Modern Gretsch Guitars

Help Question about my 2016 Gretsch 6118-T-LIV

1

Hi I am new here. I am hoping to get advice or opinion as I am wondering if there is something wrong with my guitar. It has been happening since I got it in may 2016. Could it affect my intonation which is messed up after 3 fret with all the notes coming out sharp.

I uploaded 2 very short videos to youtube as I cant really explain it.

It has a pinned “rocking” bar bridge Link

Link

2

Hi Richie,

It seems you could have two issues. The sideways movement of the bridge base and a less than optimal overall bridge position.

The bridge is "pinned" via set screws installed in the top of the guitar and holes drilled into the bridge base.

To stop the sideways movement and to position the bridge for best-fit compensation with your choice of action height and strings, it is likely best to fill the existing holes in the bridge base, then re-drill for a more secure and more optimized bridge position.

This is not hard to do, but likely best left to a competent luthier/tech.

In my opinion.

Chris

3

This can be done a few ways, but one fast and accurate method is:

Remove the set screws from the top, set the bridge position for best-fit intonation overall. (I suggest optimizing for the A and B strings and not the E strings. Others may feel otherwise.)

Now mark the base position with tape applied to the top.

Then install the screws and put the base on the screws to see how far you are off from your chosen optimal position.

Fill and re-drill to move the base to the optimal position.

Test the new fit.

Play emotive solo with improved stability and intonation.

4

From the video it seems there is not enough of an angle for accurate intonation. I would just unpin it and let the bridge float. There is no need to drill more holes if you don't have to. It seems Gretsch should take care of it if you want to realign the bridge and have it pinned again. Is this covered by a warranty?

5

Thanks for the replies.

It's not under warranty I got it online a customer returned it to the store after having it a week in Sydney and it was listed as used in mint. Store isn't helpful said to bring it in I live a about 600km away in a rural area.

Got the Authenticity papers and Gretsch case it's all legit. They said a tech set it up from their store and it is fine. Had the problem from day 1. Rang the authorised Gretsch repairer the day I got it and was told it was floating and normal. Just now i know its a fixed bridge.

Always strung it one at a time so couldn't tell. I've never had a Gretsch or Bigsby and am not too good with terminology.

I have been in the studio the past 2 weeks and the sound engineer and producer tried school me on Gretsch bridges to a degree.

it always stays in tune in standard tuning and live i didn't know as they were all sharp together.

is it possible to get authentic replacement bridges? I really want to keep it the same.

Sorry long reply. Its an amazing guitar just some issues.

But thanks a lot for all the advice i've not been on a forum before so thanks.

6

The 'tech' in the store needs some schooling. Send them photos of the pinned bridge and video showing the poor intonation. Show the tuner display at the open and 12th, and harmonics and 12th. Get your money back or have them pay to fix it, either with repinning or converting to a floating bridge. You spent too much money to have an unplayable guitar.

7

Thanks NJBob I sent the videos and 20 odd pictures to the authorized dealer in Australia where I purchased it and am getting the run around.

I called Fender in Sydney they have been helpful and are trying to get a resolve for me and they are taking the video and pictures to their Luthier and seeing how they can remedy this knowing its not under warranty. They said not to get it worked on by anyone in the meantime.

It's a once in a lifetime guitar for me.

Thanks again for the advice from everyone. I appreciate it, I wasn't gonna comment as it probably falls into a rant. but i feel that I should post this as it could be helpful for someone in the future.

It's definitely not Gretsch or Fenders fault and I believe they make awesome Guitars.

Thanks again

8

Frist, welcome to all things Gretsch. Sorry your introduction has to be under such stressful circumstances for you. Glad you have a wonderful new Gretsch, your 'once in a lifetime' guitar. It's a real shame your location is not near a top luthier who could easily resolve this issue.

Please keep informed on how this works out. I'm sure Gretsch/Fender will make it right for you.

9

Hi Richie,

In tech terms this is not a difficult problem at all. But I understand you are nowhere near someone who can easily deal with this.

Sounds like someone in Sydney will suggest a solution, which could be handy.

There are very practical workarounds that you can do yourself. And really the "real" fix is not very hard. It just requires some decision making and visualization.

If you want to walk through it carefully step by step let me know.

I do not follow this website often but will watch for an answer from you for a day or two.

In any case there is no practical reason at all why this can not be your ultimate guitar. This is not a big deal and will be sorted out just fine in the end.

Chris

10

OK well good luck to you in this. I am 100% sure you will get it playing perfectly for you. It just needs two very minor tweaks.

O&O

Chris

11

Ok so I just thought i'd update with how it all worked out or not.

I have had no luck with Fender. Called 4 times or any feedback from their Luthier saying it was a issue or not.

Was expecting to get the support they mentioned but no avail.

The music store which i got it from admitted that gave me incorrect information about its history before i purchased it.

21 emails later (by this point i was pretty harsh)

They said they will send a new bridge at some point and maintained it was not faulty after viewing the videos and hi res pics and still said i should mail my gretsch to them.

so i will pay a luthier out of my pocket to install it.

I went to a awesome Luthier in melbourne who works with some pretty big Australian bands just to get confirmation and he said that it's faulty and a few words i won't repeat.

i'm gonna get the luthier to look at a new bridge type and repair/replace that i will pay for.

Thanks for all the tips. I don't know forums but i really enjoy reading the different topics.

12

If you are looking for new bridges, I would suggest a Tru-arc. They will maintain the appearance of the bar bridge but with a more accurate arc and better metals for tone and sustain.

13

This strikes me as sad.

It is not a big deal and easily fixed.

But it turns into an emotional experience full of weltschmerz, when the strings do not care how you feel about it at all.

The bridge is fine. A new one will not solve anything. A cog in the Fender corporate machine will not solve it.

This is a VERY simple problem and easily fixed.

Sorry to comment, but it is very frustrating to hear the deication to personal victim status taking priority over making a guitar ready to play.

Good luck to you.

14

Love Tru-arcs but the stock bridge in this guitar is an accurate 12 inch radius brass bridge with nickel plating.

No benefit in a tru-arc over this bridge with regard to ANY of the OP's gripes.

15

I have this same guitar (6118t-liv) and love it. My bridge was best setup in a slightly different position vs. the factory position.

It is VERY hard to set up a pinned bridge in some optimal factory position considering the various string sets and set-up details that players prefer.

I was not "done wrong" by the factory or FMIC. My guitar (like pretty much ALL guitars) was notably improved by some custom setup work for my choice of strings and set-up details.

Great axe.

16

Richie, from my perspective chrisp2 is dead-on accurate in his advice; not only have I found him a real expert, honest, and completely reliable in the past, but I agree with his assessment.

As you seem new to guitars with floating bridges (whether pinned or not), and are probably more familiar with bridges mounted on studs threaded into the top of a guitar, I fully understand that your guitar's problem seems serious to you. From a playability standpoint, the impact of the apparently misplaced base may indeed be serious.

But chrisp speaks truth when he says the fix is really a minor thing, and will entirely resolve your issue. Your situation is complicated by your distance from either a dealer or a Fender/Gretsch service center, either of whom should be able to "fix" your problem in less than an hour.

Also as chrisp says, a mislocation of a pinned floating bridge is unfortunate, but almost a natural by-product of the factory's uncertainty about how the guitar will ultimately be set up. It doesn't make the guitar defective.

I think the focus here should be less on what went wrong and more on how to easily resolve it so you can get on with enjoying a great guitar. From the analysis I read, a new bridge from FenderGretsch isn't going to help. If the base is pinned in a position that won't allow this rocking bar to play in tune, you'll have the same problem with a new one.

The issue is with the base, which should not have side-to-side movement, and is imperfectly positioned for best intonation. It has to be solved at the base.

Hear me out. You may well not need your base to be pinned at all. It can be a nice feature - but literally all it does is keep the bridge from moving accidentally if you bump it or play too hard, and keep it from falling off when you change strings. It has no impact on tone or playability otherwise.

One of the benefits of a truly floating bridge is that its position can be easily adjusted for ideal intonation with any bridge you'd like to use.

That it moves around so easily can seem unsettling and even intimidating to a first-time owner, but it really isn't a big deal. Yes, it takes a little schooling, and you have to learn two or three things to deal with it. But life is all about learning - and the floating bridge is truly part of the classic Gretsch recipe. You love the guitar. Embrace the floater, learn to deal with it.

Here's what I'd do in your situation, and get playing tonight: take the bridge off, remove the pins. Put the guitar back together, position the base where it needs to be for best intonation across all 6 strings. This much is what chrisp advised. He also advised to then mark the corners of the bridge so it could be removed and re-pinned.

Here's where I have a different suggestion. Maybe instead of marking it with tape, put a teeny tiny itsy bitsy little pencil mark along a couple edges of the base's feet, so only you know they're there.

Then play the guitar. You may find the base never moves with your playing technique. If it does, you can see where to move it back to. The marks are there to re-position the base easily during string changes. (Though after you've positioned a floating base successfully ONCE, you won't need no steenkeeng marks, because it's just that easy to do it again.)

If you find you bump it around a lot, try smearing violin/viola bow rosin on the underside of the base and put it back in place. That may be enough to discourage skating. Next up from that, a dab of white glue under each foot (school glue, as we call it in the US, NOT wood glue). Not enough to glue it down permanently - just to encourage it to stay put, but still be easily bumped loose if you need to. Some guys use doublestick tape (not my favorite approach, but it works).

Only if none of these minimally invasive techniques stabilizes the bridge for you would you resort to having it re-pinned.

Again, don't make this more complicated than it is. You may need a little help positioning and intonating the first time you do it; we can provide step-by-step instructions or you can find them elsewhere online. It's perhaps unfortunate that this is necessary on a "new" guitar, and I get your disappointment and frustration, as though there's something seriously wrong. But it's basic care and feeding of a Gretsch. Like learning to put air in the tires of your car. You got this.


Short version: Remove pins. Reposition slightly (probably angling bass side slightly aft of treble side). Intonate. Mark edges of bridge for security. Play.


Once the base is in the right position, I can try to sell you a Tru-Arc™...

17

Hi Thanks I posted an update as it was indicated by ChrisP.

I think i have been pretty kind and respectful here.

as for "But it turns into an emotional experience full of weltschmerz, when the strings do not care how you feel about it at all"

I wasn't aware that it went from ok tell me how it worked out? to a jab about my character and "Victim" status.

I saved for 2 years sold a guitar to fund it so I guess there is quite a degree of emotional attachment to this.

Look I came here for advice I am new to pinned rolling bridges hence I posted the in place I would get independent answers.

I have had I taken care of saw a Luther put a nashville bridge on it and a couple of pieces of shrunken rubber around the pins to stop it moving.

Thanks Chris P your honest appraisal of my bridge and personality It really made me realise that the internet is a place that lets self and peer entitled souls flourish.

18

You've found a solution you like. Everyone's happy.

19

Sorry for my general comments beyond the guitar, and certainly glad if you are happy with the end result.

Again, a great guitar and good to hear you are satisfied with the solution.

20

maybe try to relax some and find a healthier outlet.

thanks Chris P

If there is one here can please delete my account isnand this thread removed thanks.


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