Space Control bridge. Lovers? Haters?

oneforsorrow

Country Gent
May 15, 2020
1,076
Iowa
the round core intrigues me, but sounds like kinda pain for not enough reward.

you use those on your club? i’m coming to grips with the fact that i use way too heavy strings for the sounds i want, but i still hate plain G strings. (some lace is always a nice touch…) wondering how the tension is since i also play a 25.5” 17” gretsch.
Man, this whole thing has my head spinning with indecision. First off, the set I was using with the wound 3rd was just spot on with intonation. I use a G7th capo on some songs and even with the capo, the thing was just in tune! Always in tune. BUT, there was something about the plain 3rd that got me intrigued and that's the adventure I'm on right now. I'm about to place an order with Curt Mangan (Father's Day sale) and try to 11-48's (the Country Club currently ships with 11-49). At the moment, I've got my normal gauge but swapped the 3rd so that it's 11-15-20p-30-40-50. The tension with the 20p is slightly greater than the 22w but I only know that because of tension calculators. I can't feel any difference -- I can just bend the 3rd now. It is somewhat stiff compared to the same gauge set on my Reverend. BUT, it gives me something to lean into with a pick. I find I can really dig in and get some great sound. With a lighter gauge (I tried some 10's that my wife uses), I felt like I had to play with a lighter touch and rely more on pedals and the amp to get my desired tone. The round core does give it an easier feel. It's subtle but it's there and I prefer it. If you're referring to the installation as the pain, I've gotten so used to it that I string everything that way now even if it's a hex core like my baritone. If you're really deterred by switching to round core, you could also consider other manufacturers options as the core to wrap ratio may be different. I actually spoke to Curt about the 22w and found out it has 13 core whereas some other manufacturers use a 12. I would assume that there may be slight variances in the cores that could also mitigate the stiffness. I feel like Stringjoy had a more flexible feel in there standard hex core sets.

What gauge are you using?
 

mister rain

Synchromatic
Apr 23, 2020
803
new orleans
Man, this whole thing has my head spinning with indecision. First off, the set I was using with the wound 3rd was just spot on with intonation. I use a G7th capo on some songs and even with the capo, the thing was just in tune! Always in tune. BUT, there was something about the plain 3rd that got me intrigued and that's the adventure I'm on right now. I'm about to place an order with Curt Mangan (Father's Day sale) and try to 11-48's (the Country Club currently ships with 11-49). At the moment, I've got my normal gauge but swapped the 3rd so that it's 11-15-20p-30-40-50. The tension with the 20p is slightly greater than the 22w but I only know that because of tension calculators. I can't feel any difference -- I can just bend the 3rd now. It is somewhat stiff compared to the same gauge set on my Reverend. BUT, it gives me something to lean into with a pick. I find I can really dig in and get some great sound. With a lighter gauge (I tried some 10's that my wife uses), I felt like I had to play with a lighter touch and rely more on pedals and the amp to get my desired tone. The round core does give it an easier feel. It's subtle but it's there and I prefer it. If you're referring to the installation as the pain, I've gotten so used to it that I string everything that way now even if it's a hex core like my baritone. If you're really deterred by switching to round core, you could also consider other manufacturers options as the core to wrap ratio may be different. I actually spoke to Curt about the 22w and found out it has 13 core whereas some other manufacturers use a 12. I would assume that there may be slight variances in the cores that could also mitigate the stiffness. I feel like Stringjoy had a more flexible feel in there standard hex core sets.

What gauge are you using?
yoikes. i’ve been using 12’s as long as i can remember, then replaced my squier vi (95 flats, on advice from joe gore) with my gretsch duane eddy bass, which cafe with 84’s. i barely played them before putting on stringjoy 95’s - but i wish i had. i get too much low end from it, but i hate changing strings. well, it’s time, so i’m trying a set of SJ 90s next.

but the more i listen to de with a guitar player’s ear (and use more fuzz, but that’s a separate thing), the more i come to understand lighter gauges. that twang isn’t coming from dick dale’s 15s…

and the falcon could use a fresh set, so i’m pondering. do i go down a gauge and risk intonation problems? feels like it’s worth it to possibly knock down some walls in my guitar playing.

still can’t hang with those plain Gs though. make cowboy chords sound… wrong. least in my hands.
 

oneforsorrow

Country Gent
May 15, 2020
1,076
Iowa
yoikes. i’ve been using 12’s as long as i can remember, then replaced my squier vi (95 flats, on advice from joe gore) with my gretsch duane eddy bass, which cafe with 84’s. i barely played them before putting on stringjoy 95’s - but i wish i had. i get too much low end from it, but i hate changing strings. well, it’s time, so i’m trying a set of SJ 90s next.

but the more i listen to de with a guitar player’s ear (and use more fuzz, but that’s a separate thing), the more i come to understand lighter gauges. that twang isn’t coming from dick dale’s 15s…

and the falcon could use a fresh set, so i’m pondering. do i go down a gauge and risk intonation problems? feels like it’s worth it to possibly knock down some walls in my guitar playing.

still can’t hang with those plain Gs though. make cowboy chords sound… wrong. least in my hands.
I agree about the cowboy chords sounding wrong. I adjusted the pole pieces on my Filtertron's to dial back some of the plain G thing. I hope when I switch from the 20 to the 18 that it cuts that back a bit.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,971
Petaluma
Don't like em. I palm mute a lot and the rollers make it less comfortable and easy, I really need to be able to touch the strings at the saddle. Also, because I am always adjusting my palm position back and forth over the saddles, this cause my space control to roll around which affected tuning and string spacing.

Ps I do think they look cool, kinda steampunk.
 
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CheapGretschLover

Gretschie
Dec 2, 2019
154
Portland Oregon
I have owned several Gretsches that came stock with Space Control bridges, and they sounded like angry banjos: shallow, harsh tone and no sustain. I couldn't get them off the guitars fast enough.
I’ve heard that more than a few times, but mine seems fine and sustains well. I read the old ones were nickel plated brass? Maybe that has something to do with it? I’m thinking of buying a Compton to compare…
 

CheapGretschLover

Gretschie
Dec 2, 2019
154
Portland Oregon
Well, bought a Compton! Ill comment back once it arrives and is installed. Im really curious to see what, if any, difference it will make in comparison. I will say that Wayne got right back to me, so he got my business. THATS customer service.
 

JC higgy

Gretschified
Jun 6, 2008
11,925
Belfast Norn Iron
Hate the old ones ,especially the first type with the large domes,i have one on my aul Gent .I should have replaced it by now but i'm lazy and play my 6120s more,so...
Picture 449.jpg

I only have one of the newer types ,it's ok,much easier on the palm.
 

BuddyHollywood

Synchromatic
Sep 11, 2009
539
Venice, CA
I had a 6120 a while back, maybe 2002 that had the floating space control bridge, and other than intonation problems, it worked just fine.
How well a bridge intonates the guitar is my #1 priority. If a bridge does not intonate correctly it doesn't work just fine. It fundamentally fails as a guitar bridge and has to go no matter how much I like the way if feels or even looks. The way a bridge looks should never be a consideration of whether to install it on a guitar. I feel the same regarding pickups. If they function properly and sound great, good looks are a bonus.

I had a Tru-Arc Serpentune on my Duo Jet for years and recently swapped it out for a solid, non rattling tuneomatic because while the intonation with the Serpentune was really good, when I was recording with it I could hear that it still wasn't precise enough for my level of playing. It got even worse as I went up the neck. I'm not talented enough to compensate for off intonation. If I can't even get a Serpentune to work, I have no chance with a Space Control.
 

oneforsorrow

Country Gent
May 15, 2020
1,076
Iowa
How well a bridge intonates the guitar is my #1 priority. If a bridge does not intonate correctly it doesn't work just fine. It fundamentally fails as a guitar bridge and has to go no matter how much I like the way if feels or even looks. The way a bridge looks should never be a consideration of whether to install it on a guitar. I feel the same regarding pickups. If they function properly and sound great, good looks are a bonus.

I had a Tru-Arc Serpentune on my Duo Jet for years and recently swapped it out for a solid, non rattling tuneomatic because while the intonation with the Serpentune was really good, when I was recording with it I could hear that it still wasn't precise enough for my level of playing. It got even worse as I went up the neck. I'm not talented enough to compensate for off intonation. If I can't even get a Serpentune to work, I have no chance with a Space Control.
It’s prescient that I’m reading this right now. I picked up a Serpentune and I’m still trying to determine if there’s a string gauge that’ll intonate properly with it. As I mentioned earlier, the Space Control intonated spot on with a wound 3rd but crapped out when I moved to a plain 3rd. My concern with a TOM is whether or not the radius will match.

I have to say, none of this should be this hard! Stuff should work.
 

audept

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Dec 1, 2010
29,741
Sydney, Australia
It’s prescient that I’m reading this right now. I picked up a Serpentune and I’m still trying to determine if there’s a string gauge that’ll intonate properly with it. As I mentioned earlier, the Space Control intonated spot on with a wound 3rd but crapped out when I moved to a plain 3rd. My concern with a TOM is whether or not the radius will match.

I have to say, none of this should be this hard! Stuff should work.
I have Comptons, T-A Serpentunes, and Standard Tru-Arc bar bridges on my guitars. On most of my Gretsch guitars I was originally using D'Addario EXL110 10-46 (plain-G) which intonated well on the Comptons. I then changed to D'Addario NYXL 10-46BT (Balanced Tension) again with a plain G, but these strings intonated better on the Serpentunes so it's all variable trial and error.
 


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