Updated Gretsch Baritone / Bass VI

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GeoKinetic, Jan 22, 2020.


  1. HaphAsSard likes this.
  2. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    I have the G5265 with Bass VI strings and I love it. Before buying it, I would prefer to have a stop tail, but the tuning is pretty stable with the Bigsby, which I found fun to us lightly. Nice that other options are now available. Newer models are a bit pricier, but with a better wood than laminated and better looking fingerboard.

    Personally, I would not trade mine since it is totally satisfactory, but if I'd have to buy a new one, I'd go with the G5260T in white.
     
    GeoKinetic likes this.
  3. oldbrownshoe

    oldbrownshoe

    Mar 9, 2020
    Hi, I just did this exact thing with a V-Stoptail G5260 (got as a preorder). I bought the Gretsch with this intention and after a little tinkering it seems excellent for the Bass VI way of life!

    The most important thing is adequate string tension to minimize low E flop-and-slop. I essentially bought short scale bass strings that were supposed to have smaller string ball ends.

    Sidenote on V-Stoptail vs Bigsby---a Bigsby might pose two problems reasons: (1) possible added string length such that short scale bass strings wouldn't work (not sure about that, but it sounds like it makes sense); (2) tuning issues with a Bigsby b/c they utilize a standard saddle set instead of roller saddles. Also, the Bigsby is technically a licensed knock-off (although what's the diff really, and does that even matter?).

    Anyway, to make it work, you need the right strings. I've heard other people go for more expensive sets, but I did a bit of research and bought two Bass VI-type sets that were like $12 and $15, respectively. (1) Ernie Ball 6 string bass slinky (Custom Gauge 2837)---20, 30, 42, 54, 74, 90; and (2) D-Addario EXL156---23, 34, 44, 56, 72, 84.

    I tried the D'Addario set b/c strings 1-3 were thicker. Worked well. Sounds great! Especially with the bridge pickup on those 1-3 strings. Wow! But sadly, I got the urge/feeling that I need a different amp to handle the low frequencies better :(

    Tuning was stable after getting everything set up and I had to raise the bridge a little on the 4-6 strings because of low E floppiness.

    My only critique is that the 84 is a little sloppy. The only thing I would change is to get a thicker gauge on 4-6 strings, or at least a 90 on the low E. I've read accounts of other people preferring that and going higher. 90 and higher will require some nut slot adjustment, but if you have a plastic or "synthetic bone" cheapo nut, you can just kind of use the thicker string to make itself room (do this gingerly---no sane person would recommend this). It's possible 95 would require widening the tuning peg and the V-Stoptail low E string hole.

    The other big thing was that I had to use a file to make the V-Stoptail piece low E string hole bigger because the ball end of the low E string included some slightly thicker windings (mm's). Wasn't hard though.
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  4. HotelX

    HotelX Supporting Member

    I just got a 5260 today. Decided to save a little money and not get the Bigsby. How are they holding up for everyone?
     
  5. HCF

    HCF Of course, YMMV

    Nov 30, 2008
    Amsterdam
    since we're a few months further, and I'm considering one as a bass VI, how is yours holding up?
     
  6. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    Mine is very fine, I don't regret having the bigsby, very fun (unless when I change srings). Pickups are well balanced and responds perfectly, and the guitar stays well in tune. Very satisfied so far.
     
    northbynorth and HCF like this.
  7. HCF

    HCF Of course, YMMV

    Nov 30, 2008
    Amsterdam
    thanks for the response. Are you using it as a bass VI (tuned E-E) or baritone?
     
  8. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    Almost Bass VI tuning, with regular bass VI strings. I'm no guitar player, so I tune it E-A-D-G-C-F, less confusing for me that way (and similar to a Bajo Sexto I had in the past).

    I use it mainly fingerstyle, in the bass register with neck pickup, that gives me a nice bass sound. In sone songs, when there is n basses part in the intros for example, I switch to bridge pickup and use a little overdrive, then voila, instant rythm guitar. Or I use it to play melodies in any range

    To resume:

    Depending on what the song needs :
    - I play bass using EADG strings and neck pickup
    - I play rythm guitar using DGCF strings and bridge pickup
    - I play melodies on whathever register and pickup combination sounds best.
     
    northbynorth, HaphAsSard and HCF like this.
  9. northbynorth

    northbynorth Ampeg Portaflex Club #410. Strymon Bass Club #6

    Feb 27, 2014
    Southern CA
    I really enjoy this instrument. The original pickups are pretty cool IMO. I felt the need for a little more low end when I switched over to VI strings and also a little more chime or ring in the highs. I ended up taking it up to Redlands/Nordstrands to their pretty amazing tech Mo install some TVJones pickups Brian Setzer in the Bridge and a Thunder Blade in the neck. Very clear lows and highs. Sounds really nice I think but I do miss the original tone as well. Mo Installed a quick swap pickup connection so I can easily put them back in. Also had a tone drop he makes installed to provide even more flexibility. I am really liking this! 54DD1273-E390-4B3B-B983-073A2F39099D.jpeg
     
    HCF likes this.
  10. HCF

    HCF Of course, YMMV

    Nov 30, 2008
    Amsterdam
    I really need to find a black pick guard for my Gretsch. They look good. Any idea if other model pick guards fit the G5260?
     
  11. northbynorth

    northbynorth Ampeg Portaflex Club #410. Strymon Bass Club #6

    Feb 27, 2014
    Southern CA
    HCF likes this.
  12. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

  13. HCF

    HCF Of course, YMMV

    Nov 30, 2008
    Amsterdam
    they responded quite fast

    Seeing that all those sites don't sell them, custom is the only option for now
     
    northbynorth likes this.
  14. northbynorth

    northbynorth Ampeg Portaflex Club #410. Strymon Bass Club #6

    Feb 27, 2014
    Southern CA
     
    HCF likes this.
  15. HCF

    HCF Of course, YMMV

    Nov 30, 2008
    Amsterdam
    yeah, can't be too expensive (famous last words)

    I have a white pick guard right now and am looking for a black one. Or maybe tort. Because why the hell not?
     
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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