Here at Graph Tech we love to hear stories from our customers about their install, find out what happen when one player discovered a ghost inside his archtop.
The attached photo represents the finished product of my Ghost upgrade to my Gretsch G100CE arch top guitar. Thanks to your assistance, this project went very smoothly from beginning to end and the end result is the best sounding (and amplified) acoustic arch top guitar I have ever heard. There were also no cut/drill modifications to the guitar required at all, partly due to the floating bridge and partly due to careful planning, and lastly due to the lack of need for a lot of bells and whistles to achieve the sound requirement. I really appreciate all of the time, effort and documentation you provided that enabled me to plan and complete this project so easily. I also appreciate that you responded to each and every email inquiry, which were numerous.
I have no earthly idea of how many, if any, full size arch top guitars have been upgraded to a Ghost bridge and Acousti-Phonic preamp, so I will keep the project description as short as possible.
The original Gretsch bridge did not have the correct post center to center dimensions for a Ghost Resomax bridge, and I wanted to preserve the original Gretsch bridge, so I purchased a tone pro style roller bridge with a rosewood arch top base. I discarded the roller bridge saddle, removed the magnetic mounting bushings from the Ghost Resomax bridge saddle and just slipped it in place on the bridge base, where it fit perfectly. I replaced the existing Gretsch bridge assembly with the new one, adjusted the height and scale positioning, tuned the strings and it was in perfect intonation without any adjustment to the factory settings of the Ghost Resomax saddle positions at all.
The next set of steps involved extensive testing prior to final installation, just so I could figure out what was really necessary to accomplish the intended end result, so I won’t bore you with those details. However, I was immediately impressed with both the Ghost bridge and the Acousti-Phonic preamp. Great sound!
I had a pick guard custom made to provided an uncut, undrilled replica of a 1951 L4C pick-guard in 5 ply blk/wht/blk/wht/blk that I custom fitted to replace the original Gretsch pick-guard, but without volume, tone controls or switches. I made just one cutout for the neck mounted Gretsch Filter-Tron pickup and drilled two beveled screw holes for mounting. It fit perfectly the very first time.
The Acousti-Phonic preamp board and associated wiring are all loosely, but securely, suspended in the “F” hole slot directly beneath the pick-guard. There are so few places to put anything on an arch top guitar without cutting holes in it, I resorted to powering the Acousti-Phonic preamp using an AA size battery holder containing two 6 volt CR11108 Lithium batteries in series for a 12 volt power supply that takes much less space than the 9 volt battery/mount and clip does (battery life will be less, and battery cost will be more, but that is not important to me). The battery and holder also are out of sight underneath the pick-guard, but are easily removed for battery replacement. I used the quick switch for initial volume balance setup between the ghost bridge and the Filter-Tron mag pickup and then removed it. I used a spare two-pin 2 conductor wiring harness that came with the preamp and cut it in half to make two other connections. One was used for a shorting plug to pass through the Ghost volume input, and the other was used to connect the magnetic pickup input, so there are no volume or tone controls nor switches installed, as well as no unnecessary wiring or bulk to take up space. I did replace the original ¼” jack with the stereo jack provided with the Acousti-Phonic preamp kit and it works great mono blended and in stereo with the pickups separated. The volume balance adjustment is about 2 db higher for the Ghost Bridge compared to the Filter-Tron pickup, which is just about right to my ears.
Voila! One nice looking and fantastic sounding Graph Tech Ghost equipped arch top guitar!
Thanks Graph Tech! And Special Thanks to Gray!
We’ll change the way you play!