Gretsch G6128T-53 What’s with the Lousy Tone Control Sweep?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by rcboals, Jul 2, 2021.

  1. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    I love this guitar and I can live with the tone control the way it is unless there is an easy fix. Is this normal for single tone two pickup volume and master volume Gretsch?

    1. 10 down to 2 on the dial it does absolutely nothing

    2. At 2 down to 0 it gets dark

    3. It's like it is wide open on 10 and off at 2

    I have searched this but found nothing useful. If it is like Walter Cronkite used to say when signing off the evening news. "And That's The Way It Is." I can accept that. :)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
    Marv666 and Back in Black like this.
  2. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Houston
    If you don't mind getting your hands dirty and doing a little soldering, it's easy enough to swap out a pot for one with a different taper. CTS, Alpha and Bourns are all good quality options and not terribly expensive.

    -m
     
    hcsterg likes this.
  3. Merc

    Merc Friend of Fred

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    I couldn’t find if they come with a no load tone pot. If so, maybe there’s a piece inside that’s broken or defective and shorter some how. So it’s staying wide open all the way until 2. Then again, I suppose a regular tone pot could be defective as well. If it is a no load tone pot, this guy explains it well and cracks it open so you can see what how it be works by staying wide open. I can’t remember who else on here has a 53. Hopefully they chime in on how theirs responds.

     
  4. EarleG

    EarleG Electromatic

    39
    Dec 19, 2013
    Hendersonville TN
    I've had that on a couple and found either;

    A below tolerance spec pot - not much change at all because the change in resistance is very little.
    For example should be 500k but actual reading is 20% or more below rather than within 5 or 10% tolerance

    The capacitor is a very low value. It isn't doing much turning the tone knob. A higher rating of .033uf to
    .050 uf can add more change to the sweep.

    The pot contact ring isn't making good contact over the majority of the surface area. You can in some cases
    open the pot and re-tension the ring. That and clean if you see white corrosion build up.

    Checking with a volt/ohm meter is the best way to determine if or which one.
     
    Merc likes this.
  5. Back in Black

    Back in Black Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    rc,

    I can suppose, but it's not likely it will be much help.

    Could be a bad pot, could be design to mimic actual 53. May not be the pot, as much as it is the cap.

    If possible, you need to test it against another vintage select 53.

    Write a nice e-mail to Gretsch/contact tech support at TVJ.

    If it's a pot/cap, switching them out can be accomplished in 15 minutes, TVJ has everything you need.

    Let us know how you make out. The 53 VS, is a great recreation. To me it's like a 52 Tele, they should have stopped there, and left well enough alone. I have a 57 VS...George's guitar, love it!

    Best of luck,

    BIB.
     
  6. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    I really like this guitar from the first time picking it up and playing it just feels so right. I have owned four other Jets and they never felt right and I didn't keep longer than 6 months. This one is different all the way far as bonding. The Tone control sweep is not a deal breaker at all, not even close. There are so many other EQ options for getting it to where you like the sweet spot. I can solder and have done many complete build and re-wires. My suspicion is this is just the way it is and could be very close to what you had in the 50's with a Duo Jet. How is the Tone sweep on you 57 George?
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
    Back in Black likes this.
  7. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    I agree that I don't care for how some tone circuits are set up from the factory.

    Since you have soldered and rewired and have that experience you can experiment to change this circuit to respond how you want.
    I plan to build a box where I can install different pots and caps and switch between them. Wire the box in place of the pot and try both audio and linear taper pots of a couple different values. Then another section where you can switch in different values of caps.
    Play around to find the best tone and switch them out.

    It seems that many companies use audio taper pots for tone circuits but that doesn't make sense to me. I know most of you understand that with audio taper at 5 the resistance is probably about 75%, at 8.5 it may be 95%, etc. That is why it doesn't seem to change much until near the end it suddenly goes totally dark on you.
    AFAIK audio taper was designed for the way our ears hear volume changes, not tone.
    I've guessed that some companies don't want to stock more than a few pots for their entire lines and use audio taper for both volume and tone.

    And I want to switch to P-90s in a guitar and some recommend 380K pots. Almost half-way between 250K and 500K so I'll put those in my switchbox and try them out too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
    MrWookiee likes this.
  8. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    From what google I can find this seems to be a common problems/ complaint with the single Tone Control Gretsch wiring. Per your idea I have sent TV Jones a question about this and see what he has to say if there is a cure

    This guy did a testing sort of thing like your box idea like what you are talking about pretty cool idea.



     
  9. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    This is totally related to the taper of your pot and can easily be changed. There are several standard and custom tapers available in CTS pots.
     
  10. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I've never tried other than audio for my tone controls - maybe linear sounds better? Did you try it yet?
     
  11. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    I have not tried this yet. I got the idea a while ago and I want to be able to test all my guitars and find the combination I like the best in each.
    There are a lot of mixed recommendations out there and I want to try to be more scientific in finding some answers. The linear tone pot is all my idea, it makes sense to me but will have to be tested.

    I like those videos but he didn't really address this thread, only volume. I think everyone agrees that volume pots need audio taper and the brand likely does not affect the sound.

    I'll look around now to see what kind of project boxes I can find and the parts I'll need. Where is Radio Shack when you need one??
    The videos showed me that maybe I should get a friend to play the guitar while I spin the pots to change the tone.

    Edit: and BTW, changing the taper of the tone pot should not change the sound, only how the tone changes as you turn the knob. Linear should give us a wider range of adjustment, not almost all at once like audio taper changes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  12. Back in Black

    Back in Black Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    rc,

    After I responded to your email, I checked George and Malcolm.

    Without being in the same room with you and your new 53, I think they're the same. There is a tonal ''sweet spot'', and you're either on it, or you're not. I don't believe it is the pots, I think it has more to do with the capacitors.

    The photo of my G6131-MY was taken when the guitar arrived just before last Christmas. When I opened the case today, the clear Satin lacquer, has taken on this beautiful ''vintage yellow hue''. So much nicer, than when this photo was taken! My George is almost 20 years old now, still like brand new.

    Enjoy your 53, they're beautiful.

    Best,

    BIB.

    IMG_0231.JPG DSCF1315.JPG
     
    MrWookiee and Shock like this.
  13. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    George, Paul and Malcom just gorgeous!!!!!! What a trio beautiful.
     
    Back in Black likes this.
  14. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Capacitors can only impact the location and somewhat the shape of the shelf, not the journey to it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
    mr coffee and Back in Black like this.
  15. Back in Black

    Back in Black Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    Thanks S,

    If they're functioning properly...

    BIB
     
  16. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Ha ha - altogether different story! Do you use any special oil in foil or otherwise caps? I have no idea if they give better, but I have them in a couple of my guitars.
     
    Back in Black likes this.
  17. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    @rcboals : check if your master tone pot is a really a A = LOG taper (i.e. A500K)

    If you can't read the value, set you pot at 5 and measure the DC resistance (you may need to disconnect one lug of the pot to measure correctly) :

    1 - if you have between the 0 and wiper lug 10 to 20% of the total value of the pot (or circa), then it is a A taper (LOG)

    2 - if you have instead 50% of the total value of the pot, then it is a B taper (LIN)

    What you need for a progressive tone corrector operation is a A taper pot, typically a A500K pot for most of the Gretsch with FilterTron pickups.

    A+!
     
  18. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Houston
    It's interesting to examine how RC low pass filters behave in their various configurations. There's some fun to be had with online calculators to help predict behavior of a filter - you input R and C values and the calculator spits out useful things like your cutoff frequency and slope. Want to see what happens as you roll the pot? Change the R value. From there, taper is strictly a matter of preference. Capacitor type will have very little impact on the function. There's plenty of demonstrations of tone snobs being unable to tell their favorite orange drops and bumble bees from cheap ceramics. If you want to really have fun, drop leads from ground and the leg of your pot out through or open cavity cover and experiment for yourself - caps are inexpensive enough to justify the experiment. If you think you hear a difference, roll with the one you like. Can be a good way to decide what value you like, as well. Hell, most pots aren't that expensive, either. (Although I recently spent about $75 on six Bourns 82 pots...) Buy a few, swap them until you find what works.

    -m

    (edit - here's a calc: http://sim.okawa-denshi.jp/en/CRtool.php )
     
  19. Back in Black

    Back in Black Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    stevo,

    I have a tin box full, vintage oil paper/gum drop/bumble bee etc.

    I find the ''current generation'' ceramic/resin coated to be the most stable.

    Having said that, my 1957 Ric 900, has the original paper/oil cap, along with all original wiring/pots/switch/jack, still performing beautifully...after 64 years. Roger Rossmeisl built this guitar, one year prior to building John Lennon's 58 325.

    Best,

    BIB.

    IMG_1100.JPG
     
    stevo likes this.
  20. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Houston
    Wanted to revisit this, as I just stumbled across a relevant bit...

    From this article: https://www.premierguitar.com/pro-advice/auditioning-tone-capacitors

    -m
     
    TV the Wired Turtle likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.