What's going on with the switches on this beast Chet has here?

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,830
Tucson
I never noticed that before, and considering that is one of my favorite albums, that’s amazing. He‘s holding a Super Chet and all I can speculate is that he did some homebrew modifications. He was well studied in electrical theory and knew his way around electronic devices, including operating as a Radio Amateur, so he was prone to electrical experiments with his guitars.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
17,533
lafayette in
I never noticed that before, and considering that is one of my favorite albums, that’s amazing. He‘s holding a Super Chet and all I can speculate is that he did some homebrew modifications. He was well studied in electrical theory and knew his way around electronic devices, including operating as a Radio Amateur, so he was prone to electrical experiments with his guitars.
Chet and Lester were both well-known electronic tinkerers.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
21,837
Monkey Island
It would be good to see some clear pix of this guitar.

How about this? ‘62 Super Chet.

studio-still-life-of-a-1972-gretsch-super-chet-guitar-photographed-in-picture-id102627272
 
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Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
21,837
Monkey Island
Great picture. Thanks.

I wonder if there are onboard effects that he is controlling per pickup.

On second thought…seeing the position of the switches and lack of any FX adjustment options like on the Super Axe, I think the switches are strictly for pickup switching duties.

Looking at the arrangement I can guesstimate them to be a on/off and phase switch per PU coil.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,830
Tucson
How about this? Wow. Looks like one of those midi guitars!
And at least 8 years before Midi existed.
On second thought…seeing the position of the switches and lack of any FX adjustment options like on the Super Axe, I think the switches are strictly for pickup switching duties.

Looking at the arrangement I can guesstimate them to be a on/off and phase switch per PU coil.
You may be right. That sort of surprises me.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
21,837
Monkey Island
I just can’t picture Chet fiddling with out of phase sounds. Coil taps, maybe, but funki, in yer face outta phaz, no way. :)

I read an interview with Chet(on Reverb IIRC) where he confessed to have changed the electronics on a guitar(possibly his d’Angelico) and only after quite a while finding out it was wired up wrong.
Just from that interview I got the impression while having no fear of wiring up guitar electronics Chet didn’t actually had much knowledge nor particularly care about the inner workings. He almost sounded callous.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,830
Tucson
I read an interview with Chet(on Reverb IIRC) where he confessed to have changed the electronics on a guitar(possibly his d’Angelico) and only after quite a while finding out it was wired up wrong.
Just from that interview I got the impression while having no fear of wiring up guitar electronics Chet didn’t actually had much knowledge nor particularly care about the inner workings. He almost sounded callous.
He knew his electronics. He had scratch built his own tremolo unit and if he was a radio amateur, chances are that he would have spent time working on devices much more complex than the simple circuitry of a guitar, or even a tremolo unit. Now, he might not have enjoyed working on guitar wiring. I do it when I need to, but it’s not an activity I crave.
 

mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Mar 20, 2010
1,921
Michigan
I am the wrong person to answer that series of questions.
I thought that my 1968 Framus Atlantic was strange. Two pickups, four knobs and four switches. I wrote to Framus for Help, sent them photos of the knobs, switches, the wiring, and they had no idea what the purpose was for the switches.
That guitar unfortunately, drew questions that I could never answer.
I took it to school when I was 15, and showed it to the electronic shop teacher, he hooked up all sorts of auditory hardware, and after three weeks in the classroom, we could not come to any conclusion, other than it "looked cool".
Framus 5_113_52T.jpg
 


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