Blacktops added to my G2420!

Discussion in 'Streamliner Gretsch Forum' started by wademp, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. jfassett

    jfassett Gretschie

    Dec 9, 2017
    I want to put those pickups in my 5122, do you simply cut the wires from the old and solder the new? I saw the you-tube video with the TV Jones install and he solders at the pots, looks complicated.
    Took your advice and ordered a Reverend soft spring, worth a go for $10 bucks.
    Any input is appreciated, the only thing holding me back from changing pickups is the install and wondering if I'm competent for the job.
  2. Calula

    Calula Electromatic

    Jul 28, 2017
    Hi Jfasset

    Well, as I regard myself as devoid of any luthier skills, those TV Jones videos seemed perplexing also to me. Don't you loose heart, though; is much easier than it looks. Nevertheless, I´ll give you a couple of tips that can be useful for you to not stumble in the same holes that I did:
    • Check the wire length of the pups you mean to replace with; it can be quite enough for a small solid bodied guitar, but not for a full body hollow or semi. If it's not enough you can always amend it, but it's not ideal;
    • Please mind that pup or knob holes differ from model to model; measure it prior to buy silicon tubes to handle the wiring harness and pots. If you fail to get fitting tubes, you can always tie the pot poles with fishing floss or any resistant thread - but it makes it a bit more difficult;
    • To keep track of the input jack, sharpen a pencil body very carefully, until it goes in and gets stuck inside. It would be wise for you to tie a string to the pencil, to avoid losing it in;
    • Arm yourself with a strong wire lead, curved in a hook in one of the extremities. Using it is a risk for the body finish, but mind me, you may be forced to use it to retrieve wires or any other parts lost inside;
    • Get a wiring scheme of your particular guitar model. Don't expect, though, to find wire colours matching those you're going to find either in the pups you getting out or in those your getting in - try to identify them previously. Black wires use to be the ground, but as to the hot wires, colours can differ a lot;
    • (This goes for Streamliner owners, mainly) You may find impossible to drag out the wiring harness, because you don't find enough wire slack to do it. If it is the case, the reason is probably a ground wire connecting the neck volume pot and the down (or right) bushing of the tune-a-matic bridge. Don't try to move the bushing; just cut the wire right on the top of the pot and stick the wire to the top of the body with tape, so that you don't loose it before you re-solder it in the end;
    • Pots are sensitive to extreme heat; do your soldering sharpish or else you can damage them. Take the most of the existing solder on the pots (if you're not to replace them), heat it to remove the old wire, take a cooling break and then heat it to solder the new one. The lesser time you heat the pot, the better;
    • I find a 20w soldering iron to be best option for this kind of work. If you a have one up to 40w you can use it, but taking greater care. More than that and you'll be putting your luck to the test.
    wademp and Davis Sharp like this.
  3. jfassett

    jfassett Gretschie

    Dec 9, 2017
    Thank you so much!
  4. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Electromatic

    Apr 25, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    For my G2655, the ground wire was used as a cable tie. It was wrapped around the other wires and then tied once. I had to pull the pots into the pickup holes (the f-holes are too narrow to go that route) and de-solder them.
    wademp likes this.
  5. wademp

    wademp Electromatic

    Jan 1, 2010
    Elizabethtown, Ky
    My bridge’s ground wire was used as a sort of cable tie, also. It came right out once I removed the bigsby though.
  6. JohnHuff

    JohnHuff Electromatic

    May 15, 2018
    I've fitted a pair of TV Jones Classic Filtertrons, plus upgrading the pots to CTS and switchgear, wiring, plus some G silver arrow knbs and a Bigsby. Awesome guitar!
    section2 likes this.
  7. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, John!
  8. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I just had a set of blacktops put in my 5120. From reading on here I was pretty sure it would involve trimming the pickup holes a bit to fit the ears on the blacktops and filling the old pickup ring holes. Being a klutz, I paid my amp guru/guitar tech $45 to do it. I didn't bother with any wiring change since I have no issues with whats in it.
    He just cut off the quickplug and connected, soldered, & shrink wraped the wires to the existing wires in the guitar.
    Night and day improvement. Im enjoying this guitar now as much as my Falcon.
    BTW. I have a set of Gretschbuckers cheap if anybody wants em.
  9. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    Save 'em for a solid body. I hear they're great in a plank.
    Pine Apple Slim likes this.
  10. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    Dec 21, 2016
    I've just ordered a dual-mode tone pot for my G2655. Will I need to pull the old tone pot out through the pickup hole?
  11. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Electromatic

    Apr 25, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    Yes. Before you de-solder and remove the pot, see if the dual-mode pot will fit back through the cavity and (as I'm sure you now) it's bigger when wired up.

    There might be some useful info on my mod thread.
    section2 likes this.
  12. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    Dec 21, 2016
  13. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Great for a lap steel too!

    MTurner and Pine Apple Slim like this.