Replacement bridge recommendations for a G5420T please

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Skydog, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Skydog

    Skydog Gretschie

    220
    Dec 19, 2014
    Indiana
    I've read through a bunch of existing threads and only got more confused! My guitar is a 2016 with what I assume is a pinned bridge. Radius is 12”, I believe. I can't investigate yet because I already have another guitar torn apart, and one at a time is enough for me. When I dig into this one, I have some fret polishing to do as well as a fretboard cleaning. Currently, the stock bridge isn't working for me, and frankly I think they're junk. You can visibly see the bridge ‘rocking’ when using the Bigsby, and the notes instead of popping off the saddle just sort of pffft. Does anyone know what the factory measurements are for post and string spread? I measured 2.875” (73mm) and 2.0” (52mm) respectively. And and all recommendations and suggestions are appreciated as long as it applies to the 5420 only as I'm not familiar with other models for comparing and as stated earlier, I'm confused enough already!
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  2. J Bird

    J Bird Gretschie

    332
    Dec 2, 2016
    Washougal
    Don't let the rock of the bridge bother you, it's okay. Some are designed to do that, but most rock a little anyway.

    Certainly, there are upgrade options (Compton, Tru-Arc, etc) that are worthy. You can also tape fine sandpaper where your wooden bridge base rests and sand to get a snugger fit. You will have to unpin the bridge to do this. Also, with solid bar bridges, for optimal intonation, you will likely need to unpin the bridge. When I had a 5420 with a Compton, I hacksawed the posts to intonate.

    Yes, 12" radius for 5420's. Double check the spacing and good luck.
     
  3. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    Your bridge is secured, not pinned. The threaded posts supporting your bridge thread down through the bridge base and thread into metal inserts in the top of the guitar.

    As for bridges for the 5420, lots of options from solid bar to roller bridges. The 5420 is one of the most discussed Gretschs on this forum regarding bridge replacement. Not necessarily because there is anything fundamentally wrong with the stock bridge, it reflects more on how popular the 5420 is.

    pinned

    77AE5473-C15B-40E6-A195-BF414C6A9269.jpeg

    Secured

    B8013CD7-5948-42F7-BA85-98836161121C.jpeg

    My 5420 w/ ABM 2400 roller bridge

    AADD9194-71DA-4829-8D6B-9C917188657C.jpeg
     
  4. Skydog

    Skydog Gretschie

    220
    Dec 19, 2014
    Indiana
    @radd did that bridge ‘drop-in' on your existing wood base? Are you happy with it?
     
  5. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    I love it, I put those on two of my Gretschs. Keep in mind there is a camp that feels roller bridges steal sustain. I’m not in that camp. I will mention that the ABM ain’t cheap, it is the most expensive roller bridge.

    You will also find a couple high quality bar type bridges that are highly regarded and also drop right in.
     
  6. AllenK

    AllenK Gretschie

    As radd said. The ABM is a great bridge and should just drop straight in. It did on my 5622. With a standard 12" radius, the Tru-arc and Compton bar bridges are well regarded. Due to the secured bridge on the 5420, I think the serpentune is a necessity on the Tru-arc, don't know about the Compton's.
     
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  7. michelb

    michelb Synchromatic

    Age:
    30
    619
    Mar 27, 2020
    Belgium
    I got a Compton on the way for my February 2017 G5420T :D I'll let you know what I think when it arrives ;)
     
    Skydog likes this.
  8. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    From the many reviews here it is a very safe bet that you will really like it.
     
    michelb likes this.
  9. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    On my 5420t I’ve had a compton, a gretsch rocking bar, a space control, an aluminum Tru-arc, and now a stainless steel tru-arc.

    I liked the space control 2nd best, but the tru-arc is always the winner.
     
  10. Skydog

    Skydog Gretschie

    220
    Dec 19, 2014
    Indiana
    I'm assuming that you're referring to the ss model? Where did the aluminum model rate?
     
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  11. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I prefer the aluminum with filtertrons, and I like SS with T-armonds. Now that I have T-armonds I have the SS.
     
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  12. Joey L

    Joey L Synchromatic

    571
    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    This roller bridge from AllParts works great on my 5420.Originally, tried a Compton, which was a great bridge, but could not intonate properly due to the pinned/set bridge. However, the Compton worked perfectly on my ES295. DD6AC3E4-BD86-406D-BECB-67D9F7E2F4FC.jpeg
     
    Groutsch likes this.
  13. Outlaw

    Outlaw Synchromatic

    913
    Jul 13, 2011
    UK
    I've had a few Compton of different metals and my fave is the chambered aluminium.
    Compton improve tone, intonation, tuning stability and no rattles.
    I'm sure tru-arc are very good as well but I have never owned one.
     
  14. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Synchromatic

    972
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    Yes, the stock bridge is sub-standard, but don’t overlook the obvious also. Replacing the bridge may help, but rather than throwing parts at it, take time to diagnose it. How is the action set, have you matched the nut and saddle groove sizes to each string?
    I noticed on my 2016 the wood bridge base is not in contact with the guitar top. All the string energy is transferred through those posts. I have considered either replacing the base with a surface-matched floating base (studs not protruding through the base), or drilling the pass through holes in the guitar top so the pass through stud holes in the top are no longer threaded but slightly oversized so those long studs are just used to maintain bridge position but not screw into the top, if that makes any sense. Either way, once the bridge base is sanded to match the contour of the top, you could see a bit of a tonal improvement.
     
  15. Skydog

    Skydog Gretschie

    220
    Dec 19, 2014
    Indiana
    I have the action set fairly low (~1/16” @ 12th fret). It is strung with 10’s and isn't hanging up in the notches.When you say, ‘not in contact’, are you referring to the entire base, or just the center section? The outside ‘feet’ sections of my base are tight to the top. I couldn't pass dental floss underneath them. The center section is, of course, above the top and not in contact.
     
  16. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Synchromatic

    972
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    I have about a 1/32" gap between the base and the top on my guitar. Point being that the "secured Bridge" posts are what transfers the string energy in this case rather than the bridge base. Glad to hear yours sits flush. As far as I know the Electromatic is the only Gretsch that has the bridge posts threaded into the body. I think all the Prolines are either floating or pinned.
     
  17. Cdb1961

    Cdb1961 Gretschie

    103
    May 5, 2018
    Orange Park, Fl
    I have changed my bridge on mine as well. I have been really happy with Stewmac's Golden Age roller bridge. No rattles, better stability, and I really like the appearance of it. At the same time I removed the bolts that held the bridge (now floating) and added a Zero Fret on the nut. What a great improvement all around! Gretsch_G5420TG_K917113848_04282018_golden_age_rollerbridge_b.JPG
     
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  18. Skydog

    Skydog Gretschie

    220
    Dec 19, 2014
    Indiana
    What costs more, the bridge or shipping?! :)
     
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  19. Jochie

    Jochie Electromatic

    Age:
    61
    21
    Feb 21, 2019
    the Netherlands
  20. Jochie

    Jochie Electromatic

    Age:
    61
    21
    Feb 21, 2019
    the Netherlands
    true-arc serpentune copper. Great intonation en smooth sound. Twang is still there
     
    Skydog likes this.
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