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Microphone Month

Floating Sound Unit

Continuing our string of “Gretsch-isms,” the Floating Sound Unit – also known as the tuning fork bridge – was purported to enhance sustain, overtones and partials. Uh, well…it didn’t. It first appeared in 1966 on some examples of the top-of-the-line White Falcon hollowbody, though Gretsch experts joke that it’s “reign of terror” lasted well into the Baldwin years. However it took only a few months for it to destroy the guitar’s ability to hold proper intonation. An A=440 tuning fork is actually screwed into the bottom of this monstrosity. Add a telescoping Bigsby arm, a space control bridge, double mufflers and a few dozen assorted knobs and switches and you have something that looks like a 1950s sci-fi “B-movie” set. Thankfully, reissues do not include any of these features.

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