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SoulJazzin

H550 Upgrade Recos - Schaller

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Posted (edited)

Hello all, I just acquired a 1995 H550 and it's freaking awesome!! I have a Gibbons L5 ces and Super 400 ces and wanted a 25 1/2 laminate workhorse. 

Like some folks, I'm not too excited about the Schaller roller bridge and pickups smile.png

  • Can anyone provide insights on the tonal impacts of converting to an ABR bridge? 
    • I was thinking of going ABR with Nylon saddles, as i have em on my L5 and love the combo.
  • Im thinking of putting in some Gibbons 57's or Lollar Imperials. -Would this be a big improvement from the stock Schallers?

I know this is all subjective, but thanks in advance!

1995 Heritage H550 Guitar Body Front Full.jpg

Edited by SoulJazzin

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Posted (edited)

Well, it would have to be a Nashville TOM or an ABR conversion that sits on Nashville spaced posts.  I think more people complain about the schaller tailpiece than the bridge.  Personally, I wouldn't change the Schaller bridge on this guitar.  If you play fingerstyle the Schaller bridge is great because you can adjust the string spacing very easy. 

As far as the pickups,  many jazzers really like schaller pickups because they are darker sounding which is perfect for jazz.

My advice.... play it for a couple months and then maybe consider a pickup swap based on what tone you are after (again, it maybe perfect as is) and search for pickups that make a tonal difference if needed, don't just switch to another brand just to switch. 

Edited by Kuz
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9 hours ago, Kuz said:

My advice.... play it for a couple months and then maybe consider a pickup swap based on what tone you are after (again, it maybe perfect as is) and search for pickups that make a tonal difference if needed, don't just switch to another brand just to switch. 

A buddy has a 550 much like this one.  Give it some time.  You may like it as it is. 

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I'll endorse the Lollar Imperial idea.  I have Imperial low-winds on my 550 and they are great for that 50s-60s jazz sound that can also sustain and sing with the right settings.

 

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Thanks guys!! The more I’ve been playing it, the more I’m loving it! It’s got pretty amazing tone and sustain acoustically, so I don’t think I’m going to mess with the bridge. I didn’t realize the Schaller bridge had adjustable string spacing, which is really cool. Thanks for that note ;)

I think I will swap the pups eventually. Will def put a Lollar imperial in the bridge as thats my fav. Need to research a neck replacement.

have never tried a Seth or bare knuckle...

 

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The roller bridge saddles have different shape notches. U - Shaped from the wound strings and V - shaped for the plain strings. I think it may be backwards if the intonation screws are facing the tailpiece like on a nashville style t.o.m. I believe the screws should face the bridge pickup like an abr1. You can also pop the roller saddles out and move them around if you dont want to reset your intonation. be careful if you do, they will roll away and never be found again.

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On 6/4/2020 at 5:56 PM, Kuz said:

Well, it would have to be a Nashville TOM or an ABR conversion that sits on Nashville spaced posts.  I think more people complain about the schaller tailpiece than the bridge.  Personally, I wouldn't change the Schaller bridge on this guitar.  If you play fingerstyle the Schaller bridge is great because you can adjust the string spacing very easy. 

As far as the pickups,  many jazzers really like schaller pickups because they are darker sounding which is perfect for jazz.

My advice.... play it for a couple months and then maybe consider a pickup swap based on what tone you are after (again, it maybe perfect as is) and search for pickups that make a tonal difference if needed, don't just switch to another brand just to switch. 

I agree!  Play it for yourself and see how you like it first.  Why fix something if you don't know if its broken or not.

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Have you considered the Benedetto jazz pickup, (A6 I believe it is)?  It's supposed to be one of the best pickups available.  I have never heard one, just heard only good about them.  Maybe other members here have experience with them....

 

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I have a set of custom Kalamazoo Guitar Company pickups that would sound awesome in that. They were used in some of earlier Heritage jazz boxes. Let me know if you are interested.

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