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Can't Find That Gretsch Tone?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Reynman, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Reynman

    Reynman Electromatic

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    I had a 6120 years ago, had great Gretsch tone with my AC-15...Plunky, Thick and musical. But did not like the scale...moved on.

    Wanted to get back to Gretsch tone land and bought an Elliot Easton Gretsch. Plugged it into my Fryette Pittbull (Clean, Voxy channel), and was not able to get the tone that was in my head...too thick. It sounded great, but not the tone I was looking for. Bought some TV Jones classics...got more sparkle (good) but still not the tone. Changed 12ax7's is my amp...not there. Brought my Easton Jet to Sam Ashe and tried it thru an AC-15...still could not get it. Sales guy is a rock-a-billy player, and coaxes the tone out of my guitar. He has a lighter touch than I...hmmm.

    Grabbed a Current Jet with Dyna's off the wall, and I can make that guitar sound Gretschy with the AC15.

    The Easton Jet sounds great...but not Gretschy with my Gorilla touch. Is it because I am comparing it to a Hollow Body, and a hollowed body with single coils (where the Easton is pre Fender...less hollow, more chambered).

    I need to gain a lighter touch...to much playing with (by) myself ;)

    Suggestions?

    Patrick
     
  2. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Country Gent

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    If you put in TV Classics, you should definitely be in the ballpark. Check the capacitor values in the tone switch. In the middle switch position, you should be Gretschy as they come, since this removes the tone circuit completely. However, some pre-FMIC have heavy values on the mudswitch caps.

    The current values used by Gretsch in the toneswitch circuit are .0039mf ("lite mud") and .012mf ("xtra mud"). Many of the pre-FMIC models had .022 and .047 values, which results in a more muffled tone.

    Also, if I recall correctly, the EE model has a fixed Tune-o-matic bridge instead of a floating arch bridge. this will definitely affect your tone. And yes, a 6120 will sound completely different from a Jet model-- particularly the pre-Fender Jets, which are more solid, as you pointed out.
     
  3. Reynman

    Reynman Electromatic

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    Thanks Tartan...

    I almost never use the mud (tone) switch...I tend to like it bright and jangly.

    Keeping in mind the construction of my guitar (B7 with bar, Adjustomatic, More wood), I have been compensating with my amps controls. I have the Treble at 3 o'clock, the Mid at 8 o'clock, and the bass at 8...the Presence is almost wide open (4 o'clock or so).

    This gives me the closest...
     
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  5. Crooner

    Crooner Friend of Fred

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    Hi, Patrick.
    Welcome to GT! I have a EE Jet, too, and I can understand what you’re saying. In many ways, it's still a Duo-Jet, but there's no mistaking that it's been heavily altered. Mine is pre-FMIC, as well, and I feel the pickups, while good, don't have quite all the character of my FMIC Gretsches. Tartan is right in pointing out the bridge, too. Having the TOM and the fact that it's bolted on is a big deal as far as Gretsch tone is concerned. I realize that there are Gretsches with this setup, but I've always felt the floating bridge on a wood base is an integral part of That Great Gretsch Sound. Weight is another issue, too, as the EE is most certainly heavier than a Duo-Jet. This will, as you've seen, steer the tone away a bit from classic Gretsch. The fact that the TV Jones still aren’t making a profound difference is still curious, though. What weight strings are you using? I'd say 10's are the absolute lightest you should go, while 11's are really the best (this actually suits most Gretsches). If you’re using 9's that could be a factor.
    There's no denying that the EE is a great guitar with a lot of solid features, and it's probably one of the first things I'd reach for on a gig, but likely the last one I'd grab when recording.
    If you ever decide to sell yours, let us know here, as we have a few members looking for one.
     
  6. Reynman

    Reynman Electromatic

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    Thanks Croon...

    Probably does not help that I put a Tone Pros Bridge on to help tuning stability...

    I used it for a 2 years with 10's and just switched to 9's 2 days ago...With the EE, there is just a sustain and thickness...the tone I know (and want) lacks sustain and tends to be a bit thinner. I try to help this with some selective palm mute to kill the sustain. I am sure that the retaining bar and set bridge only help sustain. It is a GREAT sounding guitar...just not all out Gretsch.

    With that said...the tech at Sam Ashe said is was the best sounding Jet that he has ever heard...

    Porn:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Sarah93003

    Sarah93003 Friend of Fred

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    Hi and welcome to the forum, Patrick
     
  8. Crooner

    Crooner Friend of Fred

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    Great gear, Patrick. Talk about a solid lineup of great guitars! Nice!
    I think the best thing to do is buy a new Duo-Jet. :D
     
  9. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

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    You be so right as usual. The EE is to much like a Les Paul. The Korean and Chinese ones are boat anchors nothing like real Jet for that Gretsch sound. Welcome aboard.
     
  10. Big Burly

    Big Burly Synchromatic

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    A lot of that Great Gretsch Sound comes from the guitar's construction. The EEs had way more wood and way less chambering. The fixed TOM bridge and much increased sustain reveal the construction.

    Installing Filter'Trons into a Les Paul... It still sounds like a Les Paul, basically. A little different sounding but definitely not Gretsch-sounding.

    Keep the EE! It is a great guitar, for sure.

    Get a DuoJet of some kind. That will get you into the Gretsch Zone. DuoJets are pretty close to hollow. They have the floating bridge. They have either Filters or Dynas. There ya go!
     
  11. Big Burly

    Big Burly Synchromatic

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    Actually, now that I think about it, The DuoJet will have the same scale as a 6120, which you said you didn't like.

    Enter the Country Club! 25.5" scale! 17" body! Filters or Dynas! Floating bridge on fully hollow body!

    That is what you need!
     
  12. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

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    You said "Grabbed a Current Jet with Dyna's off the wall, and I can make that guitar sound Gretschy with the AC15." That should tell you something and the "Gretsch Sound" wasn't the AC15 it was the real Jet.
    FORGET CHANGING YOUR HEAVY HANDED PLAYING STYLE TO ACCOMODATE A GUITAR THAT IS NOT GOING TO DO WHAT YOU WANT.
    EE Great guitar for what it is and it isn't a jet more sustain less chambers heavier sorta Les Paulish as I said. Keep the EE if you want to sort of have the "Gretsch" sound. The Gretsch sound your looking for is in the Jets and other Gretsch guitars. That's why I love mine it is almost a hollow body as Big Burly says. I never could get a tone I cared for from any solid body and spent many $$$ trying. I posted a thread about giving up on solid bodies here and got turned onto the Jets. (Thank you Gretsch Talk) If you still have the original pickups throw them back in the EE and sell the TV's and the EE. Life is too short to have a love hate relationship with a guitar that almost and sometimes sounds the way you want. I speak from my own experience here only. But dang I love my Orange G6121 Nashville Jet with TV Classics. That great Gretsch sound is there all the time, every time, and not just some of the time. Dump Mr. Elliot Easton he plays Gibson you know. You won't find that "Gretsch sound" in an EE Gibson SG.:D Take my advice you won't be sorry.;)
     
  13. araT

    araT Gretschified

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    Run back to Sam Ash & buy that Dyna Duo Jet... Quick! before someone else nabs it! :D:cool::p
     
  14. Reynman

    Reynman Electromatic

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    Funny...I was at Sam Ashe yesterday, and the Jet was gone.

    Tough decision...The EE is a great player, with great tone (thick but great articulation). As you all understand, a Gretschy Paul.

    I am going to stop obsessing...play my EE...and let things happen as they may. I have a soft spot for this EE, as I rescued it from a bad collector. He purchased it and sold off the Pickguard and Truss Rod cover to recoup some of his investment. I am not so sure that he did not sell off the original Pickups, so I replaced them with TV's. The only way anyone would know that it is an EE is the Label in the inside of the control cavity. It is an EE/no EE with sonic improvements!

    Time to enjoy it for what it is, and not what it is not.

    Thanks all!
    Patrick
     
  15. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

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    I'm afraid my friend, it is one of those love hate relationships I was in one with a guitar for over two years because I too had a soft spot for the guitar.
    Stop obsessing? Impossible! ;) Please post the pics of your new Jet when you do get it within the next year. :D:D:D
     
  16. Poppatwang

    Poppatwang Synchromatic

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