Modern Gretsch Guitars

DSW Substitute

1

What would be a good substitute for my 6120 DSW? I bought it new just about a year ago and just cannot get used to it. I don't care for the tone of the dynos. So I would like some suggestions. I'd like it to have similar pick-ups to my 6122 and have the short scale. I know that Mitch has been down this road so I hope he jumps-in.

2

That's pretty easy...a 6120 with Filters seems like what you're looking for if you want the same look and scale as the DSW but with humbuckers. I'm partial to the 6120-LTV, but there are alot of options. If you want something that is visually like your 6122-59, look for a 6122-58...similar guitar, but short scale.

3

Hey Vibramute, great suggestion on the 6122-58!! I don't know how I overlooked that one. Looks like it might be exactly what I would like. Thanks!

4

Curious, RBC, what strings you have on the DSW...and have tried?

5

Having trouble understanding how anyone couldn't like a DSW

6

^

What he said....

7

Having trouble understanding how anyone couldn't like a DSW

– Baxter

Having trouble understanding how anyone couldn't like a DSW

– Baxter

+1

Since I've been hanging around here, I've noticed people either go for Filter's or Dyna's, but rarely both. I'm in the minority that likes and uses both 8-)

8

Hey Vibramute, great suggestion on the 6122-58!! I don't know how I overlooked that one. Looks like it might be exactly what I would like. Thanks!

– RBC

Hey Vibramute, great suggestion on the 6122-58!! I don't know how I overlooked that one. Looks like it might be exactly what I would like. Thanks!

– RBC

The '58 is my fav 6122! :)

9

.011-.050 round wound. I usually play flatwound on my Gibsons but find the rounds sound better on my Gretech's.

10

Different strokes for different folks. I have a DSW. Dynasonics are perfect for me. On the other hand, a 6120 with HS Filtertrons, even at a bargain price, wouldn't trip my trigger. I won't say how I'd feel about TV Jones filters. Never had the opportunity to play a guitar with 'em.

11

I had a similar problem with my first gretsch, a DSW too. It sounded thin and the output was too low, so i returned it and bought a 6120 with filters instead, it is my main guitar after 5 years with me. But considering that I have been a Cliff Gallup fan for more than 20 years i knew that i would fall again and i bought a 6128tds with dynas, the sound was instant Gretsch magic. I came to the conclusion that maybe my first dsw needed a proper set up of the pickups and i should have gave it another chance.

12

Hard to explain why.. it's a feel and a tone thing. I have tried various strings and played through all of my amps and it just doesn't do anything for me. I have a 1959-6122 and a Gibson Country Gent and the Gretsch gets most of the play time between the two, and I really love my Gibsons but that CG just doesn't have the tone that the 6122 does. So it may go down the road as well.

13

I think you nailed it as well. The last straw so to speak was today when I played it again 'thin' was the word that came to mind and i cranked it all the way up through my Fender Reverb and just wasn't getting anything out of it. The pick-ups were setup shortly after I got the guitar and that made a difference but I must just like the tone of the filters..

14

In addition to my DSW I have a 6120 with Filtertrons and Tennessee Rose with Filters as well, I'm one of the few who likes both Dynas and Filters, My DSW is the most played, and the '59 is my least played. I love the tone of the '59, but I don't get along well with the 17" body even though I'm 6'4" tall.

15

Dynasonics are very subtle and should be adjusted by the player playing them. I would not be satisfied if someone else adjusted them on my guitar. I would get out your screwdriver with your guitar plugged into your amp and adjust the poles until you hit the sweet spot first before you ditch it. They are very sensitive to adjustment.

16

Well it is, after all, every bit about what sounds good to you and what sets off your flares. I was just curious about what you had tried. Curious, that's all.

My DSW is a freakin' bomb. Other guitars I have to crank the amp up, after playing the DSW. Output is massive and full...though very, very, very different, depending on the strings...gauge and make...that I have on it. And my mood swings as well. Sometimes I am certain that I want to put different strings on it, while other times...like right now...I really dig the strings and tone I'm getting out of it.

And then there's my Spruce Club with Dyna's. Now, I've already determined that I need to raise the pickups to get more output. It's not even close to the DSW. But that said, the tonal quality out of it.... man. We've marveled at the "snarl" and growl down in the open position, but the big, fat, loveliness up the fretboard.

It's obviously a close relative to my DSW, yet quite different. Fascinating.

It's a learning experience for me, these Gretsch guitars.

17

Have you tried raising the Dyna bodies with spacers and lowering the poles? Works wonders, especially with a thin sounding bridge pu. To my ears, Dynas are some of the fattest sounding single coils.

18

Maybe a p90 at the neck? My 6120w-57 is virtually the same guitar as the DSW, and the p90 fattens up the Dyna, adding creamy mids to the Dyna twang,

It's a killer tone, I'm suprised more people don't go for it.

19

What would be a good substitute for my 6120 DSW? I bought it new just about a year ago and just cannot get used to it. I don't care for the tone of the dynos. So I would like some suggestions. I'd like it to have similar pick-ups to my 6122 and have the short scale. I know that Mitch has been down this road so I hope he jumps-in.

– RBC

RBC,

Not sure what your after... but yes, I've had a DSW, DSV, DE and liked the DE the best of all. But ended up selling even that one (regrettably). I had a hard time warming up to Dyna's myself, but I DID love them in the DE I had. My 'issue' is that I LOVE ebony fretboards, and Dynas all seem to come with Rosewood... EXCEPT, the G6136T-LDS White Falcon, which I bought and LOVE dearly.

If you like the pickups on the G6122-1959, (as I do), then you have options. Any Gent or 6120 with TV Jones SuperTron neck and Classic plus bridge will give you 'that' sound in a short scale guitar. Not identical, but close.

Pics attached of my 'final family' of Gretsch pro-line guitars.

  1. G6136T-LDS White Falcon
  2. G6122-1958 Gent with TV Jones and Bigsby mods
  3. '93 G6122II Country Classic w/ TV Jones
  4. G6122-1959 (these pickups installed in the other 'Gents'

(All these guitars have TRU-ARC BR-120 bridges installed as well... just a plug for PROTEUS here ;-) )

20

I like HiloTron pickups. Sometimes better than Dynasonics.

21

Thanks Mitch, I didn't realize that you have the 1958-6122! I knew you had the HOF though. What I was after when I bought the DSW was the shorter scale and rather than buy the 58 and be really close to my 59-6122, I thought different pick-ups would be great as well. That just hasn't worked out that way. I guess the tone that I really like is what I get from the 59-6122. So I think I will buy a 58 and change the neck pu like what you have done. I have tried adjusting the height of the poles on the dynas with not much success. I have not tried shimming them higher and really would rather spend my limited time playing and not working on my guitar.

22

Pole pieces raised high out of the pickup results in a thinner tone,I have learned from folks here, because the output is reduced. The pole pieces lowered in the pickup increases output, so lower the poles, get foam spacers from tv Jones, and raise the whole pickup. I bought Duncan dynas from the custom shop and they help a lot, as would tv t armonds

23

I may try the foam spacer and lowering the poles back in to the pup. I did raise the pole pieces right when I bought the DSW and set it up. Was advised to by someone here. However, they either did not mention raising the whole pup or I just plain missed it (probably the latter). It would be worth a try before sending it off. Thanks for the advice.

24

The magnets on dynas are also so uber strong that they have tremendous string pull, thus limiting string vibration. My Duncan dynas measure at about 12k, so I completely got rid of the spacer under the neck pickup and lowered the poles almost all the way down. The e string poles are almost countersunk. You see a lot of vintage 6120s with no neck pup spacer. If you did that, you could use that spacer to add to the one under the bridge pickup, and then lower its poles down too. I believe this would work well for you. You can cut a slit in one area of the spacer so you can easily remove it without having to cut pickup wires or anything.

25

The lowered poles, raised pups will increase output and chime once your strings are free to vibrate more. One of the reasons I think the p90 in the neck spot works so well is because the pups bar magnet nature doesn't have much string pull at all.


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