Modern Gretsch Guitars

A ‘Rocking Space Control’ bridge. Could this idea work?

1

I was just having an idea this day and I'm not so sure if this could work, I oversee something or it's just stupid.

We know that the modern Space Control bridges differ from the old ones. Let's set aside the fact that some people hate them. They work fine for many others.

What if I take a modern SC version, turn it upside down, slightly modify the stud holes to a tapered shape and put it back (still upside down) on the bridge base? Would that make a working 'Rocking Space Control'?

Standard modern Space Control:

2

probably at least a little. Question is "why?" Do you really like the space control bridges that much?

3

As WB says, yes it will work. But why would you want this?

Get a Tru-Arc, or file and taper the holes on an ABR-1 to allow it to rock.

The Space Control is an artifact of some guy spending far too much time in a hardware store vs. time playing a guitar.

No need to optimize an ass-hat artifact - even though it may be an historic artifact.

In my often-flawed opinion.

Chris

4

Zeg Walter, Tijd om te gaan slappen.

5

It'd kinda sorta work, but why bother? It's a chunk of all thread with no thought of radius to it. The string guides ought to "roll" enough to avoid using rollers or a rocking aspect. Get a Tru Arc or Compton. Fewer moving parts, correct radius, better sustain, etc, etc..

6

Love me some space control bridges, especially original ones

7

I have no idea what wabash slim means,... but the radius match seems pretty good to me, and the issue with rocking could be that the end pieces could become misaligned if they are free to move along the threaded rod that is the crosspiece of the bridge.

When the end pieces rest squarely on the thumbwheels, this is not an issue.

But if you want to try it, any decent hardware store will have a tapered reamer that you can use to ream the post holes into conical shaped holes (wider at what is currently the bottom, but will become the top in your concept).

This will allow the bridge to rock on the spherical tops (soon to be the bottoms) of the end pieces while also allowing the posts to move within the holess that are tapered by reaming with the tapered reamer.

Let us know how this works out if you try it.

Chris

9

Sorry---in that photo it looked pretty straight to me. The other aspect---that the string guides will roll as much as the bridge will rock still applies.

Try it. Either it'll do what you want or it won't.

10

Somebody already invented the perfect bridge - Tru-Arc SerpenTune.

11

No. It still won't follow the strings, but it will be slightly out of tune most of the time.

12

Thanks for your input guys. I never claimed it to turn out the best idea ever but I still think it could work. Might be worth a try for people who can't spend more than €100 for a replacement bridge. Those people exist.

I have got several Tru-Arcs and like them a lot but fitting the bridge base to the guitar top properly made the bigger improvement. Oh, and you should hear my Space Control equipped '59 Duo Jet. It sounds amazing.

13

Somebody already invented the perfect bridge - Tru-Arc SerpenTune.

– audept

Every Gretsch guitar with a floating bridge base should come stock with a Tru-Arc Serpentune. The only variable is which material to choose? I vote aluminum for enhanced twang but I feel most would choose stainless steel or brass for the gold plated hardware guitars.

14

Might be worth a try for people who can't spend more than €100 for a replacement bridge. Those people exist.

Well, I have 25-30€ tune-a-matics on most of my guitars, and I've tried some Tru-Arcs, and they're not for me.

Thing with roller bridges, rocking bridges, (no pun intended) etc... is that I never really saw the need for them on a hollowbody that has the bridge on a wood base. My experience is that the whole bridge contraption of a non-rocking bridge sways back and forth gently, and usually comes back to where it's supposed to be.

I've found rocking bridges either don't "rock back and forth" much, and if/when they do, they tend to not come back to the zero point and keep sitting at an extreme of the movement and throw the guitar out of tune. Bigsby rocker bridges are the worst that way, but rocking bars and those old style conical bottom tune-a-matics do it too.

15

Might be worth a try for people who can't spend more than €100 for a replacement bridge. Those people exist.

Well, I have 25-30€ tune-a-matics on most of my guitars, and I've tried some Tru-Arcs, and they're not for me.

Thing with roller bridges, rocking bridges, (no pun intended) etc... is that I never really saw the need for them on a hollowbody that has the bridge on a wood base. My experience is that the whole bridge contraption of a non-rocking bridge sways back and forth gently, and usually comes back to where it's supposed to be.

I've found rocking bridges either don't "rock back and forth" much, and if/when they do, they tend to not come back to the zero point and keep sitting at an extreme of the movement and throw the guitar out of tune. Bigsby rocker bridges are the worst that way, but rocking bars and those old style conical bottom tune-a-matics do it too.

– WB

I agree 100% with this, just didn't wanna get anyone flamed up by saying anything negative about rocking bar bridges. I had a brass tru-arc and experienced the exact same thing; with bigsby use the tuning stability went out the window. I switched to an Embie, then to the gretsch syncrosonic, liked that the best, screwed it to the top of the guitar and threw some buffalo horn Embie saddles on and super vee lube. No tuning issues at all, I can dive bomb like a Floyd rose and it always returns

16

Might be worth a try for people who can't spend more than €100 for a replacement bridge. Those people exist.

Well, I have 25-30€ tune-a-matics on most of my guitars, and I've tried some Tru-Arcs, and they're not for me.

Thing with roller bridges, rocking bridges, (no pun intended) etc... is that I never really saw the need for them on a hollowbody that has the bridge on a wood base. My experience is that the whole bridge contraption of a non-rocking bridge sways back and forth gently, and usually comes back to where it's supposed to be.

I've found rocking bridges either don't "rock back and forth" much, and if/when they do, they tend to not come back to the zero point and keep sitting at an extreme of the movement and throw the guitar out of tune. Bigsby rocker bridges are the worst that way, but rocking bars and those old style conical bottom tune-a-matics do it too.

– WB

I think we are in the same camp here. Throw a bridge related topic in here at the GDP and everyone shouts out "TRU-ARC" with sometimes not even reading the posts or trying to understand the story behind the question.

Like I said I use two of Tim's great products on two of my guitars - where they work best - and adviced several friends to order (mostly frome Deke M. here on this side of the pond). I have other guitars where they are just not the best option for me. That doesn't make the TA worse. I just try to trust my ears and the overall feel and over the years I acquired a certain grasp. I even use a Gibson Nashville bridge on...

Recent days I was working on my Les Paul Specials (as I was toying with the idea of selling one of them but now I'm not so sure) and besides a major pickup testing orgy I tried several bridges. I was proven again that you can't change the character of a guitar by just swapping parts. When I first got the double-cut I read a lot on the internet and put a Duesenberg Steel Saddle bridge and a Faber Aluminium stoptail on back then. The guitar sounded bone dry and a little dark originally. In a good way. I wanted it to sparkle and shine - which was stupid. Now I put the original pickups and hardware on and it's great as is. The guitar is made from light mahogany and the amplified sound is just like you hear it dry - just amplified. If the player sucks the guitar sucks too. It's plain honest. A rare but welcome virtue these days.

17

Every Gretsch guitar with a floating bridge base should come stock with a Tru-Arc Serpentune. The only variable is which material to choose? I vote aluminum for enhanced twang but I feel most would choose stainless steel or brass for the gold plated hardware guitars.

– BuddyHollywood

Mine are fairly equal numbers Brass (6) and Titanium (5). Can't heap enough praise on these wonderful bridges.

18

Fwiw, the Embie was an incredibly high quality bridge, but they only come in aluminum which was a little bright for me, I prefer the sound of the Gretsch pot metal and plastic base

19

Since the string guides roll, I don't see how you'd make a rocking space control bridge return to the upright position. It seems like it would just flop one way or another and have a mild negative effect on intonation.

20

Might be worth a try for people who can't spend more than €100 for a replacement bridge. Those people exist.

Well, I have 25-30€ tune-a-matics on most of my guitars, and I've tried some Tru-Arcs, and they're not for me.

Thing with roller bridges, rocking bridges, (no pun intended) etc... is that I never really saw the need for them on a hollowbody that has the bridge on a wood base. My experience is that the whole bridge contraption of a non-rocking bridge sways back and forth gently, and usually comes back to where it's supposed to be.

I've found rocking bridges either don't "rock back and forth" much, and if/when they do, they tend to not come back to the zero point and keep sitting at an extreme of the movement and throw the guitar out of tune. Bigsby rocker bridges are the worst that way, but rocking bars and those old style conical bottom tune-a-matics do it too.

– WB

My Serpentune is solid on my Duo Jet. I have it about as low as it can get without the strings buzzing. The treble side is all the way down and the bass side is up only a few turns on the height adjustment screw. It's sturdy. I'm not sure if it rocks at all and if it does it's very slight which is fine by me.

I really liked the tone of the Gotoh Adjustomatic I had on there for a couple of years but there was a lot of buzzing even without a retaining wire. Now there is still some slight buzzing with the Bigsby but it's much smoother and the tone is great.

21

Since the string guides roll, I don't see how you'd make a rocking space control bridge return to the upright position. It seems like it would just flop one way or another and have a mild negative effect on intonation.

– Timthom62

I've never seen the string guides roll on a Space Control. Hey, that rhymes.

22

. Throw a bridge related topic in here at the GDP and everyone shouts out "TRU-ARC" with sometimes not even reading the posts or trying to understand the story behind the question.

I know, there's something cult-ish or religious about it. Which is understandable, as it's a product that works, a community can "claim" it a little bit as it comes from their own prophet, who happens to be a standup guy. But yes, reading some of the comments, you'd think a Tru-Arc will magically perform a fret-dress on any guitar, miraculously cure a twisted neck, and will have you playing like Chet in a few weeks, while keeping your house safe from the evils of the modern world.

Still, I'm not convinced about your rocking space-control bridge...

23

I was just having an idea this day and I'm not so sure if this could work, I oversee something or it's just stupid.

We know that the modern Space Control bridges differ from the old ones. Let's set aside the fact that some people hate them. They work fine for many others.

What if I take a modern SC version, turn it upside down, slightly modify the stud holes to a tapered shape and put it back (still upside down) on the bridge base? Would that make a working 'Rocking Space Control'?

Standard modern Space Control:

– sascha

I think that the first time you dipped the Bigsby down the bridge would nod forward and when the Bigsby is released the string holders would spin backwards. This tends to screw up the guitar tuning.

If you like Space-O-Matic bridges, make sure the rollers run smooth. Maybe some valve grinding compound if they don't. Good lubricants are lock graphite found at your local auto store. Or Teflon Tri-Flow a bicycle favorite.

The Space-O-Matic bridges tend to scew to the bass a bit, but so do all the nodding bridges.

I think the Space-O-Matic bridges are about as Bigsby friendly as anything else.

Lee

24

. Throw a bridge related topic in here at the GDP and everyone shouts out "TRU-ARC" with sometimes not even reading the posts or trying to understand the story behind the question.

I know, there's something cult-ish or religious about it. Which is understandable, as it's a product that works, a community can "claim" it a little bit as it comes from their own prophet, who happens to be a standup guy. But yes, reading some of the comments, you'd think a Tru-Arc will magically perform a fret-dress on any guitar, miraculously cure a twisted neck, and will have you playing like Chet in a few weeks, while keeping your house safe from the evils of the modern world.

Still, I'm not convinced about your rocking space-control bridge...

– WB

This is not the case for me. I would not even consider a Tru-Arc until the Serpentune was invented. I also don't feel it's a bridge that works on every guitar. I tried it on my Casino and it didn't sound as good as the thin stock tuneomatic. Go figure.

I have the opinion that a Tru-Arc Serpentune is the best bridge for a Gretsch guitar with a floating bridge base. At least it is on my Gretsch Duo Jet. I've tried at least 5 bridges on there and the aluminum Serpentune is the winner.

25

No offense intended but I think the concept is asinine. Ask yourself if you think you're the first to think of this in the 60-odd years this bridge has been around? If the idea had any merit I have to assume it would've found traction years ago.

These days there's a veritable plethora of excellent bridges readily available from Tim's line of Tru Arc's to various brands of roller bridges.


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