Modern Gretsch Guitars

Falcon’s Bridge Choice

1
So, I have a matching pair of Falcons, Black and White .... one with Dynasonics, the other with HS Filters. I have been a big fan of the looks of a Melita bridge on the guitars. I think they just scream Gretsch and add more jewelry to the top of the guitar, but the tone just seems to SUCK with them!!! It leaves the guitar feeling/sounding very dull and lifeless ... especially the G string! So I bought a Space Control bridge to go on my Black Falcon with HS Filters and it seemed to wake the guitar up. Intonation seems to be almost on point with it as well(still a few strings that I could not get dead on, but they are ever so close).

So my question is ... before I spring for a 2nd Space Control bridge for my White Falcon ... what's everyone's preferred choice that gives them the best tone/sound out of their Falcon? I have seen some who prefer the ABHR bridge, some who prefer the Compton, some who prefer the rocking bar, etc..... but no one seems to love the Space Control. Whichever I go with, I will be going with something that matches the rest of the gold hardware(so for Compton that would mean Brass). Just looking for some input/experience because I want to get the most out of these that I can without buying 2 of each style, lol.

3

either a bar bridge of whatever flavor, or the Tunomatic which seems to have worked well for Stephen Stills.

4

Space controls bridges functionally suck and Melita's aren't much better. You like their look where I don't like their look or their feel for resting the heel of my hand on it for muting. Some roller bridges have a good rating but the top is Tru Arc's Serpentune. For the best rated, I suggest you order 2 of those and dump the Melita.

5

On my previous White Falcon, I had a Tru-Arc brass bar and loved it.

On my present Black Phoenix, which had a tunamatic, I installed a Tru-Arc stainless steel Serpentune. Outstanding bridge.

Either bridge would be a great choice on your Birds. I went with bridge material to match the trim on each guitar. I love the traits of both materials, so yes, I played the vanity factor for overall looks.

Best of luck choosing.

6

did replacing the Tuna make much difference in the guitar's tone?

7

did replacing the Tuna make much difference in the guitar's tone?

– macphisto

Mac, I felt that I gained a little more sustain, and more of the harmonics came through.

Just a "richer" tone, if that makes sense.

I will admit that I'm a bar bridge guy, as I like the feel of them for any type of palm muting, and zero rattle issues or maintenance.

Hope this helps.

8

I can't say enough about how great the Glass Tru-Arc on my Falcon is. I wish I could afford to equip all of my guitars with one. The tone is better, more chimey and each string has more definition.

9

I believe you are wise to stray from the devious Space Control Bridge (infinitely adjustable string spacing, and infinitely bad tone, with bonus rattling sound) and Melitta/Synchrosonic (space-age, tone-absorbing plastic base and saddles, with the added plus of porcupine-like comfort for palm-muting). Any flavor of Tru Arc will be an improvement. I put an aluminum one on my Setzer-sig-equipped Country Club and it has worked out well. My Dyna Falcon got a brass one and I hope to enjoy its company again one day soon (it's been in the shop for a while for something else).

10

Well, y'all talked me into it .... I have a Brass SerpenTune Tru-Arc coming for the White one .... gonna test it out and make sure it's the cats pajama's .... then I am sure I will end up ordering another Brass or possibly a Glass for the Black one.

11

A Tru-Arc Serpentune bridge is the perfect bridge for every Gretsch guitar with a floating bridge base.

12

I've had TruArc bridges on all my guitars for several years -- Gretsch, Gibson and D'Angelico (not vintage), fixed and floating bridges.
THE BEST (IMO) is the TruArc Surpentune. I've replaced Melitas and Adjustomatics with huge improvements. Better tone, better sustain, better tuning stability..... any way you cut it -- BETTER.
Moving parts (IMO) interfere with tone and sustain, and add vibrations and rattles. They offer more "opportunities" for things going out of adjustment and introducing tuning and intonation problems. I have Serpentunes on all my electric guitars except for the 6120-'55 VS which I bought recently and haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm thinking it will get an aluminum Serpentune -- it's stock bridge is an aluminum compensated piece.

13

Is there a Serpentune that fits on a Melita base?

14

We make those, yes. Special order, but no problem.

16

I used to have a bar bridge on my Falcon LDS and loved it but changed to a vintage Melita when I got hold of some old Dynas. I love the look and am totally used to the Melita now quirks and all but if I were to change it for anything I’d go back to the bar.

17

Tru-Arc. I like stainless steel or brass depending on the colour of the guitar's hardware but I don't think you can go wrong with any option

18

Is there a Serpentune that fits on a Melita base?

– GaryE

Yes, there is .... just look up Tru-Arc on Google, open the catalog sheet, and you will see it about half way down. But I'll be honest with you .... I'm not sure why you would want to keep the Melita base. It's plastic and only touches the top in 2 places versus being a solid piece all the way across. Tim will sell you an ebony base(official Gretsch part) for $30 with your order. I'm a big believer in the full, wooden base making full contact with the top for maximum tone transfer. It will, however, have to be sanded to fit flush with your top.

19

I used to have a bar bridge on my Falcon LDS and loved it but changed to a vintage Melita when I got hold of some old Dynas. I love the look and am totally used to the Melita now quirks and all but if I were to change it for anything I’d go back to the bar.

– tabletop

What I am hating about the repro Melita that Gretsch sells now is the dead G string sound. It's just a thud on a plain G. There's no ring, no sustain .... just a THUD. That annoys the ever living out of me .... and I already have a love/hate relationship with a G because I am a HUGE Les Paul fan.

20

I think sometimes space controls just work best.

K

21

It’s a bummer that Embie is out of business. Their version of a Melita is a huge improvement. I too like the look of a Melita bridge. I have an Embie on my White Penguin and love it.

23

Well, got my Tru-Arc in and installed last night. Tim did an awesome job shipping super fast! Caught him right before he left to go out of town, he dropped it in the mail for me the same day. Let me just say ..... that I am EXTREMELY HAPPY with the upgrade! Major improvement tone wise, sustain wise, play wise on the guitar. It will take some getting used to with the rocking action going on because of the screws being a bit smaller than the holes in the bridge ..... but I'm sure that will help with tuning stability when using the Bigsby(I hope).

24

IS YOUR HEARING OK?? If anything, Melitas can be too bright...certainly not dull. If you prefer the sound of a Space Control bridge, you were doing something wrong when yo compared them.

25

A Tru-Arc Serpentune bridge is the perfect bridge for every Gretsch guitar with a floating bridge base.

– BuddyHollywood

You said it perfectly.


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