Modern Gretsch Guitars

Bridge spacings for Falcon

1

Hi...had my 2010 G6136T for a few months. It has the stock space control bridge which is just eating strings. So far 5 strings snapped at bridge (a and d). It needs to go. I cant work out what post and string spacing is needed.

I live in a far away land that uses the metric system so struggling to work it all out.

Are most Gretsch bridges the same?

2

From what I've seen, changing the space control bridge is a rather popular mod with the falcons, so I'm sure you'll find people here who can help you with your question.

I don't think I ever broke a string with mine, do you use a very light gauge?

3

Two word hyphenated: Tru-Arc. Once you put a Tru-Arc on that Falcon, you'll never look back.

4

There's an awful lot of folks on this website that tout Tru-Arc bridges. I have no doubt whatsoever that they'll better match the radius of the neck of whatever guitar you put them on, and that they marry very nicely with using a Bigsby, but so far, no one has been able to explain how any bar bridge can possibly give you correct intonation for playing on the upper frets. Strumming and single string work is never the issue fingerstyle playing is for upper string intonation so your style of play should also dictate your choices for a better bridge.

A recent thread had a few fellows recommending a Gotoh roller style bridge as a replacement and that sounds like a good choice to me. The regular TOM being used by Gretsch has a lot of supporters as well.

Those space control bridges are just terrible IMO and anything you replace it with will be a huge improvement! Whatever you choose, I highly recommend you have a good luthier ensure the base is contoured perfectly to the top, then set the intonation and pin the base where it has to be. A good luthier does this invisibly and FYI, Gretsch is now doing this on it's high end line. You'll never have to worry about intonation or knocking the bridge out of position ever again.

5

Dave -

I have 4 Gretsches with rocking bar bridges. All 4 intonate perfectly over the entire fingerboard. My ears say so, and so does my strobe tuner.

Please point out for us the Chet recordings on which he is playing his '59 and is out of tune.

6

Nice rhetorical question Tommy! Chet also used a strobe to tune and it would be a fruitless exercise to try and find a recording with so much as one note out of tune. My ear for pitch is as good as anyone's and I've never heard anything of Chet's out of tune.

I'm hoping someone will chime in here to please explain how a non-adjustable bar bridge - I don't care who makes it or how well it matches the radius of the neck - can possibly give intonation that matches a good adjustable bridge. Both have been around for a very long time and logic dictates that there's a need for adjustable ability or this idea and invention would not have stuck around this long. I'm not trying to start an argument here, I just want someone to explain from a physics and sound perspective, why a bar bridge can provide satisfactory intonation.

From a comfort standpoint for my fingerstyle playing, a bar bridge would be nice but I need to know why one of these seems to work before I change any bridges on my guitars. Perhaps Curt who is intimately involved in this topic all the time can provide answers for me.

7

If the Tru-Arc bridges intonate so perfectly then why is there a need for the Serpentune Tru-Arc? I have tried both Compton and regular Tru-Arcs and no, they don't intonate perfectly. But for most folks they are near enough. FWIW I did indeed check intonation with a good tuner and used it to get the E strings intonated perfectly. The other strings were plenty close but not perfectly intonated at the 12th fret.

However the Serpentune Tru-Arc was perfect. Absolutely spot-on with my 10-52 Ernie Ball strings. Intonation was perfect, the guitar sounded good and tuning stability was excellent. But I just prefer the Gibson non-wire ABR-1 - not for intonation but for sound. It also intonates perfectly once set-up and I just like how it sounds better. For me setting up a bridge is a quick, painless affair, but I appreciate that not everyone finds it so easy or maybe won't have the tools.

One thing to consider is that playing in tune is not just a matter of a perfectly intonated bridge. There are a gazillion other factors, and not all of them are to do with the guitar. Most are to do with the player. Finger pressure, how you fret the string, how you hit the string - all of this affects tuning also. Most players will bend the strings out of position when holding the average barre chord. Strings will be slightly out of tune but most people won't notice with all the other noise going on in a song. Just hitting a string hard will make it go sharp.

Guitars are inherently out of tune instruments. How far out of tune depends on many things, the main one being the player. Don't get too caught up in the detail. Just listen when you play. That's the thing which escapes most of us!

8

Thanks all...I got a gotoh abr1 on the way...I got it for a 335 but I will see if it fits on the gretsch base.

I play mainly rock...eg Malcolm Young so not really after a bridge that will increase the twang.

More concerned about the spacing. For example on ebay they sell bigsby compensated bridges but the 2 I looked at seemed to indicate different string spacing.

9

Thanks all...I got a gotoh abr1 on the way...I got it for a 335 but I will see if it fits on the gretsch base.

I play mainly rock...eg Malcolm Young so not really after a bridge that will increase the twang.

More concerned about the spacing. For example on ebay they sell bigsby compensated bridges but the 2 I looked at seemed to indicate different string spacing.

– AceFrehley

Please let us know if that bridge fits.

10

Gretsch Guitars has began installing Tru-Arc bridges at the factory. I have seen and heard the difference they make and have discussed variations with the designer. Duane has begun using them on his guitars and I believe Darrell Higham is too. Not all guitars, Gretsch or not, are designed for the same bridge. This is why Tim came up with the serpentune and other designs. His bridges for the Bigsby equipped guitars are rocking bridges that allow intonation to remain when using the tremelo. I'm sure if Tim catches wind of this thread he could explain it much better. The Tru-Arc bridges have proven themselves to be a good alternative. I will agree that you can also get the same results out of other bridges it just may take some adjusting and readjusting along the way, as do the Tru-Arcs, occasionally.

11

It comes down to the gauges of the individual strings. Thomastik-Infelds intonate very well on a bar bridge, but many others do not.

12

Just for the Hell of it , I tried a Space Control on My 6139 CB White falcon , and could not believe that it works ! maybe because its just in the right place . the come with a Gretsch Adjustomatic . the adjusto was having rattles on the saddles, so for the Fun of it , tried the space control on , and for now that's what's going to stay on IT . as for your string breakage , Cant explain what's going On ,I would always just adjust by having equal distance between strings with a fairly Low Action , always used 11-49 size Strings Hopefully you'll be able to sort this issue Out .

13

For those who asked - I had a space control come as stock on a Duo Jet. The wooden base worked just fine with a Gibson ABR-1 TOM, but I needed to find smaller height adjust wheels. As it happens, the height adjust wheel you get with a Gotoh ABR-1 style bridge fit and work just fine. So if you buy the Gotoh ABR-1, sold by Gretsch as the "Adjustamatic" bridge, it should fit onto the Space Control base perfectly. You'll just need the smaller wheels.

14

I have a brass Tru-Arc on my Falcon - excellent intonation with 10-46 strings, super-low action, and a bright snappy tone with LOTS of bass - I love it!

15

I have a brass Tru-Arc on my Falcon - excellent intonation with 10-46 strings, super-low action, and a bright snappy tone with LOTS of bass - I love it!

– hellbilly

That makes my smile even bigger when I hear this!

Glad that you're loving it.

16

That makes my smile even bigger when I hear this!

Glad that you're loving it.

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

Yes indeed!

17

Yes, let's remember that (conventional) guitares are inherently out of tune

They have to be - due to equal temperament

Buzz Feiten equipped guitars are a bit better and the squiggly fretted true temperament guitars are a huge step forward

But yes . No conventional 'straight fretted' guitar can be in tune, iow perfectly intonated all up and down the fretboard


Register Sign in to join the conversation