Screws for Black Top Pickups Base Plate

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
I'm putting Gretsch Hilotrons in my Pro Jet and I want to reuse the base plate that came with the black top pickups to bolt the Hilotrons to. I need 6 silver screws 1 1/4 long. I was hoping to find the ones with the counter sink head like came with the guitar. I can't find the original ones and must have used them on another guitar. I checked Darin Riley's website (I bought the pickups from him) and don't see that screw there. Darin sent me the wood screws but they won't work on this setup.
Does anybody know where I can find them? I went to the Gretsch site - what a freakin joke!
They don't sell screws or anything that you can really use but they sure have a lot of T Shirts...:rolleyes:.
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,212
PNW
I'n not sure what the countersink head is, but my best guess would be to go to Ace hardware with a pickup and find out what screw fits the thread. Then you can buy pickup screws (or get them there?) to fit. My guess is 6-32 or 4-40 thread. Maybe someone here knows.
 

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
I'n not sure what the countersink head is, but my best guess would be to go to Ace hardware with a pickup and find out what screw fits the thread. Then you can buy pickup screws (or get them there?) to fit. My guess is 6-32 or 4-40 thread. Maybe someone here knows.
I think I tried that last time and they didn't have anything to fit the Chinese/Korean thread size. You would think Gretsch would make them available but I guess that would be too easy for them. It's not the same size as the ones on my Country Gent.
The pot shafts are different sizes as well so you can't reuse the knobs if you decide to use better pots & switches. You would think by now they would have made the sizes standard.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
21,843
Monkey Island

section2

Country Gent
Dec 21, 2016
2,559
Toronto
If you're planning to swap out the base plates so that you can use the three-hole pickup rings, you have a couple of options:

(1) You can check Philadelphia Luthier to see if they have the right screws; they have a good selection of pickup parts.

(2) Instead of swapping the base plates, you can leave them as-is and buy a couple of dual-screw adapters from TV Jones.

https://tvjones.com/products/dual-screw-mount-adaptor

Option 2 is probably the easiest.

EDIT: If the original Hilotrons don't have ears (i.e., they screw directly into the wood), you'd also need to make an adapter out of popsicle sticks. It's easily doable, but at that point you're better off swapping the base plates as per your original plan. Check out Philadelphia Luthier for the screws.
 
Last edited:

Geordie99

Electromatic
Feb 22, 2017
55
Canada
Hey Tim,

Forgive my ignorance, but I've never seen that baseplate on a set of blacktop filtertrons. I've seen people fabricate similar baseplates, in order to mount Hilo's or HS FT's to the Electromatic pickup rings, as they are actually suspended from the rings.

Here's a pic of a Blacktop that I removed from my G5420, when I installed my new HS Filtertrons. I had to fabricate mounts for them, in order to get them to suspend from the original rings. There was no baseplate attached. All there was were the 2 tabs, shown at either end, which have 3-48 holes, and which line up with the mounting holes on the pickup rings.

FWIW....The thread size on those clips is actually a 3-48 thread. 4-40 was too tight, but the 3-48 was a perfect fit with no thread slop. As for your plate, I'm not sure what hole size that they'd be, but start with 3-48 and then move to 4-40. It should be one of the two.

Cheers
20191018_102650.jpg

20191018_102720.jpg



I'm putting Gretsch Hilotrons in my Pro Jet and I want to reuse the base plate that came with the black top pickups to bolt the Hilotrons to. I need 6 silver screws 1 1/4 long. I was hoping to find the ones with the counter sink head like came with the guitar. I can't find the original ones and must have used them on another guitar. I checked Darin Riley's website (I bought the pickups from him) and don't see that screw there. Darin sent me the wood screws but they won't work on this setup.
Does anybody know where I can find them? I went to the Gretsch site - what a freakin joke!
They don't sell screws or anything that you can really use but they sure have a lot of T Shirts...:rolleyes:.
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,212
PNW
I think I tried that last time and they didn't have anything to fit the Chinese/Korean thread size. You would think Gretsch would make them available but I guess that would be too easy for them. It's not the same size as the ones on my Country Gent.
The pot shafts are different sizes as well so you can't reuse the knobs if you decide to use better pots & switches. You would think by now they would have made the sizes standard.
Oh they have them. Maybe metric. They may not have long enough ones though.
 

BorderRadio

Country Gent
Mar 6, 2014
3,476
Phoenix, AZ
I used to fabricate my own base plate mounting rings, and had to thread the holes with a 3-48 tap, because that's all I could find small and long enough at the hardware store. Finding screws like this at ACE is difficult---even the tap was a trip to the bad part of town, industrial waste wise. I wouldn't bother with counter sunk screws. Even if you find the oval version, they rarely match the cover stamping, so your strumming hand will occasionally scrape the screw edge. The stock screws are button head, which are easier to find, IMHO, but online, anything can be found. Best thing is taking your plate to an excellent hardware store with minature machine screws and confirm the thread size (I think they are metric), then order the correct length and head shape online.

For fun, here's some encouraging pics :)
20180205_213607.jpg 20180205_213525.jpg
 

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
Hey Tim,

Forgive my ignorance, but I've never seen that baseplate on a set of blacktop filtertrons. I've seen people fabricate similar baseplates, in order to mount Hilo's or HS FT's to the Electromatic pickup rings, as they are actually suspended from the rings.

Here's a pic of a Blacktop that I removed from my G5420, when I installed my new HS Filtertrons. I had to fabricate mounts for them, in order to get them to suspend from the original rings. There was no baseplate attached. All there was were the 2 tabs, shown at either end, which have 3-48 holes, and which line up with the mounting holes on the pickup rings.

FWIW....The thread size on those clips is actually a 3-48 thread. 4-40 was too tight, but the 3-48 was a perfect fit with no thread slop. As for your plate, I'm not sure what hole size that they'd be, but start with 3-48 and then move to 4-40. It should be one of the two.

Cheers
View attachment 123259

View attachment 123260
My 2012 Korean made 5420 Lefty had them. The plate on the photo is from my 2012 Chinese Pro Jet. I assumed all the Electromatics had them but I guess not.
I ordered both of them From Guitar Center and the blue inspection card that comes with Gretsch guitars had them both dated 2012.
 

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
I used to fabricate my own base plate mounting rings, and had to thread the holes with a 3-48 tap, because that's all I could find small and long enough at the hardware store. Finding screws like this at ACE is difficult---even the tap was a trip to the bad part of town, industrial waste wise. I wouldn't bother with counter sunk screws. Even if you find the oval version, they rarely match the cover stamping, so your strumming hand will occasionally scrape the screw edge. The stock screws are button head, which are easier to find, IMHO, but online, anything can be found. Best thing is taking your plate to an excellent hardware store with minature machine screws and confirm the thread size (I think they are metric), then order the correct length and head shape online.

For fun, here's some encouraging pics :)
View attachment 123264 View attachment 123265
Yeah I have the base plates and can't seem to find any screws over an inch long. I need 1 1/4 inch. I think I'll call TV Jones.
 

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
It turns out TV Jones had the screw I needed (3-48 1 1/8 inch) - same screws that you use on Gibson pickups.
I got the Hilotrons installed tonight and I am super happy with them. They respond to touch very nicely. The cool thing about these pickups is that they work very well with the guitar's tone control. I can get a clean warm tone with the tone knob backed all the way down to 2-3. When I open it up I get those bright Beatle tones from the Beatles For Sale era and the early Animal records. They sound great through my black face Fender amps and killer through my 65 Vox AC 30. Can't wait to hear them through my Ampeg Gemini I. The tone of these pickups fall somewhere between a Strat, a Telly and a Rickenbacker which is perfect for me. I was surprised how well they crunch too. There's something wonderful about low gain pickups when used with the right amp.
 

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
These Hilotrons crunch really great through my Ampeg Gemini I. I thought they would be great for clean sounds but now I realize they work well with distortion and sound great with pedals. Telly pickups have always been my favorite single coil pickup but I'm starting to change my mind about that. Yesterday I kept going back and forth between the two and came away thinking that the Hilotrons have better note separation, low notes are cleaner with absolutely no mud in the low mids. Sound awesome through the Marshall Jubilee (closer to AC/DC that my Gent).
I love them.
Lots of players are bothered with the low output but I think that's what makes them so nice. Just turn the amp up a little bit and the pickups sound great, big and full. If you switch back and forth between a Les Paul and a Hilotron guitar and you don't want to keep changing the volume on the amp just use a clean booster while using the Hilotrons and you'll be all set.
A person at TV Jones told me that the Hilotron is Tom's favorite Gretsch pickup. If that's true I can see why. They are not only beautiful pickups for rhythm guitar, they sound great on distorted leads and crunch rhythm guitar as well.
 

Joshuacaleb7277

Electromatic
Jul 3, 2022
9
Texas
Hey Tim,

Forgive my ignorance, but I've never seen that baseplate on a set of blacktop filtertrons. I've seen people fabricate similar baseplates, in order to mount Hilo's or HS FT's to the Electromatic pickup rings, as they are actually suspended from the rings.

Here's a pic of a Blacktop that I removed from my G5420, when I installed my new HS Filtertrons. I had to fabricate mounts for them, in order to get them to suspend from the original rings. There was no baseplate attached. All there was were the 2 tabs, shown at either end, which have 3-48 holes, and which line up with the mounting holes on the pickup rings.

FWIW....The thread size on those clips is actually a 3-48 thread. 4-40 was too tight, but the 3-48 was a perfect fit with no thread slop. As for your plate, I'm not sure what hole size that they'd be, but start with 3-48 and then move to 4-40. It should be one of the two.

Cheers
View attachment 123259

View attachment 123260
So are those 2 tabs not attached to that baseplate?
 


Latest posts

Top