Modern Gretsch Guitars

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


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

– sascha

Yeah, I wasn't really clear.

What I meant was that unlike a TOM-style or Bigsby-style bridge, where a fixed point on the string stays in a fixed point on the bridge while the bridge rocks, with the space control you would not have that same level of friction to cause the bridge to return to the upright position.

It's similar to what you can encounter with a rocking bar bridge and light gauge and/or low-tension brands of strings. They slide on the bridge rather than the bridge returning to the center position when rocking.


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. - Lee Erickson

Yeah. That.


Hey guys. Again: I was just brainstorming. To me the idea had its charme in the fact that you can put a thought out designed device upside down and it still could work - or even better. That's all.

The fun part of this thread for me is the general discussion about preferences, information and obviously still existing mis-information. If you want let's talk any further but please don't focus on the original idea anymore. Thanks.


That's why I said "why not?" I have tried some downright daft ideas in my insatiable curiosity over the years - sometimes things just work out very differently from expected.

I have tried a few Serpentune Tru-arcs, and yes for me they stayed in tune well and sounded good. But they in no way sounded like the "best bridge ever", or even the best option for any of the Gretsches I have owned. A very good option, but not necessarily the best for the sound I like. I suspect a solid regular mild steel might sound good to me, but I have never liked the sound of stainless steel in a bridge, whether for Tele, Les Paul, 335 or Gretsch. For a Gretsch I always come back to a Gibson TOM with brass saddles. For Tele I LOVE Rutters cold rolled steel compensated saddles. For everything else i like whatever came stock.


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.

– Windsordave

I am pretty sure I have not heard "veritable plethora" since 1979.

Since then I have had to get by on simple plethoras.

In my opinion/experience a rocking bridge works quite well and returns to "home" (veritable home?) reliably only when the base is fixed (pinned typically) , AND the strings do not move along the saddle, AND the saddles (if there are separate ones) do not move relative to the bridge, AND the rocking surface has not flat spots in it, AND the rocking action fully covers the range of motion of the Bigsby as used by the player.

This is not hard to do, but takes a bit of focus on details.

A rocking bridge is a great thing but needs everything set up for success.

Just throwing in a rocking action without looking at the whole system can lead to dissappointment, and seeming generalizations about the usability of a rocking bridge.

In my opinion.



The rocking bar bridge on my first 6120 was a disaster! I had bought it sight unseen from a long way away, and when the guitar arrived - a '64 6120 - the bridge was in pieces scattered around the case. The base was one part, the bar another, and the posts with height adjustment nuts were another couple of pieces. The posts were not attached to the base. Rather, they had semi-circular tabs which sat in oversized holes in the base. So to get the guitar up and running meant a delicate process of balancing the bar on top of the posts which were liable to fall over at any moment, while stringing the guitar and hoping the string tension held it all in place. It was crazy!

I was relieved to put a TOM on and be able to play the guitar at last.


Those guys who like the tune-o-matic bridges, which one do you like best?


I like these, and I usually put in three nylon saddles (sold by the same folks) on the plain strings : wireless ABR-1


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 like Bigsby bridges

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