Modern Gretsch Guitars

Screeching Feedback from Pro Jet

1

Hey everybody,

I have a Gretsch Electromatic Pro Jet. Made in China, from about 2013, with a Fender/Gretsch's version of a tune-o-matic bridge. I had to remove and reverse one of the saddles to get the intonation correct. Great neck, overall this guitar was a bargain.

One glaring problem tough. For some reason when I play at high gain and high volume, I get this ear piercing screechingly high pitched feedback. I'm a classic rock player, I know what healthy feedback sounds like, but this feedback is absolutely piercing , like having an ice pick hammered into the top of my head. It seems like it may be some kind of issue with the pickups or maybe the pots?

At lower gain, or lower volume, the problem doesn't seem to happen.

For reference, I'm using a Traynor YCS50 all valve 50 watt head into a Traynor 4x12 cabinet. Traynor is very well known in Canada, but relatively obscure outside of Canada.

I don't use any overdrive, boost, etc pedals. I simply only use the gain knob on my amp. I don't have this screeching issue with any other guitar in my rig.

Any ideas what could be causing this and what can be done to fix this? (short of just using less gain)?

2

Microphonic pickups. At high volume the coils (and sometimes the enclosure) of the pickup vibrate from the acoustic energy (like a microphone), causing a high-pitched squeal. The only prescription is to get them wax potted. By filling the void space in the pickup with wax, you can prevent the coil from vibrating. You can do it yourself with a double boiler and some paraffin.

What kind of pickups are on that guitar? Some pickups (like the P90s in my Casino) are less responsive to wax potting.

3

Howdy! Welcome to the asylum.

I've got an '08 Pro Jet with mini hums and haven't got an issue with it, tho I don't play with a lot of gain. I'll second the potting issue. Many of us here in Baja Canada are hip to Traynor amps. Garnets are much harder to find down here. Hop you get your issues straightened out. Until then, turn away from the amp.

4

Try muting the strings between the tailpiece and the bridge. If that kills it, put some damping material (foam) there.

5

I appreciate all of the suggestions, guys. I will try to mute the strings behind the bridge as that seems to be the easiest solution if it indeed works.

I don't know the name of the pickups in there but they are the stock 'mini humbuckers' that came with it. They are probably about the same width as a P90, but there are 2 sets of poles. This guitar was roughly $450CDN brand new, so I doubt they are anything high end.

I am very good with basic guitar tech/setup tasks such as truss rod adjustments, action/intoation adjustments, etc, but haven't delved into wax potting or otherwise servicing pickups themselves. Is wax potting a difficult procedure? Is this something you'd recommend a professional do? What all is involved?

6

This is the guitar itself in case anyone is curious

7

Those are blacktops, not minihums, as far as I can tell. They're actually better pickups than the minihums. Your Pro Jet is 2nd Generation. The first ones only had a volume and tone knob, thumbnail markers, and no master volume. Heavier, too, I think. These are great modding platforms, and a great bang for the buck guitar.

8

Might be a silly question, but have you ruled out the amp (aka tried another guitar)?

9

Yup. I regularly play about half a dozen other guitars through that same amp with the same high gain without issue. My main guitar is a Fender Strat with Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickups in all 3 positions. I also often use a Fender Strat with 3 stock single coils. Neither has any issue.

Can you guys suggest any different pickups that would fit in my Pro Jet? I think the route is narrower than the width standard humbuckers, but I'd prefer not to have to enlarge the routes or make any other 'permanent' changes that can't be undone.

10

To keep the Gretsch tone I think the regular chrome or nickel covered Gretsch HS Filtertrons will fit. Otherwise TV Jones is the Jedi Master of boutique Filtertron style pickups.

11

I appreciate all of the suggestions, guys. I will try to mute the strings behind the bridge as that seems to be the easiest solution if it indeed works.

I don't know the name of the pickups in there but they are the stock 'mini humbuckers' that came with it. They are probably about the same width as a P90, but there are 2 sets of poles. This guitar was roughly $450CDN brand new, so I doubt they are anything high end.

I am very good with basic guitar tech/setup tasks such as truss rod adjustments, action/intoation adjustments, etc, but haven't delved into wax potting or otherwise servicing pickups themselves. Is wax potting a difficult procedure? Is this something you'd recommend a professional do? What all is involved?

– etr102

I could explain it, but 8 years of graduate school taught me that I'm not a very good teacher. I am great at researching literature though:

http://www.stewmac.com/How-...

https://www.premierguitar.c...

12

Does the sound change as you move ? If it's feedback, it should. Does it change when you turn the tone control ? In this case, it might be oscillation. Then check pickup or pot grounds.

13

I hear a screeching noise when I play, too, but, it's my wife telling me to turn it down.


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