General tech questions

Country Classic with 1 Meg Pots?

1

I'm a new owner of a 6120 Duane Eddy, and I'm totally in love with it. It's my first guitar with Dynasonics - I love the bite that these pickups have. Anyways, last night I played it against my 6122II Country Classic and realized how dark it sounded to the 6120DE. Now I'm considering putting in 1 Meg pots into my Country Classic. Is there anyone on here running this type of setup that can tell me their before and after story?

Cheers!

2

Hi TWRC, I read from your introduction thread that you arrived at Gretsch from a Fender guitar background.

The 6122 with its original Filtertrons is always going to be a darker guitar than the Duane Eddy with Dynasonics.

A couple of things you could try to brighten it up. Yes, the 1meg pots will do this in theory- however there are anecdotal reports of this change making no difference, or having a positive effect only when the pots are turned down.

A treble bleed on the master volume will retain presence as it is turned down- the standard master pot (except on recent Players Edition models) gets darker as you back it off.

Polepiece heights- lowering one pole row on each pickup head will make it brighter. Or, remove one row of poles altogether and you pretty much have a SuperHilotron pickup. Expect lower output and the tone can be fine tuned depending on which row of poles you lower/remove.

Consider a snappier Filter-sized pickup. I rate Magnatrons very highly, but that's a personal preference- swift attack, sharp and clear tone, great clean or distorted, silent hum-free performance. The Filter-style pickup for Fender folks.

Also available is a T-Armond pickup in a Filtertron case, if you decide that Dynasonics are the only way for you.

There's a lot to be said for having one guitar that sounds deeper and softer than your other instruments, just in case you need that kind of sound, but if you want to bring the 6122's touch and sonic characteristics closer to your other instruments, in ascending order of difficulty/intrusion/expense- try the polepiece thing first, then the treble bleed, then the 1meg pots (although I have doubts about the efficacy of that change), then change the pickups.

Hope this helps.

4

Hi TWRC, I read from your introduction thread that you arrived at Gretsch from a Fender guitar background.

The 6122 with its original Filtertrons is always going to be a darker guitar than the Duane Eddy with Dynasonics.

A couple of things you could try to brighten it up. Yes, the 1meg pots will do this in theory- however there are anecdotal reports of this change making no difference, or having a positive effect only when the pots are turned down.

A treble bleed on the master volume will retain presence as it is turned down- the standard master pot (except on recent Players Edition models) gets darker as you back it off.

Polepiece heights- lowering one pole row on each pickup head will make it brighter. Or, remove one row of poles altogether and you pretty much have a SuperHilotron pickup. Expect lower output and the tone can be fine tuned depending on which row of poles you lower/remove.

Consider a snappier Filter-sized pickup. I rate Magnatrons very highly, but that's a personal preference- swift attack, sharp and clear tone, great clean or distorted, silent hum-free performance. The Filter-style pickup for Fender folks.

Also available is a T-Armond pickup in a Filtertron case, if you decide that Dynasonics are the only way for you.

There's a lot to be said for having one guitar that sounds deeper and softer than your other instruments, just in case you need that kind of sound, but if you want to bring the 6122's touch and sonic characteristics closer to your other instruments, in ascending order of difficulty/intrusion/expense- try the polepiece thing first, then the treble bleed, then the 1meg pots (although I have doubts about the efficacy of that change), then change the pickups.

Hope this helps.

– ade

Hi ade, yes my guitar history is very steeped in Fender-land, so I'm very used to that single coil brightness, and so my new DE is definitely in my wheelhouse.

I think it might be a matter of perspective at this point. I spent a little bit of time last night playing both guitars, and I think that they really do compliment each other well now. I think the initial difference was a bit shocking. The DE is a very bright guitar, and the Country Classic definitely has it's own flavour.

The suggestion of adjusting the pole pieces is something I hadn't considered until I read your post - it definitely gave me a "duh" moment, so I'll play around with that this weekend, only because I want to close the gap between both guitars. Upon further inspection, it does look like the pole pieces on the Filtertrons are quite high, and beyond some of the literature I've found online and on the TV Jones website.

I'll keep you all posted of my results after I get some time to tinker around!

Cheers!

5

Sonic perspective sums it up. Making a jump from a Dyna guitar to a Filter can be jarring, as is going from a Filtertron to a HiLo one. You always need to give it a little time to enjoy the differences. Magnatrons are a great pickup; I had a 6120 with a Classic in the neck and a Maggie on the bridge and it was a very sweet and versatile set-up.

6

If the neck pickup is boomy, drop down the pole row nearest the fingerboard. It will clear right up.

The treble pickup has a couple of options- dropping the poles nearest the neck gives maximum bite. Dropping the row nearest the bridge gives a more nasal quality to the treble, perhaps more intuitively 'Gretsch' in character.

Either way, we're only talking about an eighth of a inch difference or thereabouts between the height of the rows. Hum-cancelling is unimpaired, we're just combing the harmonics selected from the string in a different way.

You're only five minutes and zero dollars away from putting it back to standard if it's not to your taste.

7

If the neck pickup is boomy, drop down the pole row nearest the fingerboard. It will clear right up.

The treble pickup has a couple of options- dropping the poles nearest the neck gives maximum bite. Dropping the row nearest the bridge gives a more nasal quality to the treble, perhaps more intuitively 'Gretsch' in character.

Either way, we're only talking about an eighth of a inch difference or thereabouts between the height of the rows. Hum-cancelling is unimpaired, we're just combing the harmonics selected from the string in a different way.

You're only five minutes and zero dollars away from putting it back to standard if it's not to your taste.

– ade

Now I can't wait to get home and experiment a bit!

You're right, these are easy enough adjustments without having to spend a dime. I really do think that my perception was just due to the drastic differences between the Dyna vs. Filters. However, these small adjustments might make that less noticeable. Funny, because my Country Classic never sounded dark before. HAHA

8

So I tried to make some adjustments and it looks like the pole pieces are already bottomed out. After some searching, I came across TV Jones' video about "Popping Those Shims". Sure enough, I had a stack of wooden shims underneath each pickup that I ended up replacing with some weather stripping, and BAM, I was able to adjust a bit of height on my Filtertrons.

Basically what I ended up doing in the end was getting the pickups as low as they would go, and then adjusted the pole pieces from there. The difference was very favourable! Now my Country Classic doesn't sound as dark as it did. I also noticed a bit more clarity at the sacrifice of slightly less volume. Overall, it was a big success, and further compliments my Duane Eddy!

Thank you ade for the "Eureka" moment.

9

Really pleased this has worked out well for you, hope you enjoy the new configuration.

Glad to be a help.


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