Modern Gretsch Guitars

Replacing tone-switch with tone pot


I've been trying to get a useable sound from the tone switch on my 6120 since I changed from TV Classics to T-90s and have had no luck so far.

The stock values sounded rubbish with the T-90s, so I changed them out to the values TV Jones recommended which were .018uF for the down position and .033uF in the up, which still suck.

I could try changing them again, but maybe just putting a pot in would solve my woes.

Basically I just want to be able to back off a bit of treble for a 'jazzier' sound, and the switch seems to be too blunt an instrument for what I'm trying to achieve. I'm looking for Kenny Burrell, Quentin Warren, Thornel Schwartz type sounds, fat but still with a bit of bite. I'm already 95% there but it's just that little nuance that I need.

Anyone tried it?


You can wire a pot to the switch the same way that they do the tone pots to volume pots in Gibsons, carefully leaving the pot and cap outside the guitar, find out where you like the pot and which cap you like. Then measure the resistance you like between pot and cap, find a close resistor and install that value resistor and cap onto the tone switch. I've done similar things before with good results.

It's like when you use a Fuzz Face and the best sound is when you back off the volume pot on the guitar just a tiny bit. I've measured that tiny bit before and used a resistor of that value on the input of the Fuzz Face. It saves messing about.

I've also seen players put a pot where the tone switch is too. I would put the selector switch closer to the right hand and the tone pot further away. I do that with the switches anyway.

The other ting I have done is turn the neck pickup volume pot into a tone pot. It's easy - just add the cap. Of course this only works if you don't want an individual volume for the neck pickup. But you could turn both the individual volumes into tone pots if you wanted.


I had a broken mud switch replaced with a knob on a Jet. Works good and gives more control.


I did it. No-Load Pot and master Volume Treble Bleed like the newer Pro models.

I added a Tru-Arc, too.


I had a broken mud switch replaced with a knob on a Jet. Works good and gives more control.

– NJBob

Here’s mine.


Ive been meaning to replace the switch also, havent got around to it yet. Post up what you came up with.


The TV Jones Site has the schematics to compare where you are to where you want to get. You'll need a 500k CTS No-Load Pot and a .022 Oil-in-Paper Cap, some wire to add it in and make ground, then the set of Clear Tubes to route everything.

We only needed to move the Neck pup. And if you want Treble Bleed on the Master this would be a good time to do that, too.

There are schematics on the Gretsch site as well, even some hand drawn ones. Look at the latest circuit with Treble Bleed and Tone knob.

And you'll need another knob of sorts on top. The CTS shaft versus your choice might need a little something around the shaft, they sell bushings to cover the spline. I just used a small piece of metal shielding tape then sank the set screw another 1/8 turn.


If someone made a tone pot that is small and looks like the mud switch, I'd be all over this. I use the mud switch on the SSLVO, but it doesn't give me the results I really want. That's rally the only negative about the guitar.


It would be easy to make a smaller knob, it just needs an internal diameter of something < or = .250" to match the shaft.

If you set and forget your Tone, there wouldn't be much need for position indication.

You could match the color of the top, too, invisible to all but a few.


This whole thread makes me so sad. The mud switch is one of my favorite things about Gretsch guitars.

For what it's worth I like Jimmy's idea for a resistor in series with the cap.


Do this, not the stupid factory tone control circuit!


tone pot switch-out of circuit was one of the first mods to my 99' SSU, 500K pushpull w .015uf polystyrene cap. bypassed in down mode, in when pulled up


I’ve thought about this mod for my Power Tenny, but just can’t pull the trigger. I guess it’s because I think of it as a change that’s not easily reversible.

I had a G6120-WTV for a while. It was Firebird red and came with a Duane Eddy handle. Tone knob was stock on these models and I thought they got it right.


I use a tone pot with the shaft diameter reduced and threaded to accept the tone switch tip. It looks like the original tone switch, but it is actually a tone pot. I could never get the mud switch to work for me. Sometimes you just need to remove a tiny bit of treble, other times, maybe a little more. My guitar tech uses a capacitor and a resistor on the pot, and it has the nicest gradual sweep, although I don't know what values he uses for the cap and resistor. I do know that he uses a 500K audio taper pot though. Here's a pic of an old 6124 that I converted into a jazz box. You can see the tone switch/pot. (Ignore the rest of the subject matter.)


Thanks for all the input fellers, I'll ket you know what I do in the end.

Journeyman, that guitar looks really cool with all the wooden accoutrements! Does it have any Gretschiness at all?


I like Journeyman's guitar stand. I think everyone needs a guitar stand with a suit.


Thanks for all the input fellers, I'll ket you know what I do in the end.

Journeyman, that guitar looks really cool with all the wooden accoutrements! Does it have any Gretschiness at all?

– Tsar Nicholas

Not much twang left, but it does have a nice top end. It's pretty much a dedicated jazz box. In the end I went with one of those Guild Littlebucker pickups; not as dark as a Gibson style pickup, and without the PAF mid bump. I tried a Gretsch knob where the tone switch was, but it looked really out of place, so went with the switch tip on a tone pot idea. When they open the border and I get my 6118T 125th Anniversary here, it will also get the tone tip treatment.

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