Electromatics

My G5120 - now with Blacktop PU’s…

1

I'd like to introduce you to my Electromatic G5120 (bought brand new for $450 in 2007)

A while ago, I replaced the original GretschBuckers with a set of Blacktops I acquired from a friends G5420 project. The change was an improved Gretsch tone and the price was right with my budget! Other changes included my own hand-made black pick guard, and I added a jack plate for protection.

At the moment, I seem to be getting the best tone with both pickup heights set at aprox. 3/16" (distance from top of screws to bottom of the string). I have not really tweaked much with the individual screw adjustments as of yet.

As a general rule, I'm curious as to what you all found to be your "optimal setting" for your G5420's Blacktops? ...and how about the individual screws?

All comments are appreciated.

2

I don’t have blacktops and can’t comment on them, but it looks great.

3

Wow, looks great! I love the black pickguard too! I am a big fan of Blacktops. A lot of people say to crank them as close to the strings as possible. That works, but I am never looking for higher output but more sparkle. If that's your bag, try bringing up the pole screws a tad and start with the pickup body about a half inch from strings and bring up until you hear the amount of fullness you like. When you're done with that, give us a closeup of that pickguard! How did you do the decal?

4

No need to adjust the screws, IMHO. Just make sure they're up high. I love the tones I get from the Blacktops.

5

Someone on this site had me raise the poles and drop the body on my hs filtertrons to bring out more highs. If that's what you're looking for, it will do that.

6

You may get those results, if that's what you're after but I would just try this first. The Blacktops, IMO, have plenty of Jangle.

7

Wow, looks great! I love the black pickguard too! I am a big fan of Blacktops. A lot of people say to crank them as close to the strings as possible. That works, but I am never looking for higher output but more sparkle. If that's your bag, try bringing up the pole screws a tad and start with the pickup body about a half inch from strings and bring up until you hear the amount of fullness you like. When you're done with that, give us a closeup of that pickguard! How did you do the decal?

– hilosean

[hilosean] Here's the pick guard close up... the reflections are misleading because it actually looks as perfect as a OEM pick guard. Easy trick.... I lifted a picture of an existing pick guard from one of the guitars on the Gretsch website, then pasted a cropped, mirror image "Gretsch" logo to scale into a Word Doc. Took it to the local mall where a vendor makes those custom window stickers. He charges $15 a sheet (aprox. 8"x10" & your choice of colors). So I gave him my Word.doc file (via a flashdrive) and told him to cut & paste as many as fits on 1 page. IIIRC, I ended up with about 20. Take the original transparent PG (which I never liked!) and stick it on the underside (remember - they are reverse imaged). Then spray paint the whole backside of the pick guard. That's it...easy and almost mistake proof!

8

Here’s mine. I put TVJones T’Armonds in it. Waiting for some oversized spacers to hide the Gretschbucker sized holes.

9

[Bob Howard]

Is there any stock spacers that can be purchased that will do the job? Or are you having to get something special to do the job?

The 5120's were one of the most popular upgrade "project" guitars to come along! For me, I checked well in advance that Blacktop pickups & surrounds from a 5420 would cover (barely!) the original Gretschbucker holes before I even started looking for them. And, like everything I do, it's always on a limited budget. I have the patience to wait for the right price, and find a way to do it myself.

Just like the black pick guard I made. I thought a Black PG would be a natural compliment to the 5120 black headstock on an Orange 5120, but at the timeI couldn't find any Gretsch pick guards that existed so i made my own.

10

I’m waiting for Paul Setzer make me some spacers, when he gets a chance. I found this as a shell with no hardware or electronics and the sound post pushing through the back. It was cheep, so I had the budget to fix it up the way I wanted.

11

[hilosean]

Followup... Here's a better shot of the pick guard. It's hard getting a close picture without the reflections. When painting the back side of a clear pick guard., the result is that the front side acts like it has a 1/16" thick clearcoat on it !!!

12

I’m waiting for Paul Setzer make me some spacers, when he gets a chance. I found this as a shell with no hardware or electronics and the sound post pushing through the back. It was cheep, so I had the budget to fix it up the way I wanted.

– Bob Howard

I've seen some of Paul's work posted... he's good!

Guitars like yours are the best projects to work on... gives you an incentive to be more creative and the end result is something to be proud.

Be sure to post pics when you're done!


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