Electromatics

NGD 5129

1

Well, I waited a bit to post this because I wanted to make sure I was going to keep it, but here is my new G5129. I bought it used from GC sight unseen. It has a little mojo (a couple dings) and arrived a little dirty, but cleaned up pretty nice. And after giving it as good of a setup as a novice like me can do, it plays great.

When I first got it I thought the sound was really weak and thought maybe this just means that I am really a Filtertron kind of guy, but after doing some research here, I gave the pole pieces some adjustment and spent some time with it and, man, now I really love the sound of those Dearmond 2000s! They are great pickups and give such a nice retro rockabilly sound.

One issue: The Bigsby is not totally perpendicular to the strings - it angles slightly, making the length of the higher strings slightly longer than that of the bass strings. That may be why I have to angle the bridge the opposite direction from usual to get the intonation right. Anyone have suggestions on how to correct this?

I have to say GC did treat me right and worked with me due to a couple of these issues and I am happy with this purchase. I won't be throwing this fish back into the sea anytime soon...

3

Whoa! The red is killer. I love the DeArmond 2000's too, magnet. I have a 5127 and a 5128. The topic of the misaligned Bigsby has come up here before. Hopefully, someone with some experience with that will weigh in to help you. Congrats on the new 5129.

4

Nice! Welcome to the 512x club! I'm a 5127 owner.

I am curious about raising the magnets on your 2000's. Do you know what you're final distance to the strings is? I've actually never messed with mine.

5

Welcome to the 512x club from a 5126 owner. I also love the pups. I also love the feel of this wonderfully solid feeling guitar, and this is coming from a 6120 player. The 6120 is my all around regular, but the 5126 is my go to twang buddy.

Oh, congrats on the axe. The red is killer.

6

It's a compensated bridge, so that'll make the base more perpendicular to the strings than a bar bridge.

Still, I can't see how the bigsby angle would effect intonation as that's determined between the bridge and nut. Gauge and bass-side bridge height have some effect but not so much to throw your angle in the opposite direction.

Are you using a tuner when you intonate?

7

I'm with Bob, Bigsby can't affect the intonation.

That said, if you want to straighten it out stick a washer behind one side.

Welcome to the club! I've got a 5129 (Dynas and a V cut B6), and a stock 5124. Can't get enough of them. I still want a 5127 to drop Magnatrons in.

8

Thanks, all!

Axis39, here is a good thread on pole piece adjustments. I adjusted mine similar to Setzer's diagram, but am still experimenting. It did make a huge difference getting the pole pieces closer to the strings. When the guitar arrived, they were all pretty much level with the pickup body and it sounded pretty anemic. Now I really love the sound. http://gretschpages.com/for...

NJBob and Ripley - Thanks. I was thinking that the longer string length would mean that the bridge would need to be placed further back, but now I am seeing that I didn't really think that through. I shouldn't make a difference. The guitar intonates and stays in tune, so I am not all that concerned, but it is curious that the angle on the bridge needs to be opposite of the standard angle...

I really love these pickups for fingerstyle. On my 5120 with TV Classics, I feel like the bass strings are too boomy and so it makes it kind of hard to control with travis picking. I feel like I have a lot more control with the DeArmonds.

9

NJBob and Ripley have you on the right track. If you are having string allignment issues, your Bigsby isn't in allignment. Do you have to keep sliding your bridge over so the strings stay lined up or does the guitar go out of tune? If so, you just need to square up the Bigsby by using small thin washers between the body of the bigsby and the body of the guitar.

Your intonation should be way off if your bridge is angled that way. You should be getting the same note when you play the open note on a string and when you fret the note at the 12th fret but just an octave higher.

I also noticed that your bridge height is set in a bizarre way. On the bass side, your bridge is set so that the threaded post is set below the bridge. Then treble side is cranked all the way down and the post is sticking way up in the air. This tells me that I think your Bigsby is off center and pointing slightly toward the treble string side of the neck. (Slightly to the right when looking at the face of the guitar). I hope this helps you on your quest.

You have three issues. One is the bigsby allignment. The bridge height will need to be changed and set up properly after you get the bigsby alligned properly. Then you can intonate the guitar.

10

I believe I am the number one fan of the DeArmond 2000 pickups. I just love them. Here is another trick with setting them up. Get some DynaSonic spacers and move the entire pickup as close to the strings as possible and then back the polepieces down; some will even be recessed into the pickup. This will not only give you more output but clean up the tone even more.

I put the 2000s on my 5120.

11

Beautiful guitar.... I used a piece of "lock tie" about a 1/2 " long to shim the Bigs on my new Annie to align it. Easy as pie, sweet as cake. Loosen the the strings..back out the strap lock screw...loosen thre three screws...shim the side that need shimming tighten every thing back up...tune guitar... create wonderful music with That Great Gretsch Sound!!!:D :) :P 8-)

12

Well, now I've got something to mess with this week!

Thanks guys!

And Magnet,

Congratulations again on a purty guit-fiddle!

13

Great guitar. I love the neck on my 5125. Do whatever you have to do to maximize your enjoyment out of yours. It's worth it. 8-)

14

check the center line of the bigsby to make sure its dead center , if its not dead center take it off , ream out the screw holes and plug them with wood and a touch of glue then set it back up dead center and redrill a pilot hole , oh inspect the bigsby to be sure thats not the issue , if it is the issue i have a few extra bigsbys that are like brand new , and i will gladly let you have one for the cost of shipping

15

PS that is one sweet looking guitar !!!!!

16

Nice score! Though my main guitar is a 6120SSL, I got a 5128 which I love and my lady has a 5129 with the jumbo f holes(my 5128 has the smaller ones). They're great guitars!

18

...and it worked like a charm. D'Armond 2000s, that is.

19

Great guitar. I love the neck on my 5125. Do whatever you have to do to maximize your enjoyment out of yours. It's worth it. 8-)

– Baba

Great guitar. I love the neck on my 5125. Do whatever you have to do to maximize your enjoyment out of yours. It's worth it. 8-)

– Baba

STOP IT! You're a cruel man, Baba.

21

check the center line of the bigsby to make sure its dead center , if its not dead center take it off , ream out the screw holes and plug them with wood and a touch of glue then set it back up dead center and redrill a pilot hole , oh inspect the bigsby to be sure thats not the issue , if it is the issue i have a few extra bigsbys that are like brand new , and i will gladly let you have one for the cost of shipping

– Anne Flener

check the center line of the bigsby to make sure its dead center , if its not dead center take it off , ream out the screw holes and plug them with wood and a touch of glue then set it back up dead center and redrill a pilot hole , oh inspect the bigsby to be sure thats not the issue , if it is the issue i have a few extra bigsbys that are like brand new , and i will gladly let you have one for the cost of shipping

– Anne

The center screw seems to be centered. I tried making a few adjustments and shimming, which did help, but still haven't been able to get totally straight. The angle is off in both directions ( as you look down the neck at the Bigsby and if you look at it straight on).

That is a very generous offer, Anne. I would love to take you up on it if you're sure you have extras that you don't need. I would be happy pay shipping and more. The Bigsby on this guitar has some rust in some parts and some discoloration as well. It seems that it was not cared for very well. So, a replacement would probably be a good idea on a few levels.


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