Gretschbucker "clarity" Adjustment

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by megabutter, May 13, 2011.

  1. ampe

    ampe Country Gent

    May 11, 2011
    i vouch for darren riley, he's a good guy
    and about pups, get the hs filtertrons, i've got them and they are good
    and +1 for the sanding
  2. Perry Bryant

    Perry Bryant Synchromatic

    Jan 12, 2012
    Sharpsburg, GA
    I was happy with the pups they way they came, but last night I made the adjustments and there is a great difference. Much better. I really didn't think there would be, so I am impressed. Thanks for the post MB.
  3. BrandonT

    BrandonT Electromatic

    May 30, 2012
    New York
    I believe there's a hardware store open today; if so, I will give this a shot. As for the rosin, I think I'll have to order it. Thanks much!
    I was also looking at the HS Filters. Is it fair to say they have a crunchier, dirtier sound? All the sound clips sound that way to me. Can a smoother sound be gotten? I have a Blues Deluxe RI, a Vox VT 20, and and a few other SS amps. Just mentioning this, as I believe your amp should be factored in, when it comes to tone.

    I've been re-thinking this whole pickup thing, and decided I probably should go for something more versatile. But that could change by the end of the day, haha.

    Oh, do the Filters need special mounts (sorry, if it states so on the website; I've been looking at all different types of pups, bridges, etc)? Thanks much!
  4. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    The filters don't go directly in, you'll need to find a way to mount them. The neck pup needs it's ears cut off to fit in the rout. You can get a mount kit from Ripley (google filtertron mount kit), he's a member here and a top fella! You'll also need mount rings and risers, available on ebay for not much. Predrilled ones are available. can get a complete kit from TV Jones! Much more affordable there than here in the UK.

    Filtertrons won't necessarily give you that single coil twang. If that's the sound you must have, maybe look at the GFS surf 90's. They get a lot of happy campers on this site.
  5. BrandonT

    BrandonT Electromatic

    May 30, 2012
    New York
    Thanks for the info. I heard some demos of the GRETSCH HS Filtertrons, and they have a nice gritty, crunchy sound.
    I've been torturing myself over this whole TV Jones business. I found (separately) Classic bridge and neck pickups on ebay; a search even at the the TV Jones site didn't come up with the English mounting rings only. Each pup was <$120, new, from reputable dealers. I shot them both pms, but it's a holiday here in the states, so I haven't gotten a response.

    In re-thinking this whole thing (I'm factoring in the cost of new Strat pups to replace the noiseless ones on a MiM Strat), I may go the route of either Gretsch, or GFS. I think almost anything is better than the stock g-buckers (no offense to those that love their g-buckers). I've always been pretty much a stock everything guy, and learned how to be happy with what I have. In this instance, the g-buckers seriously had me thinking of selling the guitar entirely- until the clarity adjustment. In listening to sound samples of g-buckers vs. TV Jones, I could hear the difference, but I'm not sure it's worth upwards of ~$300 in difference. I hear more treble, and bite in the Jones'

    In the meantime, I'm still tweaking the poles, and here's a pic of what I did last: [​IMG] I raised the southern most poles about as high as I could, but the top and low ends sound a bit unbalanced. I haven't messed with the neck poles as of yet.

    btw- anyone try an eq pedal with this adjustment? I can't find my eq pedal at the moment. Anyway, thanks for the great input as always, guys. I have kids to feed, and I don't think they're buying the "there's no food tonight!" excuse when they see me with a new bit of gear every other day.

    Are Surf 90s single coils in a humbucker housing? In any case, they were on my list as well. I don't want too crunchy a sound (not on the 5120). My head is spinning....
  6. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I raised my 5120 gretchbuckers as high as they would go, and still wish I could get them a little closer to the strings for a little more output.
    Guess I'll have to shim them.
    Will prob try that next time I change the strings.

    I did the OP polepiece mod and it does increase the articulation string to string and makes them less muddy.
  7. BrandonT

    BrandonT Electromatic

    May 30, 2012
    New York
    sound clip with an aluminum Compton.

    I raised the southernmost poles almost high enough to touch the strings. Instead of shimming, maybe you can raise the pup height more? That's what I did.

    Anyway, someone asked for a soundclip; I got my Compton aluminum bridge last week, and put it on Friday. Here's a clip; it sounds more shrill than it sounds in reality. I used the cam on my Galaxy phone, so there's not much to see or hear. Sorry for blathering. The Compton really rocks, and is bring out the highs a lot (thanks again, LATS!). Sorry it isn't a better sound sample, but it was after 2 am, and I was pretty wiped. I wanted to memorialize the sound, as I'm getting TVJ's soon. Click on the image: [​IMG] Oh, the intonation is pretty spot on- but not in the soundclip; I had just installed it.

    To clarify what I mean by "articulate" I mean, you can hear the strings "popping" a bit more. Yesterday, I raised the neck poles a bit to get more balance in the bass and treble. Again, sorry for so much blather. I was going to make a proper vid, but my flip cam crapped out. Skip to 1:30 to save 90 seconds of your life. But I'm happy! :)
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  8. Glow

    Glow Gretschie

    Jun 6, 2012
    Thanks for posting, I'll try this on my 5122 when it arrives, might save me buying a set of TV's if I'm tone happy with it!
  9. Pappy55

    Pappy55 Electromatic

    Dec 6, 2012
    Central KY
    Thank you MB and the fine resource of G-T!
    I recently acquired a 5120 already equipped with TVJ pups, a Power'tron Plus in the bridge and a Super at the neck.
    Got the Super dialed in pretty quickly with those bar magnets, but the Plus was eating my lunch. Muddy, all mids and no sparkle no matter where I adjusted it. I was already shopping for a replacement when I remembered seeing this thread.

    It lives to fight another day. :)
    I started with the 3 and 3 offset, but ended up with all of the neck side screws lowered as far as they would go and the bridge side raised quite a bit out, more or less following the string radius. Looks a little weird, but it sounds so much better...a great snarl when opened up and cleaner when dialed back.
    I'll see how it sets in the mix tonight with a full band. Can't wait.
  10. Snakum

    Snakum Electromatic

    Dec 16, 2012
    North Carolina
    I set my new 5120 up the other night and set up the pole pieces per the instructions here. I also canted my pickups just as I do with my G&Ls with the bass side lower, and the neck pickup further from the strings. All together it actually made a noticeable difference. I'm still ordering the Surf 90s but for now this setup and plugging into the bright channel makes it useable. A little less mud.
  11. Oblivion

    Oblivion Gretschie

    Jan 21, 2013
    Extreme N.E. Illinois
    I'll try to remember to do some direct recording into my Zoom Recorder before/during/after this adjustment. Will be a few days.
  12. Telechamp

    Telechamp Country Gent

    Oct 20, 2010
    Tampa Bay

    Same here. I wasn't expecting much after the adjustment, but it really did actually make a big difference..

  13. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
  14. 220/221

    220/221 Gretschie

    Feb 1, 2013
    I did the clarity adjustment as prescribed by megabutter and cannot believe the difference it made. It is not subtle. My 5120 sounded to me like some of the humbucker equipped Gibsons I have played, but after the adjustment it has, to these ears, a lot of that single coil Fender sound. It still has a bit of the bigger, rounder humbucker tone that it began with, but it is much more chimey, clear and punchy (more attack) after the adjustment. Thank you megabutter!
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
    J Bird and heinzman like this.
  15. Oblivion

    Oblivion Gretschie

    Jan 21, 2013
    Extreme N.E. Illinois
    I forgot to follow up that I suck as a recording engineer and did not get good before and after recordings - my levels were wacked and everything clipped. I may try again, but I do like the change as well.
  16. zoot

    zoot Electromatic

    Mar 6, 2012
    new jersey
    Gotta give you props! This worked great for me!
  17. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi zoot, welcome to the forum!
  18. BStone

    BStone Electromatic

    Dec 25, 2015
    Weird. Mine won't seem to screw in any further that the bottom of the screw flush with the black part. They'll turn but not go in. Never the less I raised the others and it sounds a little more focused and punchy
  19. aardvarkadventure

    aardvarkadventure Electromatic

    Jun 3, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    Hey y'all- first post here and I'm resurrecting a year-and-a-half old thread! I just came across it last night, though, and I ran my own test. Thought it might be helpful. Also, opinions? Not sure I can trust my own ears on this one.

    Below is a link to the audio (full of little pops...sorry!) and a screenshot of the raw waveforms (a little reverb was added afterward; I think it helps carry some of the tonal differences and I never play without it anyway). This is the bridge pickup only, playing a short bit of chords first and then a super slow bit of "This Charming Man" to test chime and sustain. Before/After format. test.wav?dl=0

    Screenshot (20).png
  20. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum!
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