Of the three bridges, which is best?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by BCRatRod73, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. BCRatRod73

    BCRatRod73 Gretschie

    Sep 1, 2020
    Just trying to figure out the pros and cons of each different bridge: Synchro-sonic, Space-control, and Rocking Bar. Looks like no intonation for the RB. Anybody here have experience with all three? My guess is they all have best use cases depending on playing style. I’m most familiar with the TOM style coming from outside the Gretsch world.
    Back in Black likes this.
  2. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I’ve never used a synchro-sonic, but I can say that I much prefer a rocking bar to a space control.
    audept and BCRatRod73 like this.
  3. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Just my preference, but I'm a bar bridge guy at heart. No intonation problems or issues.

    May sound goofy, but to me the bar is to bridges, as a Tele is to guitars.

    Simple in every way, and it works.

    I do prefer a Tru-Arc bar, mainly due to the correct radius match, and different materials available to fine tune the tone.

    I've only had one factory bar bridge that was a good radius match, and that's what got me into the Tru-Arc bridges.

    Simple, high quality bridges.

    20200625_170113.jpg 20200307_125123.jpg 20200212_114521.jpg 20191107_122833.jpg

    Best of luck on your bridge hunt.
    Marv666 and BCRatRod73 like this.
  4. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    For me it's the fourth one. The Adjustomatic or TOM.

    It has become fashionable to discard the AOM bridge or Rattle-O- matic as some here describe it.

    Gibson and many others have relied on it forever. Gibsonites don't immediately look for a replacement on purchase of a new guitar.
    It gives the best opportunity to attain intonation.
    I've never had a problem with them on my G6120 and with a couple of simple precautions should give a lifetime of trouble free performance.
    I have one on my new G5220 and it is showing no signs of needing replacement and I doubt it will. If it does a tiny dab of Loctite 222 on the spring bar and
    I will enjoy the best intonation regardless of string guage or type. Of course YMMV
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  5. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I've played acoustics most of my life, so a simple bridge is fine with me. The epitome is a Tru-Arc Serpentune.
    audept, BCRatRod73 and sgarnett like this.
  6. Shadowy_Man

    Shadowy_Man Gretschie

    May 18, 2020
    I like the sound of the TOM better than the OEM Gretsch bar bridge, the latter of which seems to add a midrange bump. Is the Gretsch bar bridge nickel over copper?

    I find the bar bridge stays in tune much better, however. I'm thinking I may need a steel or aluminum bar bridge
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  7. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Factory bars are brass, then plated.
    Shadowy_Man likes this.
  8. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    I put a Compton on my 5120, love it.
    J Bird and G5422T like this.
  9. Shadowy_Man

    Shadowy_Man Gretschie

    May 18, 2020
    Thank you, good to know.
    G5422T likes this.
  10. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    I dont like any of those bridges! I prefer a compensated, non-rocking bar bridge.

    There's no intonation on the space control either.
    BCRatRod73 and ZackyDog like this.
  11. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bar bridges are in my opinion the most comfortable to play, well for me anyway, I do a fair bit of palm muting when I play and when doing lead I rest my hand just on/behind the bridge, so those and a good TOM bridge is my pick.

    I have a synchrosonic bride on my penguin and I do like it, i have no issues with it as a bridge, it looks great, intonates fine but for how I play it's not the most comfortable as the raised hand screws get in the way at times, but I am yet to put pan head screws in there to get over that problem, if that doesn't fix it then as much as I want to keep it, a TOM will take it's place.
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  12. wizard_23

    wizard_23 Gretschie

    Jul 18, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    I think the Tru Arc was my favourite sounding bridge, but I've ended up with Gotoh GE104 bridges on all my G guitars now, no rattle wire, solid and perfect for intonation.

    Melita that came on my Falcon looked awesome but I found it uncomfortable and to me it didn't sound as good as a bar or tuna.

    Could not get the Space Control bridge off my Annie fast enough. Total tone sucker. A shame because on aesthetics alone I think it wins! Again, my opinion, yours may vary.
    BCRatRod73 and calebaaron666 like this.
  13. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    My White Falcom came with a space control and it looked so right, but I wasn’t a fan of the tone.
    I tried a gold Gretsch bar bridge, but I kept knocking the high E out the groove.
    I had a tru-arc on for a while, but that looked wrong.
    Finally I found the answer with @Dave-B’s genius dBridge in brass.
    Looks right, feels right, sounds right, and the intonation is spot on.
    I ordered it with a beautiful ebony base included.
    BCRatRod73, Marv666 and G5422T like this.
  14. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    One great aspect about Tru-Arcs are that they come in a wide variety of materials---even multi colors in glass. Also, they're one piece, so no rattling. Simplicity is beautiful.
    Comptons and dBridges are also great choices.
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  15. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Tru-Arc Serpentune for me. I like the metal choices plus the option to choose compensation for either plain-G or wound-G.
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  16. cowmoo

    cowmoo Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2011
    North Wales
    I’ve actually gone back to using space controls on my falcons.
    I like the ever so flatter radius in the middle and noticed that although custom bridges have served me well and intonate as good as any i missed the looser acoustic feel the solid bridges tightened up.
    I’m not getting any rattle either.

    I wonder, are the Gretsch space control made of brass?
    Would that have been a better choice for my solid bridges than stainless.

    I also like the way they look, kind of Heath Robinson.
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  17. Andrew6128

    Andrew6128 Electromatic

    Oct 20, 2019
    Japan, Tokyo
    The stock rocking bar bridge is just fine unless you’re a perfectionist.
    The other 2 bridges depending on playing style are just plain uncomfortable imo.

    I’ve also played a Gretsch with a Tru-Arc Bar bridge and the difference was barely noticeable compared to stock.
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  18. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I had a rocking bar bridge on my old 5120 , no problems or issues .
    CaliforniaSlim and BCRatRod73 like this.
  19. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2011
    rocking bar or bigsby compensated, seem to be my favorites.
    The roller works but i dont care for it.
    I don't know if it's just mine or the space control in general, but it seemed to take some of the tone away.
    Synchrosonics look cool but after almost a year with one, im going to put a bigsby Compensated on the 5120
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  20. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    I have Bigsby bar bridges on two of my Gretsches, and they serve me well at a fraction of the price of the other bar bridges.

    Then again, I haven't tried the more expensive bar bridges. Maybe they're worth the extra money.

    I have a TOM-style bridge on my Pro Jet, and I haven't found a reason to complain about it.
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
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