Electromatics

Electromatic Jet bridges mounted at an acute angle

1

G'day Gretschaholics. I'll try to make this as short as possible.

My first Gretsch was a magnificent G5448T gold top double cut Electromatic.

I love everything about it except for the acute angle the bridge has been mounted, which effectively means there is not enough adjustment in the saddles of the stock TOM bridge. I simply can't more the saddles forward (closer to the neck) enough to intonate the E, A, and D strings. They are kinda close enough to "live with" but I simply don't get why the bridge is mounted at such an acute angle in the first place.

I was a member of another Gretsch forum for a while and this issue was regularly mentioned there. I've had trouble searching for this issue here.

I've been in contact with Fender/Gretsch USA and have a cuppla email replies that lead me to believe the bloke who replied to my question either didn't read my question about this apparently widespread issue, or simply didn't understand it. (I'm happy to post his replies here if I'm allowed to. ?)

My 5448 came fitted with 10's which were too light for me so I've since moved to 11's Neither string gauge would intonate properly.

My magnificent new G6128T-1962 has a floating bridge so no problems with intonation of the high and low E strings. The others fall reasonably close.

Is it a common observation here about the ridiculously acute angle of the fixed TOM bridges on the Electromatic Jet guitars?

2

You might be able to completely remove the fixed bridge and replace it with a floating base and a low-rider bridge (Tru-Arc maybe) due to the short space.

3

You might be able to completely remove the fixed bridge and replace it with a floating base and a low-rider bridge (Tru-Arc maybe) due to the short space.

– sascha

I wasn't aware of a "low rider" bridge. As you know the neck is set quite a bit lower in the Electromatic's than the Duo Jets which I assumed meant a floating bridge couldn't be installed due to the combined height of the floating base + bridge

4

Tim Harman - who makes the Tru-Arcs - has the low-rider option for this exact case IIRC. I've seen it before. Hopefully an owner will join this thread.

Here's the specs sheet: http://www.truarcbridgework...

Here's a pic:

5

It's not on their site yet but Hipshot is coming out with a wider tuneomatic style bridge that will solve your problem. There is more room for the saddles to intonate properly. I saw it at NAMM in January and was really impressed. I'm going to start using it on my Freestyle guitars.

6

Sometimes you can flip the saddle "blade" over to give you more intonation room, as there's usually a beveled and flat edge.

7

The Tru-Arc Low Rider is great for those low-set necks. I have one on my '60 Anniversary, which needed a lower profile desperately.

Tim has a very understanding refund/exchange policy, so you can take a stab at solving your problem with a Tru-Arc at no virtually financial risk (maybe a couple of bucks for shipping).

Paul/FF909

8

It's not on their site yet but Hipshot is coming out with a wider tuneomatic style bridge that will solve your problem. There is more room for the saddles to intonate properly. I saw it at NAMM in January and was really impressed. I'm going to start using it on my Freestyle guitars.

– BuddyHollywood

Will the Hipshot come with holes drilled for the larger, 6mm, studs on the Double Jet?

9

Tim @ Tru-arc might even suggest the new serpentune, for that.

10

Will the Hipshot come with holes drilled for the larger, 6mm, studs on the Double Jet?

– ffooky

Good question! I don't know. The Hipshot guys were extremely friendly and helpful though.

11

This is only one reason why I don't care for pinned or "secured" bridges. If you are grown up enough to play a Gretsch guitar, then you are grown up enough to deal with a floating bridge. The floating bridge is part of Gretsch Guitar's history and lore. It is one of the quirks that makes the brand loveable.

12

My 2007 ProJet had the same acute angle, and I couldn't intonate the E-A-D strings either. I had the bass-side bridge stud filled with a dowel and the hole was moved closer to the neck. Now it intonates as it should.

I like the wider ToM style bridge idea better than what I wound up doing.

13

Because the ProJet neck is set deeper into the guitar body (like a Les Paul) than a Duo Jet, it's not easy to fit a floating bridge, even with a Low-Rider Tru-Arc. It can be done, but you need to reduce the wooden bridge bass down to next to nothing. How much difference this makes to transference of string vibrations to the body I've no idea.

The bridge on my ProJet is not as skewed as that on the gold top in the OP, but it was mounted too far back — I had to buy a new bridge which gave greater forward and backward saddle adjustment. Now, the intonation can just about be made acceptable with the saddles set well forward in the bridge (as fully forward as they'll go in the case of the D and high E strings).

14

Tim @ Tru-arc might even suggest the new serpentune, for that.

– Suprdave

I have a low-rider version of the Tru-Arc Serpentune in brass. Its on a Jet with a shallow neck angle and it works perfectly with the added bonus of better intonation. (mine is for the plain-G setup)

15

Tim Harman - who makes the Tru-Arcs - has the low-rider option for this exact case IIRC. I've seen it before. Hopefully an owner will join this thread.

Here's the specs sheet: http://www.truarcbridgework...

Here's a pic:

– sascha

G'day Sascha. That would be a good option if it is low enough to suit the shallow neck on my Electromatic. Thanks :)

16

It's not on their site yet but Hipshot is coming out with a wider tuneomatic style bridge that will solve your problem. There is more room for the saddles to intonate properly. I saw it at NAMM in January and was really impressed. I'm going to start using it on my Freestyle guitars.

– BuddyHollywood

If it's a mm wider towards the neck then it would definitely solve my intonation problem :)

17

Sometimes you can flip the saddle "blade" over to give you more intonation room, as there's usually a beveled and flat edge.

– NJBob

Sorry everyone for so many individual replies. I can't figure out how to multi quote in a single post.

Anyway yes that was the very first thing I did the day I bought it. As soon as I found it couldn't be intonated, even with the original strings, I turned the E, A, and D saddles around. It helped get me close, but I still need about a millimetre more.

18

The Tru-Arc Low Rider is great for those low-set necks. I have one on my '60 Anniversary, which needed a lower profile desperately.

Tim has a very understanding refund/exchange policy, so you can take a stab at solving your problem with a Tru-Arc at no virtually financial risk (maybe a couple of bucks for shipping).

Paul/FF909

– Frequent Flyer 909

I live in Australia and the combination of poor $ exchange rate, and expensive shipping would possibly make it a relatively expensive purchase. If it didn't work out the return shipping would be a killer

But thanks for letting me know the low rider works :)

And thank you to everyone for some great advice. Cheers


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