Other Equipment

Tru-Arc Black Friday Sale?


Hey a fella can dream can't he?

How about a Black Friday sale on demos, exchanges, scratch & dent?


While I don't hold a position or, any sway in the company, I'll second that motion!

Especially if the sale is extended to bridge bases.


How about a Black Friday sale on demos, exchanges, scratch & dent?

Though Tru-Arc’s corporate policy has always been never to commercialize the product or participate in even the most rudimentary sorts of contemporary marketing - and in fact to make it so difficult to find and learn about the product as almost to discourage sales - this notion might have merit.

There is in fact in the deepest recesses of Tru-Arc’s Inventory Vault a number of bridges which fall into something like these categories. Only a couple might be considered “scratch and dent” - not much you can do to hurt these things - but (while officially I don’t accept returns on custom orders) there’s a number of custom-order returns/exchanges with odd specs. Also a fair slew of bridges with oversized mounting holes from a misguided experiment, and a few mis-orders on my part (when the shop made exactly the item on which I typoed or dumboed the specs). Even a prototype or two.

I keep intending to work up custom bases that would make these work, then sell them as packages, but I also keep intending to do a lot of things.

Every time I stumble back into the dusty musty gloom of the Deep Recesses and see them forlornly gleaming in the dingy murk, I’m reminded of their lonely orphaned existence, misbegotten in the best of intentions, never having felt the strong embrace of vibrating strings or the warmth of a hand resting across their arches, never the resonance of music blooming within the chemical lattice of their tight little bodies.

All the suffering of their birth - clawed from the earth, forged in fire and rolled in steel, cut from their mother rod of bar stock, lathed and milled and ground and drilled and bent, shavings scraped in oily curls left on the shop floor, hammer-stamped with the Tru-Arc brand - and never to feel the fulfillment of their purpose.

Yes, it’s sad. But you can help. Won’t you give one of these special little bridges the gift of a home this holiday season, the small extra effort it might take to accommodate their unique needs? Won’t you give one its chance to vibrate in harmony with your music, and become the faithful partner in better tone you’ve longed for?

I doubt I can have a census of this unique population ready for your greedy Black Friday predations - I’m still traveling and recovering from serial holiday overstuffing - but don’t door-bust your finances just yet. I’ll get a list of orphans, specs, and prices ready over the weekend. You’ll get Black Fridish prices, just a few days later.

I wouldn’t mind clearing out the orphanage and seeing these babies go to good homes.

Bases, I dunno.


Pretty substantial curvature to the Tru-Arc of Homer’s dreams. I’m guessing he wants a 9’ radius, not a 12’.


I'm curious if one of those orphans happens to be of the Serpentune persuasion


I want the one Strummerson mis-ordered with unison 12 strings, compound 4"- 32" radius in a candy twist of two harmonious metals- sodium and mercury. It must be played under oil at or near absolute zero. What a tone though.


I can't wait to visit The Island of Misfit Tru-Arcs!


I always figured there was a vat of molten metal...and any and all that didn't pass muster took a swan dive into Eternity...


We've all been there. I ordered a Heisenberg Blue Crystal. Loved it, ordered another. Then another, and another.

Just one more, then I'll quit.


You know.. I have a few custom projects in the works and non standard pieces would work for me. Looking forward to the list.


Two Serpentune 12"-ish. Any metal except uranium.


I ordered the beautiful orange glass TruArc and then searched for just the right guitar to put it on. Let’s see what’s on the list.


Pretty substantial curvature to the Tru-Arc of Homer’s dreams. I’m guessing he wants a 9’ radius, not a 12’.

– Junior Q Man (Ryan M)

9 versus 12 FEET?????? Did he work on the Stonehenge set for Spinal Tap?


9 versus 12 FEET?????? Did he work on the Stonehenge set for Spinal Tap?

– Parabar

That’s what I get for typing on my phone!


The ultimate true arc. Nothing else is better. We call it : Banana Split True Arc.


Tru-arc land of misfit toys? Awesome. Sign me up. I always perfer the weirdos, and if they’re cheaper, all the better.


"....clawed from the earth, forged in fire ..."


Crow, I got some bases - what do you need? It’s free stuff season!


So OK then. I'm home from holiday travel, well-fed and feeling generous.

Relatively speaking, anyway.

And I've done a thorough inventory of the Deep Recesses. But before I list anything, here are the rules for evaluating these bridges for your purposes.

1 - Understand that if one of these bridges would just magically drop on your base and work for you as is, it probably wouldn't be here on the Island of Misfit Bridges. If all you know is you have a particular model of Gretsch guitar, that probably won't be enough information. We're in the land of measurement and improvisation here. You should expect to have to spend some time at the workbench to make any of these work. That's why they're On Sale - Limited Time Only! (limited to such time, that is, that they're gone).

2 - It will help you to know what bridge and base are now on your guitar, and I'll (grudgingly) answer questions based on that. But ultimately, you're probably going to have to get out an accurate metal rule and/or micrometer and figure out exactly what you have - and make some informed guesses about how you'd make one of these work for you.

3 - ALL of these bridges have specs which vary from the standard models I offer for various guitars. Listings will detail exactly which specs are different, and how that might matter to you. I'll make suggestions about how you might be able to use the bridge - but YOU are ultimately responsible for making them work. (If I was going to jump through the hoops to make them easily workable, I'd sell them that way rather than trying to blow them out at these prices.) If you're not the tinker-type - or don't know of a guitar tech willing to tinker for you - this might not be the sale for you.

4 - In other words, I know and you know and now the whole world knows that you're buying a bridge which is NOT supposed to just drop on your base and work.


Now. None of these are made from inferior material, nor are they here as "seconds" for inferior workmanship. Every last one of them is guaranteed to be able to hold strings up off the top of a guitar if mounted on an appropriate base. Radii will be correct as listed.

A few were prototypes, may show evidence of metalwork, even have dents and/or scratches (as will be disclosed). Others may show superficial wear around mounting holes. I don't intend to polish any of these up before shipping, and their surface condition will vary depending on how long I've had them, whether they've been wrapped in newspaper, how many times they were shuffled from drawer to drawer, etc. You may like a more "natural" look; if not, be assured that any would polish to a high gleam with Mothers or similar metal polish.

Off we go then. I'll start with the simpler pieces (also the ones I have in greatest quantity).

Once upon a time we made some bridges with oversized holes - an embarrassingly misconceived attempt to deal with the fact that the posts on most Gretsch bridge bases (for the Adjusta-Matic, Space Control, and Rocking Bar) may through the modern era be spaced anywhere from 2-7/8" to 3" center-to-center, with "official" spacings at the 1/32" increments between those extremes. Most posts - since the FMIC era began in 2003 - are at 2-29/32" (often given as 74mm). But posts in any particular base might also land between the most common official dimensions.

For about 15 minutes, we dreamed we might not have to make bridges with holes at every possible spacing; oversized holes were the result of this fantasy. Before the bridges even shipped to me (but after they were produced) I realized it wasn't going to work: sure, the big holes would fit over posts at various spacings, but the bridges would shift around in use and cause tuning problems. Duh.

Specifically, the holes in our bridges are made by default to fit properly with sufficient clearance on posts of 5/32" (4mm) diameter. Let's call the standard post .156". The Big Hole series is drilled about .030 larger diameter. So if it mounts on a standard post, it skates around. But if mounted on a larger-diameter post, it should stay in place and behave properly.

How to deploy a Big-Hole. Your mission will be to determine how fat a post it takes for this purpose, then acquire threaded rod (or other suitable post material) and install it properly in your base. (I suppose you could also put a sleeve over your post.) I don't know how you'll do this. That's why you're handy. But when installing the fat-enough-posts, you'll also have to get them spaced properly (if you're starting with a standard Gretsch base, they might work at the locations of the existing posts, but I'm making no guarantees) AND installed straight and true.

Nother words, if you had a base with posts of the proper diameter, at the proper spacing, one of these bridges WOULD drop right on and work. In that light, it's not that my bridges are wrong, it's that all the bases out there are out of spec!

Anyway. Here's what I have in the way of Big Holes, and prices. (Note that most of these have 2-1/8" string spacing, E-to-E, which is 1/16" wider than the current Gretsch spec of 2-1/16" on most bases. For reference, that works out to .03" difference from standard between each of the 5 pairs of strings.)

All of the following are Standard (NOT SerpenTune) rocking bars with standard 2-29/32" hole spacing, 2-1/8" string spacing, and .030" oversize mounting holes.

AL-95/BH Aluminum, 9.5" radius; regular price 85.00. Now 50.00.
BR-95/BH Brass, 9.5" radius; regular price 85.00. Now 50.00.
CU-95/BH Copper, 9.5" radius; regular price 85.00. Now 50.00.
ST-95/LR/BH Stainless, 9.5" radius, LOW RIDER; regular price 110.00. Now 75.00.

AL-120/BH Aluminum, 12" radius; regular price 85.00. Now 50.00.
CU-120/BH Copper, 12" radius; regular price 85.00. Now 50.00.
ST-120/BH Stainless, 12" radius, regular price 100.00. Now 70.00.

This batch is similar to the above, BUT with 2-7/8" hole spacing (1/32" narrower).

BR-120/BH-78 Brass, 12" radius; regular price 85.00. Now 50.00.
CU-95/BH-78 Copper, 12" radius; regular price 85.00. Now 50.00.
ST-120/BH-78 Stainless,12" radius; regular price 100.00. Now 70.00.

And this oddball:

CU-120/BH-N Copper, 12" radius, standard hole spacing, 2-1/16" string spacing; regular price 85.00, now 50.00.

Let me know if you have interest in any of these. (Email is best - a note here is OK too.)

More bridges to be listed tomorrow...


edit x2: Uhm.. I'm just confused. Email sent.


We've all been there. I ordered a Heisenberg Blue Crystal. Loved it, ordered another. Then another, and another.

Ade, you might consider one of the Big Holes as a useful successor to the Heisenberg. Installed on standard rather than oversize posts, it might be considered a quintessential quantum bridge, embodying as it does an adequate mechanism for tuning uncertainty. I don't know if it would change state just by observing it, however. (Though it might feel that unstable.)

I do know that under certain Bigsby manoevres during particular double-stops, it helps produce a fair impression of Schrodinger's tabby with its tail caught under a rocking bridge.


4mm, or 5/32"?

If they're 4mm, that's 0.1574" Add 30 thou, and you've pretty much got 0.1875", or 3/16". Might be able to do something with 3/16" threaded rod. 10UNC/UNF is larger diameter (0.190").

Otherwise, some thin brass shim, or maybe thin-wall brass tube from a modelling store might take up the slack. The 3/16" tube listed here has a 0.014" wall thickness, and so should be a nice sliding fit over a 4mm or 5/32" stud.



Ho ho ho! Two ST-120/BH Stainless arrived today. Thanks Tim!

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