Good alternative to a Melita bridge?

fabian1137

Electromatic
Jul 26, 2022
37
Sweden
I recently got a Country Club with a bigsby and melita bridge. I love the guitar but aren't too fond of the melita bridge.

I don't have a lot of knowledge of other types of bridges for Gretsch guitars so I would appreciate if you fine folks would recommend a good replacement.
 

mbkri

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 22, 2012
3,009
Chicago
The melita is great for intonation but many find it not so great for palm muting. If palm muting is your problem then you can replace those knurled knobs with simple flathead screws. I did that on the top three strings on mine. But if thats a problem still then a Gretsch Rocking bar bridge is my personal favourite. But accurate intonation of individual strings is a problem. I guess it really depends on WHAT you dont like about the Melita?
 

Chmason85

Country Gent
May 1, 2018
1,206
Philadelphia
There’s a company called Aldridge that makes a VERY nice modern melita style bridge, but without knowing what you don’t like about it it’s hard to recommend something. I love melita bridges and ABR1’s.
 

Marv666

Synchromatic
Jul 26, 2020
753
Germany
There’s a company called Aldridge that makes a VERY nice modern melita style bridge, but without knowing what you don’t like about it it’s hard to recommend something. I love melita bridges and ABR1’s.
I´ve always been curious about this version of the melita ....
might order one in the future
 

bluenote23

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 17, 2009
1,736
Montreal, Canada
The bridge base and bridge assembly of the Melita is not standard. That is the positions of the poles on the bridge are wider than most other bridge bases.

So to change the assembly, you will need to buy both bridge and bridge base. You can't just drop a new bridge in.

That said, once you have a standard 2.9 inch (74mm) bridge base, you can stick just about anything on that (these are the wooden bridge bases you see on most Gretsch guitars, for instance).

Many of us prefer bars, which are, as the name implies, just a bar of metal, though engineered for your guitar. No moving parts, no rattle, just very practical. Made by Gretsch, Compton and Tru-Arc. You cannot intonate individual strings with bars (you intonate the low and high E strings only and the rest fall into line, more or less) so if you have a need for perfect intonation, you may not want a bar. Note that almost no one can hear if a guitar is not in perfect intonation.

You can also just stick on stock a stock adjustomatic bridge, which allows for individual string intonation but cheap ones will rattle and expensive ones can rattle too.

I have a Firebird Jet that had a Synchrosonic with the low profile screws but I changed it for a bar. Just felt too bulky for me.

Here's a pic. The Gold Sparkle has a Compton, the Tennessean has a fairly flat (around 20 inch radius) Gretsch bar and the Roundup has a Gretsch bar with a more curved radius.

full
 
Last edited:

Marv666

Synchromatic
Jul 26, 2020
753
Germany
Many of us prefer bars, which are, as the name implies, just a bar of metal, though engineered for your guitar. No moving parts, no rattle, just very practical. Made by Gretsch, Compton and Tru-Arc. You cannot intonate individual strings with bars (you intonate the low and high E strings only and the rest fall into line, more or less) so if you have a need for perfect intonation, you may not want a bar. Note that almost no one can hear if a guitar is not in perfect intonation.

Actually i´m working on an Album at the moment and thinking about changing the Bar for Intonation.
I don´t notice big issues but think i might wanna change for perfect intonation...
not sure about it
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
18,799
lafayette in
A bar gives you much better mechanical coupling. No moving parts, nor rattles, no fussing, only better sound. Bars come in a wide variety of materials to suit your preferences.
I play acoustics mostly. Considering they have the narrowest bars possible intonation doesn't seem that important to me. Most folks don't have dog's ears. I doubt they'd notice any miniscule intonation issues.
 

Chmason85

Country Gent
May 1, 2018
1,206
Philadelphia
The bridge base and bridge assembly of the Melita is not standard. That is the positions of the poles on the bridge are wider than most other bridge bases.

So to change the assembly, you will need to buy both bridge and bridge base. You can't just drop a new bridge in.

That said, once you have a standard 2.9 inch (74mm) bridge base, you can stick just about anything on that (these are the wooden bridge bases you see on most Gretsch guitars, for instance).

Many of us prefer bars, which are, as the name implies, just a bar of metal, though engineered for your guitar. No moving parts, no rattle, just very practical. Made by Gretsch, Compton and Tru-Arc. You cannot intonate individual strings with bars (you intonate the low and high E strings only and the rest fall into line, more or less) so if you have a need for perfect intonation, you may not want a bar. Note that almost no one can hear if a guitar is not in perfect intonation.

You can also just stick on stock a stock adjustomatic bridge, which allows for individual string intonation but cheap ones will rattle and expensive ones can rattle too.

I have a Firebird Jet that had a Synchrosonic with the low profile screws but I changed it for a bar. Just felt too bulky for me.

Here's a pic. The Gold Sparkle has a Compton, the Tennessean has a fairly flat (around 20 inch radius) Gretsch bar and the Roundup has a Gretsch bar with a more curved radius.

full
Probably not worth going out of the way to do but Tru-Arc does make a bar bridge that is meant to drop right onto the wider melita base, though I’d probably just get the regular bar and a wood base myself.
 

TobyB

Electromatic
Nov 22, 2021
87
UK
I like ABM TOM and roller bridges, depending on whether there's a Bigsby involved. Absolutely no rattling, solidly engineered, rich tones and accurate intonation.

But then again I have never been able to detect any rattles whatsoever from the stock cast bridges on Gretch's and Gibson's I have replaced... on or off the guitar...
 

fabian1137

Electromatic
Jul 26, 2022
37
Sweden
The melita is great for intonation but many find it not so great for palm muting. If palm muting is your problem then you can replace those knurled knobs with simple flathead screws. I did that on the top three strings on mine. But if thats a problem still then a Gretsch Rocking bar bridge is my personal favourite. But accurate intonation of individual strings is a problem. I guess it really depends on WHAT you dont like about the Melita?
That's exactly what I don't like about. It feels like the saddles kinda hinder the palm of my hand to palm mute and it feels pretty clumsy overall.
 

fabian1137

Electromatic
Jul 26, 2022
37
Sweden
The bridge base and bridge assembly of the Melita is not standard. That is the positions of the poles on the bridge are wider than most other bridge bases.

So to change the assembly, you will need to buy both bridge and bridge base. You can't just drop a new bridge in.

That said, once you have a standard 2.9 inch (74mm) bridge base, you can stick just about anything on that (these are the wooden bridge bases you see on most Gretsch guitars, for instance).

Many of us prefer bars, which are, as the name implies, just a bar of metal, though engineered for your guitar. No moving parts, no rattle, just very practical. Made by Gretsch, Compton and Tru-Arc. You cannot intonate individual strings with bars (you intonate the low and high E strings only and the rest fall into line, more or less) so if you have a need for perfect intonation, you may not want a bar. Note that almost no one can hear if a guitar is not in perfect intonation.

You can also just stick on stock a stock adjustomatic bridge, which allows for individual string intonation but cheap ones will rattle and expensive ones can rattle too.

I have a Firebird Jet that had a Synchrosonic with the low profile screws but I changed it for a bar. Just felt too bulky for me.

Here's a pic. The Gold Sparkle has a Compton, the Tennessean has a fairly flat (around 20 inch radius) Gretsch bar and the Roundup has a Gretsch bar with a more curved radius.

full
Thank you! I was actually wondering about the bridge base of melita bridges. I'm not too worried about the intonation, just a straight bar would work and seems like a nice option.

That's a nice trio of yours!
 

ForTheLoveOfIvy

Gretschie
Feb 28, 2022
327
London
How would you characterize the sound of aluminium?
I'd say its pretty bright and twangy. I don't have a lot of experience with different materials but I have 3 different Tru Arc bridges in aluminium. All I know is that I prefer them to the regular Gretsch bar bridge which I believe is plated brass.
 

bluenote23

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 17, 2009
1,736
Montreal, Canada
Just for information, the Bigsby bridge base isn't standard either. It's a little shorter than standard. I got my G6121 used. I guess the former owner had tossed the Bigsby bridge (which was stock for that model) and jammed a Space Control onto the too small bridge base!

So I can't tell you what aluminium sounds like. I do have 'magic-metal' titanium Comptons but I can't really hear so much difference between those and my brass Gretsch bars.
 

Chmason85

Country Gent
May 1, 2018
1,206
Philadelphia
I like the design of those and it would fit with the overall look of my guitar. How would you characterize the sound of aluminium?
I had the aluminum bigsby bridge on my 53 jet, I didn’t like it. The biggest thing I didn’t like is that the bottom is cut to a V shape instead of a nice curve, so instead of rocking back to a center position it just kind of flops to one side or the other. You either have to grind it down a bit or just file it flat. As far as tone I vastly preferred both the melita and stock Gretsch nickel bar bridge on the same guitar.
 


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