Stainless Compton. 5422TG. Holy moly!

BCRatRod73

Synchromatic
Sep 1, 2020
521
Mississippi
4AF4E594-973E-44C3-A259-F237C4C559BB.jpeg
The Aluminum bridge on my Rat Rod was more subtle. Seemed like it took a couple days to really settle in and make the tone better. The RR sounds really good now and I enjoy playing it a lot. After the Stainless bridge upgrade the improvement was instant and very noticeable. This guitar sounds really good. Sustains so much more than the stock bridge. $80 well spent. Going to put my G6XXX plans on hold for now.
 

tolm

Gretschie
Jan 25, 2016
349
UK
Looks like a great guitar!

Quick question - the foam under the strings … seen this on a few photos recently, what’s it for? Does it stop unwanted “ringing” or “overtones” being produced? I assume it doesn’t stop the Bigsby working?
 

BCRatRod73

Synchromatic
Sep 1, 2020
521
Mississippi
Looks like a great guitar!

Quick question - the foam under the strings … seen this on a few photos recently, what’s it for? Does it stop unwanted “ringing” or “overtones” being produced? I assume it doesn’t stop the Bigsby working?
The foam just helps stop those unwanted tones that can show up. I like to use things on hand if I can. Has no effect on the Bigsby operation.
 

tremolux

Electromatic
Dec 1, 2020
11
Germany
I own a Gretsch G6119T and im very interested in a Compton Bridge.
The Rocking bar bridge sounds great but the intonation is kinda tricky with it.
So I went for a Gotoh tuneomatic bridge.
This 100% fixes the intonation issues, but there is a noticable change in tone and sustain (I did record pre/post and blindtest, but was obvious).

Maybe you can help me with some info.
1. Intonation is still a compromise with the standard compton bridge?
2. is the compton "special bridge" better in this regard?
3. do the Compton Bridges come pre slotted?

Thanks!
 

srumrill

Newbie
Apr 8, 2022
2
Brantford Ontario
I put a Compton bridge on a 2006 Tennessee Rose back around 2006. ( I forget which kind). It improved the tone and sustain but the intonation was no better than the original bar bridge, which for me is unacceptable. I know Chet was able to achieve amazing intonation using the bar bridge but I believe a lot of that was due to the wound G that he always used.
With the Compton if I set it up so both Es were in tune at 12th fret, as recommended, the D & unwound G would be way apart in intonation. You could set it so that either G or D would be close but then the other would be way out. I remember finagling the bridge to every possible angle but was never able to get satisfactory results with the Compton. Very disappointing! I really wanted it to work.
Since that time I have tried The Compton on some other guitars (unwound G’s) with similar unsatisfying results but found that if I used a wound G, the problem was much less severe and quite acceptable.
Everyone has different ears and different standards re intonation. We all watch product reviews on YouTube where a guy will demo a git with a Bigsby or other wammy bar. He’ll play a chord with the git already out of tune, then give the Bigs a shake, play the same chord again. It’s worse but he doesn’t seem to notice. Declares that it stays in tune even with Bigsby!
I wish that anyone who makes a claim about git intonation - or for that matter, who demos a guitar on a public forum - would check it (before and after wammying, changing bridges, etc) with a machine and not just their own ears before making a judgment about intonation. I have perfect pitch, which can be a curse sometimes, but in dealing with intonation I always double check with a tuning machine. Our ears are subject to inconsistencies.
Please pardon my intonation tirade. A little off topic I guess.
 

BuddyHollywood

Gretschie
Sep 11, 2009
457
Venice, CA
I put a Compton bridge on a 2006 Tennessee Rose back around 2006. ( I forget which kind). It improved the tone and sustain but the intonation was no better than the original bar bridge, which for me is unacceptable. I know Chet was able to achieve amazing intonation using the bar bridge but I believe a lot of that was due to the wound G that he always used.
With the Compton if I set it up so both Es were in tune at 12th fret, as recommended, the D & unwound G would be way apart in intonation. You could set it so that either G or D would be close but then the other would be way out. I remember finagling the bridge to every possible angle but was never able to get satisfactory results with the Compton. Very disappointing! I really wanted it to work.
Since that time I have tried The Compton on some other guitars (unwound G’s) with similar unsatisfying results but found that if I used a wound G, the problem was much less severe and quite acceptable.
Everyone has different ears and different standards re intonation. We all watch product reviews on YouTube where a guy will demo a git with a Bigsby or other wammy bar. He’ll play a chord with the git already out of tune, then give the Bigs a shake, play the same chord again. It’s worse but he doesn’t seem to notice. Declares that it stays in tune even with Bigsby!
I wish that anyone who makes a claim about git intonation - or for that matter, who demos a guitar on a public forum - would check it (before and after wammying, changing bridges, etc) with a machine and not just their own ears before making a judgment about intonation. I have perfect pitch, which can be a curse sometimes, but in dealing with intonation I always double check with a tuning machine. Our ears are subject to inconsistencies.
Please pardon my intonation tirade. A little off topic I guess.
I'm with you.
 

fleetwoodPC

Electromatic
Nov 20, 2020
79
Phila
I want to see a before and after with the bridge as I am very skeptical. Is the new one twice as heavy? you say you were here a difference… Minor noticeable or significant?
 

stevo

Friend of Fred
May 1, 2012
7,022
Atlanta
I like my Compton stainless (and later titanium) on my 6119. I never made any objective measurements of sustain or frequency content, but to me it seemed to have a bit more sustain and clearer bell like tone. I don't like using a Compton on a shorter scale guitar like my 6128 - I can hear the slight intonation issues. But on a longer scale like 6119, it's not a problem to my ears.
 

mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Mar 20, 2010
1,863
Michigan
That is a beautiful guitar, thanks for sharing. Maybe it's just me, but I have had good intonation with the Compton Bridges.
I am not saying that any of you having intonation issues are incorrect.
We have a 5120 that the Compton needed to be filed, sanded and polished to eliminate the sharp "G" string, but it seems to hold tune even with use of the Bigsby.
 
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tremolux

Electromatic
Dec 1, 2020
11
Germany
@srumrill thanks for sharing your findings!
I have to say that I would not have any complaint about the Rocking Bridge for playing "live".
But I use the Gretsch just for recording and I have to be very "picky" about the tuning.
So for now the TOM bridge will stay on it (using the ABM2504c atm. )
 

TobyB

Electromatic
Nov 22, 2021
50
UK
@srumrill
So for now the TOM bridge will stay on it (using the ABM2504c atm. )
I've been delighted with ABM bridges... roller's, ToM's and a wrap-around... on Gretch's and Gibson's. Superb engineering and richer tones... more vibration energy reflecting/resonating rather than absorbed I believe...
 

Falconetti

Gretschie
Sep 18, 2012
318
Bagsville, Oxford UK
FWIW here is my Compton bridge story. I have owned the this 6120TM for going on 10 years and it has been my main gigging guitar throughout that period with absolutely zero modification from stock. I always had it set up with 11 gauge flat wound strings because I aint no Brian Setzer and the tone and the feel were just right for my style and the stuff we were doing. I never had an issue with tuning stability, intonation or judicious Bigsby use. Well that band is no more and I now play different music which requires different tone, a bit more bend and a lot more Bigsby so I after a bit of experimentation I swapped the strings for Ernie Ball round wound Hybrid Slinky with an unwound G and a 9.5 top E. Perfect tone and a perfect bend-fest....except.....now I have really bad tuning stability with the wound strings drifting sharp and all kinds of nastiness going.

So I studied these hallowed pages and the words of the sages and it seemed to me that the Compton Bridge might just be the answer. So I ordered one in brass which turned up after about a week having cleared US and UK Customs without any hassle at all. I fitted it yesterday and it is a total revelation. The difference is quite simply stunning and I now see why people bang on about these so much on here. Bit of nut sauce, set it up with the tuner, plugged it in and the guitar is miles better than it has ever been. Quite a statement seeing as this is my all time keeper guitar. Sustain is better, tone is mellower, radius to match the fretboard feels better, tuning stability is better (but it did require a bit of lube), returns to tune very well if I get excited with the Bigsby but the main thing is that I hear better separation between the individual string notes. It sounds more open- to my ears at least. I checked intonation and there is a very, very slight deficit on one string which I have not been able to correct (yet) but it is so small that I cannot detect it when I play and I very much doubt whether any other human could detect it without resorting to a top end tuner.

So my take home message is ......

It really does make a massive difference to sustain and tone but opens the tone up very nicely in a most unexpected way. A way bigger effect than I expected.
Tuning stability is much improved and intonation is perfectly fine for me and the way I play.
I got a Bigsby and now I'm REALLY gonna use it !!
Buying one from the US for shipment to the UK is not the ordeal I expected and the increase in cost compared to shipment within the US is modest. Not the case with buying gear from the EU.

Would I buy another material to check out the tonal differences ? Absolutely. Would I fit one to my Falcon and ES 295 ? Absolutely.

F
 

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doc538

Gretschie
Sep 20, 2017
102
Massachusetts
have any of you that are having intonation problems with this bridge tried adjusting your nut cuts ? These bridges are made to precise specs and a slightly out of shape or incorrect position of the cut will affect your intonation. I have a cheap Epi Special with original cheap bridge with almost perfect intonation. Had a luthier adjust the nut cuts to compensate for 2 strings not intoning right, now they are on the money.
 

stevo

Friend of Fred
May 1, 2012
7,022
Atlanta
have any of you that are having intonation problems with this bridge tried adjusting your nut cuts ? These bridges are made to precise specs and a slightly out of shape or incorrect position of the cut will affect your intonation. I have a cheap Epi Special with original cheap bridge with almost perfect intonation. Had a luthier adjust the nut cuts to compensate for 2 strings not intoning right, now they are on the money.

Not sure your question - are you asking about neck nut slots?
 

doc538

Gretschie
Sep 20, 2017
102
Massachusetts
Not sure your question - are you asking about neck nut slots?
Yes the Nut Slot Cuts... I was just suggesting that slight intonation problems can be corrected by recutting your nut. If your cuts are off even a little these bridges cannot intonate. So I was asking if anybody had bothered to check their nuts when the new bridge does not intonate correctly. I do not think the intonation problem is caused by the new $80 bridge but rather the Nut. In MY Humble Opinion
 

stevo

Friend of Fred
May 1, 2012
7,022
Atlanta
Yes the Nut Slot Cuts... I was just suggesting that slight intonation problems can be corrected by recutting your nut. If your cuts are off even a little these bridges cannot intonate. So I was asking if anybody had bothered to check their nuts when the new bridge does not intonate correctly. I do not think the intonation problem is caused by the new $80 bridge but rather the Nut. In MY Humble Opinion
It is certainly important to have correctly sculpted nut slots, but a bridge doesn't intonate based on how the nut slots are cut. It intonates based on it's position. Any bridge can be set to intonate properly but a high nut slot can still sharpen lower notes significantly. So we don't say that intonation problems are caused by a nut slot. We would say that you can get perfect intonation and still have sharpening problems at lower frets because your nut slots are too high.
 


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