5420 stock pick up mounting bracket

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by dcwwcp, Nov 14, 2021.

  1. dcwwcp

    dcwwcp Electromatic

    8
    Nov 14, 2021
    Kansas
    I am new here and new to owning a gretsch. I own many stringed instruments and played guitar for 38 years.

    I finally picked up a 2012 black 5420.
    This is the newest guitar I own.
    Got it yesterday with a hardshell case for a decent price. It was extremely dirty, like an old barn find lol.

    So i have been doing a lot of reading and research to educate myself on this guitar.

    The first thing i am confused about is the pick up mounting. They are mounted with an aluminum bracket that goes across from side to side with what looks like vinyl rubber spacers on the actual pickup cover screws. The bottom of this aluminum bracket is literally touching the pole pieces. Being that the cover to the pickup is soldered on and the pickup screws are touching that and the aluminum plate I am confused. It seems like that aluminum bracket should not be touching the bottom of the pole pieces of the pickup.
    Any Enlightenment on this subject would be greatly appreciated thank you

    Gator
     
    CaliforniaSlim likes this.
  2. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Synchromatic

    501
    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US
    Welcome to a great forum. Can you post a pic of the guitar but mainly the pickup setup?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2021
  3. dcwwcp

    dcwwcp Electromatic

    8
    Nov 14, 2021
    Kansas
    I modified it already, bit here is a pic of how it looks now. I installed longer nylon spacers. Approx. .875" long. Just enough so the pu coversscrews can go completely into the aluminum plate. They were these short deformed black plastic pieces. So short the aluminum plate was touching several pole pieces. With seem like it would not work properly like that.
    The longer spacers also make it easy to adjust the pick ups higher without cutting the conical springs. 20211115_094828.jpg 20211115_094932.jpg
     
  4. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I am guessing that the original pickups were replaced with pickups that had the HS filtertron mounts.
     
    sgarnett likes this.
  5. dcwwcp

    dcwwcp Electromatic

    8
    Nov 14, 2021
    Kansas
    So, your saying these are not the normal factory mounts for the factory black top filtertrons in a 2012 5420?
     
    sgarnett likes this.
  6. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Synchromatic

    501
    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US
    Being nonferrous I don't think that having the pole pieces touch the bar would be an issue. Pole pieces touching the spacer bar is typical.
     
  7. dcwwcp

    dcwwcp Electromatic

    8
    Nov 14, 2021
    Kansas
    True aluminum is non ferrous. But it is most definitely conductive. The modification i did hopefully is at least useful to get the pickups closer to the strings.
     
  8. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I am not sure I'd like to see more pictures of your pickup and guitar.
    This is what I expect standard blacktop filtertrons to look like. See that they are mounted directly to the pickup rings simar to Gibson style pickups. The bracket you have looks like what is used to install professional style pickups (w screws through the pickup body rather than ears or tabs).

    zufgbbfn79nzm1xhqxrm.jpg
     
  9. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Synchromatic

    501
    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US
    I'm with Henry on this. I would like to see a picture of the guitar with the pickup; I am having hard time envisioning what the bar is for. I'm learning more and more about various guitars so visual introductions to different mounting techniques is very helpful to me. Your bar mounts look like they are doing what you want them to do. As an aside, the pole pieces are also adjustable so if you are still not close enough to the strings you can adjust their height with a screw driver. If you notice, they typically touch the baseplate. As they do not conduct electricity there is no concern around that.
     
  10. dcwwcp

    dcwwcp Electromatic

    8
    Nov 14, 2021
    Kansas
    Sorry I've been working on the guitar. here's a picture of it kind of stripped down from yesterday as I was working on it. It was really dirty and also needed to be buffed out.
    It's a 2012 model, seems stock. The guy put loctite on everything which was very frustrating.
    Rear pickup is going to need a bit more height to get it right and even in volume with the neck pickup.
    It sounds pretty good so far. 20211113_213353.jpg
     
    Henry, mister rain and section2 like this.
  11. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Synchromatic

    501
    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US
    . The loctite thing is odd. Nice looking guitar and it looks like all your work is paying off. The aluminum bar has been bugging but I think I figured it out. It looks like it serves as the mounting function of a baseplate. Again, congrats on scoring a nice guitar that has found a good home. Play the heck out of it!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
  12. dcwwcp

    dcwwcp Electromatic

    8
    Nov 14, 2021
    Kansas
    Thank you! Thank you to both of you for taking the time to look at my thread. Yeah saw it listed on Facebook Marketplace last week. A guy in Southern Missouri. Great guy actually, very nice retired truck driver. My other hobby is aircraft and in that case , yes you loctite everything. But in this case( any instrument really) my first thought was "oh crap".
    But this is what we used to at Midwestern Musical Company. We would buy guitars that we found that were in need of help and get them fixed up. Our whole music store was used and vintage equipment. It was a great place to "grow up" and learn about instruments and people.

    Back to it, you shared a pic Henry, that looks like a typical mounting design. Looks like less weight as well. These blacktop filtertons have to be pretty darn close to the strings. They sound good, but are a lil' too weak.
    I am gonna spend money on others areas than pickups for now though.
    I'm gonna track down either some replacement longer screws, or better yet, some shorter conical springs to get these pickups right where they need to be.
     
    DougWheeler74 likes this.
  13. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    My first generation 5420 is in my practising room, I can't pull the pups out right now. But I think they have these brackets originally. They also have the big metal-rings that were standard for the first generation 5420 with Blacktops. Nothing really odd there (in the history of Gretsch, odd is normal :D).
    Henry's pic shows 2nd gen. Blacktops with the more gretschy plastic surrounds and "ears".
     
    Henry and capnhiho like this.
  14. capnhiho

    capnhiho Country Gent

    Feb 16, 2013
    California
    ^This.
    My 2012 5420 had the same mounts (with the added bar), while my 2018 Double Jet has the same as @Henry ’s photo. Both with BTFT’s.
     
    Floo and Henry like this.
  15. dcwwcp

    dcwwcp Electromatic

    8
    Nov 14, 2021
    Kansas
    Found some conical springs that are a little larger dia. But they are much shorter fully compressed, therefore gives a little more height.
    I cut some new spacers as well for the screws between the pickup cover and the mount bracket that are approx. .930" long. This is as long as i can go and still thread the screws into the bracket all the way.
    This is all on the back pickup as the front one is fine with my original modification.
    Now i can just about make them touch the strings before they top out.
    If you get these pickups just under an 1/8" away, they are just as loud as my other guitars. (Old tele and les paul)
     
    epimetheus81 and Floo like this.
  16. dcwwcp

    dcwwcp Electromatic

    8
    Nov 14, 2021
    Kansas
    Dropped it off at my local luthiers shop to get the frets leveled. The upper register has a few frets that are too high to get the action proper. 13th has a small nick in it at the b string.
    Should be good to go when I get it back.
     
    Henry likes this.
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