5420 upgrade suggestions

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by 53Rockets, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. 53Rockets

    53Rockets Electromatic

    Oct 14, 2018
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Hi all,
    I currently have a 6128 Duo Jet and feel like a 6120 type big body would make me a better person. It's financially not going to happen for awhile, so i'm thinking of getting a 5420 Electromatic and juicing it up a bit in the meantime. I'm a lefty, and they don't come with Bigsby's. So......i don't know if i NEED a Bigsby, but i'm interested in what other 'upgrade' tailpieces are out there and available for lefty's, and what other upgrades people would suggest. I'd probably throw a Tru-Arc on as i did with my Duo, but any suggestions are appreciated. Preferably upgrades that would contribute to playability and tone, as opposed to purely aesthetic. I've owned a 5420 before, so i know they're great right off the rack, but it seems like it might be a fun project to tweak it a bit.
  2. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I bought a beautiful brand new vintage orange 5420 in February and have proceeded to make many many upgrades. After all is said and done, I’ve spent almost as much as it would have cost me for a used 6120. Maybe $200-300 less.
    BUT I love my guitar.
    sh4rkbyt3 likes this.
  3. 53Rockets

    53Rockets Electromatic

    Oct 14, 2018
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Is there a main upgrade or two that you think really made the biggest difference?
  4. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Probably the pickups.
    The stock blacktop filtertrons are by no means bad, but I installed TV Jones filtertrons. I chose a TV Classic in the neck and a TV Classic Plus in the bridge.
    And it’s never a bad idea to replace the stock adjustomatic bridge.

    Here’s a before and after:
    sh4rkbyt3 and Parttime like this.
  5. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Not that a 5420 is inexpensive, but it is one of the best guitars, bang for buck, I have ever owned. I’m sure you know this already. I think it would be a great platform to modify. Check with the 5420 lefty boys and see if they know if the lefty version is the same under the top below the Bigsby location in regards to reinforcement.

    Have fun
  6. jay_mci

    jay_mci Electromatic

    Feb 9, 2019
    The main upgrade I have done to mine is a stainless steel compton bridge it reemoved a rattle the bridge had and improved sustain. I plan on upgrading to tv jones some time in the future.
    sh4rkbyt3 likes this.
  7. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Ya need a bigsby. B6s come in lefty.
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  8. claypainter

    claypainter Electromatic

    Dec 31, 2018
    Katy, TX
    I put a stainless steel Tru-Arc bridge on mine, and I am super happy with the 5420. I had a bridge rattle that bothered me. The bridge fixed it and it improved sustain and tone (in my mind).
    sh4rkbyt3 likes this.
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