Other Equipment

Tru-Arc questions (glass, serpentune)


Hi, I think I'm going to buy a tru-arc in the near future and had some questions that I haven't been able to sort out by searching through the forum. I figured there's enough users here I should be able to sort some things out before I get in touch with Tim.

I'm almost certain I'll go with glass, but would also consider stainless, based on descriptions. Also, it seems like most people here prefer the serpentunes. So:

1) Is serpentune even an option with glass?

2) Is serpentune ever a bad thing? Or is it only extra goodness on top of the standard?

3) I have a G5125 (floating bridge) so is the serpentune really beneficial? It seems on Tim's site, the serpentunes are only spec'd for pinned/secured bridges.

4) If I go with a serpentune, I need to spec wound/plain third string correct? I had found strings I liked with a wound third then they discontinued them. So I've been swapping through sets and flip flop between plain/wound. I'm assuming with the standard version, plain/wound makes no difference, correct?

5) With the frosted glass bridges, are the string slots still polished? I'm thinking if the slots are also frosted, it would be like nails across a chalkboard tuning the strings.

6) Any suggestions on colour to go with a black guitar? Also, I've made a custom aluminum pick guard to match the aluminum bigsby. At first I thought a black polished glass, but then it may 'disappear' against the black background, or may not be obviously glass. I think it's such a unique option I want it to stand out as being made of glass.



I don't have experience with the glass ones, but for a 5125 with DA2000 pickups I suggest the stainless steel Serpentune.

Measure the center to center and diameter of your bridge pins. If it is an oddball spacing (I had that with a preFMIC 6129) he could sell you a bridge base that fits. Also consider if you need the low rider version. I did on my 3140.

Tim will talk you through it before you buy, to ensure you get it right.

I have a few metal TruArcs on my guitars, but only one is a Serpentune...and it is great.


No experience with glass or Serpentune, but have been happy with a stainless TA on my 5125.


I have a brass Serp on my 6120 and it's a dream. It benefits both floating (like mine) and pinned/fixed bridges. It's never a "bad thing" as I understand it.

Personally, I would try to decide wound vs. unwound on your G string. I'm finicky about nut and bridge slots though. I'm not sure about whether you need to specify plain vs. round on the standards model.

I can't speak to the glass version, but mine is killer. Tim was awesome to work with too-- he'll know the answers to all of your questions that go unanswered here. If (when) I snag another Gretsch, I plan on buying another.

Do something loud with the color. Red? Bright Green? Yellow?


I have an aluminum Serpentune on my Duo Jet. It's a floating bridge and I have a plain G slot. It's the best bridge for my Gretsch guitar and I've tried 5 including the Melita Syncro-sonic, Gotoh Adjustomatic, Bigsby aluminum, stainless steel Serpentune and finally the aluminum Serpentune. I was uneasy about ordering a straight bar bridge without compensation because of intonation issues but I finally got to play an Anniversary Jr. with a standard Tru-Arc on it last weekend and it sounded great. The intonation was fine. I'm not sure how.


I have a glass one on my Falcon. I won it last year at the West Baden Roundup. The grooves are smooth. I have no idea whether or not he offers them in a serpentune. Let me see if I can send a Link to Tim on this thread.


Contact Tim/Proteus at Tru-Arc yourself. He will answer all of your questions. I have two stainless Tru-Arcs and am quite pleased with them. As to glass color---only you can answer that question.


I have the stainless, a aluminum and a glass one. Love all three.


Contact Tim/Proteus at Tru-Arc yourself. He will answer all of your questions. I have two stainless Tru-Arcs and am quite pleased with them. As to glass color---only you can answer that question.

– wabash slim

Yeah, I'll likely send Tim an email directly, just figured he's a busy guy so if I could get some preliminary questions answered first, it'd take less of his time.

I know only I can answer the question of looks, but the only pics I've seen of the glass ones were both clear polished, one on a white falcon and one on a pink offset guitar. I don't think I've seen any pics of any coloured glass ones yet.


That looks killer! Goes awesome with the sunburst. I've always wanted to try one of those Airline Tuxedos, just never seem them in shops.


Tim Harmon, of TruArc fame, listened to my long winded description of what I wanted in a guitar and he recommended the Airline tuxedo. Darned if he wasn't spot on. Plays like butter, an almost too comfortable neck, pickups sorta like a p90 but at once warmer and more punchy. The glass TruArc just added some natural, hollow body sustain. I don't think they distribute them to shops. I found a used one on eBay.



Sorry I'm just seeing this thread. I hope you contacted me directly, but the only correspondence I find with a "Jon" since mid-August is with a guy in Britain with two Country Clubs. You only mention the 5125 in your post, so it seems unlikely that's you.

On the 5125, specs on bridge bases varied considerably from the factory. Whether a stock Tru-Arc (Standard or SerpenTune) would work on your base is all dependent on post spacing. If stock didn't fit, we could either custom-build one with your spacing or supply a Gretsch base that works with the Tru-Arc. (The latter option is much faster.)

I think it likely that a Standard, without compensation, would work for your purposes. It does for most guys, most of the time. There are a couple models which (because their base positions are fixed) require specific SerpenTune compensation. But as the guys have pointed out here, a SerpenTune will always work, so if you're concerned about intonation, it's a safe option.

And, yes, for a Serp you have to specify plain or wound G. (Or, hey, order one of each. I'm good with that.)

Glass cannot be SerpenTuned. It's hard to get as perfect shape and spec compliance with glass as I'd like anyway, and I'm afraid if we tried to go SerpenTune we'd just get a squiggly blob. The slots on frosted bridges are not polished - but this causes no trouble with string motion, and makes no mechanical sound.

Frosted glass really would look great on black - it always catches any light in the room. The bridge would almost glow on there. Black would also be a good choice - and I think it would be pretty obvious you didn't have any usual metal bridge on the guitar. (Though I suppose people might think it was painted or anodized metal.) It might disappear against the background of the guitar - but that would be a statement in and of itself. Also, any of the colors would really pop against a black background.

Dang, Bob, that's a spiffy-looking Tux.


Thanks, Tim. When I strap on the Tux I always feel overdressed.

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