Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Sean McILwaine, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Sean McILwaine

    Sean McILwaine Synchromatic

    Dec 26, 2012
    London UK
    Things were going so well tinkering around with my Electromatic 5420T. First the harness out and some changes, setting up neck, new strings and set up pickups. All fine until the last tweak on the neck pickup height adjuster screw which suddenly locked up and will not budge.

    The other 2 adjuster screws and springs work fine but the top adjuster screw towards the neck circled in red is stuck solid. I released the tension on the other screws but no movement. I managed to fish the neck pickup out and can’t see any problem, there is a small amount of slack in the spring so its not overtightened. I could be more forceful on the screw with the pickup out of the guitar but no joy although I did managed to pretty much round off the Phillips head! Also tried trying to turn the end of the screw with pliers and a bit of lube on the thread but it will not move.

    I am puzzled about this but want to get it back to being adjustable. I like the Blacktops so not tempted with an alternative and it would be crazy if it can’t be fixed.

    Do any of you learned people out there know the screw thread, length and spring size of the adjuster, if the size I am looking for is metric or imperial and if you can get replacements for the Balcktop chrome Filtertrons? As mentioned the guitar is an Electromatic 5420T year 2011.

    I have seen adjuster screws and springs for Humbucker pickups and the screws seem generic although the springs differ in build and size would something like that work, if so any recommendations? If I can get replacement screws and springs I can remove the pickup and try releasing the offending screw in a vice with a bit of WD40.

    I’m not looking forward to gemoving everything to get the pickup out but needs must. This problem has made me seriously consider pickup connectors and I’ve just put the harness back.....

    Any help and advice would be gratefully received.

    Attached Files:

  2. Zeek

    Zeek Synchromatic

    May 29, 2016
    Illinos USA
    Id pull it and replace the scew
    MKunie likes this.
  3. r0de0

    r0de0 Gretschie

    Jul 7, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    If it were the last screw to be undone, it could be torqued, underload from the P/U lifting from the other 3 axis... consider putting all back together and take out offending screw first?
  4. slickfaster

    slickfaster Synchromatic

    Dec 29, 2009
    If it’s not too far off I would play it as is and then on your next string change pull the pick up and see what’s doing underneath..
  5. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    Loosen the strings.
    Wedge a wooden piece between the frets and strings to hold them up off the fretboard maybe 3/4"
    Remove the pickup just enough to replace the screw/screws.
  6. GlenP

    GlenP Synchromatic

    Jul 23, 2019
    If you have stripped the head, you might be able to get one of those drill bit sets that will drill a cone and then a cone bit can grab the head of the screw and twist it out, but that takes some considerable downforce, and makes lots lot little metallic particles around the magnets. Might be better to grab the back side of the protruding screw, but of you crush the threads then that part will get stuck as you unscrew it. Man that is a tough one, I got nothing.
    MKunie likes this.
  7. Sean McILwaine

    Sean McILwaine Synchromatic

    Dec 26, 2012
    London UK
    Thanks folks, maybe I was not very clear about trying to find a fix.

    I have pulled the pickup out which is not the issue. But I will need to use a vice or locking pliers to try to get the adjuster screw to unlock. As I had just about finished setting it up the height its locked at is just about right for the setup and strings. There is no point in trying to remove the screw and spring without a replacement as the pickup would tilt at a very odd angle.

    What I looking for is info on:

    a) the screw thread, length and spring size of the adjuster, if the size I am looking for is metric or imperial and if you can get replacements for Balcktop Filtertrons?

    b) would replacement adjuster screws and springs for Humbucker pickups work and if so any recommendations?

    All the best
  8. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    It should be metric. There is nothing proprietary about Asian made Gretsches.

    Measure the screw and check the usual guitar hardware stores.
    MKunie likes this.
  9. Sean McILwaine

    Sean McILwaine Synchromatic

    Dec 26, 2012
    London UK
    Thanks that helps. I sort of thought it would be metric as I had to enlarge the pot holes when I changed the harness and pots.

    I will email some guitar suppliers and make some phone calls to see if the screws are standard.

    Even living in London there is not many places that still exist that knows this sort of thing. Cheers
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