Modern Gretsch Guitars

Tone pots capacitors


heres something i've been wondering about what are the values of the capacitors in modern Gretschs and what value should i use if i want it darker???


Mine were 500k. If you have 500k and want it darker, then switch some/all to 250k. If you have 1meg, go to 500k. I wanted to make it brighter, so I went to 1meg from 500k.


sorry, i should have been more clear . i'm looking for the values of the capacitors on the tone pots not necessarily the values of the pots themselves. although, switching the pot value on the tone circuit would probably make it darker for sure!


Not sure what they are - probably .022uF or .047uF. If they're .022, try .047 or .1uF. I doubt you'll need to go bigger than .1!

Someone will possibly chime in with how paper-in-oil sound better... If you can hear a difference between cap types on a tone pot you have bat ears!


Oh, I should have read more closely. I had a .047.



Can you specify which guitar , or at least which type of circuit (tone switch vs. pot)?

This makes a huge difference in which caps are used.

.022 uf is modest on a pot but huge on a switch, for example.

Anyway, if you can say which is the guitar in question, it is likely we can tell which caps are in there now and suggest which values will get you darker without going completely lights-out.



To add a few details,...

Modern Gretsch Tone pot circuits will have .022 uf caps. Going to .047 uf is the classic move for a very notably darker sound. But .033 uf is out there if there are any moderates left in the western world.

The tone switch circuit will have .0039 uf, and .012 uf.

Changing these is a more tricky thing since you get a fixed result - so can not tweak after it is in there. BUT, you can change the cap values and add a resistor in series with the cap as well to fine tune.

The best way to do this is outside the guitar, then build in what works for you.

Anyway, advise on which guitar/circuit you are working.



Thanks for all the info, Its my synchro club prototype.


Forgive my memory if it's faulty Paul, but I recall this guitar having a non-standard Fender tone control. Wasn't it some kind of parametric device or something?

I don't really know how to help you here, but suspect that the folks who do would be better able to assist if they knew just exactly what is in the guitar.

Of course, you may have changed it since.

Hope it works out.



A simple way to go would be to just add a cap in parallel to the existing tone cap.

You could darken somewhat by adding a .015 uf cap in parallel, or darken more (but still nothing crazy) by adding a .022 uf in parallel instead.

This is very easy to do, and also easy to un-do since you do not need to remove the existing cap.



BUT based on Ade's comment above it may be possible that the tone control circuit is unusual. For example it could be a somewhat ridiculously named "greasebucket" circuit, which works quite well.

This is only speculation on my part based on the guitar being a modern prototype and Ade's comment about an unusual tone circuit.

This is also easy to darken via changing or adding caps, but a little more complex.

If you can take a pic of the components and note what is written on them, then we can suggest how to darken.



I might add this point:

Increasing a tone cap value will only darken the sweep of tone value when the tone pot is not "wide open"

When the tone pot is dialed to 10, the cap is bypassed entirely.

As such it will not darken the sound so much as provide darker sounds at the end of the sweep of the pot. And a faster journey to those tones.

If you are looking to darken the tone more over the entire sweep of the guitar, it's better to just reduce the value of the pots.


yes, thats what i'm looking for. i want the guitar super dark when the tone is rolled off. i've been using a lot of tone roll effects on my tele and really want to do it on this guitar (thats why the controls are in a different place, both knobs behind the bridge are tone knobs) It does have a "grease bucket" circuit in it. I will have to have a go at it after the NAMM show thanks again!!


OK, so with the (abominably named) greasebucket circuit, you can first remove the resistor between the .022 uf cap and ground, then change the value of the .022 cap by either swapping it out for a larger cap (.047 would be the maximum I suggest) or adding a cap in parallel as described above.

Now the greasebucket is designed to give a more midrangey tone as the knob is turned down. This works quite well in my opinion, but arguably lacks the dramatic difference of a classic tone circuit, especially if you want to do live rolls of the knob.


In such a case you would dispense with all three components of the greasebucket circuit (both caps and the resistor) and just use a single .047 uf cap.

Sorry if this sounds complicated, it is easy enough to do really.



Nice one Chris. Every post from you in this thread has been top drawer.


The top drawer is where I keep my underwear, and emergency $100, and old alarm clock that I am pretty sure does not work anymore.


It's a simple task just to try different caps to find out what you like. You can also go the opposite direction and brighten a dull guitar by performing simple mods like increasing the pot value, adding bypass caps, maybe eliminating a master volume or any tone-suck caps.

Personally I never could hear a difference between a cheap ceramic disc cap and a fancy foil and oil boutique cap in my guitars. I think the value make more difference than the make of the cap.


thinking about this some more,...

Considering the PU's in the guitar in question and the "grease bucket" cap in the signal line, it may not be so crazy at all to go to a .1 uf cap in place of the .022 uf (the cap going to ground through the relatively small resistor).

This will get the deep dark the OP looks for. The question being if it works well with the total resonance of the circuit (complicated by the cap in the signal line in the grease bucket circuit).

Easy to find out. Sort of curious now, maybe I will mock it up outside a guitar for laughs.



Paul, as Chrisp2 said, caps in parallel are a good way to experiment to find the value you want. I'd suggest using some alligator clips on the sides of the existing cap hanging out of the cat's eye so you can swap and compare values quickly.

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