HS Filtertron installed in my 5120

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by Nerrad, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Carson

    Carson Electromatic

    16
    Nov 8, 2011
    Scotland
    HS Filtertrons

    I had a vacation in the States recently and I brought back a set of HS Filtertrons. I have made the Aluminium parts that "Nerrad" suggested, thanks for the design. I took the wiring harness out of my 5122 and closely inspected it, I was concerned about the mud pot! The harness is of good quality with Alpha pots, unlike a lot of members I like them, they are well made and reasonably accurate with good quality control!

    What I found was that the master Volume was a "B" Alpha linear pot and the tone was an "A" Alpha log pot. I swapped them around and I used a 0.022UF cap.I fitted it all together and plugged it in, these HS Filtertons are pure Gretsch twang and the mud is now gone with a bright linearly tone change down to near the stop.

    I think Gretsch deliberately do things like this to widen the gap between the 51XX series and the 6XXX series. Nobody would use log pots on a tone control and expect a gradual transition!

    I only wished I had tried switching the pots and installing the new cap before I ditched the Gretschbuckers, they might just have sounded a hole lot better!

    If any one tries switching the pots and a new cap let me know what effect they have on the Gretschbuckers it could me a very major improvement for a few dollars(or Pounds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  2. Nerrad

    Nerrad Gretschie

    Age:
    28
    149
    Jun 29, 2010
    Spring Hill, FL
    Glad what I suggested worked out for ya! I am going to do the what you did with the pots. That sounds awesome.
     
  3. PWGuy

    PWGuy Electromatic

    34
    Oct 20, 2011
    Illinois
    Carson, I am going to try your suggestion on my stock 5120 (Compton bridge). Have you received feedback from anyone else yet?
     
  4. Carson

    Carson Electromatic

    16
    Nov 8, 2011
    Scotland
    HS Filtertron replacement

    Hi PWGuy

    No I have not received any feedback on my suggestions, believe me it is worth trying before you go to the trouble of replacing the pickups and putting the wiring harness back in the guitar.

    Good luck let me know if it make a difference?
     
  5. PWGuy

    PWGuy Electromatic

    34
    Oct 20, 2011
    Illinois
    Great, will try it soon. And dumb question - how do I tackle this? Feel free to PM me if that will be best - I appreciate it! :)
     
  6. Carson

    Carson Electromatic

    16
    Nov 8, 2011
    Scotland
    If you haven't done this before you will find the whole process quite frustrating so be warned, I also don't know your skill level so if you have any doubts take it to a good luthier!

    What I use is electrically flex wire( the more flexible the better) I strip about 1" of the insulation and twist the wire round the spindle once I have removed the knobs, others use dental floss and TV Jones produce a kit for the job, I would also have a good look at the TV Jones video it is excellent! I have the TV Jones kit but I found it difficult to use!

    Changing the pots is not in the video but the wiring diagram is on their site. I used the same pots and switched them. You could buy new ones that would ease the task. Just make a drawing of each before you start!

    Make sure you change out the capacitor for a good quality replacement.
     
  7. PWGuy

    PWGuy Electromatic

    34
    Oct 20, 2011
    Illinois
    I found the wiring diagram. So do I simply buy the .22uF cap? What about treble bleed or any other caps? I assume I need to follow the TV video to the letter, meaning the entire harness has to come out, including the jack?

    I've done some soldering and wiring in the past, so am familiar with that part of the process :).

    One last question - is it possible to do all of this work with the strings on the guitar? I just put on new Gretsch strings recently and don't want to trash them! :(
     
  8. Carson

    Carson Electromatic

    16
    Nov 8, 2011
    Scotland
    Hi

    Yes all you need is the capacitor, and as I suggest it might be easier buying two new pots, Alpha are good quality and you want one A and one B pot. A is audio (Volume) and B is Log (Tone). Remember to check the existing pots before you change them, it could be that your have the right pots!!!!!! Order 24mm pots not the mini 18mm ones.

    There is no need for a treble bleed they are not popular with Humbucker pickups, I am sure some of the other member will have a view but that is my experience!

    The entire harness has to come out including the jack, indeed you wouldn't be able to get any of the wiring to the pots out without removing the jack. I didn't use the TV Jones dowel, what I did was take a 1" piece of dowel and drilled a hole in it and a threaded through a stripped flex and tied it off. I tapered the dowel so I could push it into the jack hole.

    If you are careful you should be able to take the strings off and reuse them, it is important with all of the wired that come out of the pick-up hole that the strings don't get in the way.

    Good luck be it on your head!
     
  9. PWGuy

    PWGuy Electromatic

    34
    Oct 20, 2011
    Illinois
    Hi Carson! I have an update on this but will create a new thread as I'd like more visibility to what you are suggesting with pot differences on the stock harness.

    Thanks
     
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