How do I "Gretschify" my tele

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Dirtyblues, Oct 22, 2021.

  1. Dirtyblues

    Dirtyblues Electromatic

    Jan 27, 2021
    My friend recently sold me a telecaster that I've really enjoyed playing. It sounds amazing but i want to get more versatility out of it. That being said its already pretty versatile, Lollar B.S. in the bridge, Seymore Duncan P-rail in the neck and a standard start pickup in the middle.
    I can get a pretty large pallet of tones from it but im wondering if i could somehow get that Gretsch type sound into the mix as well. I think using the bridge and middle pickups i might be able to get somewhere in the range of a filtertron but i don't know.

    Any advice to get into the ballpark of a filtertron (i am open to ideas about changing the middle pickup)...

  2. THS3171

    THS3171 Electromatic

    Jan 20, 2020
    Sounds that you really like your Tele. Hope you wont regret modifying it.
    What if you gretschify another one, that feels good but isn't such a deal like your Tele?
  3. Dirtyblues

    Dirtyblues Electromatic

    Jan 27, 2021
    i have another tele with a p90 bridge and a strat middle pickup that i could mod. I just want to add tones is all
    section2 likes this.
  4. WingZero

    WingZero Electromatic

    Oct 21, 2021
    Québec City, Canada
    Before changing the pickups:
    Add a bigsby, and make the paint a sparkle orange, and maybe change the knobs from gretsches?

    Looks like you have a lot of versatility in the pickups, you may need to check on the look.
    Craig Encinitas and THS3171 like this.
  5. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    With filtertron pickups.

    Papa_Z, Archtops, NJDevil and 13 others like this.
  6. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I just did this to a brandless Thinline tele I found on Reverb.
    It’s a Guitar Fetish filtertron, and it’s much better than you’d expect from a $40 pickup.
    Papa_Z, Archtops, emitex and 13 others like this.
  7. capnhiho

    capnhiho Country Gent

    Feb 16, 2013
    You could always do what I did….
    I sold my G&L ASAT Tribute (a darned nice Tele) and my PRS SE and bought a Double Jet.

    No regrets!
    Archtops, Henry, section2 and 3 others like this.
  8. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2020
    Dang that is clean!!
    ZackyDog likes this.
  9. nickurso

    nickurso Gretschified

    Dec 24, 2012
    New Orleans la.
  10. nasonm

    nasonm Gretschie

    Nov 3, 2010
    New England, USA
    Here's some old old photos of my first Telecaster mod job. I wanted to play around with Gretsch elements in my Tele. It's a John 5 Telecaster with an Antigua reissue Telecaster neck, TV Jones Magnatron bridge pickup, Gretsch knobs, and Bigsby B5.

  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Electromatic

    May 16, 2017
    Near Detroit

    Put the Strat middle pickup in the neck, put a Gretsch pickup in the middle position. Install a 4-way Tele switch to control the neck and bridge pickups with additional series humbucking tone. Use a push/pull tone pot to disconnect the switch output and engage the middle pickup alone. Alternative wiring is to use the Strat 5-way and use the push/pull for the neck and bridge humbucking. That way you have the best of the Strat, the best of the Tele, a stealth Les Paul, and your Gretsch. Pretty versatile.

    I have an LP with a Dynasonic in the neck and a P90 at the bridge which is a lot of fun. You could go that way (using a 'half bridge' on the Tele if you have the classic full bridge).

    Or do something like the Steve Morse Tele but with your different pickups.


    Or the Brent Mason Tele


    Check out a PRS Vela S2 model too ...
    new6659 and LongJohn like this.
  12. maloburro

    maloburro Electromatic

    Feb 10, 2020
    sacramento ca
    A tele is a tele a tele.

    a tele by any other name is still a tele.

    unless you have another Tele, just leave it.

    The neck pickup on a tele is where you can experiment. The bridge on a tele is a thing of beauty. (so is the neck but that’s another chapter)

    If you want it to sound like a Gretsch, and believe me, I understand, buy a Gretsch.

    I hope I’m not being harsh. But you’ll never be happy with it as a Gretsch. It’s a Tele. Spend the money making your tele sound like a Gretsch on an actual Gretsch. At $400 for a streamliner hollow, you can’t lose.

    Again, sorry for those ive offended. Cheers
  13. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    This poster gets the award for "How do I make this sound like that?" threads. I find it hard to take him seriously anymore, look at the threads he has started. Waaaaaaaaaay out in left field.

    So you've got a 3-pickup Tele and you want to make it sound like something else??? How about a pic of that guitar?

    Personally, I have collected multiple guitars. Don't try to make something sound like something else, just get the real thing.
    maloburro and Craig Encinitas like this.
  14. Durbanator

    Durbanator Electromatic

    Aug 16, 2016
    Keep the Tele as a Tele and buy a Jet with Filters - that's what I did and have not looked back. The result: Tele does not get much play time anymore.
    Marv666, maloburro and capnhiho like this.
  15. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I must say I tend to agree
    Archtops, NJDevil, maloburro and 2 others like this.
  16. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    It sounds like the guitar in your first post has great pickups already. I'd suggest keeping it as-is, and modding the Tele with the P90.

    If you're looking for Gretsch tones, consider adding a Gretsch-style pickup—either a Filtertron (if you want a double-coil) or a Dynasonic or T-Armond (if you want a single coil).

    There are plenty of options for Filtertrons depending on your budget. Blacktop Filtertrons are good pickups for the money. I find that they sound great distorted. HS Filtertrons are a step up in quality and price. TV Jones pickups are pricier still. Some people swear by them, but I think HS Filtertrons are the better value unless you're looking for a very specific sound. There are also budget options like the GFS Filtertron replica that Caleb recommended. Caleb has played all sorts of Gretsches, so I'd trust his ears.

    One thing to consider: unless you're replacing a full-sized humbucker, you'll have to rout your guitar body to make a Filtertron fit. But I believe TV Jones sells a P90-sized Filtertron, so you could go that route if you're looking to replace your P90 and don't mind spending the extra money for a TV Jones pickup.
    maloburro and Craig Encinitas like this.
  17. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Just put some trons in it and ignore the grumps.
    maloburro, new6659, section2 and 2 others like this.
  18. Les Pedals

    Les Pedals Gretschie

    Mar 29, 2017
    South Jersey
    Drop a 5-way selector switch in it.
    maloburro likes this.
  19. Craig Encinitas

    Craig Encinitas Gretschie

    May 3, 2021
    Encinitas, Ca
    Replace every part in your Tele with all the parts from this Tele. :D 7D37B97A-780C-4679-A5AE-BEB58D61E37A.jpeg

    Reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode.o_O
    Archtops, Marv666, audept and 3 others like this.
  20. dlew919

    dlew919 Country Gent

    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    It sounds like you don’t really care about this, but the scale length is a factor. The reason a strat doesn’t sound like a Les Paul when you put pafs in the strat is at least partly because the pickups well, pick up different parts of the strings. So you won’t get exact if you change. But filtertons do sound nice in teles.
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