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Did the Gretschbucker pole piece adj mod

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Pine Apple Slim, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    as in this thread

    I always thought they Gretchbuckers seemed rather far from the strings as most pickups go, so I tried to raise them, but both pickups only went just a hair higher before the adj screws would no longer turn clockwise. Is this normal? I did not try to force anything, did not want to bugger up the screwheads or strip them. I usually set my pickup hts per Bill Lawrence's ballpark advice, thickness of 2 nickels distance from the strings on the neck, and one nickel on the bridge. THe neck is close but not quite there. The bridge is a long ways away from one nickels ht, about the same as the neck.
    Shorter adj springs needed?
    Don't worry about it, normal for this guitar?

    So anyway I went ahead and did the polepiece adj.

    A slight but noticeable improvement. A little more clarity, w/less trad humbucker roundness to the tone, but seems I traded off some of the neck/bridge variance. They sound more alike. I think the biggest improvement is to the bridge pickup.
    I may have to lower the neck pickup some. I think it may sound too similar to the bridge pickup and I'm loosing a little versatility.
  2. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Country Gent

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    I tried this on my 5120, mainly due to the huge difference in volume between pups when switching from bridge to neck. They are better balanced now, and you can actually notice a difference in tone between the two. They are still a bit muddy though, but better than before.With a hint of overdrive, the mid and bass backed way off, and the reverb way up, I can get quite a nice sound. I tend to play mostly in the middle position.

    Till my playing improves, and I can afford a better amp, I'm gonna stick with this setup.

    The stainless Compton helps too, making the brights brighter.
  3. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    My pickups were well balanced volume wise off the shelf. They still are, but tone wise the neck is very similar to the bridge. It may need to be lowered a tad to give me a more distinguishable neck tone.

    I'd raise the bridge instead, but its as high as it will go.
    Is that just the way these things are?
  4. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    Lowered the neck pickup. Success .
    GOt back some neck tone. Happy now
  5. PacRat

    PacRat Synchromatic

    Jan 4, 2012
    Benson, Arizona
    Just curious Pine Apple are you using stock pups and set up?
  6. Chancey77

    Chancey77 Synchromatic

    Apr 16, 2010
    Helsinki,Tampa, NYC
    I payed mine while my Tech raised and lowered the pups until the volume was consistent...that may help ya:) Have someone raise them while you play and switch between selections. I still have the stock ones in mine, they sound good...just needed some adjustments. But we did rip out the selector right away and replace it with a Switchcraft!
  7. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    Yes. Its a new Walnut(2011) 5120 model with the new and improved Gretchbuckers.11s and a Compton.

    I had not fooled with the pickups at all. Turns out they were set stock just about as high as they go. Got maybe 1/16" more ht on the back pickup, and the neck pickup wound up about where it was stock. This gave a good balance vol wise and putting the neck back down gave it some neck tone back. With both pickups at max ht, the neck sounded too similar to the bridge.

    As for the pole piece mod, it works. They sound more single coily and twangier. More Gretsch-like. Prefer the sound for the country/rockabilly/60s pop I generally play.

    If I was gonna play classic rock or blues, I would probably put the pole pieces back stock(all down) to regain some humbuckery creaminess that you seem loose with this tweak.
  8. PacRat

    PacRat Synchromatic

    Jan 4, 2012
    Benson, Arizona
    I was just curious as I've been studying some pups and how they were located and I saw that TV Jones has a shim pack available to get the pups higher . . . of course that with their pups but I don't see where they might not work if someone was bound and determined to raise their pups
  9. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    Not really bound and determined. I just have always adj my pickups starting
    With Bill LWrences 1 nickel 2 nickel guide. Can't get there with this
    GuitR tho. Nature of the beast I guess. Not very concerned am
    Happy with the sound for now.
  10. DRS13

    DRS13 Electromatic

    Jan 20, 2012
    I liked the Gretschobuckers in my G5120 best when they were as low as they can go with the pole pieces up. I was going for a Gretsch sound, not a Gibson sound. To me the Gretsch sound is a bridge that is bright and chimey but not harsh with sizzle when pushed. The neck is rounder with bell like chime but never muddy. The Grestchbuckers can get you 80% towards that tone but they always have a certain degree of Gibson style humbucker darkness you just can't adjust out. I have since changed to Gretsch HS Filtertrons which totaly give me the Gretsch sound.
  11. Henrytwang

    Henrytwang Synchromatic

    Feb 28, 2010
    teignmouth uk
    Me too! I fooled around with the Gretschbuckers but you can only get so far, in the end I fitted a pair of Gretsch HS Filtertons.