G5129 PICKUP INTO A 5120

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Andrew Griffin, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    677
    Oct 22, 2015
    Hi All: I have no experience modding and maybe one of you can give me some advice. I've got a 5129 I got used- love the pickups but the guitar was cheap for a reason ( or rather several reasons.) A lovely, near mint, orange (I'm a sucker for orange) 5120 has cone up for sale nearby. I'd like to buy it and swap out the stock Gretchbuckers with the DeArmonds from the 5129. Does anybody know if the fit would be good into the 5120? On a related note, why won't Gretsch make a 5420 with single coils? I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Thanks in advance for any hints.
     
  2. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    They're not a direct swap. I've seen them screwed onto the Gretchbucker pickup rings before, but that looked a bit naff.
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  3. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Synchromatic

    700
    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    First, I have a G5129T and love it, it is a great guitar. They're pretty rare so first I'd check into getting yours fixed. But I understand it may not be worth it.

    I'm a DIY kind of guy and wouldn't be afraid to try this swap.
    I compared the DeArmonds with the HBs (and pickup rings) in my G2622 (not exactly the same as a G5120) and it wouldn't be an easy swap. The DeAs have no trim rings and are mounted on spacers while the others have larger rings with screw holes that might show if you eliminated them.
    I saw somewhere a company makes pickup rings that are like a block-off plate to put single-coils into HB routes. They could be cut out for the DeAs.
    And I haven't taken the pickups out to see what holes are in the bodies.

    So this would be a custom job, modding the trim rings to take the DeAs. If you wouldn't want to do it yourself you can obviously check around for a tech who would.
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  4. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    677
    Oct 22, 2015
    Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    677
    Oct 22, 2015
    Thanks for the reply. What kind of Bigsby does your guitar have? The guitat I bought had been modded and the original Bigsby replaced with Gretsch by Bigsby tailpiece that doesn't quite fit, hence many problems. You're making me rethink my strategy and maybe a better course is to "un-mod" the guitar I've got and get it back to stock. What year is your instrument? Thx
     
  6. mister rain

    mister rain Gretschie

    250
    Apr 23, 2020
    new orleans
    from what tvj told me about replacing ftrons the t-armonds on a falcon, i doubt it would be an easy swap.
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  7. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Synchromatic

    700
    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    Hi again! I believe my G5129T was made in 2004.
    This popped up on craigslist and I didn't know anything about this series. Did some research and discovered they are not common (checked reverb and haven't seen any lately) and the cool thing is that everyone said I would love these DeArmond 2000 pickups and I do! I love single-coils and these do sound fantastic.
    I have tried to research the color combination and it looks like this may be the only red/black they've made. I've not seen any other hollowbody guitars painted this way.
    Mine is all original with the Bigsby B60. I like that vibrato, works great and looks fantastic. Someone put a softer spring in this one.
    I started this thread a couple of months ago: https://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/g5129.203848/
    00U0U_dOSVjtHnC6a_1200x900.jpg 5129 Jack Plate A.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
    MTurner, Wjensen, BorderRadio and 2 others like this.
  8. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I had a 2004 5129 that the previous owner had modified with a B6. It originally had a B70.
    It was hard to play at first because there wasn’t enough break angle from bigsby to bridge. The stings were always popping out of the saddles.
    I replaced the bridge with a stainless steel tru-arc with custom cut string grooves that were 50% deeper Than usual. It fixed the problem.
    I have since sold it, but I loved the guitar while I had it.
    02E6EB75-B3E3-40B0-B029-B50A79787044.jpeg
     
  9. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I know of a red/black version NOS that I won’t disclose location because all of a sudden...I want it lol.
     
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  10. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Custom plates are the only way to go. It’s a bit of work, unless you got all the tools handy. I made mine out of Garolite. Polished them too a high gloss with micro mesh. The plates cover the hole, and you simply screw down the pickup as normal, into the top. I use shims on top of he plate (if necessary) to get the height in the ballpark, per the normal PITA Dynasonic way.

    E6C112BB-B6C6-47B1-81D6-9438DA051B75.jpeg
     
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  11. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Synchromatic

    700
    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    Wow, yes if the price was anywhere near reasonable I'd snatch up a NOS 5129!
    I doubt that the newer models are built any better and these pickups are really special so I would prefer a NOS G5129T over a new 5420. JMO
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  12. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    677
    Oct 22, 2015
    Beauty- mine doesn't have the brand
     
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  13. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    That’s a decal. I think it looks cool.
     
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