G5122, Annoying buzz and "different sound pickups."
So i just purchased my first gretsch last week and its a beautiful orange 5122. It came via UPS cracked so that was uncool but anyways they sent me another one and this looked cosmetically fine so i took it in to GC to get it set up. Went to pick it up and the tech guy said that the bridge was all jenked up and i looked at it and it was. Whoever put it together put the wrong pieces in the bridge and had two different size of things. He did it all for free since they do your first set up for free.(first guitar btw) But anyways i brought it home and started to play it and theres this weird awful sounding buzzing noise and im pretty sure its from the bridge. I raised the bridge because one of my friends at church suggested that and it helped a little since i am a heavy strummer.(It was low to begin with) I just wanted to know if anyone else has had this problem and has any solutions to it. And oh yeah, i play at church and outside of church in an alternative/indie style band. What would be a goof pickup to put in this guitar? I havent really had a chance yet to really try the 'buckers on a good amp so I dont know how they really sound but on my junky one they sounded dark.
I'll bet it's the retainer wire on the bridge that's causing the buzz. Quick fix is to put a dab of clearcoat on it.
After this post you'll probably see plenty of recommendations for replacement bridges like Tone Pros, Tru-Arc, Compton etc.
Many here swap out the pickups for something from GFS's retrotron range and humbucker sized P90's.
Paint the screw threads with the blue Loctite. Works a charm. From one 5122 owner to another, congrats! Absolutely love mine.
PS I replaced pickups to TV Classics and and bridge to a bar style one.
I love my 5122. I've got a Tru-Arc and TVJones Classics on mine. I'd recommend the swap to a TruArc bridge - there's only goodness and no downside. In terms of pickups, before you look to replace yours, play it for a while and see what you do and don't like about the Gretchbuckers. If you decide to swap, there are many options - HS Filtertrons or TV Jones if you want that traditional "Great Gretsch sound" but others have used inexpensive pickups from GFS (eg Liverpool or Memphis). But, as you're a newbie, I'd give it a little while to learn what sound you want from it. Enjoy - the 5122 is a great guitar.
Good advice so far, I'll only add that you might want to wait a while before changing pickups. Play it through a GOOD amp for a while and give them a fair chance. Also, find a good reputable guitar tech who understands your playing style. The guy stuffing a sandwich in his food hole at the back of a guitar shop who says he's a "tech", really isn't the guy you want working on your instrument.
The guy stuffing a sandwich in his food hole at the back of a guitar shop who says he's a "tech", really isn't the guy you want working on your instrument.
And...try changing the tone cap to a .022 or even .013. This is a LOT cheaper than pickups. And don't forget that your amp probably has a tone knob...or knobs. Don't be afraid to try non-intuitive settings. Try turning something all the way up and something else all the way down. I have a Peavey amp that sounds great with the MID control all the way off.
Tru-Arc bridge. The buckers are great pickups but I just put a Dream 90 at the neck in my 5120 and I'm loving it.
Lots of good advice here. I too own a 5122, and extensively overhauled mine a year or so ago (member Paul Setzer did the work for me).
There's a reason we refer to them as "mud buckers", and it seems as if you've found out why straight away. Swapped mine for HS Filtertrons, and added a Tru-Arc bridge (SS).
Also changed out all the electronics, and added various things to mold the sound, and give a total of 56 tonal variations. But I doubt you'll want to go that far, especially as this is your 1st guitar.
I am most definitely going to order a TruArc or Compton bridge, dont know which. And i just today got the bridge adjusted and the pickups adjusted, springs on the screw were messed up, and i played it through a vox ac15 twin and a fender blues junior and it sounded good but not that great sound i was looking for nor need. As of now I play at church and we play Hillsong(they use a lot of Gretsch), Chris Tomlin, Jesus Culture, stuff like that if any of you know that stuff. So I need something a little on the warmer/brighter side and less muddy, and i prefer something thats not twangy since im not playing country and dont specifically want a countryish sound since thats not the music i play plus i cant stand a strong/heavy twang. I also play in a alternative/indie style band but whatever pickups i put in for church will work for it since i play there a lot. Im not afraid to spend money and really dont care if its to much because i know ill have this guitar forever I want to upgrade and have it sound amazing.
And myself personally i would love to put some better pickups in there, and heck if it makes it that much better(which i know it will) why not soon. My problem is i just dont know which to put in for the style I play. Ive been looking at Tv Jones/Filtertrons I just dont know which would best suit my guitar for the music and what i like.