Gretsch 5420T stock abr vs something better?


I have a Gretsch 5420T that came stock with ABR bridge. While I don't experience rattle, etc I am left to wonder if a compton or tru arc would have better tone. The ABR is ok, but is a bit thin sounding on the unwound strings and a bit grainy on the wound strings. I feel the guitar can sound a bit bigger on the unwound strings and fatter on the unwound strings then it does.

Pickups: HS Filtertron Strings: 10-46 roundwound (sometimes i use flatwounds)

OR will a bridge change only give maybe a 10% change?


I have a 5420T and a stainless Tru-Arc was a massive improvement over stock. Tuning, tone, sustain, intonation - all improved.


Here's another vote for a Tru-Arc. Solid, one piece, so no rattles or tone sucking. Get the Serpentune if you're a stickler for intonation. Tru-Arcs come in various materials to suit your needs.


Tru-Arcs are something magical, though I don't own any at the moment.

I've had decent luck with the Gretsch Bar Bridge if you can get one that is anywhere close to the correct radius (this can be a challange, hence the existence of Tru-Arcs).

I have a Compton, and while it's a touch better than a Gretsch Bar bridge, it's still lacking a certain something I wanted out of it.

Tried the Space Control, and love the flexibility, and feel, it was a total tone sucker.

Melita bridges are made from dead puppies and evil.

Bigsby compensated bridges are some of my favorite, but you have to be able to find one with a base, because for some reason they still insist on having different post spacing as EVERY OTHER BRIDGE ON THE PLANET! Sorry, /rant.

Ultimately your best bet is a Tru-Arc, but the stock bridge is halfway decent too. I'm not a big TOM fan after playing some solid bridges, but as TOMs go that one is pretty solid.


Yes, Tru-Arc is the way to go.


I recently changed the stock ABR for a Gretsch RBB on my 5124 (with D'Armond 2000's). Having changed the nut for a compensated brass one I did not feel the need to go all-in and import a Serpentune into the UK, as with postage and duty it works out quite costly. I'm felighted with the results. The guitar sounds awesome! The bridge on the 5124 is not pinned so the RBB can be positioned to intonate well. The guitar looks very cool too and you get that feeling that it was just meant to be.


OR will a bridge change only give maybe a 10% change?

10% is a lot in the guitar universe.

Register Sign in to join the conversation