Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Bar Bridge evolution

1

Hello there. I have noticed that over the years the bar bridge has changed a lot. As you can see from the photos, these are the differences between a bridge from a 1958 6119 Tennessean (left) and a 1967 Country Gentleman (right). The second bridge is narrower, shorter and lighter! It no longer looks like brass but like steel worked. The wheel base of the post holes has changed and therefore the wooden base is different. In your opinion is everything legitimate or is there any non-original element? Thanks in advance !

2

Hello there. I have noticed that over the years the bar bridge has changed a lot. As you can see from the photos, these are the differences between a bridge from a 1958 6119 Tennessean (left) and a 1967 Country Gentleman (right). The second bridge is narrower, shorter and lighter! It no longer looks like brass but like steel worked. The wheel base of the post holes has changed and therefore the wooden base is different. In your opinion is everything legitimate or is there any non-original element? Thanks in advance !

– Roar

Tennessean

3

Tennessean

– Roar

Country Gentleman

4

Different wood base

5

There were three versions of the bar bridge in the vintage era. Yours are the second and third. The second started in late '58 and went until '66 (with the exception of some solidbodies, which got small bars in the early '60s). The third version went from '66 to whenever they stopped using bars, roughly around the switch from Brooklyn to Booneville. That all looks right and legit, with the caveat that I would have expected the Gent bridge to be gold plated. But it does appear to be an otherwise correct third version bar bridge.

BTW, to round it out, I'll throw in a picture of the first version, mid-'57 to mid '58:

6

Tennessean

– Roar

The small bridge is a typical bridge for the late 1960's. I own a 1966 Tennessean and my bridge looks just like that

The fat bridge is typical for FMIC bar bridges. You must be looking at an a FMIC reissue 1958 Tennessean.

Afire's bridge is one of the original bar bridges. The main advantage is that it doesn't move the strings sideways when you use the Bigsby.

There was a plated brass bridge that had centered pin holes between the original bar bridge and the steel bridge. This spanned the era between the offset holes and the steel bridge.

When Fred III restarted Gretsch there were no bar bridges.

The pre FMIC bridges rocked on the pin heads. The FMIC bridges rocked on the adjustment screws.

Lee


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