MannMade USA Intonatable Stoptail Bridge Review

mann StopTail-20

MannMade USA Intonatable Stoptail Bridge

PROS: Excellent sound, fully adjustable, well made PRS replacement.
CONS: None.
PRICE: $175

John Mann has a long history with PRS Guitars; with his background as a machinist, he helped design the PRS Tremolo Bridge. Now he’s turned his attention to PRS’s (sometimes frustrating) stoptail bridge. PRS guitars have a reputation of being gig ready out of the box – just tune up and go. And there really hasn’t been any specific products or upgrades for them, until now.

Milled from 6061 T6 aluminum alloy, the new bridge from MannMade USA is a direct replacement for PRS’s stock wraparound tailpiece/bridge. Due to it being a machined part, the tolerances are much tighter; this accuracy is noticeable when the strings are removed, as the bridge won’t slide off the studs, and possibly damage the guitar’s finish. This also means a more positive connection to the guitar, transferring more tonal vibrations. It uses individually adjustable brass saddles for improved intonation. This adjustability comes into play when using some more unusual string gauges that are required for some odd altered/dropped tunings, which typically aren’t optimal for the stock PRS stoptail.

Our test guitar was a 2008 PRS Mira, and once installed, the difference is noticeable, even unplugged. Each string feels like it has a stronger, more direct connection to the guitar, with more volume and sustain across the entire instrument. There’s more punch to the lower strings and the higher strings feel like they have more snap and overall tonal focus. It’s like going from standard definition TV to HD.

With a street price of $175, it’s a little pricey, but after the comparison to the stock bridge, it’s worth every penny (especially since you can now intonate perfectly). For a USA made PRS, it gives the instrument even more tonal resonance than ever before. For SE models, it also makes a world of difference. There are some special options John Mann offers too, including gold and black anodized finishes, as well as a piezo-equipped model.

For PRS players chasing their ultimate tone, before changing pickups or anything else, this should be the first step. Overall, this new bridge pulls more of the great tone the instrument already has in it.

*Special note: there are now versions of the bridge available for Gibson guitars. To learn more, visit:

www.GuitarVaultUSA.com

WWW.MannMadeUSA.com

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