My first Gretsch

Discussion in 'New Member Intros' started by 220/221, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. 220/221

    220/221 Gretschie

    Feb 1, 2013
    I have been lurking on this forum for a while and thought I would register and join since I just picked up my first Gretsch (used 2007 g5120, black), which is my only electric guitar. I have been playing acoustic and resonator guitars for a loooong time, but have only played around with electrics from time to time.

    This guitar is in like new condition. In fact I would have assumed it was new if it did not say used on the price tag, except for the fact that there was no pickguard on it. It has no fret wear at all, no scratches, not even superficial ones, etc. The neck is straight, fret work is great, and it sounds great. started buzzing while playing it yesterday and after while I realized that the intonation screw on the G string is quite loose and making a rattling sound. It is not loose where it goes into the saddle, but rather where the top of the screw and the attached washer are. Just to make sure the loose screw was the culprit, I stuck a tiny piece of cloth in the space where the saddle and tuning screw is to keep anything from moving, and the buzz went away. I assume/hope there is a better way to address this problem and, if there is, perhaps one or more of the veteran Gretsch owners can give me some suggestions?

    I apologize if I should have just introduced myself here and gone to another section of the forum to discuss this technical issue, but I thought I would bring it up since it is what's on my mind as I type my first, introductory post here. Thanks in advance for your help with the and eveything else I have learned by reading posts on the forum.
  2. nickurso

    nickurso Gretschified

    Dec 24, 2012
    New Orleans la.
    Welcome to gretsch talk congrats on the new guitar. There is a lot of talk here about rattling bridges. Most people will tell you to change it to either a Compton or tru arc bridge. I have not yet made the change. But if you do a search for either one you will get a lot of info here. I'm sure someone will come along soon and tell you all about it. From what I understand you will get better tone and sustain and no rattle. Also more comfortable on the hand. Good luck see you around.
  3. 220/221

    220/221 Gretschie

    Feb 1, 2013
    Thanks for the message. I have read about those replacement bridges and I have no doubt that they would work well. I might go that route, but for now, as I try to figure out how to make music with this instrument, I would rather leave it as is. I think it would be better to make upgrades, if I make them, when I actually know what I am looking for in terms of tone and function. All I know right now is I've got to get rid of this buzz so that I can continue to play the guitar. I just hope there is a better solution than putting bit of electrical tape or something else on or around the tuning screw to keep if from rattling!
  4. fender62custom

    fender62custom Gretschified

    Mar 3, 2012
    Helidon, Australia
    Welcome to the forum!!!
  5. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Welcome. Clear nail varnish will do the trick. The Compton has other advantages, including better sustain and a curve matched to the fretboard.
  6. FistFullOfSteel

    FistFullOfSteel Electromatic

    Jan 15, 2013
    Beaverton, Or

    YOU made a wise choice as these are a VERY special breed of guitars....
  7. IanRhodes

    IanRhodes Synchromatic

    Jan 14, 2012
    OC, CA
    Compton bridge FTW!

    & if you're keeping the stock pickups.. i would get the Brass Compton bridge. it may not match the rest of your hardware, but it doesn't look terrible, and it sounds best IMHO. i have them in both my heavily modded 5120 & my significantly modded Country Club. beats all the other metals on sound.. to me anyways..

    but those gretsch buckers have that gibson like sound... and it sounds good with the brass compton.
  8. Chuck M

    Chuck M Electromatic

    Jan 4, 2013
    Monmouth, Maine

    Chuck M
  9. MMike

    MMike Gretschie

    Nov 3, 2011
    Holland Mich
    220/221..Welcome aboard! This is a great place to hang out!
  10. jflintmac

    jflintmac Country Gent

    Welcome to the forum. You will like it here and there is a lot of info available here on how to get the very most out of your 5120 - or any Gretsch.
    The TOM bridge that comes stock on your guitar is not as good as it could be, but they don't all rattle. Many people here have them kicking around and will likely send you one for the cost of the postage if you wish.
    I think I have one???
    The Nail Polish trick will work fine as well.
    The 51xx is a great guitar. There really aren't many "Bad Ones" - But they are a foot-in-the-door guitar, so they do require a few things to bring them up to par. If you do these things, your enjoyment level will skyrocket even higher than it is now.
  11. 220/221

    220/221 Gretschie

    Feb 1, 2013
    Thanks so much for all of the nice messages! I think I understand how the nailpolish trick might work, but perhaps someone will elaborate before I do any damage. Where exactly do I apply the polish so that I can adjust intonation while also preventing the rattle? I probably will upgrade the bridge at some point, just trying to get situated on this instrument in its original form for now.
  12. jflintmac

    jflintmac Country Gent

    Do your intonation first - and then apply the nail polish to the screw or what ever area is rattling. Obviously if you turn the screw after the nail polish has set, it will shatter and fall out so you will have to add more. The thing is that once you get it set up, you shouldn't really ever need to re-adjust it unless you change string gauge.
    If you do need to - just apply more nail polish.
  13. 220/221

    220/221 Gretschie

    Feb 1, 2013
    This makes perfect sense. I would add that sometimes a truss rod needs adjustment and the intonation can go off a bit, but that is no big deal. AI little more nail polish will suffice. Perhaps these guitars are very stable and the necks don't move much? Some of the guitars I have barely move and others do move quite a bit, requiring that I tweak the truss rods on them periodically. Thanks so much for the help with this!
  14. jflintmac

    jflintmac Country Gent

    They are quite stable... But a truss rod adjustment is not really compensated by saddle adjustment.
    I pretty much adjust my truss rod so the neck is almost dead straight. Let it settle for a day and then re-adjust if needed. After that, I have not really had any movement at all except maybe mid summer vs dead of winter.
    The body might sag a bit so I'll raise or lower the bridge from time to time but for the most part, individual saddle adjustment is not really necessary after it is set right. I guess that is why the 1 peice bridge is so much better. They are a really worthwhile investment. That and a good Bone Nut... (which I sell) :D
  15. MrChuckThompson

    MrChuckThompson Electromatic

    Jan 16, 2013
    Central, KY
    Hey much do you sell the Bone Nuts for?

  16. 220/221

    220/221 Gretschie

    Feb 1, 2013
    I understand this. I was just trying to explain that when one adjusts a truss rod, it can move the neck to the extent that the intonation and/or saddle height needs to be adjusted. If I start making upgrades and go for a bone nut, I know who to contact! Thanks for the help.

    Unrelated to my initial post, I have started playing around with the pole pieces on the Gretschbuckers. I did the clarity adjustment as explained and illustrated on another thread here. It really did make a dramatic change to the tone. It is much clearer sounding and a bit brighter. So far, I like it, but will continue to tinker with it. This is all new to me as a life long acoustic player, and so far I am enjoying the journey.
  17. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Welcome to Gretsch talk 220/221
  18. 220/221

    220/221 Gretschie

    Feb 1, 2013
    Thank you all for the warm welcome and for the tips/suggestions!
  19. LegendJoel

    LegendJoel Gretschie

    Dec 2, 2012
    Welcome to the friendliest forum!
  20. 220/221

    220/221 Gretschie

    Feb 1, 2013
    I am already convinced that it is the friendliest forum I have been on!
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.