G5120 required mods

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by ampe, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. ampe

    ampe Country Gent

    May 11, 2011
    i ordered my gretsch g5120 today, should be delivered somewhere next week (can't wait!), should be quite the difference from my emg equiped ibanez
    I also have some old SG copy, play it through a peavey valveking (with a celestion v30 in it because the stock speaker is RUBBISH), and got a big muff, danelectro french toast, bad monkey, zoom g2.1u and things like that

    i've been looking around on the forum, saw alot of modding possibilities, and was wondering which are necessary and which are more GAS influenced.

    I heard about problems with the guitar strap thing and the input jack, is there anything i have to do or can do to prevent the strap thing coming loose?
    and how do you add the jack plate?

    i hear alot of great things about the compton bridge, so i'm probably getting one of those, which would be best for rock music, the stainless steel or the aluminum one? and what are the dimensions for the g5120?

    i'm probably gonna keep the stock ones in to start with, it's quite a big investment to put in other ones, but what are your experiences with the 'clarity adjustment'? (http://www.gretsch-talk.com/forum/e...m/40645-gretschbucker-clarity-adjustment.html)

    wiring harnass and tone pots
    i'm not very experienced with those things, what changes does the changing of the wiring harnass make? and what's wrong with the stock harnass and tone pots?

    is there anything else i should pay attention to? except for the famous 'nut sauce'?
  2. Theo 413

    Theo 413 Gretschie

    Dec 7, 2009
    ampe, congrats on the purchase!

    I've kept the stock tune-o-matic bridge on my 5120 and it works just fine. I did "pin" the bridge with some thin double-sided scotch tape. I play heavy handed and the floating bridge would always slide around....not a problem now!

    I put a square jack plate on mine after seeing many Gretsch hollows with caved in output jacks from getting bumped while a cable is plugged into them. It was easy...just don't let the jack fall into the body...its a pain the arse to fish back out!

    Alot of people like the stock pickups after some adjusting. TV Jones Classics will really help your 5120 get that classic Gretsch tone...they are expensive but alot of times you can find people selling used sets on this forum or the Gretschpages forum.

    Think about getting the stock plastic nut changed out for a bone nut or something similar. That (and some nut sauce) will really help keep you in tune when you dig in on the Bigsby!

    hope this helps...
  3. Griffindude

    Griffindude Gretschie

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hereford UK
    Hey Ampe, welcome to the forum! Enjoy your new 5120. I'm sure you will...
  4. Charlie Cash

    Charlie Cash Gretschie

    Jan 18, 2010
    Western Colorado
    Congrats. You'll really enjoy the guitar. No mods a required. It is a great guitar right out of the box. The nut may need a little adjustment or lubrication. I would play just play it and, later, if you see a reason to change something do it.
  5. Thunderball

    Thunderball Synchromatic

    Oct 2, 2009
    New York
    Understand this: the 5120 is very, very good as is. Don't go berserk with mods.

    Only mod you should do is add a Compton bridge. It's cheap and it makes the guitar come alive.

    Other than that, just consider cosmetic changes. New pickguard, dice knobs, decals, stuff like that.

    I just went Compton bridge and a load of cosmetic touches. Put on a set of strings you like and the guitar is really great to go as is.

  6. JohnnySlapback

    JohnnySlapback Gretschie

    Dec 27, 2010
    The more you read on this forum, the more money you will spend:)
    After the tv jones, the compton. After that, the chambered compton.
    After that, ever bone nut. Then you will just get a 6120 :) and then a dyno brain
    Then a atomic brain

    All that being said. GRETSCH IS ADDICTIVE!
    It goes on in this merry cycle :)
  7. beep.click

    beep.click Country Gent

    Apr 30, 2009
    I tried various adjustments, and nothing worked for me.

    Bought some GFS Surf 90 pickups from Fallen Saint, here on GT -- now THAT worked!

    YMMV. My friend loves the stock pickups. I just didn't.

    I think you should be able to hear before/after clips, here:

  8. 68GuitarPlayer

    68GuitarPlayer Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    Clinton, Tn
    Hi ampe, welcome to the forum.
  9. sligo ray

    sligo ray Gretschie

    Jun 17, 2011
    New Zealand
    Hey, ampe, welcome! I've had my 5120 for three years stock and enjoyed every minute. I'm about to install a stainless steel compton to get a little more snap, as I have been moving my playing and listening tastes towards rockabilly and like styles over the last few months. Until then, I was very happy with the stock setup. I'll post and compare notes with you as we both make adjustments. I'm also considering a pup upgrade, but will wait until I see how much the compton changes things.
  10. nadles

    nadles Country Gent

    Hi Ampe,

    +1 on the Compton Bridge.

    I swapped out the gretchbuckers for HS Filtertrons - gave me the Gretsch sound I was after. I like the gretschbuckers as humbuckers and have used them in a thinline Tele I've built.

    Modding is addictive and there are many things you can do (eg Treble bleed on master vol, rewiring the pup volume pots so the operate independantly, changing the wiring harness etc, etc.). I added a tone switch with varable caps as I find it more versatile than the tone pot.

    Once you've got your 5120 and played it for a while with your rig , you'll know if there is anything you want to change. If you do get the urge to mod, you've found the right place to ask for advice and assistance.
  11. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi ampe,welcome to the forum! +2 on the Compton bridge, best value for money mod you can make to a Gretsch!
  12. LATS

    LATS Country Gent

    Jan 3, 2010
    Kanata, Ontario
    Welcome aboard! :)

    Another happy Compton customer here:


    You will probably not need to make any other mods to your guitar, if it is properly set up. Get a good luthier to make the adjustments to fine-tune your guitar, and enjoy!
  13. sligo ray

    sligo ray Gretschie

    Jun 17, 2011
    New Zealand
    Hey, Lats, have you retrofitted the dynas? Presuming your guitar is a 5120, but the f-holes look finer than mine. Thinking of dynas myself... how do you find them on this guitar?
  14. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Oct 5, 2009
    They make stuff called Heroin... stay away. You sound like you've got an addictive personality. lol
  15. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Oct 5, 2009
    That one should be a 5125. With the Dearmonds. I could be wrong tho.
  16. jaycemumford

    jaycemumford Country Gent

    Jan 2, 2011
  17. LATS

    LATS Country Gent

    Jan 3, 2010
    Kanata, Ontario
    Yes, it's a 2005 G5125, with Dearmond 2000 pickups. (Which sound very good, BTW.)

    And a stainless steel Compton bridge. :D
  18. ampe

    ampe Country Gent

    May 11, 2011
    so what are the dimensions for the compton?
    i found somewhere that the post spacing is 2.9 and radius is 12 inch
    but what's the string spacing?

    ps: i love how friendly this forum is
  19. jaycemumford

    jaycemumford Country Gent

    Jan 2, 2011

    The string space is the distance between both E strings at the bridge.
    Either 2" or 2 1/8th of an inch.

    The post spacing NEEDS to be measured on the actual guitar! Either 2.9" or 3".

    All the info you need is on this page:

    The raduis either 9.5 or 12 seems to be used randomly, so you must measure it aswell, (radius gauge on the Compton website) the whole idea of the compton is that it matches your f/b radius so that you can get even string height all over the fretboard! Which = PLAYABILITY :D

    You also get the bridge slotted for your prefered string gauge.

    It sure is a friendly forum, it's one of my faves! Good Luck :)
    Keep us Posted!
  20. sligo ray

    sligo ray Gretschie

    Jun 17, 2011
    New Zealand
    Thank for the clarification, guys. Still learning some of the model variations. Wish they had this one available when i was buying. Sure is a sweet looking thang!
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