replacement parts and it is no different with this Tune-o-matic bridge for Les Pauls. It is on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price but this piece of kit is a definite upgrade and investment to your instrument.
2) Gotoh Tune-O-Matic Replacement Bridge for Les Paul
When thinking about the guitar parts industry, one of the first companies that come to mind is Gotoh. This les paul replacement bridge is a strong contender for the number one position. This bridge has been designed in a slightly different way to some of the others. What makes it slightly different is the fact that it has saddles which have been "pre-notched". As far the affordability goes for this bridge, it is actually in the middle between budget and high end. If you're unsure of which replacement bridge to get, this is probably your best choice.
3) Graphtech les Paul Bridge
The Graphtech company are yet another guitar gear company known for their innovation in the guitar parts industry. I have their saddles and nut for my Tele but I must be honest, I have not tried their replacement Les Paul bridge. Having said that, I'm very happy with their bridge in my Tele so I'd imagine that their les paul bridge is just as good. I was surprised to see that the customer review on Amazon was quite negative however that was just one opinion. I believe that this Graphtech bridge maintains the high standard and quality that Graphtech are known for. According to the company, this bridge will reduce strings breakages, improve tuning stability and keep intonation well.
4) Roller Saddle Les Paul Replacement Bridge
This is an interesting choice for those looking for a replacement bridge that specially helps with strings breaking. This les paul tune-o-matic bridge is different to others I've seen as the saddles are rollers instead of the standard cut-out grooves. What these rollers do is drastically reduce the chance of your strings breaking. The rollers also help improve stable tuning of your guitar. Another great thing about this bridge is that is is not as expensive as the first two in this list.
5) Budget Replacement Les Paul Bridge
If you are tight on budget then this is the right choice for you. It is a good choice if you can't afford the top of the range bridges however I'd recommend investing in a high-end bridge simply because it will improve performance. Having said that, this budget replacement bridge will still do the job that you require and is far from the worst choice. Don't expect this to have anti-string breaking technologies like some of the others above but it still does what you need it to. I had one of those very cheap pawn shop les paul guitars. You know, the ones with the speed knobs and the terrible action? well, I slapped on one of these bad boys and the rest is history.