The last few mods

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by section2, Feb 12, 2019.

Tags:
  1. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    665
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I've been modding my G5620T little by little since I bought it six months ago. This morning, I finally added the finishing touch: a custom truss rod cover. I designed the wordmark and had it laser-cut and reverse-engraved by the good people at ponoko.com. Then I filled the engraving with white acrylic paint, followed by two coats of silver spraypaint on the back. It really pops--it doesn't come through in the photo, but the engraved portion seems to float on top of the silver, which I suppose it does.

    20190212_094200.jpg

    Other mods:
    • Replaced the stock Bigsby B70 with a V-cut B6C
    • Replaced the Bigsby spring with a Reverend soft spring
    • Replaced the stock fixed bridge with a floating Bigsby bridge
    • Added a custom reverse-engraved pickguard (also from ponoko.com)
    • Replaced the stock Grover tuners with Hipshot Open-Gear Grip-Locks with Imperial buttons (thanks, @englishman!)
    • Replaced the stock tone pots with CTS no-load 500k audio pots
    • Swapped out the stock 1/8" magnet in the bridge pickup for a vintage-spec Filtertron 1/4" rough cast magnet
    • Added a jack plate
    And with that, this guitar is finally done!

    Now: on to my next project. (That job will involve a G5235 Pro Jet, a sheet of drum wrap, a trio of power tools, a soldering iron, and a whole lot of time. Stay tuned.)

    20190211_195444.jpg

    20190212_094230.jpg

    20190212_094248.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  2. new6659

    new6659 Gretschie

    125
    Dec 10, 2018
    Southwestern Ontario
    I'm curious how you feel the magnet change affected the sound? The guitar looks great!
     
    section2 likes this.
  3. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    665
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Thanks! My subjective impression was that the pickup sounded subtly warmer after the magnet swap. The basic tone is the same, but the ice-pick highs have been tamed.

    That said, I wasn't very scientific about the experiment. I didn't make notes on the pickup height before the swap, so it's hard to say whether any change in tone was due to the new magnet or to a change in pickup height.
     
  4. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    48
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    That's a great looking geet!
     
    section2 likes this.
  5. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    So classy!
    Nice work!
     
    section2 likes this.
  6. Beardog

    Beardog Synchromatic

    Age:
    55
    575
    Apr 15, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    Nice job!
     
    section2 likes this.
  7. LongJohn

    LongJohn Gretschie

    307
    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    Nice work. Did you have to remove the part that the fixed bridge posts screwed in to before placing the floating bridge?
     
    section2 likes this.
  8. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    665
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Thanks! Yep, I had to remove the bushings. It was fairly simple: I took a long bolt with the same thread pattern as the bushing, and screwed it into the bushing until the bottom of the bolt hit the wood at the bottom of the hole. Then I kept turning gently, allowing the bolt to pull the bushing out of the guitar. Easy peasy!

    Sanding the flat-bottomed bridge base to match the curve of the archtop, though... that was a bigger project. I had to use a flat base because this guitar has a shallow neck angle, so a standard archtop bridge base would have raised the action far too high. The only bridge base that was thin enough was flat-bottomed. Thank God it was baseball season at the time, because I watched an entire game while hand-sanding that thing. Never doing that job again.

    (In retrospect, I probably could have used an archtop base and removed the excess height by trimming the top of the base, which would have been a far easier job. Live and learn.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    Henry, Merc and calebaaron666 like this.
  9. Merc

    Merc Synchromatic

    551
    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    Looks great and smart way to remove the bushings. Will remember that idea.
     
    section2 likes this.
  10. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Nah, you still remove material from the bottom of an archtop bridge. You would have been sanding for days anyways.
     
    section2 likes this.
  11. LongJohn

    LongJohn Gretschie

    307
    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    So I guess I'll be going the direct replacement roller bridge route, not so much the carpenter :(
     
  12. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    665
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I'm not much of a carpenter either! If I can do it, trust me—you can too. It doesn't take much skill; it's just a pain to do it. And you won't need to sand down the bridge if you have a steep enough neck angle. Which model Gretsch are you planning this for?

    One other thing: if you want a solid bridge but don't want to float it, you can get a Compton or a TruArc that will drop right onto your existing bridge posts. @calebaaron666 ordered one for his G2622T. You'd just need to contact the company first so they can get you a model that will intonate properly.
     
  13. LongJohn

    LongJohn Gretschie

    307
    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    I have a 5620 too, probably go the Compton route, not sure about steel or brass. Second question, tone pots, did your upgrade give you more range than the seemingly on/off not much in between stock tone controls?
     
    section2 likes this.
  14. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    665
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    The tone pot upgrade made a huge difference. It was probably the most consequential of all the mods. Thanks to the linear taper on the stock pots, they did nothing for the first 90% of the rotation, and then went straight to mud. These audio taper pots solved the problem. It's a gradual change in tone all the way down.

    I used 500k CTS no-load audio pots with .033uF caps. If I were doing it again, I'd use the same pots but 0.022uF caps. The .033s are muddier than I need when they're rolled all the way off.
     
  15. 64ChevSS

    64ChevSS Electromatic

    41
    Dec 24, 2016
    Innisfil, Ontario
    Great job - looking forward to what you do with the Pro Jet.
     
    section2 likes this.
  16. new6659

    new6659 Gretschie

    125
    Dec 10, 2018
    Southwestern Ontario
    Hi Section2 - where did you get your pots? I'm in Canada too.
     
    section2 likes this.
  17. Reedlvr

    Reedlvr Gretschie

    254
    Dec 8, 2017
    West Texas
    My baby..... MODDED BABY.jpg
     
    JParry335 and new6659 like this.
  18. JParry335

    JParry335 Electromatic

    61
    Jan 22, 2019
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I love seeing stuff like this where people take things that are already good but make the changes to bring them to the next level and make them great!
    Well done!
     
    section2 likes this.
  19. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    665
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Nice to meet a fellow Canadian here! I got the pots from nextgenguitars.ca. They've got a good selection of parts at reasonable prices in Canadian dollars. When they don't have what I need, I go to amplifiedparts.com, which has decent cross-border shipping rates.
     
    new6659 likes this.
  20. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    665
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Beautiful! That red sparkle finish is the bee's knees.