Tone and volume controls

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by buddyboy, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. buddyboy

    buddyboy Newbie

    Dec 3, 2016
    Am I alone in actually liking the tone toggle switch on my leftie Gretsch 6120? With one move to the upper bout I can change pickup and tone. For example I like the clean sound of both selector switches in the middle position By switching to neck pick up and tone switch down I get a great blues lead tone and then by flicking to the bridge pick up I get a great overdrive tone which I can clean up by flicking the tone to the mid position. I can also get instant “woman tone” by flicking the tone switch up. I was about to purchase a leftie 6228 but realised the players edition does away with the tone switch. Also I’ve found that by leaving the volume control halfway I can get distinct volume changes up or down sufficient to push my valve amp or clean it up. So much so I rarely max out the volume knob. My 6120 is the best “Les Paul” I’ve ever owned!
    sgarnett, pmac11, new6659 and 2 others like this.
  2. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Howdy! Welcome to the madhouse!

    Y'know, it doesn't matter if you're the only one who likes the tone switch. If it works for you, then, fine.

    As it is, there are a lot of folks that like it. I'm a tone knob guy myself, and more often I adjust my tone by picking attack and position, but, that's me. Whatever works for you is fine.
    buddyboy likes this.
  3. Shadowy_Man

    Shadowy_Man Gretschie

    May 18, 2020
    I haven't had a guitar with a tone switch. I do like having controls on the upper and lower bout though. I think a tone knob in the place where tone switches are installed would be fantastic. I'm sure someone's done that before.
  4. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    Some like it. Some don't. I like it.
    Cass likes this.
  5. Marv666

    Marv666 Electromatic

    Jul 26, 2020
    Whatever works for you is right.
    I rewired my 5420 to have the hot rod wiring as i only use pickup switch and master volume lol
    lathoto and pmac11 like this.
  6. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    Most of my guitars do not have a tone-control at all.
    So having a mudswitch on my 6119 is more than I need. In fact it works quite nice on mine.
    Cass likes this.
  7. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I have tone switches on all of my Gretschs.
    I like it because I never use a tone control and when it’s in the middle it’s bypassed.:D
    buddyboy likes this.
  8. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Welcome, and glad that you're liking the good old "mud switch."

    I too love this set up, use it, and enjoy it.

    Keep having a blast.
    buddyboy likes this.
  9. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I love the mud switch on my Penguin! It is very useful to me so much so I have considered replacing the tone knob on my Strats with cap values that suit me.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
    buddyboy and G5422T like this.
  10. Cass

    Cass Electromatic

    May 24, 2020
    I had never used a tone switch before I picked up my G6119 Tennessean. But I really like it! Wide open for a starting point, down for a step down on the tone for a bit less edge, and up to get it darker. Easy! I can't see myself turning down a gift that had a rotary tone control, but if I'm picking a guitar out of lots from the shelf, I think I'd gravitate toward one with a switch.
    buddyboy likes this.
  11. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    I installed one on my Hot Rod, using the modern Gretsch cap values, and I dig it... in the "less" position it gives a PAF-like tone to the Filters, and in the "more" position, it can give a more Charlie Christian/P90 hollowbody/oldschool tone.

    It's not perfect, but I actually prefer it to a tone knob, at least on this guitar.
    buddyboy likes this.
  12. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    May 11, 2017
    I never liked tone controls that had the standard capacities of 22 to 47 nF.

    When I switched to 10 nF and 20 by push/pull, I started using it in my Tele.

    Never use it on any other guitar - they have that huge capacity where I often fail to dial in the right amount of detwangery, and ... I only use bass-heavy guitar when I play something in the looper and it is at least one other track to be played upon it. Like doubling chords with palm-muted, twangless powerchords.

    Why are they called powerchorts? Powercords do make a lot more sense ... I can't extract any usable work from a pattern of intervals...

    Anyway, as the only positions I use are somewhere close to halfway with 10 nF and fully closed on 20, I might as well have a switch, I just get along this way also, and don't like the look of an additional switch compared to an additional knob on a Tele ... the third knob at least doesn't explicitly look like it shouldn't be there, but is just a little bit excessive...
  13. Smokebreak

    Smokebreak Electromatic

    Feb 22, 2019
    I like em, with the new values. The 3n9 makes a bridge pickup good and honky, and I put 100K in series w/ the 10n, so it's just a slight rolloff.
  14. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    When I was a kid, I liked playing in the mud.

    I still do.

    20200731_222252.jpg 20200113_152322.jpg
  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    I think there's 1 or 2 others that like the mud switch but I ain't one of em :D
  16. Highroller

    Highroller Synchromatic

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    I've got two guitars with mud switches. I think I've left them in the middle position since 1999. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I like them in the middle!
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  17. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    +1 for the mud switch. I use it a lot more during a passage of playing than i use the tone pot. Plus its one of the distinctives of a Gretsch and I’ve always been primarily a Gretsch player. I’m so used to the quick switch to radically alter the sound. The position of the switches up top seems so natural to me , so that I find it almost impossible to do anything with the layout on, say, my Jazzmaster DURING a song.
    G5422T and Bertotti like this.
  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I love the tone switch. For one thing, it is completely out of the picture when the switch is in the center position. In that sense, it’s a no-load device. I find that making changes to a tone knob on the fly usually ends up with me making several re-adjustments, just to get everything where I want it. With the tone switch, I have presets, ready to go. The modern values of .012 uF and .0039 uF work well for me.
    ruger9, buddyboy and calebaaron666 like this.
  19. Gremalk

    Gremalk Newbie

    Thanks for all the great information and inspiration. This is my first post.

    I made a mod to my 6119 that seems to work. The mute switch seemed unnecessary for my style of playing and it is the same switch as the tone switch. So I swapped it with the pickup selector so that I now have two tone switches together and the pickup selector down near the pickup volumes, which seems to make sense to me.

    I worked out a set of tone cap values that gives a range between "just take the edge off with a very long cable" and close to the TV Jones modern recommendations by using the combinations of centre, up and down on the two switches.

    The values I used were, Front Switch: 1.0 and 3.9nF Back Switch 2.2 and 7.8nF (2x3.9s)
    This gives combinations of: 1.0, 2.2, 3.2, 3.9, 6.1, 7.8, 8.8, 11.7nF

    I managed to hit 0.0039uF but not quite 0.012uF, I thought 0.0117 was close enough.

    With a treble bleed on the master volume and the tone switch pair after the pickup volumes they remain independent and it seems to have a great range of tone. I am interested to hear if anyone else has tried this.

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  20. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    The difference between 0.012 uF, I thought 0.0117 uF would be way too small to be perceived.

    You can literally copy and paste pictures without having to upload. This was a screen shot and I used Ctrl-V to paste it into the post.

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