Modern Gretsch Guitars

5127 issues


Hey there, first post. I entered into Gretsch-land 6mo ago, and started with a 5127, one of the beautiful lavenderish ones, with the 2000 pickups. I gigged with it for a while, but it just never sounded great, almost muffled, dull, uninspired.

A set of TV Jones popped up used, a classic bridge, tarmond neck, in Dyna mount, so I've got those on there now. Same deal, just not great. I've played the tarmond in a vintage starfire that was one of the best sounding arrangements ever, for western swing/hillbilly jazz/rockabilly, etc, which is what I'm into.

I put the 2000s from the Gretsch on an M75 Guild/Dearmond $300 guitar, and they sound great in there, with 500K pots. I might put the 2Ks from that one on an old archtop! But anyways, I'm looking for some guidance on how to get this guitar sounding great. I've adjusted the poles one too many times. I went down to the local vintage shop and played some prolines, and was surprised that my electromatic really kept up with them, playing/feel wise. I called TV Jones, and they said def 500K pots for both of those pickups.

Then I started thinking, well, with the MV arrangement, that pot is always in parallel with the volume pot, effectively making the load 250K. However , I don't really see any instances where people are changing out the pots to 1M all around, to get to the recommended load for TV jones pickups, (as well as Dynas, I'm assuming). For instance, the Setzer hotrod that I played the other day, had a single 500K pot.

So i guess my question is twofold: Am I correct in my wiring assumption? Is the one of the gretsch website accurate for MV, Vx2,T? Any other ideas to get this thing sounding alive?


Welcome to The Pages. I see you signed up a while back so if we haven't said hello yet, let me be the first. Hello!

Many things to consider with pickups and Gretsch. Normally, the first thing to try is adjusting the entire pickups up or down for the desired sound/tone. Each pickup is different but most of them like to be pretty close to the strings. Adjusting the poles will only effect the sound of each string.

The Pot variables are also another thing to consider so you are correct in that consideration as well.

I have never changed pickups or pots on one of these before but maybe someone else will chime in who has.

Best of luck.


Try swapping out the Bridge pickup (2000) on the DeArmond for the original one (2K) and let us know what you think. Back in the days when these were available, that was a mod people tried. It gave the bridge pickup a little more oomph compared to the 2000.


Ok thanks guys. I'll try and put the 2K back in the M75 bridge, if that's what you mean, but it sounds great right now with the 2000s. For the 5127 with the TV Jones, I pulled the MV and disconnected the ground from the back of the pot. Now at full tilt its not presenting a parallel load to the other volume pots, and with rotation it actually acts as a different type of tone control, as series resistance (not a voltage divider) usually just cuts highs. I guess if I put a large cap across the 2 remaining terminals, if would be a bass cut! Anyways, doing that, and then removing some of the spacers and actually lowering the pickups from what I assume is stock height, really helped sweeten things up and make the guitar sound better.

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