Roller bridge to replace tune o matic?

TeeDub

Synchromatic
Jun 21, 2011
626
Colorado
Guess we'll have to go with an adjustable Wilkinson roller. If you do, let me know if it sucks the tone & sustain out like some have said.

The one I put on my Pro Jet did nothing to degrade the tone or sustain. It sounds as good or better than the TOM and intonation is spot on. I have the same model Pro Jet as the OP. I love the Compton on my 5120, but because of the severe string angle coming off the bridge, I believe a roller bridge is the best solution for the Pro Jet.
 

blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,062
Savannah, GA
Please note it says 'coming soon' for the pre-2011 Pro Jets. These are the ones with the severely angled bridge.

I did note that, however, as I mentioned...I believe I read a recent post where someone had received and installed one. I may be remembering wrong but that was how I heard that these were being offered. Perhaps the website has not been updated yet?

Anyway, it may be worth sending the guy an email to check?

Matter of fact, I'll do that now...
 

rcboals

Country Gent
Nov 21, 2008
4,833
Springfield Oregon
In defense of the TOM if you spend the money for a GOTOH or Tonepro (Gotoh rebranded) and it and your nut is notched and cut right no problems. Get the Nashville not the ABR. TOMs get a bad rap because most of the low and mid priced guitars come with a $15.00 cheap rough machined TOM. BIG BIG DIFFERENCE for another $25.00 in quality.
 

ffooky

Synchromatic
Aug 21, 2012
648
London
The Pre-2011 ones have a less extreme angle. The later (2nd gen) ones are the real pains in the bottom and I have one of the Tru-Arc SerpenTunes designed with it in mind fitted.

I don't have a tuner worth spit but the low E certainly still sounds off enough to annoy me. The bloke that makes them isn't well at the mo but I will be contacting him anon.
 

bertisevil66

Electromatic
Jun 26, 2013
13
Vienna, Austria
roller bridge is the worst upgrade you can get. the sound of the guitar will change in a negative way so I removed it after 1 day. positive is that the tuning stability is much better. With my 20 years experience I learned that tuning instability is 90% the nut.
After working the nut my Fenders, Gretsches and Epiphone Es 175 with bigsby stay in tune.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,474
Tucson
roller bridge is the worst upgrade you can get. the sound of the guitar will change in a negative way so I removed it after 1 day. positive is that the tuning stability is much better. With my 20 years experience I learned that tuning instability is 90% the nut.
After working the nut my Fenders, Gretsches and Epiphone Es 175 with bigsby stay in tune.

I agree. The very first thing I do to any guitar with a T-O-M, not to mention a roller bridge, is to get a decent bar bridge on there.
 

workknot

Country Gent
Feb 15, 2009
4,279
Brainerd, Minnesota
I agree. The very first thing I do to any guitar with a T-O-M, not to mention a roller bridge, is to get a decent bar bridge on there.

I fully agree, there are surely hundreds of post that claim the roller bridge is a tone sucker. Only advantage I see to it is the tuning issue with bigsby use. But then again if your setup is done properly as neck relief, nut adjusting and lube, bridge height a solid metal bridge will most definatly improve tone, sustain and playability.
Pop's
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,474
Tucson
I fully agree, there are surely hundreds of post that claim the roller bridge is a tone sucker. Only advantage I see to it is the tuning issue with bigsby use. But then again if your setup is done properly as neck relief, nut adjusting and lube, bridge height a solid metal bridge will most definatly improve tone, sustain and playability.
Pop's

I've never had tuning issues on any Gretsch and all of them have solid bridges. I don't think that stable tuning requires any rocket science to achieve. A properly cut nut (something that is much less of a worry with a zero-fret guitar), a set of strings that are locked back at the machine head capstan and an overall decent setup (something I consider to be an ongoing process) and you should be fine.
 

blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,062
Savannah, GA
I received a reply from Tru-Arc that the pre-2011 Electromatic compensated bridges are indeed in production. He says allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.
 

iBloke

Former Member
Ok so not much love for roller bridges..

..and a solid non adjustable bridge is out of the question for me, so looks like I either persist with trying to make the stock TOM a non sticking point (I'm almost there)
Or maybe upgrade to a better quality TOM like a Gotoh or something similar with a bit more mass, and adjustability
 

Bill

Country Gent
Oct 16, 2012
2,704
Cambs, UK
Guess we'll have to go with an adjustable Wilkinson roller. If you do, let me know if it sucks the tone & sustain out like some have said.

Not in the slightest. Might've said it already on this thread, but my Peerless has a Wilky roller and it's fine. Tone is excellent and sustain is better than my Gretsches - this is mainly in the guitar construction but the bridge has either not diminished it, or increased it. Had a solid brass one before but found to too dark. I have not the slightest hesitation in using a good roller.
Tone clip on here
 

The Marlin

Friend of Fred
Feb 2, 2011
9,868
London...ish
With regards to roller bridges, I like the Wilkinson roller bridge. You can lock the whole thing down after intonation, so it's a solid lump. It's not a Compton, but it works well for me.

Whether you can get one to go over those massive 6mm bridge posts is another matter....

Wilkinson Roller Bridge

Marlin
 

The Marlin

Friend of Fred
Feb 2, 2011
9,868
London...ish
I'm, sure you're right...... I'm just saying that there are not a lot of bridges around that will fit it....

They're BIG!!

I'm sure you can drill the bridge out to fit..... I did that with an Aluminium Compton. It worked! It just killed my drill......

M :)
 

drrohle

Synchromatic
Jan 3, 2014
833
Hays, KS
Not in the slightest. Might've said it already on this thread, but my Peerless has a Wilky roller and it's fine. Tone is excellent and sustain is better than my Gretsches - this is mainly in the guitar construction but the bridge has either not diminished it, or increased it. Had a solid brass one before but found to too dark. I have not the slightest hesitation in using a good roller.
Tone clip on here
Wowwie Zowwie, nothing wrong with that tone!
 

Bones

Electromatic
Mar 14, 2014
14
Tennessee
The intonation is adjusted on my guitar and the saddles are in the traditional stair step pattern on my Projet. I wanted to smooth out the action of my Bigsby but since it's not in a straight line I hesitantly ordered a roller bridge for it. To my surprise tone was not hurt at all by it and the bigsby is super smooth now. Oh, and it stays in tune. There may be a touch of cork sniffery here, I don't know. The roller bridge works great on mine especially in the mix since it stays in tune with the other instruments now. If there is some loss of tone it's negligible once the rhythm section comes in. YMMV
 

drrohle

Synchromatic
Jan 3, 2014
833
Hays, KS
The intonation is adjusted on my guitar and the saddles are in the traditional stair step pattern on my Projet. I wanted to smooth out the action of my Bigsby but since it's not in a straight line I hesitantly ordered a roller bridge for it. To my surprise tone was not hurt at all by it and the bigsby is super smooth now. Oh, and it stays in tune. There may be a touch of cork sniffery here, I don't know. The roller bridge works great on mine especially in the mix.
Thanks Bones, I'm glad to hear that report. My Bigsby sure could use some smoothing out too. They only way I can get it to do that is to move the strings over the trapeze bar.
 

Bones

Electromatic
Mar 14, 2014
14
Tennessee
I got my B50 working ok but decided to install a V-cut B3 on it. It works and doesn't jump out of the saddles but I would recommend a B7 instead. The break angle is so shallow that I can't get super low action and the wolf tones from the strings behind the bridge made it so I had to thread a pipe cleaner across the strings to quiet them. Sounds great, works great, looks great... But I think a B7 would be better suited to the Pro Jet.
 

TAHall

Gretschie
Feb 27, 2014
166
Murrieta, CA
Just my 2 cents. I have an older Aria semi hollow oddball (M48V) with a non-licensed bigsby. It has a roller bridge. It is a $200 guitar, and a go to performer with p-90's. It has great tone, no roller rattle and stays in tune brilliantly regardless of trem usage or dive bombs. As this is my only prior experience with bigsby style trems, I never even thought about tuning issues until my G5120.

My 5120 bridge came pinned so I worry that a bar bridge will cause intonation issues w/o being able to move the bridge. I will replace the nut with a properly cut graphite or the such. I have put some adult time in adjusting the current nut and bridge, which helped loads, it still goes slightly sharp. it is a work in progress.

Thanks to everyone here for their insights, experiences and opinions.
 


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