Modern Gretsch Guitars

Advice on modding a G5420T


Hi all, I am new here. I am about to purchase a G5420T I think.

I am a guitar tech and am working on guitars all the time but never had one of these in my hands yet.

I have a few things I am wondering about the G5420 that perhaps you could help me with:

1) I have read a few G5420T owners install TV Jones pickups in their guitars and I was wondering how do the Blacktops compare? Have any of you compared either pickup to the Reverend Revtrons?

2) I have seen a Bigsby Chet Atkins type wire handle replacement part available but can they be fitted to the B60 without much hassle? Widening of holes etc if required is no problem I can do that kind of work in the workshop. https://www.amplifiedparts....

3) What are the pots and switches like in these, do they have a nice taper or are they more like on/off switches? I had a Hagstrom Tremar Viking Deluxe not long ago and the pots were more like on/off switches, very poor. I use the volume knobs to go from rhythm to lead a lot on single channel amps etc is why I ask this.

4) I intend putting a roller bridge on the G5420 but imagine I will have to machine the base of the metal roller bridge and it's adjustment screws down in order to get the action low enough. Roller bridges tend to be 'taller' than tune-o-matics and there may not be enough adjustment on the posts to lower it down sufficiently. Have any of you put a roller bridge on your anchored wood bridge base, if so how did it work out for you? I will put a Reverend 'soft spring' in the B60 too as all my Reverends with Bigsbys have them and they are really smooth and nice.

Anyway, I would appreciate your thoughts on these points as you have more experience with Gretsch guitars than me. I have a lot of guitars for the studio and playing live but never had a Gretsch or had one in for repair or mods.



I have a G5420T, I replaced the Blacktop pickups with Gretsch HS Filtertrons. The improvement is maybe 10%-15%. I thought the Blacktops were pretty good but I like the HS Filtertron better. In the back of my mind I'm thinking about TV Jones Setzer or Classics, though not sure if those would sound all that much better (or different). Everything else on the guitar is stock, I quite like the G5420 - looks, plays and sounds very good for the price point.


Welcome aboard, Gene.

Coincidentally the Bigsby arm swap question came up a week or two ago. If it were a regular B6 the swap is very easy, but licensed Bigsbys (which yours is) may have a different size shaft. If it’s bigger then great, just ream out the new arm to fit, but if it’s smaller you may have a problem.

I’d be happy to measure a B6 shaft if needed, but I can’t help on the B60 measurement.


Thanks guys. I emailed the shop that sell the part to see what they say.

My other Bigsby guitars (Reverend Spacehawk and Reverend Club King RT) have same arm as the stock G5420T and they grand but I would like to try the wire one.

I was considering the Epiphone Emperor Swingster but have had seen poor build quality on recent Epiphones so declined.

Oh, I just bought a G5420T in Aspen green online. I went for the green as the pickguard is not so much in your face as compared to the other colours, on the green it blends in easier on the eye. I got it in Spain.

I may love it as it is but can mod it anyway. I have a spare set of Reverend Revtrons from the club king. They are Reverend's take on a hot Filtertron and I really like the sound of them in the club king RT. I am sticking in a hotter set in the club king and so will have the Revtrons spare.

Looking forward to getting this :)


Roller bridges are considered tonesuckers. Buy a Tru-Arc bridge from forum member Proteus. He is one of our sponsors. And welcome to the best guitar forum on the planet!


I play Rock and get along fine with the Black-Top filtertrons. These also have a treble bleed circuit built in so the sweep of the knobs is pretty respective of that. I’d say play the hell out of her when you get her and see what you do and don’t get along with. I think you’ll be impressed with a lot before you decide what to mod.

Welcome to our addiction. Pics when it happens.


Welcome to the forum, Gene! I’m in Dublin down the road.


A Tru Arc is your best bet for the bridge, make it a Serpentune if you're touchy about intonation. Roller bridges are pretty much universally reviled for killing the acoustic transfer between strings and body.


Thanks to you all. Never heard of these Tru-Arc bridges are they only in USA? I will check them out tomorrow.

Yes, I will not mod anything until I play the guitar for few weeks or so.

One thing I have no doubt over is the quality of the Korean and Indonesian built guitars. Most I have purchased, played or worked on over the last while are very VERY high quality. Even if a few little tweaks & mods are required here and there, they are worth doing as you may well end up with a guitar that is just as good if not better than it's top of the range cousin!

I will check these bridges out now, Thanks all


Yes , I have seen these bridges online somewhere before.


Do the Tru-Arc bridges come with the wooden base? I just saw a YouTube vid of a guy opening one and taking it out of a packet with wooden base attached, if so how does that work out with secured or pinned G5420T?



Tim (proteus) can sell you a base, but mostly his bridges will fit on the existing base as long as he knows the year and model it's going on.


Tim (proteus) can sell you a base, but mostly his bridges will fit on the existing base as long as he knows the year and model it's going on.

– Twom

That what I reckoned, the wooden bridge on it will do the job grand!


Gene- Here is a pic of my modded 5420 with tru-arc, dynasonic PUs, chetguard, and G brand.


Gene, I’m in the uk and can help with a Tru-Arc:

– Deke Martin

Thanks Deke I will check that website out when I get the guitar.


Gene- Here is a pic of my modded 5420 with tru-arc, dynasonic PUs, chetguard, and G brand.

– Twom

Looks very nice indeed!

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