Electromatic 5622 - bad pots?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by rschultz, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. rschultz

    rschultz Electromatic

    73
    May 11, 2015
    Knoxville, TN
    I recently bought a used 5622 center block (new in 2021). Occasionally the pickup selector flakes out and I don't get tone in the bridge pickup. I lived with it for a couple months.

    Then I bought a TV Jones neck pickup. While I was in there, I did some troubleshooting and figured out the pickup selector is FINE. It's the neck pot... and actually the bridge pot too, they both have dead spots where the tone goes away. Sometimes it's at the extremes, but sometimes it's in the middle. What the hell? I've never experienced that.

    Anyway, I want to buy another TV Jones pickup for the bridge. Instead of just buying new pots... I'm seriously leaning toward just getting a whole new harness ($108). I noticed in the TV Jones video that he solders the pickups directly to the pots. But in the 5622, there are these small pickup connectors?!? Made me think there could be voltage buildup or something across these connectors as well. Not sure.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
     
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  2. wabash slim

    wabash slim I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    72
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Try DeOxIt cleaner first.
    Seems odd that a guitar less than a year old is flaking out already.
    I'd trust solder before connectors. TV Jones has a great reputation.
     
  3. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    If it's a 2021 guitar, it might still be under warranty. Not sure whether the pickup replacement voided the warranty, but if not, you may be able to get the pots sorted out for free at your nearest Gretsch dealer.
     
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  4. juks

    juks Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    No warranty except for the one who purchased the guitar new;

    "FMIC warrants your Gretsch brand instrument to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for as long as it is owned by the original retail purchaser, except that pickups, switches, jacks, controls, all other electronic components, tuning machines, hardware, pickguards, plated surfaces, gig bags, cases and case hardware are warranted for a period of one (1) year from the date of original purchase. This warranty applies only to the original retail purchaser when this instrument is purchased from an Authorized Gretsch Dealer and is subject to the limitations set forth herein. IMPORTANT: PLEASE RETAIN YOUR ORIGINAL SALES RECEIPT, AS IT IS YOUR PROOF OF PURCHASE VALIDATING THIS LIMITED WARRANTY."
     
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  5. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Get the tvj harness if you can afford it. The parts are not expensive but I personally would hesitate to trust my own soldering (although I have swapped pickups without incident).
     
  6. Cdb1961

    Cdb1961 Gretschie

    134
    May 5, 2018
    Orange Park, Fl
    Recent installed a TVJ harness in my 5420, my only regret is that I didn’t do it immediately when the new pickups were installed. I was amazed how much improvement in the tone with the harness. Worth every penny!
     
  7. rschultz

    rschultz Electromatic

    73
    May 11, 2015
    Knoxville, TN
    Yeah, I’m leaning toward the harness direction. Bought the guitar for $550. A set of TV Jones + harness is about $480. Plus $100 case, total of about $1200. Still way cheaper than a proline and every bit as good. Only thing left would be the tuners
     
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  8. rschultz

    rschultz Electromatic

    73
    May 11, 2015
    Knoxville, TN
    yeah I looked at making my own harness, parts cost about $60, new harness is $108… the pickup switch is like $30 by itself!!! But yes I agree that while I could do it, having it all assembled/soldered to the correct lengths, etc is worth it to me.
     
  9. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    Michigan
    @rschultz,
    The concern with a low quality pot is that sometimes the crimp that holds the pot together can be misaligned or tighter on one side than the other, leading to eventual dead spots.

    Try the DeOxIt cleaner first, if the pot is oxidized, it will clean it.

    If that does not fix it, I have re-crimped the pot, with temporary success. If the crimp was not even, it will cause premature wear on one area of the contact.

    If it were me, I would use the TVJ wire harness, I never had a bad one, nor have one that had cold solder joints rear their ugly head years later. They are built with quality components, and are soldered well.

    With high volume manufacturing, it can be common to scrimp somewhere in order to keep the price competitive. Sometimes it is tuners, pots, and output jacks. The pots seem like a safe bet, because the customer will not see it, and the issues can creep in well past warranty. Having good bones and a solid structure is more important to me when you are trying to be price competitive.

    But for the price you paid, you have some extra money to upgrade the pickups and electrical components. When you are finished, it will become your "go to" guitar.

    I feel that you made a wise purchase.
     
  10. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Yes try the cleaner spray first but I can highly recommend the TVJ wiring harness.
    Made significant tonal and functional improvement to my 5422 - very worth the $$ imo :D
     
  11. wabash slim

    wabash slim I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    72
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    What's your labor and frustration worth? Having it done right with no worries is worth a lot.
     
  12. rschultz

    rschultz Electromatic

    73
    May 11, 2015
    Knoxville, TN
    Harness ordered! And a duotron bridge to pair the the Setzer I have on the neck
     
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  13. Mr Twangy

    Mr Twangy Gretschie

    105
    Dec 27, 2020
    Canada
    I didnt put a TV Jones harness in my mine but a new harness using the same components, a bit cheaper that way, but it's worth doing either way.
     
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  14. Berington

    Berington Electromatic

    90
    Jan 6, 2014
    Los Angeles
    Another issue that can (occasionally) come up in any pots is when during transportation, the wiper (center moveable terminal) can vibrate, rubbing against the circular trace contact and wearing a thin spot in the contact, making for a bad connection. Of course it happens right where you've left the control, likely where you most use it, right? No cleaning will repair it, only replacement. The good news is that it's easily preventable by ALWAYS turning the volume and tone pots all the way down before transporting the guitar, so if any rubbing were to occur it wouldn't make any difference to the active part of the contact trace.

    No doubt, DeOxIt spray can be your best friend, too, because pots do get dirty, especially if they're not highest-end, sealed against dust. A few seconds with that will usually fix a noisy pot if it's not actually damaged. It works for amp controls too, of course.

    The "TV Jones Fix" sounds pretty good, too, if you're just swapping out all the electronics! Cheers!
     
  15. rschultz

    rschultz Electromatic

    73
    May 11, 2015
    Knoxville, TN
    That is super interesting, great point. I'll remember that for the future!
     
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  16. JaredmacNeil90

    JaredmacNeil90 Gretschie

    210
    Jan 19, 2021
    Pei
    Haha I read electromatic 5622 bad post lol so I wanted to see what was bad lol
     
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  17. rschultz

    rschultz Electromatic

    73
    May 11, 2015
    Knoxville, TN
    I replaced the harness... and both pickups. Sounds fantastic. The new harness had pots that were -literally- twice as big as the crappy ones that came with the guitar. It was amazing to me how much different they were.

    Took a while, quite a challenge to install a harness working through the f-holes, etc.
     
  18. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    752
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    I agree with trying the DeOxIt first, but everyone left out the most important step: right after you spray in the cleaner, work the pot back and forth from stop to stop rapidly. Sometimes this will even help while the pot is dry, but it works best while wet with cleaner. After you do that, shoot it again to flush away any dirt you loosened. You may need to do this several times.

    I have very rarely found it necessary to replace a bad pot - they can usually be revived. That said, there is something to be said for refreshing everything while you are in there, but even good pots can benefit from an occasional spray-n-spin, especially if there’s a knob you tend to leave in one position most of the time.
     
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  19. kdm1218

    kdm1218 Electromatic

    17
    Jun 17, 2021
    TX
    I just finished redoing my 5435 pots, wiring, and switch, after having my tone knob stop functioning, and wasn’t really happy with usability of the stock volumes either. Found that mine had all linear taper pots which got swapped for audio, and now I can actually use all the controls in it. Congrats on a great under the hood update, may not be glamorous looking but sure makes it perform better.
     
  20. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    haha you went thru the F holes yourself - good work.
    I was far too lazy and paid a guitar tech $50 to do it :D
     
    mrfixitmi likes this.
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