Which replacement bridge for Baldwin Gretsch

sparkletom

Electromatic
Jan 19, 2022
7
London
I recently bought a 1974 White Falcon and was wondering about what bridge would be a good replacement? Are Baldwin era style bridges available as a reissue?

Thanks
Tom
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,383
Where the action is!
Can you share a photo of what a "Baldwin style bridge" looks like?
Gretsch74CG7670_10-4031_14.jpg

Gretsch definitely doesn't have a reissue of this bridge. But I would guess that Gretsch didn't produce them in the first place, so for all I know they're still in production somewhere. But I don't recall ever running across one. I would imagine that a wood based Tune-o-matic type bridge would work, although it might require some modification of the base. IIRC, these sit pretty low.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,433
Commack, NY
afire always provides valuable input but I am not a fan of the Tune-o-matic on a hollow body Gretsch out of personal experience. They work great on my Les Pauls but there is a very annoying rattle on my Gretsch Black Phoenix which I see as a very similar build to the White Falcon.

I would suggest either a Tru-Arc or Compton.
 

DaddyDog

Country Gent
Sep 18, 2011
2,804
Mississauga, Canada
@sparkletom I've had that same kind of bridge on a Baldwin era Gretsch. If I recall correctly, the distance between the posts is not standard (or modern). I removed bridge and base, and replaced with a perfectly matched Compton and base. It sure removes the guess work.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,383
Where the action is!
I'm not endorsing Tune-o-matics. I haven't owned a guitar with a Tune-o-matic since I was 15. The OP was asking if there's a reissue of the adjustable Baldwin bridge, so I'm assuming he wants something similar.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,383
Where the action is!
It's hard to see in pictures, but these 1970s Gretsch bridges are unique in that the thumbwheels are set into slots in the bridge, rather than the bridge sitting entirely on top of the wheels, as in a standard Tune-o-matic. You can kind of make it out here if you look closely.
1974_gretsch_country_gentleman_7670-897-1920x1080.jpg

Again, I would suspect that these might have been sourced by Gretsch rather than manufactured by them, so they might not be as rare as one would expect. If so, then the trick would be figuring out who made them so you can widen your search.
 

sparkletom

Electromatic
Jan 19, 2022
7
London
Guys, can I say a big thank you for your thoughts on this. I’ve been traveling so just logging back in and this help is amazing 🙏🏻 I love this site and the Gretsch community!
 

Norwegian6119

Electromatic
Aug 23, 2021
24
Norway
I have (or had, almost done fixing) the same issue.
The bridge on my 79 Country Gentleman was modded by someone with a blunt hacksaw. The bridges on these are not in any way standard. Post spacing, wood base, thumb screws and saddles are way off any current production items I have managed to find.

One solution is to order a Compton or True Arc or even a Gretsch bar bridge with standard post spacing. Then you buy a current production wood base with posts and mount the bar-bridge on that. You may have to sand quite a lot off the bottom of the base, but the bridge on your Falcon looks like it actually sits high compared to the Gent (see attached picture of mine). Measure a ton of times and talk to the producers ;-)

I also got lucky and found a NOS unslotted bridge, unfortunately in nickel, but I'll probably end up just moving the saddles and have it gold plated for spares at some point. I do not think these are at all easy to find if you suddenly should need one.
bridge_too_far.jpg
 

sparkletom

Electromatic
Jan 19, 2022
7
London
I have (or had, almost done fixing) the same issue.
The bridge on my 79 Country Gentleman was modded by someone with a blunt hacksaw. The bridges on these are not in any way standard. Post spacing, wood base, thumb screws and saddles are way off any current production items I have managed to find.

One solution is to order a Compton or True Arc or even a Gretsch bar bridge with standard post spacing. Then you buy a current production wood base with posts and mount the bar-bridge on that. You may have to sand quite a lot off the bottom of the base, but the bridge on your Falcon looks like it actually sits high compared to the Gent (see attached picture of mine). Measure a ton of times and talk to the producers ;-)

I also got lucky and found a NOS unslotted bridge, unfortunately in nickel, but I'll probably end up just moving the saddles and have it gold plated for spares at some point. I do not think these are at all easy to find if you suddenly should need one.
View attachment 181429
Wow, that’s interesting. Mines had the hacksaw treatment too!
 


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