My G5230T -> “G6230T” Mod Project

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

  1. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2020
    Thankfully it came from the factory with a jack plate. :-D
    ESGslim and juks like this.
  2. capnhiho

    capnhiho Country Gent

    Feb 16, 2013
    I did the same to my G5245 Double Jet: new TVJ wiring harness. It improved the tone and response of the stock Blacktops enough that I haven’t swapped out the pickups - and probably won’t.
  3. Alaska Mike

    Alaska Mike Electromatic

    Apr 12, 2021
    I put on an ABM 2400c. I went with a roller bridge to keep the bridge from flexing when I used the Bigsby. It was overkill, expensive, and only slightly colored the tone, but I tend to go overboard at times. I could have certainly gone with a cheaper roller bridge.

    Someday I may upgrade the nut, but with a little lubrication when I change the strings, it holds tune just fine.

    I'm a tinkerer, but the basic instrument has to be sound for me to consider it worth it. I loved the acoustic resonance of the guitar and the feel of the neck, so pretty much everything else I felt I could deal with. As I said before, it's a keeper.
    ESGslim and section2 like this.

    THE BALD REVEREND Electromatic

    Jul 14, 2020
    Hi Hickeroar , our ( i have the same ) guitar itself from stock is very nice and after your mods it looks even better . Congrats !
    My question is : how much ?? And ( sincerely ) how closer to a " 6 series " is it now ?
    Twanks from Italy !
    Hickeroar likes this.
  5. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2020
    The total cost, guitar included, was about $1040USD. I found the TV Jones Classics on a decent sale, so that could typically cost around $50USD more than I spent on them for the set, but you're looking at $1100USD total investment for everything.

    Your most noticeable differences between this and a 6000 series will be:
    1. The Bigsby on the G5230T is a licensed B50, and it's made for a flat-topped guitar, not an arched top like this has (which you can see if you look at how it doesn't fit flush). The higher-end Gretsch guitars are going to come with one that doesn't have that, so they will tend to look nicer and the bridge break angle out of the box would be better. The real-deal bigsbys are just going to feel nicer and "be" nicer all around. Most notably the whammy bar on a licensed Bigsby isn't as rounded or smooth as a real one. TBH, the difference isn't huge in overall feel once you put the BricksBiggsFix parts in.
    2. Your wires/pots/switch, on paper, are not as "high quality" as "better" ones. That said, there's a long-standing debate about how much of that really matters. It wouldn't cost a ton additionally to replace all the wiring with something high end. $130 for the best pre-made harnesses down to "not very much at all" if you buy the individual parts yourself.
    3. Any exposed wood on a 5000 series is never going to be as "pretty" as on a 6000 series.
    4. The nut on a 6000 series will probably be "something" better than a 5000 series. Unfortunately Gretsch likes to finish/lacquer over them often times, so replacing them is probably a lot more trouble than it's worth. You would have to carefully dremel away the finish, etc. The artificial bone or graphite nuts they use on the 5000 series are pretty good anyway, and it's not worth it to me to replace it.
    So, the rest of it just comes down to how much it's worth to you. To me, it's 95% as "nice" of a guitar for 30% of the price. That's a pretty darn good. The law of diminishing returns always gives weird margins like that though. People regularly pay 3x as much for stuff that is most definitely only a couple % better.

    If you wanted to replace all the parts in #1, #2, and #4, you'd still come in way cheaper than a 6000 series. Obviously you can't do anything about #3.

    The part that really blows my mind though is that while you're actually playing it, it feels 100% as good to play as the real-deal high-end stuff. Part of me "doesn't like" or "doesn't want to admit" that it feels every bit as good as my 6128 to play.
  6. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    I agree with a lot of what you have said and I believe the electros are great bank for buck guitars and modding platforms, one big noticable difference that you haven't mention, which will depend on what proline you compare them too is the neck angle, comparing a 5230/5220 to a players edition or 6228 then there isn't a lot of difference in that but if you compare against a traditional spec 6128/6131/6134 then the feel is a lot different due to the higher neck/body join and the floating bridge, also the chambering in the two guitars for me is a noticeable difference too.

    So a person is wanting a true vintange gretsch feel so too speak, the electros won't get you there in that respect but like you said, is that worth 5x the price? up to the individual but I will say that like you I play my electros just as much as my penguins and get the same enjoyment out of both.
    Craig Encinitas, new6659 and Outlaw like this.
  7. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2020
    Yup, I totally forgot about the neck angle. There's definitely a difference there.
    Stefan87 likes this.
  8. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Imo the loom makes a huge difference. It can make a pickup swap unnecessary (and is less expensive, especially of you do your own soldering).
    capnhiho and Craig Encinitas like this.

    THE BALD REVEREND Electromatic

    Jul 14, 2020

    Thanks a lot for your very detailed and honest answer . I'm pleased to say that approaches like yours are the reason why " i feel home " on Gretsch talk . A lot of nice guys not nosed-up at all and happy to share knowledge , experiences , doubts and even some personal dramas , sometimes ! Thanks again from Italy !
    Hickeroar and capnhiho like this.
  10. How can I adjust the height of the stock pickups on my g5230t
  11. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2020
    There are screws on either side of the pickups. You will need to remove the pickguard (one screw on the side of the guitar, one right next to the neck, don't touch the one in the middle of the pickguard other than to make adjustments). Once that's off, you adjust the middle screws, not the four on the corners of the pickup ring.
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