5422 pickups in a 5622?

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Bracque, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Bracque

    Bracque Electromatic

    4
    Nov 17, 2019
    New York
    Hi all, I really like the sound of the 5422. If I switch out the super Hilo trons on a 5622 and replace them with the filtertrons from a 5422, does anyone know if I would get most of the way to the same sound? Or does the centre block really change things up?

    Thanks.
     
  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hello and welcome!

    In my experience, it's the pickups that contribute 95-99 percent of the plugged-in, non-acoustic sound of an electric guitar. So I think you'll get the Blacktop Filtertron sound with the swap you mentioned. A different sound for sure.

    There are caveats to this idea. For one, a true hollowbody is robbing the vibrating string of energy, as some vibration toward driving the acoustic top. The quick decay, the thump of true hollowbody, will translate through the pickups. The acoustic signature of the top won't. The bridge material and type will translate a small amount toward the electric sound. Run it all through fuzz, nothing will matter but the pickups.

    A solid center block, when it comes down to it, is just a fancy solid body, so in theory the G5622 will have more sustain, and of course better resistance to feedback. The extra resonance of a semi-, I think that's something that only the player feels through their own hands/ears, since some acoustic energy is 'leaking' back, even at moderate amp volumes. Then of course there is the mystique of non-potted and microphonic pickups...

    But hey, if you don't mind me sayin', if you want to ditch those Super Hilos I'd be a willing customer for them :)
     
    RussB, section2, audept and 1 other person like this.
  3. Bracque

    Bracque Electromatic

    4
    Nov 17, 2019
    New York
    Thanks for the info! I was looking for something blues raunch rock, and loved the videos of the 5422 I heard on YouTube.

    I also like the Reverend Manta Ray which someone here was selling in mint condition with the Reverend case for a great price (and hence I was leaning towards that as it was easier to swallow than a new 5422 with case).

    Then Adorama does and prices the 5622 at 550 to get rid of the old stock... and the confusion begins...

    So sounds like I could try the 5622, and if I can't connect with the super hilotrons do the swap and get almost all the way there... If I go the gretsch route.

    Anyways, that you very much for the response!
     
  4. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    72
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, Bracque!
    welcome mat 90.jpg
     
  5. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    I've got a G5422.
    yeah I much prefer Blacktops to Hilo's.

    The centreblock in the 5622 won't make much tone difference - just makes the guitar much heavier for no benefit imo.

    What will make a big difference though are the tone pots.
    You should check 1st but I'd assume your 5622 has 250k tone pots to match the single coil Hilos. If so, and if you swap in humbuckers (ie filtertrons) you should swap in 500k tone pots to match.

    The blacktops will be treble limited with 250k pots and will sound dark shutting off the top end freqs. 5422s have 500k pots as do almost all humbucker guitars.

    If you swap the pots to 500k also stick in a treble bleed while there.
    Cheap and easy and will retain your treble at low volumes.

    Your other option if you gonna swap to filtertrons is just go straight to the top and get TV Jones. Cost more but worth it on electromatic guitars imo :)
     
  6. Bracque

    Bracque Electromatic

    4
    Nov 17, 2019
    New York
    Hi, the newer super hilotrons are humbuckers, and i believe the 5622 has a treble bleed on the master volume.

    I'll look into the pots etc. Thanks!
     
  7. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    ahhh ok all good then - check anyway :)
     
  8. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I think it will sound mostly the same with some differences that maybe a. Eq could help with. You currently have a 5622? Otherwise, maybe just get the 5422 or trade for it. 5622 used to retail for more, don't know now.
     
  9. Bracque

    Bracque Electromatic

    4
    Nov 17, 2019
    New York
    I don't have either but the 5622 is on sale for 550, hard to beat!
     
  10. DennisC

    DennisC Gretschie

    Age:
    37
    450
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    They cost (and look) pretty much the same. But ... they're different on the inside, of course.

    The major thing that would turn my attention to a 54 instead of a 56 is the Bigsby - tension-bar-Bigsbys suck.

    ... but, anyway, 550 is ... yeah, hard to beat...
     
  11. AllenK

    AllenK Electromatic

    38
    Feb 7, 2019
    UK
    I have the 5622. Great guitar. Part of the reason I got it was because the one I was playing stayed in tune better than the 5422 and 5420 I compared it to at the time and also previous 5420's I'd tried. That said, I've since played a 5420 that stayed in tune just as well so there is an amount of sample variation.

    The other reason was the SHT pickups gave a closer approximation to the sound of the 6120 DE I also played at the time and loved (but way out of my budget) or the sounds I hear on Beatles tracks where George was playing the 6119 with HT's. If you prefer a more single coil like sound, then 550 looks a great price. If not, then shop around a bit for a 54 series that holds it tune. You can't go wrong with either.
     
  12. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Well imo the difference between the tuning stability in individual guitars of same model is all due to how each guitar is set up, including how smooth the nut is cut on each. It they are both set up well they'll both stay in tune equally well imo.

    Construction wise the only diff between 5622 and 5422 is the internal centre block. The CB is not needed on these guitars imo. They're both thinner than 5460 and don't feed back much anyway.
    Plus the feedback is easy and fun to control.
    The CB makes it lots heavier for no benefit imo.

    The tension bar on the 56 bigsby is another issue.
    Bigsby definitely works better, smoother without it.

    Then you can improve bigsby operation even more with Reverend soft spring and Vibromate string saver like I put on my 5422 :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    audept likes this.
  13. AllenK

    AllenK Electromatic

    38
    Feb 7, 2019
    UK
    Nice looking guitar. Love the colour and how the grain shows through. That bridge doesn't look like the standard issue either! What have you fitted?

    Quality of set-up would certainly explain the sample variation I experienced.

    I don't experience any smoothness issues with having the extra tension bar but I do seem to break strings more frequently than the couple of other guitars I've owned. I'm considering replacing the bridge with an ABM 2400 as another 5622 owner has reported good results with this.

    5622 is heavier than the 5422 but is also thinner. These ergonomics impact on how the guitar feels to play. For me it wasn't significant enough to be a deciding factor but may swing it for some.

    You can't go wrong with either guitar. I think it comes down to whether you prefer the sound of the SHT's or Blacktop FT's. If the former, then act quickly to snap them up while they are still available.
     
    Waxhead and section2 like this.
  14. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    My 5622 had a very bright, Gretschie tone, much more so than my Blacktop Gretschs.


    Every Gretsch I have purchased needed the nut worked. After I dress the nuts they return to tune just fine, spreader bar or not. Well, I also cheat, I like having the ABM roller bridges on my Bigsby Gretschs.


    147296A1-DB4E-49B7-A3BC-7F1CF992D67F.jpeg
     
    BorderRadio and Waxhead like this.
  15. AllenK

    AllenK Electromatic

    38
    Feb 7, 2019
    UK
    Beautiful looking Gretsch. Love the pattern of the wood grain showing through the finish.
     
    radd likes this.
  16. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Allen - mine has a custom made Compton bridge compensated for perfect intonation and better tone. You'll see 100s of members here have them. There's many threads here on them.

    If you're going to swap bridges I recommend you get either a Compton, Tru-Arc or DBridge (made by one of our members here). There's lots of great reports on the new DBridge by members here also. I've got a Compton and a Tru-Arc on 2 Gretsch - both equally great imo

    http://www.comptonbridges.com/

    https://www.db-guitars.com/
     
  17. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    57C14105-8E3B-49EB-9299-6CE5C78836BD.jpeg A220B342-051F-410A-8CC4-E64EE78EBD13.jpeg

    I had one of the two popular solid bar bridges and it did not intonate well enough for me. On the 5622 the bridge location is fixed. I went with the ABM2400 and it is great. I have them on both of my Gretschs.
     
  18. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Glad it's worked for you Radd :)

    There's 3 issues I look for in choosing a bridge
    Intonation, Tone and Looks.

    My Compton and Tru-Arc bridges set intonation perfect (and never need adjustment), significantly improved guitar tone and look great at same time.

    Did the ABM2400 do anything to improve the guitar tone?
     
  19. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz

    I’m old and I .....wear hearing aids.....

    I could not hear a difference, don't tell anyone about the hearing aids, it’s a secret.
     
    Waxhead likes this.
  20. AllenK

    AllenK Electromatic

    38
    Feb 7, 2019
    UK
    Thanks Radd and Waxhead. I had got as far as ordering a standard TruArc but then realised the SHT version of the 5622 is published as a 12.6 inch radius neck, rather than the standard 12 inch. I did get hold of a measuring template which certainly indicated a slightly flatter profile. Not sure how much difference that 0.6 inches would have made but the idea of the Comptons, TruArcs and DB's is they match the radius. Doesn't really matter since you can have them customised anyway but there is an additional cost. Seeing a couple of good reviews of the ABM, which looks like a straight drop in, got me considering that design.
     
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