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New Bridge for 5420

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by adauria, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. adauria

    adauria Electromatic

    37
    Dec 22, 2016
    Wake Forest, NC
    Wow! lots of great stuff here to sift through. Thanks again!

    I'm impressed with the ingenuity in the radius change on the RRB!

    If I tell you I'm sticking with 11-49s on the 5420, does that raise more intonation concerns with bar bridges? It seems most people use 10s on these guitars, and the intonation isn't so bad. I'd read other threads where it wasn't quite as good (with the Compton) with 11s.

    (Side note: Gretsch support told me it comes with 11-49s, meaning the website is correct or he's wrong. I put a fresh set of D'Addario 11-49s on there this weekend and I can tell you the factory ships them with 11s nowadays).

    The fact that I can resell a bar bridge here makes me feel pretty good about going that way, at least as an experiment. Maybe I can buy one here too... hmmm...

    Still weighing options, but a new bridge is basically my next step in getting this beautiful into its most perfect (for me) state.

    -Andrew
     
  2. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes, I notice sometimes these "wolf tones" also on my G5420TLH and G6119LH. But again, it seems to be frequent on Gretsch Archtop - and maybe similar construction guitars, I guess...

    Thanks ! Moreover, the Gretsch bridge are much less costy than the Compton or Tru-Arc... I had one sample of the later at 10", and the radius was less regular than what I artisanally obtained with my vintage centenary forged vise... Maybe it was a faulty sample, but I should have taken pictures because it was obvious along my radius gauges, sorry :confused:)

    The higher the string gauge, the less sensitive to intonation problems it is. It's what I noticed. I use 10-52 and 11-54 sets Ernie Ball Nickel (standard), and experience no notable intonation issue, and I think that with your 11-49 set it's probably similar.

    Of course, if you use 10-46 or 9-42 and play overdriven or hi-gain, you must have a perfect intonation setting. If like me you stay clean or on a moderate overdrive with higher string gauge than that, there should be no problem once the strings are run-in.

    A+!
     
    BorderRadio likes this.
  3. Waxhead

    Waxhead Synchromatic

    896
    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    well yeah remember I did tell you on TGP you'd get much better advice here :)
    The only TGP members that know anything about Gretsch imo are also members here :)
     
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  5. adauria

    adauria Electromatic

    37
    Dec 22, 2016
    Wake Forest, NC
    Yep, fantastic advice from the Gretsch-lovers here. TGP is a cool place, but you've got a much better focus here! Thanks again.

    -Andrew
     
  6. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    Jun 4, 2008
    Ventura, CA
    I have no intonation problems with 11's (Power Slinkies) and a Compton brass bridge. To be transparent, I do not have a pinned bridge base.
     
  7. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    50
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    I have two 5420s with stock bridges.
    I've never had any rattling or tuning issues whatsoever..
    what am i doing wrong? :) :) :)
     
  8. Docktor J

    Docktor J Electromatic

    6
    Nov 16, 2016
    Montague, PE, Canada
    As someone who is also considering what to do with the bridge, this is a great post! Thanks for all of this. Great questions and suggestions. Gonna follow this thread. Excited to see which one you go with @adauria !
     
  9. adauria

    adauria Electromatic

    37
    Dec 22, 2016
    Wake Forest, NC
    I'm in Raleigh NC, and see that Darren Riley is near me and has the TonePros roller in stock. I plan to bring the guitar there and check it out. I will keep trolling for a deal here on something suitable as well, in case I get lucky. I'll keep this thread posted.

    Worst case I can always try and sell something that doesn't work out.

    -Andrew
     
    BorderRadio likes this.
  10. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    You are a lucky, lucky man..
     
  11. Gary W

    Gary W Electromatic

    13
    Jan 8, 2017
    United kingdom
    I think the lower the action, the worse the rattling on the stock bridge. With a higher action the strings change angle more coming over the bridge pieces hence push on them harder. As you lower the action the strings get straighter and the pressure on the bridge pieces decreases allowing them to rattle more. Thoughts?
     
  12. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    60
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    I am in Clayton. I have long wondered if there are enough of us near here to make a "Gretschtogether" work...
     
  13. adauria

    adauria Electromatic

    37
    Dec 22, 2016
    Wake Forest, NC
    So today I bought the TonePros TP6R-G (gold) from Darren. Met him - nice guy, cool shop! I had the guitar with me and we measured the posts. Sure enough the post sizes are both around 4mm, with the TP posts very slightly larger (0.2mm), so with the locking mechanism should be great.

    Unfortunately I made a sad discovery when I got it home. I slide the stock bridge off easily enough, but the TP bridge does not seem to want to fit the posts :( I get a little rough with it, i.e. bang it in there a bit. It does eventually slide down the posts, BUT there is absolutely no play whatsoever once it's on there, i.e. I cannot move the TP bridge up on the posts! In fact, I had to unscrew the post from top of the body to get the TP bridge off!

    Anyone have any idea what I might have done wrong here? Is there a trick to getting this bridge to fit the stock the post spacing?

    MTurner - would be more than happy to meet up locally with any of the Triangle folks on this forum. Maybe we should start a new thread for that?

    -Andrew
     
    MTurner likes this.
  14. adauria

    adauria Electromatic

    37
    Dec 22, 2016
    Wake Forest, NC
    It also seems that the string spacing is slightly off from the stock bridge... Arg!!

    -Andrew
     
  15. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Electromatic

    94
    Sep 11, 2009
    Venice, CA
    A Tru-Arc Serpentune is the best bridge for a Gretsch guitar.
     
    Tele295 likes this.
  16. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yikes, that sucks Andrew. Did you damage the bridge or base unit?
     
  17. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Did you get the metric version or standard? I'm guessing the standard, since it has the smaller holes. Two options: file the bridge to accommodate the stock post spacing (or ream); the other is to try your hand at the metric version, which has larger holes, and hope the locking mechanism will hold it steady.

    OR, take it back...and get the ABM :) I know, it's pricey...but it's gonna work, lots of people here use 'em, including myself. Remember, I was saying the risk with the TP was it could end up not giving ya what you need, and that's still a possibility once you get this first issue resolved. I mean just look at it, it's well-made...and get the chrome, nobody will notice....the brass kinda matches....:D

    ABM2400.jpg ABM2400.jpg
     
  18. adauria

    adauria Electromatic

    37
    Dec 22, 2016
    Wake Forest, NC
    I didn't damage anything as far as I can tell! I was really worried I wouldn't be able to get it off, but then I saw the hex wrench slots in the top of the posts. I loosed one until it came out of the body, at which point it was easy to slip off.

    As far as I can see there's no option for a metric version of this bridge. I've been back and forth with the manufacturer TonePros (who has EXCELLENT customer service). He offered some other options, or even to work with the retailer to help me return it. Worst case, I can probably put it on an Ibanez AS-120 (335 style) guitar I have. Not sure that will help anything there, since it's not trem, but might help tuning stability in general.

    I am taking it to a luthier I've used before (Jack Briggs). I was going to take it to him anyway for nut work. I'll show him the bridge and see if he can ream it or make it work. It definitely has slightly smaller holes than the stock bridge. Slightly bigger would work, and since it's a locking design would probably be pretty good. TonePros even said this was a viable option.

    Jack (and another luthier) seems to like this one:
    http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...ne-o-matic_Bridges/Locking_Roller_Bridge.html

    If I can't get the TPs to work, I'll probably give that one a try. It's definitely inexpensive enough.

    Thanks for the advice! I'll keep y'all posted.

    -Andrew
     
    BorderRadio likes this.
  19. a willingham

    a willingham Electromatic

    8
    Nov 30, 2016
    Tennessee
    I just went through this same decision. Ultimately I ordered a Compton bridge and ordered a new ebony bridge base. The reason I got the base also is as stated above the "secured bridge" transmits vibrations through the metal post secured into the guitar and my base never made complete contact with the guitar top. Once I got the base (which is easy), intonated it, secured it with double side tape and installed the Compton my tone improved DRASTICALLY!! Just MHO but the Compton is definitely worth it
     
    BorderRadio likes this.
  20. Waxhead

    Waxhead Synchromatic

    896
    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia

    Andrew looks to me like you're fast heading down a false economy.
    2 bridges, a luthier, many hours of stuffing around.

    Just getting either Compton or Tru-arc is easy, cheap & trouble free.
    And they're the best bridges anyway for a Gretsch.

    a willingham's post above is a rarity - you won't need a new base for a 5420.
    With either Compton or Tru-arc you just slip it on and forget about it.
    Intonation is perfect on both of mine and they greatly improve guitar tone :)
     
    TSims1 likes this.
  21. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta
    I am also a stickler for tuning. A lot of the situations I find myself in as a player allow for nothing less than perfect intonation. That being said, I have purchased many many Comptons at this point. Know why? They are always awesome. Quality piece, Wayne is great to do business with, and I've never had any fit or intonation problems. Ever.
     
    Waxhead likes this.