TV Jones Classic pole piece question

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Penguin Picker, Apr 8, 2021 at 10:44 AM.

  1. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Electromatic

    51
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    Hey folks, a couple of questions about adjusting the pole pieces.

    I need to make some tweaks, didn't change the string guage, still using the 10-46 guage which is what Gretsch shipped my Penguin with but did switch from a plain G to a wound G.

    I tweaked the pole pieces a bit when I first got it and was very pleased with the result but after a year decided I couldn't live with the plain G sound anymore.

    I've read the documentation on the TV Jones site and read various threads and looked at Paul Setzer's diagram as well. So, feeling confident I thought I'd reset everything and start from scratch but...

    In trying to lower all the pole pieces to 0 so I could raise them again I've noticed two things that made me immediately stop.

    1) There's no resistance. I have no way of knowing what 0 is because the pieces seem like they'll turn forever. Do I just keep screwing them down until they can't go any further? That can't be right, is it? I'm a "baby steps" guy and the lack of resistance worries me.

    2) As I turned the pole pieces, a waxy substance came up as I turned some of them. I was absolutely not expecting that. I just put down my screwdriver and here I am posting.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Below is an email from TV that I have saved.

    ----------------------

    "You will want to start by putting the poles all the way down (0). The neck pickup poles are set a little lower than the bridge. The numbers below relate to full turns. This is a good starting point. The heights may be changed slightly for a different neck radius, but that setting will work for most set ups."

    Neck:
    E A D G B E
    0 .5 1 .5 0 .25

    Bridge:
    E A D G B E
    0 .75 1.5 .75 .25 0

    -----------------------

    Turn pole pieces gently. That waxy substance is the potting material. What you're seeing is normal for a potted TV pup.

    There will be resistance, but you will feel when the screw bottoms out. Just be cautious and go gentle.

    I've used the above settings on several guitars that previous owners had adjusted, and I wanted a good base line setting.

    If the pup body is set to TV's recommendations, these pole settings are a great "let's start from scratch" point.

    Hope this helps and best of luck.
     
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  3. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Electromatic

    51
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    Thanks. I'd done a couple of rotations with no resistance and the wax really threw me off... there was a brief moment of "Oh no! What have I done?"

    Now I know it's safe to proceed with a few more rotations before I encounter resistance.

    Funny actually because based on their own suggested heights, mine were way higher than 0 .5 1 .5 0 .25 and 0 .75 1.5 .75 .25 0 since I've done two full rotations down. Guess that explains why I always found mine really bright, even on the bridge.
     
  4. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Electromatic

    51
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    Hmmm... I'm going slow but 10 full rotations, zero resistance and still haven't bottomed out. Anyone ever encountered that?
     
  5. Teledriver

    Teledriver Synchromatic

    Age:
    53
    692
    Feb 12, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    Can you post a picture? Does it seem like the pole pieces are actually lowering when you turn them, or do they seem to just spin?
     
  6. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Electromatic

    51
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    They were initially different heights, pretty much as per the illustration on the TV Jones site. And now, they're all approximately the same height. They lowered a bit more since I started trying, which is what pushed out the wax on a few but now... it really does seem like they're just spinning - no resistance and never "bottomed out".

    You can see a bit of the wax around the piece for the A string. 20210408_140808.jpg
     
  7. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    All the ones that I've encountered and adjusted came to a stop. No "free spinners."

    20210203_121544.jpg 20210203_121534.jpg

    Pics of TV's after adjustments.

    FWIW, I use a soft toothbrush to remove excess wax after adjustments.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 2:49 PM
  8. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Electromatic

    51
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    Since mine seem to be free spinners (10 rotations is a lot for them not to stop) I guess I'll just call where they are now "0" and then adjust relative to that.

    And worst case, since my dealer is an authorized Gretsch/FMIC service center, and I'm still under the original warranty and get a free setup... I may make use of that. Their techs are no doubt much more experienced than I am.

    Good call on the soft toothbrush for the excess wax.
     
  9. Teledriver

    Teledriver Synchromatic

    Age:
    53
    692
    Feb 12, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    The fact that wax is oozing out tells me that yes they are lowering. This is not the experience I had lowering my TV Classics.
    The only thing I can possibly think of is they are some sort of really really fine thread on the screws. There's coarse then there is fine. Yours seem to be very fine, so that to go from A to B it takes twice or thrice as many turns.

    Now that they are "at" 0, how does it sound? Do they sound like they need raising? If so, that's a good thing I'd say.
     
  10. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Electromatic

    51
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    I found a thread here from 2017 that said once at "0" they do free spin so it seems, maybe depending on the batch/parts some pole pieces do free spin while others stop.

    I made sure all mine were at the same height then raised them as per TV Jones specs. I played a bit with everything at "0" but the string to string blance was a bit off, especially since I switched to a wound G. I may make a few more tweaks but I think I'm good now.

    Well, except for something I noticed with my bridge posts but that's another thread...

    Ha! I have way too much time on my hands now. All of Ontario is now under a lockdown/stay at home order so I'm starting to obsess over things that I didn't really worry much about previously.
     
    new6659 likes this.
  11. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    62
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I'm sure you've seen this but here ya go

    Screen Shot 2021-04-08 at 8.52.48 PM.png
     
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  12. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Electromatic

    51
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    Hehe why yes, I have. That and the Paul Setzer diagram have been my guides. But thank you, sir. :)

    Gotta say, all the lurking I've done on various guitar forums over the years I swear Gretsch players are the most friendly and willing to help.

    And... I am taking a break from trying to tweak my Penguin. The rattle I fixed a few days ago I back so instead of driving myself crazy I'm just taking in to the dealer. They're Gretsch authorized, they can do it. My objectivity is lacking and I'm starting to feel like I'm meeting myself in a maze.

    Ha! Who am kidding? I'm stubborn. I'll no doubt be back at it tomorrow! :D
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  13. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    TV's diagram makes the assumption that your bridge is radius properly.. unfortunately not the case on most gretsch guitars w a 9.5 radius using a stock ABR-1 or nashville tuneOmatic that are 12". IF.. youre bridge saddles have been set up for a radius that matches the necks fretboard radius.. THEN the curve has value. Even then trying to adjust ALL the screws from both bobbins in this manner is a recipe for fuggg... big fuggggg.
     
    G5422T likes this.
  14. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Yep, it's all about the end result, that sound,
    which can be different to every individual's ears and equipment.

    The hardest part is not knowing who, and or how much the poles were "tweeked," before you actually own it.

    It can be frustrating to get them set, but time well spent for a great end result.

    Shoot, we gotta do the guy thing right? "Hey look, 24 screws, gotta get my screwdriver out."

    We all know what happens next! Lol
     
    new6659 likes this.
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