The Workbench

Big Lazy Wires…


Stephen's 55 Duo Jet had issues with the fretboard when it was introduced to some slow steady drips of water that was discussed in an earlier thread. As a result it lead to the neck pickup, which is the only one he uses, to required it to be rewound and the selector switch needed to be replaced. As many know the old black wire in these guitars becomes brittle and it's almost impossible to replace the switch without breaking wires and raises concerns for a guitar that gets a lot of use. So I replaced all the wires in the same path Gretsch used in Brooklyn. There are no schematics so I took a couple hours to draw it up for future reference.

Since guitars are all about tone and some of the smallest things can make a huge difference, why isn't FMIC/Gretsch or the Custom Shop wiring guitars like they did when everyone discovered that great Gretsch sound?

Was it easy, hell no! I ended up locking the doors and closing the shutters so I could concentrate. Old brain, not much short term memory... If I didn't have another one in the shop I'd probably still be working on it.


Not only the path but check out the gauge of the wires used and the shield is heavy tightly woven wire.


You can see how the wire cracks on the outer cover and it's way worse around the hot lead.


Your comment about wiring guitars like they used to seems like a no-brainer similar to Stephen Stills saying something like “ Just make them like you used too”. I suspect a bean counter prevailed.


Dig the righteous gold sparkle


Wait, when did you became an electrician?

I'm sure it'll be as good or better, when you're finished with it.


Wiring, my least favorite guitar task. Somehow I always have an issue that needs tidying up in the end.


It’s road ready but I’m embarrassed that it took as long as it did.


"Wiring, my least favorite guitar task. Somehow I always have an issue that needs tidying up in the end."

Ha! It's the only task on a guitar I am 100% comfortable with! Well that and restringing.

Funny thing is that I have done quite a bit of wiring on motorcycles now, and last time I was grounding a wire on my bike I wondered about whether it would cause a ground loop. Too much time spent on musical wiring I guess.


All back to normal and out the door. The neck pickup needed to be rewound, Stephen picked Kent Armstrong to do the deed.

The guitar passed the ear test and will be out and about soon.

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