Which TruArc Serpentune Material for Dynas?

Hamoftruth

Electromatic
Mar 16, 2017
21
PA
I have a Stephen Stern Silver Jet with Duncan Dynas and really want to try a Serpentune bridge on it in place of the Tonepros TOM, just to see what it does. I was all set on Aluminum, it being the original Bigsby bridge material which I figured would be fitting n all, but as usual the option paralysis has me second-guessing.

I've already modded the wiring to (supposedly) vintage spec to get a more even frequency response which really brings out the "Fender-y" quality to those Dynas. I use this guitar mostly for surf, spaghetti western, and rockabilly type stuff and love for it to have lots of Fender style clarity and chime/sparkle in the treble frequencies. Think "Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet." While matching the silver aesthetics would be nice, it's not essential and if brass or copper have the sound I'm after then so be it.

Based on Tim's descriptions, Aluminum and Copper maybe jump out at me a bit more. Would love to hear other folk's experience and/or recommendations. Cheers :)
 

BuddyHollywood

Gretschie
Sep 11, 2009
485
Venice, CA
I originally ordered a stainless steel Tru-Arc Serpentune for my Duo Jet with Dynasonics. I returned it for an aluminum one. Like you I am steering my Gretsch towards Fender. The stainless steel steered it more towards Gibson. Aluminum gives you more that warm, hollow-ish spanky and clanky tone in the upper mids that I love.
 

BorderRadio

Country Gent
Mar 6, 2014
3,476
Phoenix, AZ
I have those prefs too, Fendery, surf-twang. I used to use steel (Compton and Tru-Arc), which is fine, but aluminium stands out every single time I use it. Now it's all I use, even my VS Scripty Du0-Jet with T-Armonds has an aluminum base/bridge body/saddle (E-A-D only). I also use a copper serpentune on my G5420 with TVJ's Hilotrons, but only because it was a fortuitous find. Paired well, still bright and twangy.
 

Hamoftruth

Electromatic
Mar 16, 2017
21
PA
I have those prefs too, Fendery, surf-twang. I used to use steel (Compton and Tru-Arc), which is fine, but aluminium stands out every single time I use it. Now it's all I use, even my VS Scripty Du0-Jet with T-Armonds has an aluminum base/bridge body/saddle (E-A-D only). I also use a copper serpentune on my G5420 with TVJ's Hilotrons, but only because it was a fortuitous find. Paired well, still bright and twangy.

So you're using the aluminum Bigsby bridge in the VS Duo Jet? I know it's apples and oranges between the two guitars, but have you ever had the chance to compare that to the copper serpentune directly?
 

Lucky Jim

Gretschie
Oct 16, 2020
178
Kent, England
I put aluminum Serpentunes on both my Duo Jets, a 53VS with T-Armonds and a Cliff Gallup Sig with Gretsch Dynas. The former has a rosewood bridge base and the latter an aluminum base. The Serpentunes sound good to my ear with a fuller sound than the stock aluminum saddles and no buzzing.

Not sure how they might sound with SD Dynas but on my jets they are the biz.
 

BorderRadio

Country Gent
Mar 6, 2014
3,476
Phoenix, AZ
So you're using the aluminum Bigsby bridge in the VS Duo Jet? I know it's apples and oranges between the two guitars, but have you ever had the chance to compare that to the copper serpentune directly?

I left out some detail here. The '53 VS has an Embie-matic Melita-style bridge. I had those guys make me an aluminum base plate. The bridge body is also aluminum, and I used aluminum saddles for the E-A-D strings, the G-B-E strings have micarta saddles ("Bakelite"). If it wasn't a hassle I'd swap them to try out, but it's not that easy. The G5420T with the copper Tru-arc has had a SS Compton and a SS Tru-arc. I've also got a '59 VS G6120 with a brass Serpentune, had a sparkle G5128 with an aluminum Tru-Arc, and a Tele with B16 Bigs and aluminum Serpentune. Just saying--I've gone round robin the last 7 years or so trying various bridge materials. It's subtle tone-chasing kind of stuff, but I know aluminum holds up as 'airy twang' :)

(I don't like to bring up Embie anymore, they disappeared some years ago, took my money and never sent me the ...replacement aluminum saddles I wanted. Too bad, awesome Melitas)

IMG_2541.JPG
 

Hamoftruth

Electromatic
Mar 16, 2017
21
PA
I left out some detail here. The '53 VS has an Embie-matic Melita-style bridge. I had those guys make me an aluminum base plate. The bridge body is also aluminum, and I used aluminum saddles for the E-A-D strings, the G-B-E strings have micarta saddles ("Bakelite"). If it wasn't a hassle I'd swap them to try out, but it's not that easy. The G5420T with the copper Tru-arc has had a SS Compton and a SS Tru-arc. I've also got a '59 VS G6120 with a brass Serpentune, had a sparkle G5128 with an aluminum Tru-Arc, and a Tele with B16 Bigs and aluminum Serpentune. Just saying--I've gone round robin the last 7 years or so trying various bridge materials. It's subtle tone-chasing kind of stuff, but I know aluminum holds up as 'airy twang' :)

(I don't like to bring up Embie anymore, they disappeared some years ago, took my money and never sent me the ...replacement aluminum saddles I wanted)

Yeah man I hear you on the Embie stuff. I tried ordering a bridge for a Falcon I had at the time and was real excited, but it turned into a prolonged Paypal refund issue. I truly wonder if something happened to the fella who used to run it, because I never had any correspondence whatsoever during the process. It's a shame, because he filled a very cool niche in the Gretsch universe.

My initial gut instinct on the Aluminum seems to be reflecting well in the responses :p
 

BorderRadio

Country Gent
Mar 6, 2014
3,476
Phoenix, AZ
Yeah man I hear you on the Embie stuff. I tried ordering a bridge for a Falcon I had at the time and was real excited, but it turned into a prolonged Paypal refund issue. I truly wonder if something happened to the fella who used to run it, because I never had any correspondence whatsoever during the process. It's a shame, because he filled a very cool niche in the Gretsch universe.

My initial gut instinct on the Aluminum seems to be reflecting well in the responses :p

Ah that sucks. Once upon a time, I thought when I finally get my Falcon, it has to have a ...[blank] bridge. Well, not anymore. I'll just get a Serpentune and call it a day.
 


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