Modern Gretsch Guitars

Charliie Christian style pickup on my G400

1

Finally got around to installing this a few weeks ago, but was having difficulties posting pictures. My lovely wife got me a CC style pickup and thumbwheel pots from Pete Biltoft at Vintage Vibe. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for and has the tone I want. The G400 is a rare gem in the Gretsch world.

2

Those CC pickups have a real following and perhaps was the first pickup Gibson designed (1930s) ??

3

that combination is sheer genius.

4

Nice combination of guitar and pickup. Looks as good as it sounds!

5

looks nice and easy to install, but please don't ever mistake for a true vintage cc pickup...the only maker of those at present is ccpickups out of the uk...no other pickup out there like it...monstrous size and tough install..but completely unique..can't get same tone out of anything else

cheers

7

neatone, not even Lollar?

– ThePolecats

no!...lollar uses acrylic sheet just for 3 screw mounting purposes...the original cc's & uk cc's have 2 huge rare cobalt derived magnets....

those large flat magnets react with wide portion of the string that completely influence tone

lollar-

cheers

8

sweeeet set up. Nice guitar and the pickup is such a nice addition.

I have the same pickup in my 39’ Synchromatic 400. You’ll love the tones. And of course the “look”.

I’ll look in my photos for a pic of the 39’.

10

Nice, Fred. I’ve seen your Youtube vide of the 39 - very nice! Neatone, I’m aware of the differences between the Biltoft and a genuine CC. Just didn’t feel like getting into the nitty gritty here - but you are correct. BTW, this Biltoft pup has a very sweet single coil sound

11

Great idea!

I’ve got the Lollar “variant” in a tele. I’d love a taste of the real thing.

Looks like fun!

12

yeah zig, no intention to rain on the parade...just wanted to clarify the true differences...as per comment ^...for the few that might truly care!

enjoy!..and it does look great!...gasmoneys (as always expected!) as well..beauties!

cheers

13

Beautiful guitar Zig. As is Fred’s. Congrats to both.

16

Gasmoney: this is going to sound really shallow on my part, but even if I didn't play guitar I'd want a guitar like that -- just to look at! What a beautiful thing it is.

17

I have a Lollar in the neck position in a humbucker configuration that is the sweetest neck pup I have. That said,my bucket-list pickup is either the real deal or one of the uk pups.

18

looks nice and easy to install, but please don't ever mistake for a true vintage cc pickup...the only maker of those at present is ccpickups out of the uk...no other pickup out there like it...monstrous size and tough install..but completely unique..can't get same tone out of anything else

cheers

– neatone

are they using cobalt mags?

19

are they using cobalt mags?

– TheNocturneBrain

hey t...(happy holidays to you and yours)

from their website-

The bobbins have been scatter wound by hand in the traditional way with the correct gauge wire with the exact output reading as the originals, and of course these are fitted with the rare steel magnets which also are magnetised to the exact reading of the originals. The steel blades are made from the same mild steel, which has been copper plated, nickel plated and then chrome plated the same as the originals. We had original magnets measured for flux density and field characteristics and then had our steel magnetised to the same flux density and field shape as the originals would have been over 70 years ago. These pickups probably sound truer to the Charlie Christian records that you hear than any old existing original pickups still around today, this is due to the fact that the cobalt steel magnets only retain their magnetism for around 200 years, as they are now approx 70 years old they have lost about a third of their power so not giving the original crisp punch that they would have had when first manufactured back in the 30's.

cheers

20

Gasmoney: this is going to sound really shallow on my part, but even if I didn't play guitar I'd want a guitar like that -- just to look at! What a beautiful thing it is.

– Dave_K

Thank you. I admit it sits on a stand front and center in my guitar room. Easy on the eyes. I strum it now and then. It’s such a huge guitar which keeps me from playing it more often. It dwarfs a duo jet or 6120.

21

hey t...(happy holidays to you and yours)

from their website-

The bobbins have been scatter wound by hand in the traditional way with the correct gauge wire with the exact output reading as the originals, and of course these are fitted with the rare steel magnets which also are magnetised to the exact reading of the originals. The steel blades are made from the same mild steel, which has been copper plated, nickel plated and then chrome plated the same as the originals. We had original magnets measured for flux density and field characteristics and then had our steel magnetised to the same flux density and field shape as the originals would have been over 70 years ago. These pickups probably sound truer to the Charlie Christian records that you hear than any old existing original pickups still around today, this is due to the fact that the cobalt steel magnets only retain their magnetism for around 200 years, as they are now approx 70 years old they have lost about a third of their power so not giving the original crisp punch that they would have had when first manufactured back in the 30's.

cheers

– neatone

Wow. That’s dedication to detail.

22

Wow. That’s dedication to detail.

– Gasmoney

hah...yes indeed

but much like tv jones..who sourced his magnets from same company vintage gretsch did....or seymour duncan who spent hours with seth lover...or tk smith with his bigsby pup recreations

thankfully there are pickup guys out there trying to get details exactly right...cause it does matter!!!

cheers

23

I would love to know the differences between the three styles of blades, one solid,one notched under the B string, and one with 6 notches. The UK repros offer all three, and it has me delaying placing an order. Does anyone know the sonic differences ? They don't offer much in the way of explanation.

24

It comes down to string volume balance, Opie, or so my local luthier told me.

25

I would love to know the differences between the three styles of blades, one solid,one notched under the B string, and one with 6 notches. The UK repros offer all three, and it has me delaying placing an order. Does anyone know the sonic differences ? They don't offer much in the way of explanation.

– Opie

If you look at some of the old DeArmond Rhythm Chief pickups, you'll note that the B string pole sits lower, and is often covered by the plastic where all of the others are open. Might be because the B string is hotter. I'd surmise the solid blade is the earliest style. The six notches may be to focus the energy from each string.

I've always like the sound of a CC pickup, and realized that there'd be differences between originals and repros. I didn't realize that there'd be that much difference in them. I learn something every day.


Register Sign in to join the conversation