Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Space Control Specs?


I've always assumed all the vintage SC bridges had a curved threaded rod with the saddles all the same diameter, and all the repros have a straight rod with different diameter saddles. But looking around I see an awful lot of straight rod/varying diameter saddles SC being presented as vintage, as in 50s/60s.

Just curious if I was wrong and the straight rod started earlier than I thought, or if these dealers are, wittingly or not, misrepresenting them?


I think ... the straight rod ones may have come in in the Baldwin era(?)

But there certainly were some changes to that design along the way/.


I think there were a couple of versions of vintage SCs. Vintage have domed ends; the modern ones have a kind of crown and I see a lot of those being sold as vintage. You could disassemble the domed ends on the very earliest models. The one on my '63 Jet Firebird had a "Patent Applied For" in small white ink on the ebony base and you couldn't take the ends off.

Vintage SCs had the curved rod to match the fretboard radius and single sized saddle; modern uses different sized saddles to do the same thing on a straight rod. By Boonville era the SC was gone. I loathed the one on my '57 Filter Streamliner, but I've tried several Annies with them and they sounded great.


I may be wrong, but I think the saddles on the vintage Space Control are not all the same diameter, but they are more similar in size than on the modern one.

I have a repro bridge where the saddles are all the same size and it looks a little odd. Maybe it’s just that they are thicker, chunkier or more squared.

The modern Space-Control bridge looks a lot like a vintage Tiesco bridge, and you do find those mistakenly on some vintage Gretsch guitars.


The bigger question is why you haven't replaced with a tune-o-matic ;)


Who CARES about the style??....which one came first?? They're both lousy ideas. Throw it in the case and install a Tru-arc. No version of this mess will intonate.


My vintage Space Control has different spacing on the saddles. By coincidence I was just stringing up the guitar that has it last night and I looked at the saddles to see the spacing to figure out the orientation of the bridge when stringing back up.

I very much like the Space Control bridge. They can rattle though. I've addressed that with wrapping teflon plumber's tape around the threading on the bar.


hammerhands, the repro bridge seems to have more acorn-shaped ends (as opposed to hemispheric ones) and shallower string grooves. The original appears to have three different sizes of string groove, all deeper than the ones on the repro.

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