G5260T Baritone/Bass VI Questions

chairsmissing

Electromatic
Aug 5, 2022
13
Tokyo
Hello. I'm thinking about buying one of these sexy things to use as a Bass VI (as I believe they were originally marketed), but I have a few questions about upgrades and potential issues.

- I noticed when trying one out in the store (tuned as a baritone) that the neck pickup was a bit quieter than the bridge, and generally felt weak. I then read online that people were not able to raise the pickup without taking it apart and putting some kind of spacer under it. Is this true, and how tedious would it be to fix? I'm not really tooled up to do much beyond a normal setup, and am trying to avoid buying into a tech project. How much travel is there in the pole pieces themselves, and can the neck output be raised significantly with those alone?

- I also noticed that the Bigsby threw the whole thing out of tune badly. It may have just been because this model had literally just come out of the box and needed some basic tweaking, but is this an issue with these? Are the bridge or tuners considered weak points, and if so, are there specific drop-in replacements that offer significant improvement?

- Any other unusual setup considerations when tuning these as a Bass VI with standard 25-95 VI strings? Other than filing the nut, obviously. Has anyone here done this, and how did you like it in general? I imagine that since they were originally sold as a VI, they should be somewhat optimized for that tuning. Any longterm issues with the neck, etc?
 

chairsmissing

Electromatic
Aug 5, 2022
13
Tokyo
You might find this thread useful:
https://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/anyone-tried-the-new-5260-baritones.211184/
Personally, I strongly advise getting the non Bigsby version and installing a Duesenberg Les Trem II.
Welcome to the forum!

Thanks! Is the Les Trem a drop-in replacement for the v-tail? I live in Japan and see a similar-looking "Les Trem" offered under other brand names, but no Duesenberg. Are they all the same?

I don't actually care about using the trem itself that much, so if there is a drop-in hardtail that accepts full size VI strings, I'd be interested in that as well. I've read that the stock tail needs to be drilled out for 26-95 strings. Someone in the other thread also mentioned that the tuners might not be able to handle E-e with full size strings. Has that been confirmed or refuted?
 

mister rain

Synchromatic
Apr 23, 2020
751
new orleans
Thanks! Is the Les Trem a drop-in replacement for the v-tail? I live in Japan and see a similar-looking "Les Trem" offered under other brand names, but no Duesenberg. Are they all the same?

I don't actually care about using the trem itself that much, so if there is a drop-in hardtail that accepts full size VI strings, I'd be interested in that as well. I've read that the stock tail needs to be drilled out for 26-95 strings. Someone in the other thread also mentioned that the tuners might not be able to handle E-e with full size strings. Has that been confirmed or refuted?
i’ve had three different bass vi’s in my life, with four different sets of regular guitar tuners. never had a problem with the string gauge size.

did have to use a callaham string through bar on my 6120de-tb instead of a bigsby bar, but easy and cheap fix.

+1 on the hardtail advice. the 5260 isn’t a big enough body for that bigsby.
 

chairsmissing

Electromatic
Aug 5, 2022
13
Tokyo
i’ve had three different bass vi’s in my life, with four different sets of regular guitar tuners. never had a problem with the string gauge size.

did have to use a callaham string through bar on my 6120de-tb instead of a bigsby bar, but easy and cheap fix.

+1 on the hardtail advice. the 5260 isn’t a big enough body for that bigsby.

Thanks. Any suggestions for drop-in hardtails that will accommodate full size bass VI strings?
 

Andy Fortune

Gretschie
May 24, 2016
406
Corning, NY
Thanks! Is the Les Trem a drop-in replacement for the v-tail? I live in Japan and see a similar-looking "Les Trem" offered under other brand names, but no Duesenberg. Are they all the same?

I don't actually care about using the trem itself that much, so if there is a drop-in hardtail that accepts full size VI strings, I'd be interested in that as well. I've read that the stock tail needs to be drilled out for 26-95 strings. Someone in the other thread also mentioned that the tuners might not be able to handle E-e with full size strings. Has that been confirmed or refuted?
Duesenberg’s les trem ii and the Goldo Les Trem II are the same. I can’t speak to any others.
If you want to use 26-95 strings, you’ll absolutely have to upgrade the tuners. I actually tuned down the stock strings E-e and they held tuning well and sounded good, but light. I don’t think this guitar needs to go as heavy as 95s, honestly, but that’s from my perspective on wanting more twang than thud out of a bass vi. I think if you want it to sound like a bass, the 5260 is not your best candidate.
 

mister rain

Synchromatic
Apr 23, 2020
751
new orleans
Duesenberg’s les trem ii and the Goldo Les Trem II are the same. I can’t speak to any others.
If you want to use 26-95 strings, you’ll absolutely have to upgrade the tuners. I actually tuned down the stock strings E-e and they held tuning well and sounded good, but light. I don’t think this guitar needs to go as heavy as 95s, honestly, but that’s from my perspective on wanting more twang than thud out of a bass vi. I think if you want it to sound like a bass, the 5260 is not your best candidate.
with you on the string gauge. i’m trying 90s next, might even move to 84s
 

chairsmissing

Electromatic
Aug 5, 2022
13
Tokyo
Well, answering my own questions: the Spolier works fine with the StringJoy 26-95 set, as do the tuners.

I went out today to try one of these again, and bought the new Midnight Sapphire Bigsby version with Vibramate Spolier. I like cool colors, and the hardtail ones just don't do it for me visually. This blue is very nice, though I would have also loved the silver (not available in Japan at the moment). I got home and strung it up with the StringJoys with no major issues. A couple of times one of the strings got caught on the bridge, but that was it. StringJoys have a long plain steel lead at the end of the strings, so the D and G could be wound using those. The wound part was otherwise a bit short on those two.

Remaining questions:

- If I wanted to get a smoother bridge to avoid hangups, what is a good drop-in replacement that doesn't sacrifice tone?

- Do the Labella Nickel RW VI strings have enough winding length on the D and G?

- If I wanted to go back to baritone, which string sets are long enough for this? I actually have a Squier VI on order, but it is taking forever, which is why I went down this road. I probably won't cancel it, but will repurpose the Gretsch when it eventually gets here. We'll see. Maybe I'll fall in love with the Gretsch as a VI and cancel. I'm going to let it sit overnight and then tweak the setup some more, though it is pretty dialed in already.

- If I were to get the itch to go premium on the pickups, which TV Jones size/hardware options go with this one? Which pickup has clear and strng bass, with a piano-like sparkle? From the website descriptions, I would thnik the TV Classic would be the way to go. Is that a big upgrade from the stock? I tend to favor neck pickups, so would likely only replace that one.
 
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