Looking to buy a 5420 or 5410 and am confused..

gretschnewb

Electromatic
Nov 30, 2022
6
Tampa, FL
New member, looking to be new Gretsch owner!

My confusion lies in the bridges. I've done many searches here, sifted through threads, Google, etc..

I'm mostly a roller bridge guy on my Gibsons, typically Tonepros. I hate cheap bridges and sharp saddles, and I know these are typically what you get with these Electromatics, which I would certainly want to upgrade. The confusion is, it seems so many talk about these high end types that pose intonation challenges, (in some cases, which I'm anal about), pinning, unpinning, (which I don't understand), and if the stock bridge just comes off, and what drop and go roller bridge is recommended? Does the metric Tonepros go right on? Or, are the bridge pin and spacing different?

Also, is there not a drop-in locking tuner that will work for these? These are actually possible deal-breakers, and the Schecter Coupe has been on the radar as well, but man, $1499! Crazy.
 

Lockupyourfatdog

Country Gent
Aug 8, 2016
1,054
Everett wa
There isn’t really a drop in locking tuner. There’s a sperzel one that doesn’t require a set screw but all of them that I know of requires the hole for the tuning peg to be made larger.

There’s lots of drop in roller bridges though. I prefer just a Gretsch bar bridge. They seem to work great for these models and I’ve had several of them with no issues
 

Marv666

Synchromatic
Jul 26, 2020
819
Germany
New member, looking to be new Gretsch owner!

My confusion lies in the bridges. I've done many searches here, sifted through threads, Google, etc..

I'm mostly a roller bridge guy on my Gibsons, typically Tonepros. I hate cheap bridges and sharp saddles, and I know these are typically what you get with these Electromatics, which I would certainly want to upgrade. The confusion is, it seems so many talk about these high end types that pose intonation challenges, (in some cases, which I'm anal about), pinning, unpinning, (which I don't understand), and if the stock bridge just comes off, and what drop and go roller bridge is recommended? Does the metric Tonepros go right on? Or, are the bridge pin and spacing different?

Also, is there not a drop-in locking tuner that will work for these? These are actually possible deal-breakers, and the Schecter Coupe has been on the radar as well, but man, $1499! Crazy.
The 8.5 MM Hipshot should fit if i'm not mistaken... not 100% sure tho
 

Marv666

Synchromatic
Jul 26, 2020
819
Germany
There isn’t really a drop in locking tuner. There’s a sperzel one that doesn’t require a set screw but all of them that I know of requires the hole for the tuning peg to be made larger.

There’s lots of drop in roller bridges though. I prefer just a Gretsch bar bridge. They seem to work great for these models and I’ve had several of them with no issues
I believe sperzel also offers a vintage sized locking tuner?
 

gretschnewb

Electromatic
Nov 30, 2022
6
Tampa, FL
There isn’t really a drop in locking tuner. There’s a sperzel one that doesn’t require a set screw but all of them that I know of requires the hole for the tuning peg to be made larger.

There’s lots of drop in roller bridges though. I prefer just a Gretsch bar bridge. They seem to work great for these models and I’ve had several of them with no issues
No intonation issues, or are they compensated?
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
2,352
Albuquerque
Lots of Gretshes have floating bridges but most newer models are pinned. Google it, just a pair of small pins set into the body that the bridge fits over. There are videos and articles explaining how to pin the bridge.

My G5129 has a floating bridge and there are scratches in the finish where it has moved. Not a problem, they will polish out but I am pinning the bridge myself. I'll tape the base in place then take the adjusting screws out and drill a 1/16" hole at the bottom of the two screw holes. A short 1/16" brass rod will hold it in place without doing much damage.

As to the Korean/Chinese argument, you will find people on both sides but I think most of us believe it doesn't matter. Gretsch controls the quality of their guitars no matter where made.
Try them and decide for yourself.

Guitar Center and Musician's Friend have a couple of Special Edition models that no one else offers, worth a trip to the store to check them out.
I love the gorgeous G5427 and it is on sale for a great price. It is a G5420 with flame woodgrain.
 

speedicut

Friend of Fred
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2012
6,489
Alabama
All 5 Gretschs I own have floating bridges.. A little violin rosin on the base and they stay in place!
As for bridges, there is a lot of love for bar bridges in the Gretsch world as @Lockupyourfatdog mentioned. The intonation is pretty good, not perfect, but what bridge is?
Don't know about the Chinese VS Korean build though, my first Gretsch was a 5120 and the quality is great considering the price point.

OH, and welcome to the forum!
 

Keith H

Electromatic
Feb 16, 2022
43
U K
New member, looking to be new Gretsch owner!

My confusion lies in the bridges. I've done many searches here, sifted through threads, Google, etc..

I'm mostly a roller bridge guy on my Gibsons, typically Tonepros. I hate cheap bridges and sharp saddles, and I know these are typically what you get with these Electromatics, which I would certainly want to upgrade. The confusion is, it seems so many talk about these high end types that pose intonation challenges, (in some cases, which I'm anal about), pinning, unpinning, (which I don't understand), and if the stock bridge just comes off, and what drop and go roller bridge is recommended? Does the metric Tonepros go right on? Or, are the bridge pin and spacing different?

Also, is there not a drop-in locking tuner that will work for these? These are actually possible deal-breakers, and the Schecter Coupe has been on the radar as well, but man, $1499! Crazy.
If undecided about G5410T or G5420T try both at a store if possible. The G5410T Rat Rod is slightly thinner body-wise (2.5 inches compared with 2.75 inches for G5420T).
My G5420T is Korean made and faultless.
Happy hunting!
 

MadKaw

Gretschie
Apr 17, 2020
337
Michigan, USA
I've never had tuning stability issues with my Gretsch. Admittedly, I don't do a lot of heavy bending, but the headstock design is much more player friendly than on a Gibson. If I were you, I wouldn't do anything unless I detected a problem.
 

gretschnewb

Electromatic
Nov 30, 2022
6
Tampa, FL
If undecided about G5410T or G5420T try both at a store if possible. The G5410T Rat Rod is slightly thinner body-wise (2.5 inches compared with 2.75 inches for G5420T).
My G5420T is Korean made and faultless.
Happy hunting!
I'm leaning towards the Korean G5420. I'm looking at used 2018-ish. I'm not sure if I'm 100% sold on the Rat Rod's cosmetics. I like the black satin best though. But I found a 2018 candy apple Korean G5420 that's gorgeous
 
Last edited:

gretschnewb

Electromatic
Nov 30, 2022
6
Tampa, FL
So, is there certain G5420's that are best years? Which should I be looking for? Are the Koreans better?? I do like the newer Silver versions, but I'm not too keen on Laurel fretboard and made in China, but I found some mint for $599. Or, a Korean mint 2018 candy apple for $510.
 

loudnlousy

Gretschified
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 18, 2015
12,970
Germany
With a little maintenance neither floating bridges nor non-locking-tuners are a problem on Gretsch guitars. When you become a little accustomed to them, there will be no tuning issues ar all. I would get a simple Rocking-bar bridge and go with it if you find the saddles on the standard 542.. to be too sharp. Roller-bridges seem to eat tone and sustain, imho.
 

capnhiho

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 16, 2013
1,562
California
If it makes any difference to you, 2018 and earlier Korean-made 5420’s have a slightly chunkier neck (“standard U”), while the newer Chinese version has a “C” shape that’s not quite as thick. A number of us geezers here are dealing with arthritis and therefore neck profiles are pertinent to playing comfort.
YMMV…
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2012
7,064
France
I'm mostly a roller bridge guy on my Gibsons

Göldo HW05C roller bridge. Available for 50 Euros at thomann.de . Reliable and noiseless. A bargain. This is now my standard roller bridge...

On a G5420TLH :
pBDsJb-P1090453.jpg


On a G5220TLH :
19092704445425019416427782.jpg


On a G5622TLH :
19092704433425019416427779.jpg


A+!
 

Fuey Manchoo

Electromatic
Gold Supporting Member
Jul 23, 2022
18
Warshington
Lots of Gretshes have floating bridges but most newer models are pinned. Google it, just a pair of small pins set into the body that the bridge fits over. There are videos and articles explaining how to pin the bridge.

My G5129 has a floating bridge and there are scratches in the finish where it has moved. Not a problem, they will polish out but I am pinning the bridge myself. I'll tape the base in place then take the adjusting screws out and drill a 1/16" hole at the bottom of the two screw holes. A short 1/16" brass rod will hold it in place without doing much damage.

As to the Korean/Chinese argument, you will find people on both sides but I think most of us believe it doesn't matter. Gretsch controls the quality of their guitars no matter where made.
Try them and decide for yourself.

Guitar Center and Musician's Friend have a couple of Special Edition models that no one else offers, worth a trip to the store to check them out.
I love the gorgeous G5427 and it is on sale for a great price. It is a G5420 with flame woodgrain.
I believe there is a difference in the bracing between a 5420 and a 5427. From what I've seen, the 5427 has trestle bracing, much like the 6xxx series. Do correct me if I'm wrong!
 


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