Tru-Arc Serpentune vs Tune o Matic - quest for the perfect intonation

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by GodLevSky, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. GodLevSky

    GodLevSky Electromatic

    50
    Jun 7, 2016
    Poland
    It might be what I'm looking for but it doesn't satisfy my visual needs.

    To be honest, "the quest for the perfect intonation" title was a joke.
    I know that the guitar is not a keyboard (thank God) and you can't get it to intonate perfectly and perhaps that's part of its beauty and uniqueness.
    But on the other hand I can't believe that to some of you 7 cents off on a G string is not a problem.
    You can hear it loud and clear when your G string is 7 cents off, all you have to do is just to hit a simple power chord and you'll hear it or play an octave on two strings.
     
  2. Joey L

    Joey L Synchromatic

    571
    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    The Compton and Tru- Arcs are great if you don’t have a fixed pinned Bridge base. I tried a Compton and had had intonation issues on my2016 5420, so I went with a quality Roller bridge that allowed me to intonate each individual string. I know many do not like roller bridges and say hey are tone suckers, but that was far from my experience......Tone is great and I’m happy. 37EDAAC5-F8EB-4E2A-8EEE-99D7F3C78B50.jpeg
     
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  3. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    760
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    I currently use an ABM 2400 roller on my 2420T, which has a pinned bridge, and a Serpentune on my 6120, which is secured side-to-side but allows intonation adjustment. I think a Serpentune would work fairly well in the pinned position, but the posts spacing is different so I haven’t tried it (73mm on the 2420, 74 on the 6120).
     
    stevo likes this.
  4. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    This.... "Perfect" intonation is relative to the accuracy of the tool being used to measure it.

    Does the G string intonation audibly bother you or those you play w/? (edit: just saw the previous comments about 7 cents, I'd likely notice that myself if the B & or D were off at all too so nevermind ;) )

    A good ToM is going to give the most capability to fine tune for individual strings. That's the only inherent advantage of the design IMO. Best I've used for similar application to yours is the ABM 2400. If you're cursed w/ pitch sensitivity so fine that you can hear a few cents difference between strings in a chord I'd go the ToM route.

    Another thing you could try is just replacing that individual G string, I've seen plenty of new strings that just wouldn't intonate fixed by just replacing the offender w/ a different new string.

    That being said, neither my Comptons or the dBridges have had any significant intonation issues on the guitars I've had them spec'd for (& the Comptons have seemed plenty happy on the fixed post 56xx Electromatics I've tried them on w/ no single string more than 1.5 cents off by the Peterson as long as the string sets were close to what they were cut for), either to my ears or an array of highly accurate strobe tuners.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  5. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    760
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    I find that precise intonation helps a lot when learning something new. When even correct notes sound kind of wrong, I find it confusing.

    Otoh, for something I already know, I’m less picky about it.

    I also find that using an electronic tuner is more important when intonation is off. It helps distribute the error.
     
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  6. ToneM1

    ToneM1 Gretschie

    I would go with the ABM:
    https://www.thomann.de/pl/abm_2500gre_bridge.htm
    I have one of these on my 1962 Country Club (6192) and a Compton on my 1964 Country Club and a Compton on my 1960 Country Gent. The `62 Club would not intonate well with a Tru-Arc or Compton, so I bought the ABM Bell Brass bridge from Peter @ ABM and it sonically sounds better than the other two and the added plus of intonating a guitar that was next to impossible to intonate!
     
  7. GodLevSky

    GodLevSky Electromatic

    50
    Jun 7, 2016
    Poland
    What's the difference between this and the ABM 2400 model? Is this also compatible with the Falcon?
    I don't see string slots on this model.
     
  8. FiguredMaple

    FiguredMaple Newbie

    3
    Apr 2, 2020
    Great Lakes
    It says the 2400 has roller saddles. The 2500 has solid saddles that you or your tech will need to be cut (file) to hold the strings.
     
  9. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    Even if you get the pre-notched Tonepros, I found the low E saddle still had to be filed a bit to keep the string in place. No biggie- i just used my Low E nut file (.052)
     
  10. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    you're not hearing the 7 cents off on a guitar G string because it's not audible to humans.
    There's many other factors at play there and you're hearing 1 or a combination of those :)
     
  11. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    7 cents would drive me bonkers quickly.
     
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  12. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    TOM will always give better intonation and depending on the maker, you can get more or less better quality. I have a Compton on my 6119 but an ABM on my 6128. The shorter scale makes it difficult to unhear things. But on the 6119, my ears are less concerned.
     
  13. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I know I can hear that much, but it's not the 7 cents on one string you need to worry about. It's the combination that is bothersome. So to me, the d-bridge makes the most sense for a solid bar bridge. But I'm a big fan of the ABM roller bridge that I have.
     
  14. ToneM1

    ToneM1 Gretschie

    Roller Saddles: more moving parts will give you less sustain! About 25 years ago I had a
    Champagne Sparkle Jet with the roller bridge. I switched to a bar bridge just to see what the difference was. The solid brass bar had alot more sustain, harmonics and over tones! So if you want better tone, use a Bar Bridge, but if you want better intonation then go with the Bell Brass T-O-M. The amount of sustain is just slightly less than a bar. The guys at ABM are friends of mine and they really care about tone, sustain and harmonics. the T-O-M parts are very tight tolerances.
     
  15. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Did you switch from unwound to wound G, or vice versa? I actually did do that but it didn't make that much difference.

    Can you actually hear the difference? I know a guitar needs to be in tune, but I feel that sometimes get too overboard about achieving "perfect" intonation, which is in fact impossible.
     
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  16. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    If you have to ask...go with a good T-O-M bridge. I love bar bridges but I don't gig or play with others(well).;)
    I find a $30 Gotoh is the bare minimum I will tolerate. The ABM stuff is premium quality, cut from metal billets. They offer "non roller" saddles as well.
     
  17. Eoghan007

    Eoghan007 Electromatic

    26
    Nov 17, 2017
    USA
    ABM2400 user here. Tried ABM, Compton, Serpentune, and an '88 Gibson TOM on the same guitar and I actually got the best results with the TOM and ABM2400. Sadly, I am one of those cursed to hear a few cent differences and am much too distracted by it for "close enough" to suffice.
     
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  18. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    The 2400 also has a longer range of saddle travel. The 2500 looks a lot more like an vintage ABR-1 though so that could be a plus for it. Both have sounded great to me on just about anything I've tried them on.
     
  19. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
  20. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    You'll have a hard time noticing any loss of sustain with a good quality roller bridge. Moving parts doesn't necessarily reduce it, fewer parts doesn't guarantee more of it. There's more to it than that.

    My ABM roller has more sustain than my original Gretsch bridge. The Compton and the ABM stainless were about equal. I still like the tone and simplicity of the Titanium Compton on my longer scale guitar.
     
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