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Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by KennyC, Aug 31, 2020.
A new guitar that is not working correctly, that stinks .
I hope you get it resolved.
This is a guitar with a wooden bridge base. The ground goes to the tailpiece.
Electrical can be fixed. There’s not a lot going on in there.. pots, Jack, switch, pups, grounding...if you like it’s playability hold tight!
Could be worse... twisted neck, cracked joint, fret board hump...
on and on.....
Should go back to get repaired
You see, guys, this is why I stick to vintage. None of these headaches.
I have seen a few, where a small hole is drilled in the wood base, with the ground tail being sandwiched between the top of the base and the under-side of the bridge.
If you are correct, checking ground under Bigsby is a easy as checking the ground at the bridge.
Either way, these would be my ground check locations, anything more and the guitar's going back.
Can’t get within five feet...that is really odd! Tells my small brain something in the guitar is being influenced by something in any amplifier (duh). Exposed wire touching something metal it shouldn’t be touching? That could make the guitar into an antenna...
I don’t know, just really has my curiosity going. My first thought is something with the jack or the toggle. No help I know, but without voiding a warranty you could have a look. If you got one of those dental mirrors from a hardware store you could look under the hood to see if anything is obvious.
Edit: whoops! Painted f-holes!! Sorry for that idea.☹️
It sounds like the tailpiece isn’t correctly grounded. Simple in theory.
I happen to own one and have had the wiring harness out. I have never seen a Gretsch with a floating bridge grounded in that manner.
I couldn't imagine sending an otherwise good guitar back for such a simple problem. At most, this is an hour's work and quite possibly 10 minute's work. Worst case scenario, route a ground wire in through the hole in the end block and solder it to the output jack. Best case, the ground wire is in place and the insulation needs to be stripped back a bit further. It's a very annoying problem, with a very simple solution. If Kenny lived nearby I'd do it as a favor.
I have an appointment on the 14th with an authorized Gretsch repair shop, hopefully I can report back that the problem is fixed.
If you have an ohm meter, I can suggest a very simple test. Plug in a patch cable and test continuity from the strings to the "ring" side of the patch cable. If there is no continuity, or even if it is intermittent, you've tracked it down.
Just a FYI
My guitar has the following pickups:
Bridge Pickup: TV Jones® Super'Tron™
Neck Pickup: TV Jones® Super'Tron™ Classic Plus
Plugging guitar cable into guitar and using a VOM on 20K ohm scale, measuring from probe on strings to probe on tip of cable you have the following (all potentiometers up all the way):
Switch set to neck pickup: 4.02
Switch set to both pickups: 2.64
Switch set to bridge pickup: 7.58
All three switch positions strings to ground on guitar cable: 0
From TV Jones site: Output/Power - DC Resistance is not entirely an indicator of true pickup output, although it can be helpful.
Bridge: Resistance: 4.8k / Inductance 2.64H
Bridge: Resistance: 7.8k / Inductance 2.83H
All of that makes sense. Maybe there's a cable shield which isn't grounded.
Probably is something that simple. While I have the skill set and tools to fix this myself (I use to build guitars), I am developing a tremor in my right hand and at this point it is intermittent so I would not chance getting close to my guitar with a screwdriver as I never know when the shake will begin, I can picture in my mind putting a big scratch in that beautiful Gretsch. So I'll patiently wait till the 14th and let the Gretsch tech take care of it. Thanks for your input and all the others who have provided input.
I'm certain that it can be dealt with effectively.
Best wishes for a positive result.
I had to laugh when you noted the multibrand dealer within a 20 minute drive. I suspect I know exactly who you're talking about.
I was thinking the bridge is not grounded , but , how do you ground a bridge that sets on top of a piece of wood . For that matter how is a LP bridge grounded ? I'm so confused .. Guess I'll have to open one up and see ....
You ground the strings at the tailpiece. SOP for archtops.
Read my post #26, ,my 2005 Duo Jet is grounded like this.
This guitar came with a Space Control bridge on a wood base, and is grounded at the bridge, I discovered the ground on this floating bridge when I replaced the Space Control bridge with a Rocking Bar bridge.
The ground wire comes through the top of the guitar, through a small hole in the base adjacent to the right bridge post, a tiny ''eye'' clip is attached to the end of the wire, the eyelet goes over the threaded bridge adjustment post, the metal bridge makes contact with the metal eyelet via the threaded post, very simple, very effective, although somewhat delicate.the eyelet is under the height adjustment wheel and does not affect/interfere with bridge height adjustment.
I also changed the pressed ''smooth head bolt on the Bigsby arm with the correct George Harrison dome top Phillips bolt.
This guitar is not played often. When I replace strings, I replace one at a time to keep the bridge base from moving and potentially damaging the ground wire.
Just one of life's little inconveniences, fifteen years now, no problems.
Did you buy that guitar new?
I'm thinking that your tests point away from an earthing problem, and wondering if one pick up is at fault. Easy to test - get it noisy, and use the selector switch to toggle between the pick ups. If it's noisy on one, and quiet on the other, it points toward a problem in the noisy pick up. The response from TV Jones maybe supports that idea. But - 1) I'm no expert, and 2) I imagine you have done this already. Good luck, we'll be keen to hear how this goes.