Anyone moved away from Compton bridge?

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by the_rising, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. the_rising

    the_rising Newbie

    Aug 20, 2016
    Just curious - I have an older 5420T that came with a Compton installed and the acoustic/unplugged resonance of the guitar is less than that of most off-the-shelf Electromatics I've tried. Sounds great plugged in, and I know a lot of folks don't care about the unplugged sound, just an observation.

    Other than being a different actual/physical instrument, the Compton is really the only difference between mine and the off-the-shelf comparisons (other than probably string gauge).

    Just curious if anyone had ever considered going from the Compton back to the TOM.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
    T simmons and ZackyDog like this.
  2. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    Not me. The Compton was such an improvement over the stock bridge I never looked back.
    Henry likes this.
  3. The Marlin

    The Marlin Friend of Fred

    Feb 2, 2011
    Yup. What Tinman said!! They're ace !!
  4. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    If you don't have any resonance and sustain with a Compton ON, I'd HATE to hear it with it off.
    Mr Swisher, Waxhead, Outlaw and 2 others like this.
  5. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    I had a Compton and went back to TOM. To my ears, it didn't offer any sonic advantage. Eventually, I will try to make a non-rocking/standard, TruArc bar bridge work with my Pro Jet.
  6. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Wow - I've never heard anyone say that before. What material/metal did you have?
    Waxhead and Moleng1 like this.
  7. Moleng1

    Moleng1 Synchromatic

    Jul 5, 2014
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    What TS said, first I've ever heard as well??
    Waxhead likes this.
  8. StJohn

    StJohn Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2008
    North Louisiana
    I moved my Compton from my std 6120 to my 6120GA. The tuneomatic wasn't that bad on my std, and the GA is infamous for having a Gretsch rocking bar bridge and a neck radius that don't match. As a matter of fact, Tim with Tru-Arc has a GA as well, and that guitar began the thought process of making a bar bridge in different radii.
  9. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Now you've heard it twice. Sort of. Tru-Arc people praise those bridges as highly as the Compton people, for mostly the same reasons. I replaced the original Melita on a 1953 Duo Jet with an aluminum Tru-Arc. I was shocked at the lack of improvement after all I had read. I put the Melita back on and sold the Tru-Arc. It was a well crafted bridge, nothing at all I could complain about. It simply didn't sound better, and barely, if at all, sounded any different. Full disclosure, I'm a Melita fan, unlike many. I can see how the Comptons and Tru-Arcs may be a sonic improvement over some bridges, and are certainly useful to cure radius mismatch. But the magic just wasn't there for me.
  10. MatchlessMan

    MatchlessMan Country Gent

    Nov 29, 2010
    Swindon UK
    Still got my stainless steel Compton over 5 years on. Sounds better than the the rocking bar, and I can get a much better set-up because it matches the fretboard radius. I have no first-hand experience of a Tru-Arc, so can't comment there.
  11. fender62custom

    fender62custom Gretschified

    Mar 3, 2012
    Helidon, Australia
    i had to sell my Gretsch guitars..... both had Comptons..... big improvement over the stock bridges
  12. LA Miles

    LA Miles Country Gent

    Dec 6, 2012
    I'm ordering one for my Anni - already have Comptons on a couple of Gretsch. I remember when I was at a shop having my 5420 gone over after first getting it and the tech. put on the Compton and the first thing he said was what an improvement in sustain and he wasn't even familiar with the Compton bridge
  13. G 9th

    G 9th Electromatic

    Jul 23, 2016
    Central Pennsylvania
    Greetings Rising. Mine doesn't sound impressive unplugged, either...but the Luther raved about it when amped. I went to a Compton and personally, I think it was a major improvement in clarity and intonation. I'm not sure changing bridges would impact your unplugged sound much. I put the TOM in the storage part of my case and I'll send it to you if want it.
  14. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Hmm. Interesting. We all hear differently.......I like to think I have a halfway decent set of ears, and I have always detected a marked improvement in both tone, volume, and sustain. I wouldn't keep buying them otherwise! Lol. Doesn't make my opinion any more valid than the next though.
    Waxhead likes this.
  15. Frank_NH

    Frank_NH Synchromatic

    Mar 25, 2013
    Lebanon, NH
    I have a brass Compton and it is an exquisitely-made bridge. However, for some reason I think I need a TOM for the intonation adjustment since I use an unwound G string. The amount of compensation jumps when going from the unwound G string to the wound D string. One way to combat this that I haven't tried is to move the entire bridge back to that the constant slope of the Compton compensated saddle line is in a "compromise" position.

    Maybe Pops can try making a refined compensated model with accommodation for an unwound G?
    BorderRadio likes this.
  16. ampe

    ampe Country Gent

    May 11, 2011
    String gauge can make a pretty big difference in the tone.
    plus how the guitar is set up, or maybe it would be a different story if you actually plugged the guitars in.
    something else must be up beside the compton because the stainless steel compton made a big difference even unplugged even with the same strings on my 5120.
  17. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I'd be willing to wager good money that your guitar's resonance will be worse going back to a stock tunomatic.
    I suspect something else at play here. Ill-fitting bridge-base perhaps?
  18. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Titanium Compton on my longer scale 6119 and it's wonderful. Tried one on my 6128 Power Jet and couldn't live with the slight intonation issue on that shorter scale. Not a problem on the 6119, but more pronounced on the short scale and had to put a Tone Pros on. This is just me though, I seem to hear every little issue with pitch and it drives me crazy.
  19. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Brass. I like bar bridges better; I hear a difference. That's a Truarc on my Country Gent.

    Stefan and TSims1 like this.
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