Modern Gretsch Guitars

String Bending / bad guitar again?

101

Just so you know, there aren’t any Gretsch specific service centers it’s all covered by Fender or FMIC.

102

"... or my tuner is bad (I'm using one in Amplitube)."

Suggestion- get a separate tuner, even an inexpensive one like a Snark or similar. I've got a rather lengthy list of friends who have found serious discrepancies in tuners that come built in to apps and even hardware (like the one Boss put in my JS-8, even).

free-standing tuners, even inexpensive ones, are generally very consistent.

FWIW

103

"... or my tuner is bad (I'm using one in Amplitube)."

Suggestion- get a separate tuner, even an inexpensive one like a Snark or similar. I've got a rather lengthy list of friends who have found serious discrepancies in tuners that come built in to apps and even hardware (like the one Boss put in my JS-8, even).

free-standing tuners, even inexpensive ones, are generally very consistent.

FWIW

– Kevin Frye

Thanks for that info. Yeah, I have a snark, too, and I used it in conjunction, but the Snark doesn't give cents. I actually thought the snark was less accurate since it didn't show cents, so I went to the digital one. Good to know, thanks.

When the Snark shows open string and 12th both being on, you can hear just by ear they're off.

104

I actually thought the snark was less accurate since it didn't show cents...

That would be less precise, not less accurate.

Opportunity to be pedantic seized.

105

Ah yes, Afire! I always check my tuner devices with a tuning fork. The Snarks have always checked out. I can't count the times in my 35 year engineering career where precision devices were just wacko.

I should add, that I'm not concerned so much about the measurements taken, but about the conclusions made.

Lee

106

I brought it to the luthier today. He was able to recreate it going flat after bends. He said the nut looked pretty good and only shaved a hair off the back of it to help guide it to the peg. Then he added a little lubrication to the Bigsby and said if it's going flat it's probably binding up there. I think Tim also mentioned that earlier in this thread. So, I was up there for a doctor appointment and didn't have a lot of time to test it at the shop. When I get home, same problems...bends go flat, etc.

He also checked the intonation with a Peterson strobe tuner. The findings:

  1. Low E and A strings are good.
  2. D string is very flat
  3. B string is very sharp
  4. G string is sharp
  5. High E string is okay, slightly sharp.

I asked him not to tinker with anything since I want to hear from Gretsch first.

The intonation is a disaster, and I am left with a pinned bridge that's in the wrong position. When I sent it to Gretsch for the back-bow issue, the intonation was not this bad, so I really don't know what happened. It wasn't ideal, but it was acceptable.

I'm waiting to hear back from Gretsch on my luthier's (Authorized Gretsch Service Center) findings.

At this point if Gretsch won't help me, I'm stuck with a guitar that has holes in it, no idea how to remove them, and no idea what bridge I should put on it to fix the intonation and also allow for bending without the bridge moving. That was the reason for pinning it. It's very depressing since I saved years for this guitar.

– gmascis

The things you report can't be fixed with a compensated bridge.

The things you report on the post indicate that either the nut or the bridge are sticking. I'm inclined to think it is the nut.

You don't have a chance in hell to fix the intonation until the sticking is fixed.

You have never told us which guitar model that you have this problem, or more important, which Bigsby. The B7 is a bit more problematic.

Lee

107

Hey Lee, the guitar is a duo jet (mentioned in the first post). Further, it's a 2016 caddy green from the JT factory. I'm not sure which Bigsby is on those.

110

I brought the guitar to another luthier today. I trust this guy much more (Billy Zoom's luthier referred me to him to me since he was far to travel to, and this guy was much closer), but anyway, he diagnosed the hump on the last guitar I had and has been really solid in all diagnosis. I trust him more than the last guy I brought it to.

Anyway, sure enough he said this one looks much better. He did note the intonation problems, but he felt they were within spec and likely due to how the bridge was pinned by Joe. Said to get it more refined would have to repin it, etc. He recommended instead of that trying a tune-omatic bridge if I really can't deal with the intonation. Said my ears are highly sensitive for noticing it (I guess that's a compliment? Or a curse..)

He noted the bends going flat, but felt everything looked right, and thought since the strings are new they might just need to settle (dubious, since I have been bending on them for 3 days). He said if they don't settle, to remove the Bigsby spring and put a piece of copper or pvc tubing into the bigsby spring space to disengage it since it tends to cause those problems and see if that fixes the problem, and at that point I can narrow the problem to something with the bigsby.

He also noted he's seen a lot of neck problems (especially the hump) on these Gretschs.

His tuner was not a Strobe and not as precise. So there's that.

At this point, I am thinking I should try a tune-omatic. Can anyone recommend the best one for a Duo Jet? The luthier said to get a good Gibson spec one off Allparts. But he wasn't sure the best for this model. Also wasn't sure if there was one radius matched. Is there? Confirmed my radius is 12, which we know, and the bridge is 16 radius.

Does anyone know of a high quality brass tune-omatic that has a 12" radius and can fit on a bar bridge bass?

I feel a bit better. This guy noted the two major problems (bends out of tune and intonation), but felt they were within spec where I'm noticing them more than an audience would. Now, is that acceptable? Gretsch wasn't helpful the last time I wrote them, so I might be on my own at this point. I guess their stance is that Joe looked at the guitar and found it to be within spec, and so they're not liable anymore. My stance is, cool, but it doesn't return bends to pitch and the intonation is off, so you guys should help since you built the guitar, and I paid a fortune for it. Both luthiers noted bends not returning to pitch and intonation is off.

It's a weird situation because I'm a lifelong Fender, Gretsch, Guild (used to be fender) player. They might have lost a customer for life when all I'm asking for is a guitar that stays in tune and intonates. Oh well. Guess my next guitar purchase will be a small private builder instead of the 2k Tele I was looking at. I love Fender, but feel left in a lurch where they're basically saying it's your problem now.

111

Gretsch has bent over backwards to help you, especially Joe C. I'm going to go out on a limb and say they aren't going to miss you one bit.

112

Gretsch has bent over backwards to help you, especially Joe C. I'm going to go out on a limb and say they aren't going to miss you one bit.

– Bluecap

Not helpful in the slightest. Thanks for the cheap shot. I hope you feel better.

113

Anyway, on a helpful/positive note, can anyone recommend a high quality tunomatic that fits on the Gretsch bar bridge bass?

Any downside to tunomatics? I've never used one. I love the bar bridge for palm mutes and tone. Just wondering how the tunomatic will affect these.

114

Gretsch has a roller tuneomatic that I like a lot - if I remember correctly the 90's/00's had them. I put one on my Jet '57 RI. It's not "correct" for that guitar but I like the flexibility that it gives me - I think over time my neck has dried out on that guitar and is a hair higher at the heel, but I've so far been too lazy to get it in to a shop.

BTW, I do want to address something in one of your original posts - the bendability of Gretsch in general. IN GENERAL - I find my Gretsch guitars to be a lot stiffer than my other guitars that match (more or less) the same specs. It's a little more work and my bends aren't as wide but a Gretsch sounds like a Grestch, so it's a trade-off on some level.

115

Gretsch has a roller tuneomatic that I like a lot - if I remember correctly the 90's/00's had them. I put one on my Jet '57 RI. It's not "correct" for that guitar but I like the flexibility that it gives me - I think over time my neck has dried out on that guitar and is a hair higher at the heel, but I've so far been too lazy to get it in to a shop.

BTW, I do want to address something in one of your original posts - the bendability of Gretsch in general. IN GENERAL - I find my Gretsch guitars to be a lot stiffer than my other guitars that match (more or less) the same specs. It's a little more work and my bends aren't as wide but a Gretsch sounds like a Grestch, so it's a trade-off on some level.

– Devil's Tool

Yeah it's weird. I've noticed that especially on the 1st string. Is it something to do with the Bigsby? I'm told 10s should feel like 09s on a shorter scale Duo Jet, but the high E string feels like 12s!

Thanks for the tip on that Tune-omatic. Any cons to putting one on your Gretsch?

116

I couldn't tell you why - I'm not that smart, I just play them.

Haven't been any cons so far - I dropped off the forum right around when the heat started building on all the different (new! exciting!) bridges started getting built/distributed. So....on that front I haven't played every cool bridge in the world but the roller tuneomatic seems to work fine. Intonates right and lets the Bigsby do it's thing. The one I got came stock on some Gretsches in the 90's, but they're a hair trickier to find because I think nobody liked them because they came stock therefore they "can't be good"

Like, I love the look of a Melita but I'll take modern and functional any day.

117

Gretsch makes an adjustable bridge called an Adjusto-Matic. I think that it is even used currently on some Electromatic guitars. You might inquire with Gretsch Customer Service in Scottsdale as to whether or not it would fit your Duo Jet. Or contact Proteus; he has lots of information about bridges and their spacing. Perhaps he would know if the AOM bridge would fit your guitar.

119

Guitars are what they are designed to be.

120

Gretsch makes an adjustable bridge called an Adjusto-Matic. I think that it is even used currently on some Electromatic guitars. You might inquire with Gretsch Customer Service in Scottsdale as to whether or not it would fit your Duo Jet. Or contact Proteus; he has lots of information about bridges and their spacing. Perhaps he would know if the AOM bridge would fit your guitar.

– Ric12string

+100, thanks.

121

The Gretsch AdjustaMatic fits the posts on your base. Spacing is 74mm, or 2-29/32". Many Gibson bridges are 2-15/16" spacing. The 32nd matters.

Post diameter is 4mm, or 5/32".

Might as well start with the Gretsch.

122

The Gretsch AdjustaMatic fits the posts on your base. Spacing is 74mm, or 2-29/32". Many Gibson bridges are 2-15/16" spacing. The 32nd matters.

Post diameter is 4mm, or 5/32".

Might as well start with the Gretsch.

– Proteus

Thanks, Tim.

Now I have to find one. I'll ask Gretsch. Google returned no results. I already have a rosewood base, so I'd only need the bridge.

123

I have a couple of them.

124

I have a couple of them.

– Proteus

Can you PM me with the price for one that will fit the Gretsch Roller bar (rosewood) base?

Also, is it made of brass? How does the tone suffer compared with the Gretstch brass bar bridge?

Any cons to them? In terms of bending do the strings remain on the tuneomatic slots or pop out on larger bends, etc? On the stock Grestch bridge (the syncrosonic one) on full step bends the string would actually pop out of the black plastic groove.

125

So that we are clear, I don't believe that the Adjusto-Matic has roller saddles. They are static although the bridge rocks slightly.

Here is Gretsch's description:

The Adjusto-Matic bridge offers great tone and precise intonation with its six individually adjustable string saddles. When used with a Bigsby vibrato, the bridge slightly "rocks" with the movement of the strings- reducing friction and adding tuning stability.


Register Sign in to join the conversation