Gretsch Pro-Jet – Tuning stability upgrade

I love these guitars, the best value out there in their price range but this one has a common problem.  It’s common to most guitars with Bigsbys, tuning stability.  Use the tremolo and it doesn’t always return to normal.  There are a couple of things that can be done….

While I’m at it, why do they put the stop on the swivel? You can’t move the arm any higher than this…  So you can’t pick the bass side and reach the arm?  I’ve never understood why?  I’m going to have a go at that while I’m at it….

The most common cause of tuning stability problems is the nut.  When you bend a string or use the trem’ the string pulls through the slot but doesn’t go fully back again, leaving the string out of tune and the note slightly flat.  The secret is to reduce the friction.

The same applies to the bridge.  The existing bridge (top) has simple slots for the strings to pass over.  I’m replacing it with a roller bridge (bottom) to reduce the friction at that end as well.

In this case it’s an easy, one-for-one swap.  The intonation will need to be reset, and it’s slightly taller so that might need adjusting a little as well.

While I’m at it then, that lug stopping the arm from swivelling higher.

Quite easy to file off….

When it comes to the nut, I prefer bone, I still don’t think you can beat it.  It does to take some work though, each one has to be individually cut and shaped by hand.

The old on (top) and the new one, just needs the slots.

There it is, and with an arm that moves all the way round as well.

Seems to holding it’s tuning as well, I guess only time will tell!

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