Bridge issues on 5120.

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by olliethecat, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. olliethecat

    olliethecat Electromatic

    Jun 12, 2019
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Hi guys a quick question of Gretsch bridges.
    I've just set up my 5120 which I bought about two months ago and I had noticed a kind of buzzy rattle very similar to fret buzz which I actually mistook for fret buzz when I first brought the guitar home after buying it privately.

    The neck had a very bad neck bow so I dismissed the rattle as fret buzz but with patience I've managed to coax the neck to pretty much spot on with regard to action height with neck relief set at around 8 thousandths of an inch without any fret dressing or overly high action and it plays very well indeed but the rattle still persists and I've discounted fret buzz as a possible source so it seems it's the bridge which is the issue. It's not horrendous or anything like that, but it's 'there' and it gets to me.

    Is this a common fault with this type of TOM bridge fitted to Gretsch models or am I just unlucky or even overly sensitive?

    I recently replaced a similar type of bridge on another of my guitars with bridge rattles and I've heard of various solutions to solve rattling bridges of this type including using nail varnish to stop the screws moving but that would make it very difficult to adjust the intonation in future so I'm maybe looking at stripping and servicing the bridge and packing it with something along the lines of Vaseline to deaden the unwanted rattles/vibrations. If it affects the tonal response from the bridge I can just flush it out with no I'll effects and find another possible solution.

    If I can't find a solution to the rattle what are the best options with regard to a replacement bridge for 5120 or a possible fix for the rattle if anyone has experience of this.
    r0de0 likes this.
  2. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    This is a common problem. Those are inexpensive bridges. Nail varnish works if you can pinpoint the problem (sometimes it is the retaining spring and not the adjusting screws themselves).

    Don't worry about nail varnish and intonation. If you want to set intonation, as soon as you turn the screw, the varnish breaks.

    Rather than trying to fix the bridge otherwise, you could just get a better quality piece like a Gotoh. Or a bar bridge which has no moving pieces to rattle.
    section2, r0de0 and olliethecat like this.
  3. olliethecat

    olliethecat Electromatic

    Jun 12, 2019
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Thanks for the reply. ... at least I now feel reassured in that I wasn't imagining it! :) It's just there and anything like that gets into my head and I've got to sort it. I find myself listening for it rather than ignoring it at times.

    I'd like to keep the guitar as original as possible but if I can't fix it I'll go for something better as you suggest. The bar bridge is a good solution as long as it intonates correctly. If it didn't then it would be just as bad as having a rattling bridge.:(
  4. CousinWarsh

    CousinWarsh Synchromatic

    Jun 24, 2018
    Western NY
    Tru arc is an excellent way to go. Compton is also great. You don’t have to live with rattles.
    By the way make sure your selector switch’s cap is screwed down tight. I chased that one for a while....
    calebaaron666, olliethecat and r0de0 like this.
  5. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    Ive been waiting for this:D
    Let the modding begin.
    olliethecat and calebaaron666 like this.
  6. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Tru-Arc Serpentune!
    olliethecat likes this.
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