Modern Gretsch Guitars

Tru-Arc first impressions

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When we were putting the final touches on the 6186-GDP Clipper project, I had the great fortune of being able to sit down with Tim at the Nashville Roundup that year and try out most everything he had at the time in the Tru-Arc line, along with a custom Ebony bridge that Hyde at BlueBelly had made.

We tried them all out back-to-back, through the same amp, only pausing long enough to loosen the strings, slide a new bridge in, retune and go.

There were pretty huge and readily noticeable differences, and I really wish we'd recorded it. Just hugely noticeable.

At the time, either NjBob or Bob Howard (one of the Bobs) had told me that Dynas like Stainless and Filters like Aluminum. That seems a bit counterintuitive, but I believe it's true, at least as a starting point.

Of course, there are plenty of other flavors to try, too.

– Baxter

I tried a stainless steel Serpentune first before settling on aluminum for my Dynasonic Duo Jet. I like the extra high mid chime the aluminum brings out. If Fender is on one end, Gretsch in the middle and Gibson on the other end of the tonal spectrum the aluminum leans my Duo Jet more towards the Fender side of the tonal spectrum.

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I have the Serpentune on my pre-FMIC 6119 and my guitar has the 5 ply wood and waffle bracing. The latter two deadens the acoustics some. But I was playing a new Gretsch with the Tune-O-Matic bridge at the music store the other day (not plugged in) and it was just dead sounding compared to mine. The three ply bodies have more volume projection than the 5 ply, but...I forgot what a major improvement the Serpentune is, both in tone and volume, compared to the Tune O Matic bridges, at least to my ears. And the sustain is improved dramatically.

Oh and I did the sand paper to the bottom of the bridge to make a better fit as well.

I added a pair of Duo Trons to mine and holy crap my guitar sings.

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Well I would probably blame the strings on any guitar in a store sounding dead. I still use a TOM on my SSLVO and compared to two different Serpentune Tru-arcs it is every bit as lively and sustainy. It doesn't have quite the amazing stay-in-tune-ability of the Tru-arc. It's pretty close though.

If I can find a Serpentune which sounds exactly like my Gibson ABR-1 I will use it! The SS was great but not quite as good for me as the TOM. I suspect a lot of it is simply that I am VERY used to the sound of my TOM so anything else will sound weird to me. I stress that the ABR-1 I use is a Gibson, not the stock Gotoh, which does sound not as good.

If I was less anal about the tone of my guitar I would use a Serpentune without hesitation. I am able to work on my own gear with all the right files, etc so have got my ABR-1 set up as well as I can and it stays in tune well, doesn't rattle, etc. So for me the need to change is not great.

I recommend the Tru-arc Serpentune to everyone because it is such a simple way to fix most of the problems we have with Gretsch bridges. There are other solutions which can work for other players but the Serpentune is almost fool-proof, easy to install and sounds better than most.

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Both the Gibson & Gotoh ABR-1's are made with Zinc and the saddles should be plated brass. these days you can get so many different types of saddles and bridges. On my Tune-o-matic guitars I use the ABM Bell Brass ABR type's. The reason Gibson used cast Zinc in 1954 when they brought out the first Tune-o-matic is it was cheap to make. I think the technical name is "Zirmak". ABM has a lot of great stuff! Went we use to do NAMM(Pyramid Strings) we would share a both with them: https://abm-guitarpartsshop...


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