Fixing a Gretsch New Yorker

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by swivel, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    606
    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    Just passing this along for anyone considering getting a New Yorker.
    My nephew picked up a New Yorker acoustic with the suspended pickup on it. He made some trade for it. It was fretting out very badly above about the 7th fret. So bad it was not working really, just choking entirely. I took it home to see what I could do.
    First a couple notes on the guitar in general:
    -The neck is wide, I didn't measure the nut but at lease 1.75 I would say.
    -It's a sharp V profile neck.
    -The frets are pretty small, very narrow and not very tall, I suppose they were trying to duplicate "Vintage".
    -The guitar had a very woody tone to it.

    Now on to the problems:
    - The guitar fretboard is a 16" radius. But Gretsch made the bridge flat! So when the action is adjusted minding the gap at the High and Low E, the center strings are nearly riding the frets.
    [​IMG]

    So I filed each string slot in the bridge to match the 16" fretboard radius. Then adjusted the bridge up for correct action. I also used a fret rocker and leveled a few frets hanging too high. Slotted the nut properly. It was pretty good when done, at least playable. I should have leveled the entire frets, but with the tiny fretboard and no radius block for 16" I decided not to. Incidentally the nut was bone. I encouraged him to get a new 16" radius bridge for it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  2. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Synchromatic

    589
    Mar 20, 2010
    Michigan
    Your approach makes sense. It is not uncommon for frets to "hang high" in winter in Michigan. We had a New Yorker arrive with uneven frets. It seemed dry, the top was sagging a little, we placed three humdi-packs in the case, and let it sit for two weeks. This helped, but found we still had to level the frets slightly. The bridge was a little off, we could not adjust it to where we had close action without buzzing on all strings so we did dress the slots as well. That was three years ago, and the fix is still working.
     
  3. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    606
    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    It amazed me that Gretsch put a flat bridge on an arced fingerboard! It appears to be the stock bridge form photos of others I see.
     
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