Modern Gretsch Guitars

Space Control problem

1

Hi. I went to try a G6128T-59 Vintage Select. I absolutely loved it. Setup was good and there was a luthier on site to fine tune it for me. The finish was perfect and it was ringing...The only problem was when I was bending up a full step past the 15th fret, the saddle was choking the string. This was going on on the first 3 strings. The luthier checked it out and said it was a saddle problem and advised me to put a tune O matic bridge on it. Every other Gretsches in the store had TOM and did not have that problem.I find it pretty weird that the provided bridge is not adequate on such a pricy instrument. What do you guys think? Thanks

2

Welcome to the World of Gretsch. Buy the guitar and dump the SC bridge for a Tru-Arc bar bridge.

You'll be happy and won't look back. That's a great guitar.

3

Yep. Tru-Arc is the best bridge for that guitar. I have always dumped my Space Control bridges. It was an invention without necessity’s parentage.

4

Thanks guys. What if I want really precise intonation? ABM 2400? Gibson Historic ABR-1 ? I would like a direct fit with no permnent mods.

5

Thanks guys. What if I want really precise intonation? ABM 2400? Gibson Historic ABR-1 ? I would like a direct fit with no permnent mods.

– AkrW

Tru-Arc Serpentune. Best of every world.

Myself and many others prefer these over any version of a Tuna-Matic.

6

Thanks guys. What if I want really precise intonation? ABM 2400? Gibson Historic ABR-1 ? I would like a direct fit with no permnent mods.

– AkrW

Vintage accuracy in reissues is a beautiful thing IMO, but yes, would it kill them to put a more practical bridge extra in the case pocket for what these things cost?

a Tru-Arc is a beautifully made "very Gretschy" bridge that works great, and the serpentune version adresses any intonation issues you might have.

That said, Tune-A-Matics do work great for a lot of folks, including myself. I'm partial to the wireless ABR's that Philadelphia luthier sells. They're cheap and they work great.

As for direct fit, I'm not sure what the post spacing is on a space control base these days, better measure and check before you order anything, you might need a new base. (?)

7

Still 2-29/32" / 74mm. Space Control, AdjustoMatics, Gretsch rocking bars, Tru-Arcs all fit fine. Tunamatics certainly come in that spacing as well, but some are 2-15/16."

8

Space controls suck, and so do Tunamatics.

9

I find it pretty weird that the provided bridge is not adequate on such a pricy instrument. What do you guys think?

Well, y'know...I think Gretsch (or any company doing vintage reissues) is damned if they do and damned if they don't. The Space Control is what came on Filter'Tron Jets in 1959, and if they didn't put it on a guitar intended as a vintage-correct '59 Jet, we'd holler that the bridge was wrong. When they do put on the (modern version of) the vintage bridge, and it exhibits its fundamental and vintage-correct limitations/"idiosyncrasies," we complain they didn't put a better bridge on it.

Gretsch has completely modernized the Jet in the Players Edition versions - all AdjustoMatics on those, and it comes in silver sparkle. But be aware that those all have a different geometry with a lower neck set, stud-mounted bridges (a la Gibson solidbody practice), and tension-bar Bigsbys. They're more of a "rock" design, or at least a more familiar build and feel to guys who are used to those other guitars.

Personally, I prefer the vintage build - and all Filter'Tron Jets in that build come with Space Controls. I suppose you might be able to talk a dealer into substituting an Adjustomatic for the Spacer.

I'm just glad the original build is available, and if I have to change out the bridge to get what I prefer (and I do)...I change out the bridge.

10

Space Control bridges don't have problems, they are the problem.....their very existence.

11

"Space controls suck, and so do Tunamatics." Not really very constructive or helpful.

I recently bought a Vintage Select Jet and bought it knowing that I would never play it with the stock space control bridge. I usually use a non-wire ABR-1 exactly as Walter describes - they sound great and can be intonated just right. However when my VS Jet arrived I didn't have a new ABR-1 yet so used an old SS Compton bridge I happened to have lying around. The Compton is a straight bar style bridge and it sounds GREAT on this guitar! It is slanted to provide a basic intonation but once you get both E strings right the rest are all slightly out but so far it's close enough. Since then my ABR-1 arrived so I installed it but the Compton sounded fuller and livelier so it went back on.

So now I have ordered a SS Serpentune Tru-arc for the Jet. I did try one on my SSLVO a few years ago but for whatever reason it didn't do it for me. I suspect it might be a different story now and I know the intonation with be spot-on.

FWIW the ABR-1 and Compton fit the stock bridge just fine. I'm sure the Serpentune will too. The only thing is that the ABR-1 needed smaller thumbwheels (the height adjustment things) as the stock Space Control thumbwheels don't fit under the spaces in the ABR-1. And you can't use any thumbwheels that come with a regular ABR-1 because the base posts are Metric - M4. The Metric ABR-1s I have tried don't sound as good as the Gibson or Philadelphia ones do!

Anyway - don't let the bridge put you off. The Vintage Select '59 Jet is an incredible guitar. Best Jet I've had and extremely versatile.

12

I have a space control on my Silverjet and it works great! I've tried other bridges, but none sound as good on that guitar.

K

13

Thanks very much guys!

14

Same here: both SC on my WF and Silver Jet. Works fine.

I did change to Gibson Nashville bridge on my WF, but after a couple of months I went back to SC.

Meanwhile my SSLVO stock bridge is a rattle galore. Replaced it with a Gibson Nashville and never looked back.

15

Addressing the OP's original post:

I don't see why one type of bridge would make the high strings choke out when bent at the 17th fret but another type wouldn't. As long as the bridge/saddle was set at the same height.

I agree with others here about not liking the Space Control for other reasons but if set at the same height it should make a difference when talking about fretting out. The geometry of the strings over saddles is the same. (clearing or not clearing the frets).

S Mac

16

The best Falcon I ever played had a space control.

K

17

I left part of my knuckles on a space control bridge. Have you ever tried strumming a cheesegrater ?

18

I left part of my knuckles on a space control bridge. Have you ever tried strumming a cheesegrater ?

– audept

They'll also chew up the heel of your right hand when resting it there for muting the lower 3 strings for Chet/Merle style playing.

19

Space controls suck, and so do Tunamatics.

– Billy Zoom

Excellent shitpost. I tip my hat at you, sir.

20

Hi. I went to try a G6128T-59 Vintage Select. I absolutely loved it. Setup was good and there was a luthier on site to fine tune it for me. The finish was perfect and it was ringing...The only problem was when I was bending up a full step past the 15th fret, the saddle was choking the string. This was going on on the first 3 strings. The luthier checked it out and said it was a saddle problem and advised me to put a tune O matic bridge on it. Every other Gretsches in the store had TOM and did not have that problem.I find it pretty weird that the provided bridge is not adequate on such a pricy instrument. What do you guys think? Thanks

– AkrW

I've found the space control a good bridge, but on my G5420T I decided to change the tunamatic to a Roller tunamatic by Vanson, it has the right string spacing and works well with the uprated Bigsby. See pic attached.


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