The Right Way to Wire Dynasonic Gretsches

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by BrickwallJackson, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. BrickwallJackson

    BrickwallJackson Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Aug 9, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    I LOVE mods like that because it's like you have a "secret weapon"!
     
  2. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    somedays I do feel jazzier than others!
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. BrickwallJackson

    BrickwallJackson Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Aug 9, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Awesome
     
  4. BrickwallJackson

    BrickwallJackson Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Aug 9, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    UPDATE:

    Hey Fellers,

    Made a huge breakthrough this week on the Dyna wiring. I realized looking at the drawing that Paul Setzer provided that the master volume on the modern tone pot circuit is potentially in a different location than back in the 50's. Here is Paul's drawing of the 56 Jet tone pot:

    [​IMG]
    The only way this makes sense is if the master volume is the LAST thing in the circuit before the jack. So it would look something like this:

    Pickups-->Pickup Volumes-->Switch-->Tone Pot-->Master Volume-->Jack​

    This is way different from the modern circuit where the tone pot is right before the jack:

    Pickups-->Pickup Volumes-->Switch-->Master Volume-->Tone Pot-->Jack​

    Seems insignificant but I can tell you, it makes a difference! The combination of the old wiring, the stacked tone pot, and the resistors is the missing link for anyone wanting to make their Dynasonic-equipped Gretsch sound like one of the old ones. (1meg pots are a must, as well)

    The stacked tone pot is VERY interesting in that it is not a "full on" or "rolled off" type of arrangement. It cuts treble in one direction, bass in the other, and both around the middle. What this gives you is something that the old Gretsches had and the new ones lack: MIDRANGE. I was always wondering why my Dynasonic Gretsches sounded "scooped". Now I know.

    I've got some more research to do to finalize the theory but in actual practice, it WORKS. I'm working with a vintage dealer who has graciously offered to open up an old one and trace out the circuit for me. In the meantime, I found an x-ray of a 55 Duo Jet and one thing stood out to me right away: NO WIRES FROM THE SWITCH TO THE MASTER VOLUME:

    [​IMG]

    This would seem to support my findings. I'll keep y'all in the loop. Hopefully, I'll have some time soon to give you a little video demo of the results. They are quite dramatic, in fact.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  5. BrickwallJackson

    BrickwallJackson Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Aug 9, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    UPDATE:

    Hey Fellers,

    So I talked to the good folks at Gruhn Guitar (Lin: there's a gift in the mail to you, brother! :)), and they confirmed the wiring that I figured out using old photos. . .with one exception (and this is WEIRD).

    Here's where I arrived via my research:

    Pickups->Individual Volumes->Switch->Stacked Tone->Master Volume->Jack​

    Here's what they told me at Gruhn Guitars:

    Pickups->Connection point & Ground->Switch->Pickup Volumes->Stacked Tone Control->Master Volume->Jack​

    That is a LOT of dadgum wire!! I haven't torn into one yet to wire it up like that but I plan to. I'll let you Fellers know when I get one done up.

    Man alive, I have never seen a guitar wired like that in my life! Know what? Makes a diff!
     
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  6. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    Gruhn Guitars circuit is strange to me, I think I didn't understand it !
    Btw, Your version is clear and loud !
     
  7. BrickwallJackson

    BrickwallJackson Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Aug 9, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    Thanks brother! From what I was told, the pickup lead is grounded at the pot, then attached to ANOTHER lead which goes to the switch. The switch then sends a lead to the input of each pot....the output from each pot then goes to the tone.

    WEIRD!!!

    But I'm gonna try it :)
     
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  8. BrickwallJackson

    BrickwallJackson Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Aug 9, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    UPDATE:

    Ok....a buddy of mine had some high quality 4 conductor shielded wire so I took the plunge.

    Here's the new wiring scheme:

    Pickups -> Volume Pots (ground only) -> Pickup Leads -> Switch -> Volume Pot Wiper Lug -> Input Lug -> 22K Resistors -> Tone Pot -> Master Volume -> Jack

    Whew! That's a lot of wire!! Here are my observations:

    - SOUNDS LIKE A VINTAGE GRETSCH

    Lots of control over volume and tone, and the pickups somehow have more body. You can get a woody, clear tone, and it's punchy and pretty at the same time.
    - QUIETER

    Let's face it, single coils are always gonna buzz...but something about this wiring scheme must isolate the components in a way that minimizes the noise.
    - NOTES

    Because of the way things are connected, you end up with the switch and the pickup volumes ungrounded. I grounded the 4 conductor shielding at the switch and the neck volume pot. I ran a ground wire from there to the bridge volume, then the back of the tone pot.

    Since each pickup is wired directly to the switch, there need to be two return wires, one for each volume control. As such, the two output tabs on the switch are not soldered together as they normally would be. Not a big deal, straighten them out and go from there.
    So all I can figure at this point is that maybe the extra wire adds capacitance. I also feel like isolating the pickups from each other (not using a common return wire from the switch) must have some effect.

    I'm gonna draw up a diagram and post it when I have time. If any of y'all wanna try it and have questions lemme know!
     
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  9. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    Woow ! Greeeaaat job !
    But i'll wait the diag before really getting into it... Wiper Lug, input (middle leg, right?).

    Have you tried with without 22k resistor ? Should be brighter without...?
     
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  10. BrickwallJackson

    BrickwallJackson Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Aug 9, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    Hey thanks dude!

    So, what I was told was that the resistors make it jangly. . .so I don't know. I haven't tried it without the resistors yet. I'll give that a shot soon once I've played around with it the way it is. The orientation on the pot, looking at it from the bottom left to right is as follows:

    - LEFT (ground)
    - MIDDLE (wiper/output)
    - RIGHT (input)

    Now comes the fun part. . .on Gretsches, in order to make sure the volumes work the way they are supposed to, you wire the pots "backwards" for the pickups. That is, you wire the input to the wiper and the output to the RIGHT, or input lug.

    The reason this is done is so that in the middle position, turning one volume down doesn't affect them both. Not sure WHY this works, but I reckon if I ponder on it long enough I can figure it out.

    The master volume is wired normally with the input going to the right lug and the output at the wiper.
     
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  11. Andy Fortune

    Andy Fortune Gretschie

    378
    May 24, 2016
    Corning, NY
    I'm definitely looking forward to your demo with the reworked wiring. I'm going to take a look at how my 6129T-RDSP-LTD15 is wired tonight.
     
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  12. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Gretschie

    270
    Sep 11, 2009
    Venice, CA
    I added 1 meg linear pots to the volumes and tone and a 1 meg audio pot to my master volume on my 2011 Duo Jet and really like the enhanced tone I am getting but what you have done is on a whole other level. Thanks for the investigation and the reporting. This is great!
     
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  13. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Hi Brickwall,
    I have a few questions.
    I wanted to install either the TV Jones or Seymour Duncan dyna in my Pro Jet.
    Because I have a Line 6 Variax system in the Jet I only have a stacked pot for volume and tone for both pickups.
    First will the dyna fit in the Pro Jet without cutting?
    Second in my guitar the way it's setup how would I wire up the caps, resistors to get the 50s sound you're suggesting?
    Thanks for all your input on this forum - you serve us well.
     
  14. pockneck

    pockneck Gretschie

    264
    Jan 31, 2013
    Austin, TX
    Hey Brickwell,
    I have a modern 6196 with Dynasonics. It has a master volume and tone pot. The pickups had been changed and the wiring re-worked. I had a local luthier put it back to stock, but I notice that the volume pots do not work the way they should. It seems like for 3/4s of the travel I get no sound and at the end I have a small adjustment range. Is that the reverse connection you mention? If I re-work the wiring should I switch to the 1M posts, add the stacked tone pot and resistor?
     
  15. mike fried

    mike fried Gretschie

    137
    Aug 23, 2011
    Nashville
    That's great info! I had heard that many vintage Dynasonic Gretsches had a series resistor on the pickups but never knew what value they used. While this is great for getting a reissue to "vintage specs", there is a significant potential drawback to it for pedal users. Many dirt boxes (especially older designs like the Fuzz Face and Tone Benders) use the series resistance created by backing off the guitar's volume control to clean up the signal. The 22k resistor in effect permanently "backs off" the volume control enough to prevent the effect from fully saturating. (With a linear taper pot, it's the same as backing off from "5 o'clock" to about "3" to "3:30"; with an audio taper it's about "4" - creating a significant amount of cleanup with many dirt pedals used first in a chain.)

    So, the same effect can be achieved without the 22k resistors by simply backing off the pickups' volume controls by that amount (assuming no treble bleed circuit is present on the pot), without that downside. Yes, pots are wired as "variable voltage dividers", but the reduction in the "backside" of the pot is insignificant (22k=2.2% of 1 meg); the overall tolerance of the the pot is likely 5 to ten times that anyway.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  16. blueridgeguy

    blueridgeguy Gretschie

    350
    Jul 12, 2015
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    This thread is being really helpful for me right now. I'm looking to rewire my 5120 with a vintage Dynasonic in the bridge. I was curious if anyone had a complete schematic to share, or close up pictures of a finished harness for this wiring archaeology. I'd really appreciate just a little more guidance as I set to work. Thanks!
     
  17. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    So convoluted..... Dynas are hella-bright to begin with, then they use 1M pots?!?! Holy ice pick... then add the 22K and all that damned wire capacitance..... to make it sound like a million bucks???

    Oh, I believe you! I'm a big fan of capacitance on Gretches. I can hear the difference between an SSLVO and a Hot Rod, even on a video. That's why I put a 250K vol pot in my Hot Rod, to get closer to the loading on an SSLVO and it's 3 pots (my Hot Rod also has a tone switch).

    This is some damn fine detective work, I do stuff like this myself, trying to find the "magic formulas", recently with Wide Range Humbuckers, which also had some convoluted wiring schemes and pot values back in the day...
     
  18. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    Mmmh, yes ... but you have to take into account the whole wiring loadage, that is to say for the vintage '50 gretsches : 3 x 1MOhms pots & the stacked 500/250 tone pot in serie which leaks a lot. If I remember well the average ohmage is 333K/pot because of the double tone pot, then it's not crazy and 500K pots will be very dark.
     
  19. ssmorga78

    ssmorga78 Electromatic

    4
    Jun 5, 2015
    Alabama
    You ever happen to get that diagram drawn up?
     
  20. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    1mg ohms will be too much trebles if they go without the stacked tone pot 250/500..
     
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