strange issue with my 5120's bridge

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by outbreak, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. outbreak

    outbreak Electromatic

    Age:
    34
    29
    Jun 3, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    well i've had my 5120 for about a week now and it seems to have developed a wierd issue. to me it sounds like its intonated pretty well but i think the bridge has been moved abit and now when i play it seems to make ghost notes that sound like im strumming the string right next to the bigsby and behind the bridge (that harmonic sound). it's pretty loud and when i slide on the high e it is very noticably. is this just an issue with harmonics and i should just readjust my bridge or is this something wierder? (never own a floating bridge guitar before)
     
  2. Screwy Squirrel

    Screwy Squirrel Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    394
    Aug 22, 2008
    Germany
    Have you changed strings?
    Maybe you could post a pic of the bridge position & settings, that would make things easier.
    If you're new to floating bridges, I would rather not screw around on your tune-o-matic.
     
  3. outbreak

    outbreak Electromatic

    Age:
    34
    29
    Jun 3, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    bah while taking photos my batteries died but i have a couple that may or may not help, i had a mess around with it myself after making the post and didn't really get anywhere, if noone here has any ideas or if i screw it up too much myself i'll just take it to a shop and also ask them to tape it down or something.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Screwy Squirrel

    Screwy Squirrel Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    394
    Aug 22, 2008
    Germany
    Nah, give the others some hours and they will post ideas aplenty :)
    I just could foresee that some could ask for pictures... the rules, you know!
     
  5. Jukebox

    Jukebox Gretschified

    Age:
    67
    Jun 2, 2008
    Foreston,MN
    Did you change strings? Did you recheck your intonation?
     
  6. bobkat

    bobkat Country Gent

    Age:
    62
    Jun 2, 2008
    Valparaiso Indiana
    I have heard of this before. Some fellers call it harping. I have heard of people putting little chunks of foam under the strings between the bridge and Bigsby. You can also put little foam pieces between the strings. If it didn't do it before, it makes me think that something has definitely changed. I have never had any of that sound on my 5120.
     
  7. bobkat

    bobkat Country Gent

    Age:
    62
    Jun 2, 2008
    Valparaiso Indiana
    Do you know how to intone a floating bridge? You tune the top e with a tuner then press on the e octave and if it is in tune then everything is ok. If not, you need to move the bridge one way or another to get it in toned. You do this with all the strings with a tune o matic bridge. If you can't get it by moving the bridge you then adjust the saddles to get it perfect. With a bar bridge you just do the high and low e strings. I hope that helps, if I haven't been clear enough let me know and I will gladly walk you through it. I just learned how to do it last year!!!
     
  8. Jukebox

    Jukebox Gretschified

    Age:
    67
    Jun 2, 2008
    Foreston,MN
    If the screws on your bridge had loosened up a little,this might cause the problem. If this is the case get some small "O"rings and use them between the screws and the bridge.
     
  9. bobkat

    bobkat Country Gent

    Age:
    62
    Jun 2, 2008
    Valparaiso Indiana
    Nail polish works also. I guess I am blessed, I have never had a problem with my TOM bridges.
     
  10. Jukebox

    Jukebox Gretschified

    Age:
    67
    Jun 2, 2008
    Foreston,MN
    You must wear right the color nail polish!:D
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  11. Jhundt

    Jhundt Electromatic

    98
    Jun 2, 2008
    Bussum, Netherlands
    I have a brand new red 5129. It has the one-piece compensated aluminum bar bridge - not the tuna-matic. I don't get those 'ghost notes' when I'm just strumming or picking, but when I snap the strings (especially the G) I hear the behind-the-bridge bit ringing quite clearly.
     
  12. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    This is a natural consequence of having free string length between the bridge and the tailpiece. If there is a string segement that has a natural resonant frequency that hooks up with a note being played on the speaking length odf the string, voila, you'll get s response. In the violin world they call these "wolf tones" and they are a much bigger problem with bowed instruments.

    Changing strings could have an effect beacuse the windings that hold the eyelet to the string affect the resonant frequency as well. I think I'd start by trying a couple of different string sets from different manufacturers and see if that does the trick.

    Felt would be my #2 option. If you could find a strip of felt 3/16' to 5/16" thick, perhaps 3/4" wide and long enough to span across all of the strings you could weave it from string to string and solve the problem. If it's only one string causing most of the problem a guitar pick could be used, just weave it over the offending string.

    Shimming the tailpiece out slighty would shift the resonant point and might help, but then again it might make it worse.
     
  13. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Age:
    58
    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    This will eliminate any ringing or harping behind the bridge.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I had forgotten about that Tartan but you are correct, that is a lot better than my suggestion, cheap and and convenient as the local hardware store. It even looks kind of cool.

    Someone needs to make 'em in Nashville orange and Caddy Green. :)
     
  15. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Sunburst too, can't forget the Gibby boyz. :)
     
  16. outbreak

    outbreak Electromatic

    Age:
    34
    29
    Jun 3, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. i haven't changed the strings but i was messing around alittle with the bridge trying to find a rattle, i didn't think it moved though but loosening the strings abit may have caused this as it is just a week old and had new strings when i got it.
    2. as much as i can tell with my knowledge of the mysterious thing called tuning and intonation it is intonated correctly still.
    3. tartan are they just normal o rings used in plumbing and did you just poke some holes through them?
    4. thanks for all the help so far

    edit: ok i just tryed wedging a pick in under and over the high strings that seems to ring alot and the problem has pretty much gone away competely. thanks for everyones help i guess i'll look for some o rings next time im at the shops if that is what you used tartan
     
  17. Jukebox

    Jukebox Gretschified

    Age:
    67
    Jun 2, 2008
    Foreston,MN
    Reg "o"rings at the hardware store will do. Take one of the screws with, so you know the right size.
     
  18. Jhundt

    Jhundt Electromatic

    98
    Jun 2, 2008
    Bussum, Netherlands
    tartanphantom - thanks for a solution that is simple, elegant, and within my budget!
     
  19. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    So between us we gave you a short-range and a long-range solution. :)
     
  20. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Age:
    58
    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    If you have a Radio Shack, go there, go to the parts bin, and get a bag of mixed rubber grommets. They're usually in the one of the lower parts bins with screws, nuts, bolts, etc. The pre-pack bag will have 5 or six in the correct size-- you only need three, but this will leave you some spares. I usually keep a few extra in my guitar case, because when a string breaks they usually go flying off into oblivion.

    If you don't have a Radio Shack, just go to the Hardware store and ask for some rubber grommets. 3/8" (12mm) size will work, but I prefer 1/2" (15mm) size, as they fit tighter and have more of a dampening effect.

    Keep in mind that these are GROMMETS, NOT O-rings. Grommets have a groove around the outer circumference which is where the strings go.
     
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