Advice needed, first post

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Willy Machacino, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Willy Machacino

    Willy Machacino Electromatic

    Jul 10, 2018
    Hey Guys,

    New to the forum and to Gretsch. I’ve played for years but would consider myself a novice and have never modified a guitar. I just picked up a 5420t electromatic. I love the look and sound. I’m having some tuning instability and bridge rattle. I cruised this site extensively before purchasing and this seems to be relatively common. I thought about sending it back for about a week but decided to keep it bc I just love it. I want to nip this now bc it’s really annoying. I’m thinking of replacing the nut and bridge. What Would you recommend that won’t break the bank? Compton bridge seems pretty common and not too expensive. Bone or graphtech nut, or other rec? Here’s a pic. This site is awesome by the way. Guys seem willing to help and not just make sarcastic comments like some other sites.

    Attached Files:

  2. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    I would just replace the bridge first and tey to dress your own nut. I think you have a graphtec nut which is decent quality.

    Get a good quality bridge - compton, truarc, amb2400 roller, d-bridge and others are popular here.

    Use the old set of strings to gently smooth the string path in the nut (using the old low E strong for that slot, the A string for that slot, etc., and using the smallest gauge wound string for all other slots) - try to match gauge to the strings you plan to use if you plan to install a dofferent set. Do it gently, just running the string back and forth in the groove - not much pressure at all.

    Good luck!
    Willy Machacino likes this.
  3. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, Willy ! Henry has given you good advice above, so I have nothing to add,
    welcome mat 86.jpg
    Willy Machacino likes this.
  4. johnny g

    johnny g Synchromatic

    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    Listen to Henry. You got a great little guitar to start with I think, Picture says so.
    Willy Machacino likes this.
  5. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Welcome to the madhouse!
    Lose the rattle-o-matic bridge and clean up the nut and lubricate it with graphite. Problem solved.
  6. Dostegrar

    Dostegrar Country Gent

    Nov 5, 2013
    Give it the Henry treatment.
  7. Willy Machacino

    Willy Machacino Electromatic

    Jul 10, 2018
    Perfect, thanks for the help and quick replies! I’ll give it a shot.
  8. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Welcome to the Forum, I suspect the advice above will get your issues fixed.

    You could not be more correct about the people here. Very helpful, and generally positive and friendly. Downright good people!

    Careful though, we're all a bunch of enablers. We'll have you buying your next Gretsch (or more) in short order. :D
    Willy Machacino, Flouswa and section2 like this.
  9. Dostegrar

    Dostegrar Country Gent

    Nov 5, 2013
    And bridges, and tuners, and pickups, and guitars with bridges tuners and pickups.....
    T Bone likes this.
  10. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    Dec 21, 2016
    Welcome! Henry has given you the right advice. If you still have trouble after dressing the nut on your own, you might want to take the guitar to a trusted repair shop and have their luthier go at it with proper nut files. I had tuning issues on my PRS SE, and when the wound-string trick didn't fully cure the issue, I took it to a luthier and asked him to replace the nut. He told me not to waste my money, spent five minutes on it with his files, and permanently solved the problem. He wouldn't even let me pay him for the work.

    Enjoy that guitar!
    T Bone likes this.
  11. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Welcome friend . Nice guitar
    Willy Machacino likes this.
  12. jmp56

    jmp56 Newbie

    My first post as well and I will offer what I can, but I bought a 2015 5420T a couple months back and had some mild tuning issues. Have not heard much rattle in the bridge, but sometimes just a bit. As I like to tinker a bit I went on and put Bone nut. This year model had a plastic nut. The bone was pre-slotted but I had to file the slots to where I thought they should be. What I have done and it seems to work well for me for tuning is I mixed my own little nut sauce with some petroleum jelly and graphite powder applied a little to the nut slots and also a bit on the bridge saddles . Works like a charm for me especially when using the tremolo, holds tune well. Only thing else I have done is file a couple high frets around 13th and 15th. Its a wonderful guitar and I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.
    T Bone, Flouswa and Willy Machacino like this.
  13. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    Welcome to the Gretsch-Talk, Willy and jmp56! May you always enjoy your Gretsch guitars!
    Willy Machacino and jmp56 like this.
  14. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Welcome here, guys.
    Willy Machacino and jmp56 like this.
  15. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    Welcome to both of you..,
    Willy Machacino likes this.
  16. Flouswa

    Flouswa Synchromatic

    Welcome to the two new guys! I'm relatively new here myself, but everyone is nice and helpful, I've learned a lot of very interesting stuff.
    Willy Machacino and jmp56 like this.
  17. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Welcome to GT Willy & jmp56!
    Willy Machacino and jmp56 like this.
  18. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Welcome also to JMP56. Interesting custom mix for the sauce.
  19. jmp56

    jmp56 Newbie

    Thanks, seems to work!
    T Bone likes this.
  20. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    There's only one wise advice, that I can give to someone, who calls himslef a novice, who never modded a guitar ... btw, I assume, you also don't have much experience with setups?

    So ... search for a luthier or guitar tech who has experience with Bigsby and / or Gretsch and let a pro do the job.

    Btw ... which is your preferred string gauge? If you don't like 10s, but 11s or even 12s, I wouldn't recommend a bar bridge, because intonation would be off with a secured bridge base. In this case an ABM 2400 or a good TOM like Faber or Tonepros / Gotoh is the better choice. This also applies, if you didn't make your final string choice.
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