Just bought a Gretsch rocking bar bridge

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Chmason85, May 29, 2020.

  1. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Gretschie

    359
    May 1, 2018
    Philadelphia
    My girlfriend recently got me the stock Gretsch rocking bar bridge for my 53 VS jet and I love it! I don’t get the hate toward these. I know people spoke of mismatched radius and whatnot but it seems they may have addressed that issue. It may not be perfect but it’s fine for me and made an obvious impact on the sound in a good way. I used to have a silver jet and immediately got rid of the space control. This guitar came with the aluminum Bigsby bridge which I didn’t really like so I put my old Melita on it, which I love. I also had a tru arc before but really cannot tell the difference. Anyone else a fan of the stock rocking bar?
     
  2. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Gretschie

    174
    Nov 1, 2019
    Columbia, MO
    I put one on a 5122 that I modded with Blacktops. I think it sounds great, intonation is great and tuning stability is much improved from the tune-o-matic bridge. I really don’t know why people complain about it. They must be pickier than me.
     
    Chmason85 likes this.
  3. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Gretschie

    359
    May 1, 2018
    Philadelphia
    I love it, so comfortable on my hand and it brought a nice fat twang. Sure, there may be a buzz here or there but I can’t hear it through my amp
     
  4. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    913
    Feb 3, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    The last one I got the radius was fairly spot on to 12 radius .. different than my 2005 which was about 16 radius
     
    Chmason85 likes this.
  5. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    GOOD FOR YOU!
    I think the Gretsch Rocking Bar is a great bridge!
    The only issue I ever had with one was I’d pull the high E out of the saddle when I got too enthusiastic.
     
    Trash Kidd and Chmason85 like this.
  6. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    My favourite gretsch bridge FOR SURE! I was about to buy one for my 6120RHH when Covid hit and put a stop to all my Summer exhibitions and events. its a great bridge, works well with a lot of Bigsby usage And is SO good for palm muting.
    love ‘em.
     
    Chmason85 likes this.
  7. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    54
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    I have the Gretsch rocking bar bridge on my Falcon.. Love it!
     
  8. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Age:
    67
    260
    Sep 7, 2009
    England
    I have one on my 6120-1960 (2003). The original owner replaced the stock Space Control bridge with it. What surprises me is just how accurate the intonation is with it-I'm guessing that it is due to the combination of the zero fret with a Rocking Bar. I owned a '57 Les Paul Junior with a simple wrapover bridge/tailpiece and no real means of compensation other than a little back and forth adjustment, and that played equally well in tune.
     
    new6659 and thunder58 like this.
  9. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I put one on my old G5120 and there's one on my 6120-1959 . Never had an issue
     
    nrw_guitar and Chmason85 like this.
  10. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    You cannot go wrong with these.
    Used them on most (if not all) of my Gretsch models. Rocksolid and good sounding component.
    I never had any intonation problems with them and they work nicely with Bigsbys.
     
    Scott and Chmason85 like this.
  11. Andy Fortune

    Andy Fortune Gretschie

    296
    May 24, 2016
    Corning, NY
    My 6129T (in my avatar) came stock with one and I liked it so much I swapped out the adjustomatic bridge for one in my 6128T. Both are dead on 12” radius and intonate great with TI flatwounds.
     
    Chmason85 likes this.
  12. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    I went the other way for a bit, and then went back to the Tru Arc that mine came with.
    P1120544.JPG
     
  13. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    If anyone needs one i know someone on the forum who has a mint gold one up for sale BUT certainly dont want to divert the thread.
    There is no more comfortable bridge out there.
     
    Chmason85 likes this.
  14. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Gretschie

    359
    May 1, 2018
    Philadelphia
    Is that the Bigsby bridge?
     
  15. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Gretschie

    359
    May 1, 2018
    Philadelphia
    I really couldn’t get along with the Bigsby bridge, it just flops to one side or the other and only works as intended if you sand the bottom down a bit to round it off, but I think the aluminum was the issue for me; just too wiry sounding for my taste
     
  16. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    I've been a bar bridge fan forever.

    Such a simple concept, a simple bridge, and it works.

    My gripe over the decades is the radius mismatch issue. Inconsistent matching radius at best, and in a different orbit a good part of the time.

    This issue has lead to the "aftermarket" bridges that cropped up.

    A secondary benefit with aftermarket bridges is the different materials available, to "fine tune" the tone with the optional materials offered.

    Bottom line, they're still good old bar bridges that work well, but offer some custom options.

    Love the bar!

    20200212_114521.jpg 20191107_122833.jpg 20200307_125123.jpg 20191202_144900.jpg 20200314_172025.jpg

    The only other item that is as natural to a Gretsch with a bar bridge, is a Duane Eddy handle.
     
    new6659, Scott, mbkri and 1 other person like this.
  17. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Gretschie

    359
    May 1, 2018
    Philadelphia
    I used to have a brass tru arc on my old silver jet but switched to a stock Gretsch/Melita, then got an Embie that I couldn’t bond with, went back to the stock one, and for some reason got another Embie thinking it would be better the second time around.... still preferred the stock Gretsch Melita, but I kept the Embie parts in it
     
    G5422T and mbkri like this.
  18. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Gretschie

    359
    May 1, 2018
    Philadelphia
    My only reasons for switching to the bar bridge are comfort and the guitar stays in tune way better with Bigsby use. I love the Melita but it just doesn’t work as well with the Bigsby. I also think my nickel rocking bar with the ebony base looks badass on my 53 vs!!
     
    Scott, G5422T and mbkri like this.
  19. sgarnett

    sgarnett Gretschie

    374
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    With the Gretsch and Tru-Arc rocking bar bridges, is there a flattish area around center? When you change strings, does it just automatically center, or do you need to nudge it (the rocking bar, not the base) back and forth a bit to find the right angle as you tune the strings up to pitch?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
    Chmason85 likes this.
  20. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Gretschie

    174
    Nov 1, 2019
    Columbia, MO
    Any of you guys use the bar bridge with a fixed post bridge? How off is the intonation? Real bad or you could live with it?
     
    Chmason85 likes this.
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