My G5230T -> “G6230T” Mod Project

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Hickeroar, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2020
    Been piecing this together for a while now. Started with an Aleutian Blue G5230T and upgraded components for feel, visuals, tuning stability, and sound.

    Goal was to upgrade it to be “kinda like” a 6000 series while spending a total that’s a lot less (I have $1035 into it, total).

    • TV Jones Classic Neck Pickup
    • TV Jones Classic Bridge Pickup
    • Golden Age Roller Bridge, Nickel - Modified (drilled) to fit original posts
    • Hipshot Chrome Griplock Locking Tuners
    • Brick'sBiggsFix Tuning Stabilizer V3
    • Brick'sBiggsFix Super Squishy Spring
    • Milisten Zinc Alloy Banjo Armrest
    • Pure Tone Mono Multi-Contact 1/4 inch Output Jack
    I have to say, the people making the G523XT guitars at the China factory are very good. The core of their guitars are very well built. The weakest point I found was the Bigsby B50 + the stock adjustomatic bridge. Tuning stability is just rough from the factory (on both this and my G5232T). The roller bridge, biggsfix, and locking tuners make it super stable. The Biggsfix parts are nice for making the feel of the bigsby super smooth, but you can do with just the tuners and bridge if you’re going for stability.

    Finished Product:
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  2. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    Looks great! How is the banjo armrest attached?
    Hickeroar likes this.
  3. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2020

    As far as the arm rest goes, it’s just screwed in, just the same way as the arm rest on the 6000 series. I actually traced out my 6128 and marked the edges of the arm rest and where the screw holes were and attached this one in exactly the same spot as that one.

    To drill the holes, I drilled with the bit turning in reverse for about the first 1/8” to get through all the finish without cracking it, etc. Then you tighten the screws one, then the other, back and forth, and it finds a balance point in between as they tighten up. Not sure if I explained that very well.
  4. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    @Hickeroar - Thanks for that and the advice on drilling the holes.
    Hickeroar likes this.
  5. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2020
    One thing to note, if you’re planning on getting one of these cheap arm rests from Amazon, make sure you sand all the underside edges with ~400 grit until they’re nice and smooth, because they come from the factory very sharp and will instantly scratch the finish on your guitar while test fitting. I learned that the hard way on another guitar.

    For this one, I sanded those edges smooth, then put painters tape on the underside edges while test fitting, then placed a polishing cloth between the arm rest and guitar while screwing it in, and pulled the cloth out when I was done.

    Sorry to be so verbose. Just don’t want anyone to make the same mistakes I did.
    MrWookiee, dswo, Archtops and 3 others like this.
  6. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    Thanks again - that's very helpful information!
    Archtops and Hickeroar like this.
  7. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Looks fabulous! Nice work.
    Hickeroar likes this.
  8. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Words of wisdom, kids.
    Hickeroar likes this.
  9. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    That looks great . Well done and enjoy
    Hickeroar likes this.
  10. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    Turned out nice! Love the Aleutian Blue!:)
    Hickeroar likes this.
  11. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2019
    Greybull, WY
    Congrats on the mods. Makes for a nice looking guitar, enjoy.
    Hickeroar likes this.
  12. Archtops

    Archtops Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2021
    Very nice! Thanks for the pics and tips!
    Hickeroar likes this.
  13. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    Well done!

    The 5220 and 5230 are great platforms for modding. I went the 5220 route because I wanted to add a real Bigsby B3 like my old 6128 Duo Jet
    ESGslim and Hickeroar like this.
  14. ESGslim

    ESGslim Electromatic

    May 23, 2021
    Merrick NY
    image.jpg Great job! Did you also change out the pots, jack and switch? I did that for my 5422TG with a new TV Jones harness and pickups and what a difference that made!
    I’m very interested in modding a black 5220 and putting on a B3 (with the V cut) and a Towner tension rod, with a TrueArc bridge.
    It really looks like these Electromatics are great quality for mods, but I’d appreciate input from those who have already done it.
    The weight looks about the same for the 6 vs the 5. The major difference would probably be the neck and fretboard/frets.
    At less than half the cost of a new 6000 duojet, it leaves room for more moods…and a case!
    Any input would be appreciated. View attachment 168909
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
    Tele295 and ZackyDog like this.
  15. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2020
    Thanks! I did not change out the pots/switch, but now you've got me wondering if I should. Maybe my project is not done!!
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
    ESGslim likes this.
  16. dokterbart

    dokterbart Electromatic

    Aug 9, 2021
    And then wich pots to buy?
  17. Alaska Mike

    Alaska Mike Electromatic

    Apr 12, 2021
    I installed a TV Jones split shaft tone pot harness with the treble bleeds on my G5230T with the stock pickups. Suddenly I didn't want to replace the pickups anymore. At least on mine, the stock harness looked extremely cheap in comparison to the TV Jones, and was strangling the tone. Nothing magical about the TV Jones, just solid components and competent soldering. I did have to desolder/resolder the pickup switch to get it routed through, and open up the pot shaft holes on the body very slightly. I had just enough wire to do it.

    To be honest, if I were to do it again I would just buy good wire, good caps, and some CTS pots and build it myself. The switch is perfectly fine.
    Craig Encinitas and ESGslim like this.
  18. juks

    juks Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    Great work! Is there a jack plate? I'm learning the important things :D
    MrWookiee likes this.
  19. ESGslim

    ESGslim Electromatic

    May 23, 2021
    Merrick NY
    Interesting, thanks for that info.
    The pickups are not the issue, just putting better electronics behind them made the difference. I kept my black tops from the 5422, may use them on another project.

    Did you change out your bridge or tuners?
    I bought the Compton brass chambered bridge and it is amazing.
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  20. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Love your work!
    Hickeroar likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.