Other Equipment

New Tru-Arc™ Model! Introducing the BR-180/TG4/RS

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For all your Eastwood Classic Tenor Guitar needs.

What do all the numbers mean? Let's crack the code.

• BR: brass
• 180: Mike at Eastwood swears the Classic Tenor has an 18" radius
• TG4: Tenor Guitar 4-string
• RS: Rock Steady, a flat-bottom non-rocking profile - either because the guitar doesn't have a Bigsby or because everyone knows tenor guitars don't rock. (But they can.)

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Attentive readers may recall from this thread that I am generally well satisfied with my new Eastwood Classic double-cutaway thin hollowbody tenor electrical guitar, but considered the original ebony bridge to have a slightly plunky and dry (if very woody) tone.

I already have a tenor banjo, and while the guitar is in a different range and, you know...eLECtric and everything...I still don't want to be reminded of banjo when I play it, and the ebony bridge's relative lack of sustain seemed to push it in that direction. For a suitably classic thin-hollowbody Filter'Tron kinda tone (which might sound Gretschy), I thought brass would be the way to go, and accordingly ordered this prototype from the shop.

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Sonically, it has done the trick: the tenor she now rings like a lectric geetar, fine as froghair.

The original ebony bridge was compensated with a wavy ridge, so the base could sit straight across at a right angle to ths strings (thereby pleasing the International Contingent of Those Fastidious About Form Over Function). And I'm not averse to making a SerpenTune version of the tenor bridge that more or less permits that, should anyone be sufficiently obsessive. But for my purposes, I figured a good ol' straight tootsie-roll bar bridge would suffice.

As the base is a floater, it was the work of mere seconds to position the bridge and base at the usual angle for pretty right-on intonation, and there's no binding or sitarring as the strings pass through the grooves on a bias, so I stand vindicated. (But only for a second. OK, I'm sitting again.)

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It does rather jump out at one that the bridge is shiny brassgold, while the other hardware is chromey. But you can tell, even when I'm sitting down, that I don't care. The guitar did come with a gold-mirror plexi pickguard, and if I put it back on it would pull the bi-metallic theme together. But do I look like I care yet?

In the process of re-stringing, I made a discovery that was perfectly obvious after I made it: you can't find gauges in a normal 6-string set that really suit the 5ths tuning of the tenor. Because, of course, the 6-string graduates in pitch - and therefore string diameter - mostly in 4ths, while the tenor graduates in 5ths. So the ideal gauges for the tenor fall between the gauges in the guitar set.

The low end here is a .046 (no problem, got those in singles as replacements for common electric sets). The high string is .0105 (10 or 11 would probably be OK); got that. The 2nd string, though, wants to be heavier than a .013, which was my guess. A .017 would likely be too stiff, but the .013 is just too bendy. I'll put on a .014 or .015, which I also have "in stock."

The real issue is the 3rd string. The .036 I had in spares is just too fat. Doesn't fit the grooves in nut or bridge, but more importantly it doesn't feel or ring right. Too chubby. Alas, I have nothing, either in singles or in sets, between .028 and .036. I think it really wants an .032. Turns out that's a real in-betweeny string, too heavy to be the D string in most electric sets, too light to be the A.

So I'll have to order that from juststrings.com. Or maybe they make tenor sets. Maybe I'll do another demo bit when I get a proper set on 'er.

Anyway, the Eastwood Classic Tenor sounds even more like a lectric guitar now.

So you can rest easy, knowing that when you make the 4-string plunge, Tru-Arc™ stands (or sits) ready to meet all your tenor guitar bridge needs, in any of five time-tested tone metals, at reasonably reasonable prices!

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Congrats on the birth of your new bouncing baby bridge. Oddly, I don’t need one.

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Oddly, I don’t need one.

A temporary state of affairs, I bet.

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I'd really like to hear what can be done with one of these guitars at a roundup, someday.

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Sweet lil item thar, I enjoyed your tenor debut video Tim. You had a nice groove going. I bet she'll be ringing like a bell now!

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Juststrings.com does indeed sell Tenor guitar sets, but apparently only for acoustics. The one and only time I've ever had to re-string an electric tenor guitar, I had to go the 'mix and match' route with individual strings.

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I'd really like to hear what can be done with one of these guitars at a roundup, someday.

That might happen, someday.


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