Which Compton bridge material do you like?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by davidrewbaker, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. davidrewbaker

    davidrewbaker Electromatic

    Feb 22, 2020
    Trying to decide which material will sound close to my adjust-o-matic only better. Little hesitant to put brass or copper on my 5422 which has chrome parts , but I could over that if for example brass is the best choice. I have a feeling that the saddles I have now are chrome plated brass. Does anyone know if that’s true?

    What color is titanium?
  2. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    Titanium is usually flat grey, but I have seen it polished for parts like this. Not sure how long the polish effect lasts though, Ti creates it's own oxide layer like aluminum does...
    Isn't there a tone chart for various bridge materials?

    I found this, not sure of accuracy:
    -Brass for low-mids (warmth)
    -Aluminium for high mids (twangy) Aluminium tends to accentuate 2-4 kHz
    -Stainless Steel for higher frequencies (bright). SS is more like 6-8kHz. I have heard SS described as "piano-bright".
    -Titanium does not accentuate any particular frequency range
  3. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    I like my titanium. It's very difficult to tell if the metal makes that much of a difference because I can't quickly switch them in and out. I had stainless, then bought Titanium hollow. The Titanium is a little like stainless but just slightly less shiny and chrome like. I don't like the Compton on my shorter scale 6128 - I can hear the intonation as being slightly off and it drives me nuts. But I can live with that on my 6119.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  4. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I put a solid aluminum on my 5120, it def gave the Gretchbuckers more twang and made the guitar brighter with better individual note definition. Not sure what its doing vs the orig tunomatic now that I have Blacktops in it, but its still not too bright IMO.
    I replaced the Space Control with a chambered brass on my Falcon w TV Classics . Best I can tell it didn't change the tone much at all, but the change was made within a week or two so IDK . I just prefer feel of it over the Space Control when I mute with my right hand. Brass kinda matched the gold hardware best. I figured solid brass might darken the tone so I went with chambered, but it was just a guess. In any case Im happy with the choice.
    pmac11 and mrfixitmi like this.
  5. Wozob

    Wozob Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2014
    The Netherlands
    Chambered stainless steel for me.
    BorderRadio and mrfixitmi like this.
  6. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    That's the best info I've seen and I'm doubtful anyone can help more.

    How many members have tried all the different Compton materials on 1 of their guitars - I've only heard my Aluminium bridge. And yes we'll all report that we like whatever we have.

    But I've got no other Compton bridge to compare it against so could not advise anyone what the best material is.
    And no-one else can either unless they've got 4 Comptons with different materials and have tested them all on 1 Gretsch.

    But who knows - maybe there is a Compton junky here - c'mon now .... we're outting you :D
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
    audept likes this.
  7. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, David. I have a dozen Compton Tone Chamber bridges. I have tried Aluminium, but settled on either Titanium or Brass. I prefer the Titanium mostly. Here's a couple of pics of the Titaniums:
    La Strega at home 021.jpg 3140 &3141 mods and upgrades 034.jpg
  8. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Bingo...... we outted you within minutes :p
    Anymore Compton junkies around ????
    pmac11 and audept like this.
  9. rob batz

    rob batz Synchromatic

    Apr 17, 2014
    Bristol ct.
    I just traded a member for a stainless steel Compton to put on my new 6130 roundup, I can’t wait to hear the difference instead of the melita syncrosonic that already is on the guitar stock
    mbkri likes this.
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Pretty much what he said. I would elaborate that titanium seems to bring out a lot of harmonics and sounds richer to my ear.

    I created a set of recordings for Wayne’s site, so I swapped the bridges out, one after another. There was a noticeable difference between materials. Titanium is my absolute favorite.
    muku, pmac11, Waxhead and 1 other person like this.
  11. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Synchromatic

    Mar 20, 2010
    My favorite for the bright ice pick in your ears punk is Stainless. Titanium to me is the most color free, and the chambered brings out the harmonics to my ears. We do have a brass, that has a mellow jazz tone, that is smooth to me.

    IMHO, all of Comptons are better than the troublesome Rattle O' Matic or the Rattle Sonic. It is unfortunate for bridges to have perfect intonation when they are new but develop an irritating death rattle over time.
    audept and Waxhead like this.
  12. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I think I’m on 13 Comptons and can confirm above assessments.
    Didn’t try them on all guitars though on account of the different measurements.
    I even have a Molybdenum prototype which Ibanez uses as bridge material for their pro tier guitars. It’s much like Titanium.

    Much like “tonewood” and passive electronics, solid bar bridges don’t actually add to the guitar tone, but are less detrimental to the guitar’s natural tone/resonance/sustain, and filter or colour the tone in more pleasing manner than your usual tinkaloid ramblematics.

    My preference is for brass, I like the warmth and the aural swirl of sweetness surrounding the notes(what?) but really it depends on the guitar. :)
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  13. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    Stainless. Like it tons.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  14. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I got a pair of Tru-Arc stainless steel bridges long before I even knew of Compton.
    pmac11 and audept like this.
  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    13 - wow dats impressive :eek:
    Bertotti, audept and Ricochet like this.
  16. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I like’m so much I’m even willing to accept slight intonation issues with fixed bridge posts. I don’t just use them on Gretsches but on LPs, Wildkat, Sheraton etc.

    Waxhead and pmac11 like this.
  17. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    The only compton I have is titanium. It doesn't look out of place among chrome hardware.
    mrfixitmi and audept like this.
  18. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I agree completely.
  19. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    ok very glad to hear your 13 Comptons all have a sweet life of their own singing like birds on worthy guitars :D
    Ricochet likes this.
  20. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    There are nice Tun-o- matics out there you know, i have a Gotoh on my Pro Jet and its great.
    Ricochet likes this.
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