General tech questions

Pinned Bridge question?

26

Well, a little sarcasm would be justified and completely understood. And I'm hesitant to claim much wisdom.


It's kinda immaterial whether you remove the thumbwheels or not; the mission is to unscrew the posts themselves with an allen wrench, turning them counterclockwise till they come out of the top of the guitar.

But I think this will mostly be a sight-seeing excursion, as it will be clear there's no easy way to reposition the base - nor would there be a reason to until and unless you install a bridge requiring a different base angle. Both your stock Adjustamatic and the 54-2 series Tru-Arc will intonate properly on the base at its current angle. A straight bridge (Standard rocking bar, Space Control) will NOT.

If you want to let the base float completely - not "pin it" - then you're free to use any bridge, and can position the base as necessary for best intonation. But if you back the 5420's posts out far enough to allow the base to float, they're going to stick up uncomfortably high around the bridge and poke you in the hand.

So if you're going to unpin, it's best to just put on a standard pro-line floating base with posts that DON'T thread all the way into the top of the guitar. (Which you could then RE-pin, etc etc, but likely not in the holes already poked through the top of the guitar at the factory.) It could get convoluted.


Brass, being a bright yellow metal, best matches gold hardware; stainless, aluminum, or titanium are a great match for the chrome-hardware models. Copper also looks great with gold hardware, though of course it's redder in hue.

I mention color because some guys insist their hardware all match. I've let that consideration go for my own use, and go for the material that sounds and responds "best" (to my ear) on a particular guitar. Gretsch mixes hardware color on some factory guitars, and none of us object to mixed gold and silver jewelry on a beautiful girl...

I really really like aluminum with blacktops; it accentuates a unique throaty twangy funky tone. It "zings." Stainless is best for a neutral tone, with maximum sustain. I like brass with many Gretsch pickups - and it works fine with the blacktops, sounding much like the factory bridge - but it's not my favorite with them.

Anyway, should you choose a Tru-Arc and not be happy with the tone, you can return it at full credit (less shipping) toward exchange for another species - or your money back if you never get happy.

Here's my 5420 with aluminum bridge.

27

Well, a little sarcasm would be justified and completely understood. And I'm hesitant to claim much wisdom.


It's kinda immaterial whether you remove the thumbwheels or not; the mission is to unscrew the posts themselves with an allen wrench, turning them counterclockwise till they come out of the top of the guitar.

But I think this will mostly be a sight-seeing excursion, as it will be clear there's no easy way to reposition the base - nor would there be a reason to until and unless you install a bridge requiring a different base angle. Both your stock Adjustamatic and the 54-2 series Tru-Arc will intonate properly on the base at its current angle. A straight bridge (Standard rocking bar, Space Control) will NOT.

If you want to let the base float completely - not "pin it" - then you're free to use any bridge, and can position the base as necessary for best intonation. But if you back the 5420's posts out far enough to allow the base to float, they're going to stick up uncomfortably high around the bridge and poke you in the hand.

So if you're going to unpin, it's best to just put on a standard pro-line floating base with posts that DON'T thread all the way into the top of the guitar. (Which you could then RE-pin, etc etc, but likely not in the holes already poked through the top of the guitar at the factory.) It could get convoluted.


Brass, being a bright yellow metal, best matches gold hardware; stainless, aluminum, or titanium are a great match for the chrome-hardware models. Copper also looks great with gold hardware, though of course it's redder in hue.

I mention color because some guys insist their hardware all match. I've let that consideration go for my own use, and go for the material that sounds and responds "best" (to my ear) on a particular guitar. Gretsch mixes hardware color on some factory guitars, and none of us object to mixed gold and silver jewelry on a beautiful girl...

I really really like aluminum with blacktops; it accentuates a unique throaty twangy funky tone. It "zings." Stainless is best for a neutral tone, with maximum sustain. I like brass with many Gretsch pickups - and it works fine with the blacktops, sounding much like the factory bridge - but it's not my favorite with them.

Anyway, should you choose a Tru-Arc and not be happy with the tone, you can return it at full credit (less shipping) toward exchange for another species - or your money back if you never get happy.

Here's my 5420 with aluminum bridge.

– Proteus

That was a ton of excellent info thank you.

My last question concerned removing the bridge from the base.

As of now it does not want to separate from the base.

How do i do that? Do i runup the wheels or just give it a mighty tug?

As noted it does not come up even a millimeter at present, the bridge from the base i mean.

As i intend to try one of your aliminum bridges i am curious how to remove this bridge from the base.

All the bridges similar to this i had in the past just came off being held strictly by string pressure.

I really do appreciate all yor help. I still (and want to) have a lot to learn.

Started when i was 3 way back when

28

And i am still learning today

Thanks Proteus

29

Well, a little sarcasm would be justified and completely understood. And I'm hesitant to claim much wisdom.


It's kinda immaterial whether you remove the thumbwheels or not; the mission is to unscrew the posts themselves with an allen wrench, turning them counterclockwise till they come out of the top of the guitar.

But I think this will mostly be a sight-seeing excursion, as it will be clear there's no easy way to reposition the base - nor would there be a reason to until and unless you install a bridge requiring a different base angle. Both your stock Adjustamatic and the 54-2 series Tru-Arc will intonate properly on the base at its current angle. A straight bridge (Standard rocking bar, Space Control) will NOT.

If you want to let the base float completely - not "pin it" - then you're free to use any bridge, and can position the base as necessary for best intonation. But if you back the 5420's posts out far enough to allow the base to float, they're going to stick up uncomfortably high around the bridge and poke you in the hand.

So if you're going to unpin, it's best to just put on a standard pro-line floating base with posts that DON'T thread all the way into the top of the guitar. (Which you could then RE-pin, etc etc, but likely not in the holes already poked through the top of the guitar at the factory.) It could get convoluted.


Brass, being a bright yellow metal, best matches gold hardware; stainless, aluminum, or titanium are a great match for the chrome-hardware models. Copper also looks great with gold hardware, though of course it's redder in hue.

I mention color because some guys insist their hardware all match. I've let that consideration go for my own use, and go for the material that sounds and responds "best" (to my ear) on a particular guitar. Gretsch mixes hardware color on some factory guitars, and none of us object to mixed gold and silver jewelry on a beautiful girl...

I really really like aluminum with blacktops; it accentuates a unique throaty twangy funky tone. It "zings." Stainless is best for a neutral tone, with maximum sustain. I like brass with many Gretsch pickups - and it works fine with the blacktops, sounding much like the factory bridge - but it's not my favorite with them.

Anyway, should you choose a Tru-Arc and not be happy with the tone, you can return it at full credit (less shipping) toward exchange for another species - or your money back if you never get happy.

Here's my 5420 with aluminum bridge.

– Proteus

Proteus, does that 5420 have gold sides? Could you post more pictures of it?

30

UG, not gold sides, no. Red all the way around. Just a plainol CAR 5420.


Eyerish, if the bridge seems stuck on the posts...then it's probably binding on them because they're either too far apart or too close together for an easy fit. If that's preventing the bridge from sitting square on the adjusting wheels, that's bad for tone - decreases low end and definition, kinda hollows it out.

I guess if you used an allen wrench to thread one of the posts all the way out, that would relieve the tension which they must be under from the bridge having been forced to fit over the posts, and it would then come off easily. If I really couldn't budge the bridge otherwise, that's the approach I'd take.

But yeah, first you could try just to screw the adjusting wheels up gradually (probably keeping their height equal, because raising one much higher than the other would make the binding problem more severe.

Still...just unscrewing one post completely might be the easiest approach.


Random thought - is there any possibility someone put a Tone-Pros type bridge on it, with set-screws through the ends (or near the ends) of the bridge which lock onto the posts? Check for that, I guess, but that seems an outside chance.


And how could there be enough of a mismatch between the spacing of the posts and the spacing of the holes on the bridge? I hope it's unusual, but it's not terribly mysterious. If the dimensions of either bridge or base were a little out of spec, it could be enough to prevent the desired fit. And if both were just a little out, in a "perfect storm" scenario, then there you go.

Also, if the radius of the BOTTOM of the bridge base didn't closely match the radius of the top of the guitar, the base could bend the posts inward or outward with pressure on it. Or...if the holes in the top of the guitar which receive the threaded posts happened not to be drilled perfectly perpendicular, again the tops of the posts would be canted. And it wouldn't take much deflection at the bottom to produce more severe deflection at the top.

Think of it like golfing upside down, where a tiny misdirection in your stroke, at the top of the club, is magnified over the length of the shaft and becomes a much greater problem at the bottom - which in turn puts your ball nowhere near where you hoped once it travels a couple hundred yards.

31

Hmmm. Don't start in with golf analogies, at least until you have taken up the game first.

32

Is that not accurate? It has certainly applied every time I’ve hit a golf ball...

33

Is that not accurate? It has certainly applied every time I’ve hit a golf ball...

– Proteus

Thanks again Proteus.

And my golf game is so bad i shoot it all but tee with a 7 iron usually. Makes for a cheap set though huh?

But i can quite often shoot a 75 or 80.

Then almost that good on the second 9.

I know Boooooo. Haha.

34

Is that not accurate? It has certainly applied every time I’ve hit a golf ball...

– Proteus

Both times?

35

Oh, many more than that. I've walked around a course several times, hitting balls in the general direction of where I was told the hole was. I hesitate to say I was playing golf, though the guys I was with were doing so, and someone kept score on my efforts.

So, figure maybe 100 "holes," times a comic multiple of par each, and I bet I've struck 1,000 balls. (Not counting the swings-and-misses.)

Plus I've spent a few hilariously humiliating hours at driving ranges. I mean, everyone else was driving. I was running my own workshop in the physics of randomness.

My comment was not intended to insult the game of golf (which is to me a game of luck), but to praise the superhuman skill of golfers.

37

Hey Proteus.

The bridge came off with just a tad more effort. The wheels can help but none the less she pops off with sufficient alacrity, haha.

So as i am able i will likely try one of your aluminum bridges as they sound as right to me. I will then have the ability to sound it truly.

Thanks for the help and the more i am sure to ask.

38

It should really take minimal effort to get the bridge off the posts. I spect you have some binding there. My approach would be to look carefully at the mounted bridge to see whether posts are too close together or too far apart, then use a small round file to slightly open the holes in the bridge accordingly (ie, either on the sides of the holes close to the middle of the bridge, or the sides of the holes adjacent to the ends of the bridge).

It should slip on and off with little to no encouragement.


Register Sign in to join the conversation