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Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Drifter, Mar 14, 2017.
The ABM is solid, not a tone sucker. I'm quite happy with mine.
Unfortunately the ABM's got a 12" radius- the neck of the Guild is a 9.5 inch neck.
I have a newer version of the ABM 2400c for sale. It's a good bridge and I tried it out on my Tennessee Rose but I went back to the rocking bar eventually. I'll put it up in the for sale section soon with pics but if anyone's interested go ahead and PM me and I'll send you some photos.
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Is a matching radius really that important?
Are the slots of the d- and g- string the same size? Any sharp edges?
Stefan, I think a matching radius is definitely important. How important is another question.
In the case of the Guild with a 91/2" radius the outer strings (Top E and A) and the lower strings (B& E) would be further away from the fretboard than the middle (D & G) strings.
Either you have to set a higher action so the middle strings don't buzz or you lower the action so the outer strings are "playable" accepting that the middle strings will buzz.
I think I do understand what I have just said! LOL
In this case, I would order a custom ABM with the correct radius. But be warned, that custom bridges are expensive. But it doesn't hurt to give ABM a call or drop them a mail and ask for details. They are pretty helpful.
Roger already explained it, so yes, except you are one of those guys, who love very high action. But when investing into a high end bridge, the radius should match, so that all strings have identical action.
PS: I had that problem on my Epi Les Paul, which has a 14" fretboard radius and came with a rattling TOM. I had a luthier install a Tonepros and correct the bridge radius from 12" to 14" and I now enjoy buzz free low action
If this would be the case, it wouldn't be a high end bridge, right? In case, you should think of a custom ABM, discuss string gauge too, though.
Thanks. Hard to get a 9.5 radius bridge besides Compton or TruArc
ABM will do that on request too, but will be more expensive as the other two. In case you want a different metal than brass, I fear Compton and True-Arc are the only choices.
Or you choose a good quality TOM, that's not pre-notched and let a luthier notch the saddles accordingly.
The stock bridge on my new Guild is a simple vintage TOM, but well made with the correct radius- no cheap china bridge like the Electromatic bridges. But nevertheless with the rattling spring
Perhaps a good quality regular TOM (e.g. Tonepros or Gotoh) might fit your needs. You can adjust the radius of a TOM by filing the slots as required. As long as the slots are polished properly with no sharp edges, you should find they don't bind and cause Bigsby tuning issues.
Thinking about it, I'm not sure how necessary a roller bridge really is on a Gretsch with a wood bridge base? The base itself (and the posts) seem to rock sufficiently under Bigsby use that the strings don't slide over the saddles much. I'm no expert though.
Then you might want to have a look at an ABM TOM and let a luthier do the radius, except you don't like the brass tone. A Tonepros is also quite ok.
I guess the Guild has no Bigsby?
Roller bridge and Bigsby ..............perfect combination
The base should never move, but the bridge itseld should, if you use a TOM or bar bridge and not a roller bridge. That's why a Tonepros with locking studs is a bad choice for a Bigsby guitar, because this will stress the base.
It has a Bigsby!
I have a Compton on my Gretsch but I want a more detailled intonation on my Guild, that's why I'm looking for alternatives. I guess I contact ABM.
Just my experience: I never been satisfied with the stock roller bridge on my pre FMIC 6120. While I never had intonation problems (expecially after I decided to use a pinned base), I had big issues since the day I bought the guitar with the high E roller... if the bridge was set too low (for a lower action), the string used to "slide" away on the side of the roller (the curved shape helped it a lot) when picking hard. And that happened not only to me (I am an extremely uneducated picker...), but even to some of my friends (much better and cleaner players than I am) jamming with my 6120. Luckily enough, I learned to play with a very high action because of the bottleneck, so I overcame what it seemed a construction problem. In recent times (I admit I'm not the best when it comes to take care of instruments, so my roller bridge may have some extra rust or dirt or blocked roller because of me...) the high E string tends to produce a sort of "slapping" sound on the roller when picked hard, as it almost seems that the roller moves up and down when you change the tension on it by picking hard on the string.
The roller bridge it's still there, but I have a rocking bar coming my way. I'm curious to hear and feel how the tone will be after replacing old roller bridge with the new bar...
I installed the roller bridge today.
High E now rings like it should as it's sustain is much improved on that string
Saddle screws have excellent travel to get intonation spot on
return to tune after using the tremolo is better not the so called magical tune action some people have suggest it gives
The not so good:
11s are a bit too large for the rollers. I will need to go to 10s.
G sounds a little jangly. not sure if it is the bridge or the string. I am hoping the string size or the string itself.
All in all, not worth 70,80 or 90 bucks as a high quality abr bridge should work just as well and also allow you to use 11s but enlarging the grooves of the saddles.
BUT, I will try it with 10s later today and see if it makes a difference since the strings should seat in the roller a bit better which may lead to better return to tune and other things. Stay tuned!!
I've asked ABR for a (custom) 9.5" bridge, it's not possible. At least I'm also not sure if a roller bridge will be the best bet. I guess I go on with another compton.