Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1979 Gretsch 7660 replacement bridge

1

Greetings from Michigan. I recently bought a near mint 1979 7660. Love the guitar, but I'm wondering if a different bridge would be a little better. Don't really know much about this era guitar, or I guess Gretsch in general. I had an Azure Blue Falcon I stupidly sold and had to have another Gretsch at the house. Found this one for a good price. Thanks for any suggestions.

2

Well the experts will soon weigh in, but some of Booneville era guitars were great. Some were road / gigging guitars when the hi-$ vintage ones stayed home, etc. Sure is pretty!

3

I owned a 1977 Country Club for close to 15 years. The material of the saddles was pretty soft and mine were damaged or worn; because of the lower profile of the saddles it didn't leave a lot of room for filing or reshaping. And absolutely nothing was interchangeable with any standard bridge. I 'made do'. I considered putting in a standard Gibson style tune-o-matic or a Bigsby rocker bridge but the shallow neck angle wouldn't allow it.

That guitar was built like a brick mansion. I swear the rims were 1" thick. If you had enough strength to lift it over your head, you could fight your way to the exit door of any bar.

4

Lott1971 the bridge on your guitar is a Gretsch designed "Adjustamatic" which Gretsch brought out in the early 1970's and the advantage of this bridge over a Gibson "Tune-o-matic" is that the adjusting wheels on the former are in the middle of the upright posts while in the latter the adjusting wheels are at the very bottom of the upright posts. Which means that the "Adjustamatic" can be adjusted quite a bit lower than the "Tune-o-matic". Scott Englund is correct, though, that the "Adjustamatic" string saddles are made of a soft pot metal and do wear down over time. However, if your string saddles are okay then perhaps no tweaking of the guitar with a new bridge is necessary. If it were my guitar, I would keep it as stock as possible.

5

ewkewk has a good point about maintaining the guitar as stock to protect its value, should you ever want or need to sell it. But you can replace the bridge wthout any permanent change --- just keep the original so you can replace it should the need arise.

For your own playing happiness, though, you should consider a Tru-Arc. It's a one-piece rocking bar bridge matched to the radius of your guitar's fingerboard, available in either traditional or "Serpentune" (compensated for more precise intonation, although many players find the standard model perfectly satisfying) and available in a variety of metals and glass, each with its own tonal properties. Our own Proteus makes and distributes them, and will be happy to recommend a particular one to suit your preferences. You can contact him through the list of sponsors on this site --- although he may well chime in on this thread. I have two, an aluminum one on my Gretsch 5120, and a brass "Hole-Tone" on my Carlo Robelli ES-500 (like a Gibson ES-5), and have never been inspired to take either one off since installing them.

6

Thanks for the replies. Might try the Tru-Arc and keep the original in the case. The saddles on the original are a bit froze up and do seem a little fragile.

7

Thanks for the replies. Might try the Tru-Arc and keep the original in the case. The saddles on the original are a bit froze up and do seem a little fragile.

– Lott1971

Definitely go with the TruArc and ditch that bad boy. And I do mean bad. Those came on the ‘90’s Gretsch’s and don’t work too well.

8

I had one of those one my 72 Deluxe Chet. I'm not fond of tunamatics in general but I found the biggest problem was the ebony bass was thin and flimsy, especially in the middle allowing it to flex to a ridiculous degree. Certainly put it aside and get something functionally better. Make sure you fit it properly to the tops curvature. Not as crucial on a plywood electric but good practice regardless. My Deluxe Chet is one of my favourite guitars. Enjoy your 70s Gretsch they're excellent guitars if sometimes a little heavy. I made a one piece ebony bridge with a bone saddle for mine. Like this:

9

Where would I get the proper ebony base? I don't have tools or woodworking skills of any kind.

10

The purists here may take me to the wood shed on this, but I love these: http://www.comptonbridges.c...

They have the advantage of fitting on the existing bridge posts, provided they are spaced at 2.09" (73.66mm), and the posts are 5/32" (4.06mm) in diameter.

Great sustain and tone, IMO. And I do not mind the 'modern' look of these when I am type-A about everything else on a Gretsch.

11

Where would I get the proper ebony base?

Lott, I sell ebony bases, along with Tru-Arcs. (In multiple metals, any radius, several compensation profiles to suit plain or wound G and various bridge positions, both rocking and non-rocking bottom profile...and customizable in other features to fine-tune the guitar for the tone and response you prefer.

Contact me anytime via email and we can work out details. (As one size most definitely does not fit all, every bridge takes an exchange of emails to make sure it's best for the application.)

12

ewkewk has a good point about maintaining the guitar as stock to protect its value, should you ever want or need to sell it. But you can replace the bridge wthout any permanent change --- just keep the original so you can replace it should the need arise.

For your own playing happiness, though, you should consider a Tru-Arc. It's a one-piece rocking bar bridge matched to the radius of your guitar's fingerboard, available in either traditional or "Serpentune" (compensated for more precise intonation, although many players find the standard model perfectly satisfying) and available in a variety of metals and glass, each with its own tonal properties. Our own Proteus makes and distributes them, and will be happy to recommend a particular one to suit your preferences. You can contact him through the list of sponsors on this site --- although he may well chime in on this thread. I have two, an aluminum one on my Gretsch 5120, and a brass "Hole-Tone" on my Carlo Robelli ES-500 (like a Gibson ES-5), and have never been inspired to take either one off since installing them.

– Parabar

I agree with Parabar, go get yourself a Tru-Arc.

I had a 70s Country Gent with a lovely playing neck, great pickup tone etc. but I just had to switch over to a bigsby style bar bridge to have it play like I wanted. At that time there were no Tru-Arc bridges available but I have one on my current Gretsch and I reckon you'll really appreciate it if you put one on that 70s model.

13

Tim knows his stuff and will definitely take care of you. I love Baldwin era hollowbodies. Congrats on yours.


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