To those who have converted to floating bridges with wooden bases

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Carbohydrates, Nov 30, 2019 at 1:07 AM.

  1. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Gretschie

    189
    Feb 24, 2010
    DFW area, TX
    Right right, but that one REPLACES the stop tailpiece and acts as a tension bar in between the bridge and the trem. What I need is one that kinda hangs off the back of the tailpiece studs, so that the bridge can remain. Basically something in the identical shape of the Towner II I posted above, but fitted to the larger and wider tailpiece studs. I cannot think of a reason why such a thing cannot be made!
     
    Henry likes this.
  2. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Good idea! Christian Towner is a member of this forum, so if anyone can make it for you, he can. He goes by @cjtowner.

    I seem to recall talking to him about a similar request 18 months ago, when I was thinking about putting a B3 onto my PRS SE 245—another guitar with a shallow neck angle and a wraparound bridge. He was still developing the Towner II at the time. It's worth reaching out to him to see if he could make you a longer model to fit the post spacing on your wraparound.
     
    cjtowner likes this.
  3. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Gretschie

    189
    Feb 24, 2010
    DFW area, TX
    Oh, wonderful! I sent him a message. Thanks for the tip!
     
    section2 likes this.
  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hopefully the Towner thing works out for you.

    In a way I’ve gone down this road before with a Special Jet. I wasn’t satisfied with the Bigsby action, too shallow a break angle, too much trouble to make it something it wasn’t meant to be, so I ended up using a G-plate tailpiece and sold it. The thing never did intonate correctly, or stay in tune well. But it sounded killer, I’d own it again down the road, and put the new Cordoba/Guild Dynasonics in it.

    The Bigsby bridge would not stay put, the notched wraparound would creak and work loose even with locking studs. If the Towner thing becomes available, I’m not sure I’d have the space for it on this guitar.

    C35DA3F0-6E0E-4D6C-8BB0-365DFA3DD348.jpeg 8DB98087-CD44-4D6E-A310-73495CA90AD7.jpeg 77A90D79-3764-4E2A-9207-6BFE8D7DC156.jpeg F007F029-7575-467A-AC84-6E3B519336F9.jpeg DDE3035C-872C-477B-9F41-734C3A6CA8E1.jpeg
     
    jfassett likes this.
  5. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    I lurve those special jets, but because they're so rare in the UK, I had to buy a red Les Paul special with P90s instead.

    lpss.jpg
     
    jfassett and new6659 like this.
  6. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Gretschie

    189
    Feb 24, 2010
    DFW area, TX
    Very helpful post, thanks so much!

    I'm curious about the notched wraparound creaking and working loose. I would assume this has something to do with the too-shallow break angle, yeah? Because I have to imagine that, with more downward pressure from a tension bar and locking studs, a bridge should stay in place under such conditions. I'm recalling my old SG Special and Melody Maker SG, both of which had wraparound bridges with vibrolas behind them. I don't recall any issues with the bridge when strung up with the trem,, aside from the typical tuning instability that comes from the vibrola.

    edit: A lack of downward pressure/tension would also be the reason for the Bigsby bridge not staying put, I'd imagine?

    edit 2: Where did you find the Sorkin/Bowtie with the 3x3 intonation for an unwound third? All the ones I see for sale are 4x2/wound third. Was this custom or modified?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019 at 2:47 PM
  7. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Gretschie

    189
    Feb 24, 2010
    DFW area, TX
    Also of consideration: wraparound tailpieces that already have something that could be used as a tension bar attached to them. Guys, I am putting so much thought and energy into this, all to avoid drilling 2 holes in the top of my guitar. This is getting silly!

    The first that comes to mind is the Hipshot Baby Grand, but I think the angle of the 50's stud placement would exacerbate the angle of the string bar here to the point of uselessness.

    [​IMG]

    The bridge from the Vox SSC line comes to mind as well, but this piece was never sold on its own, and it lacks grub screws so may not play well with my angled studs. Lovely design, though.

    [​IMG]

    This one, the Hipshot Grand Piezo, seems ideal in form, but hasn't been made in years. I don't see any used ones for sale, either.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, something really compelling! This is the underside of an old Schaller 456.

    [​IMG]

    The string bar (with fine tuners) is attached using the machine screws that function as the grub screws for the studs! I feel like this concept could be applied in order to add a tension bar to almost ANY wraparound, since almost all of them use grub screws in this manner. My only concern would be: on the Schaller design, the string bar is being pulled forward. For a tension bar application, they would be pulled upward, which may stress the grub/machine screws in a manner that could cause bending or breakage. I'd imagine this could be mitigated by A) ensuring great enough surface area contact of the string bar to the bridge, and B) keeping the break angle fairly shallow - just high enough to keep the strings properly in place. But, it would still be a concern.

    I don't know if any of these ideas are going anywhere and I feel the best option is still a B7, but it's a fun thought exercise that I've been enjoying for some days now!
     
    section2 likes this.
  8. cjtowner

    cjtowner Electromatic

    35
    Jan 4, 2011
    San Diego
    That is the way to go, looks like someone made a good bridge for wraparound guitar tailpieces. Forgive the use or idea of a down tension bar and raise your bridge height to the necessary action of the strings to stay in place.



     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 3:43 PM
    BorderRadio likes this.
  9. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    The first issue was only having about 1 to 2 degrees break angle, so yes not enough down pressure, so I used locking Tone-pros studs. I had to notch the Faber wraparound myself as well to keep the strings in place and not get pushed around just for strumming the thing. I de-burred the string saddles, polished them up but they still got caught up in the groove. Making it worse, the locking posts limited movement of the whole bridge with vibrato use, making the strings ping when using the Bigs. When I had non-locking posts, the string hang up would want to wiggle the bridge out of position.

    The Bigsby bridge solved some of this issue, but even with notches, the bridge wanted base would easily move around. It also didn’t sound as solid with the beefier aluminum Faber bridge. I could of screwed the base down but that would of made the mods irreversible and I didn’t want to do that to this gem. I sold it on.

    I got the saddle from EBay or Antique Electronic supply, don’t remember which, but not terribly hard to find.
     
    Carbohydrates likes this.
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