Pickups

1956 Jet Firebird wiring

1

My '56 Jet Firebird has non-original DeArmonds, which seem to date from the '60s. I am trying to verify if the wiring is correct. I went to the Gretsch website and downloaded the wiring schematic for the tone pot circuit. It appears to show that the individual volume pots do not connect to the Master Tone pot as my guitar does. (in picture, wires with green and red marker on them come from the individual volume pots)

I am curious if this could cause a decrease in output. The guitar is "quieter" than every other guitar I own. If I A/B between two guitars, I lose almost 10db when I go to the Jet.

If I measure output ohms at the output jack, I only get reasonable ohm levels if the master tone is completely off.

The research I have done results in there is no difference between a modern jet pickup wiring and a vintage one. I am not enough of an electronics expert to understand if wiring like mine would change the output levels.

Thanks for any suggestions / advice.

2

This is what that circuit originally looked like....everything inside the DeArmond conduit. I'll try to find the schematic...I have it somewhere.

3

ANd connect these two terminals together. Otherwise you get either less highs, or less lows, but never full output.

4

The current wiring is far from correct for vintage Jets. I have a '55 Firebird and it has the same stacked tone pot as yours and it's wired as you describe. I don't remember a volume difference but I definitely got a nicer tone when I removed the small cap and replaced it with a jumper. YMMV

There's a hand drawn wiring schematic for vintage jets out there done by someone on the other Gretsch forum. You might wanna do a search there. The wiring is strange - the pickups go to the pots and only the ground is connected to them. Each of the p/u's hot is connected to one of the wires in a four conductor wire - 2 wires bring signal to the switch and 2 bring it back to the pots.

5

Billy types faster

6

ANd connect these two terminals together. Otherwise you get either less highs, or less lows, but never full output.

– Billy Zoom

Thanks, Billy. I appreciate the picture. The original wiring is much cleaner than the rat's nest I have. If you find the schematic, that would be awesome, I haven't had luck yet finding something I know is correct.

The picture is small, can you clarify which two terminals need to be connected? EDIT - I just recognized that as my original picture (it was cropped) ... If I understand correctly, I need to connect the two terminals that are not connected like the other two in the picture ... i.e. all three terminals on the two pots in the stack are connected top to bottom.

Thanks so much. I know I am in over my head, it is always nice when someone is so willing to share knowledge.

7

ANd connect these two terminals together. Otherwise you get either less highs, or less lows, but never full output.

– Billy Zoom

Wow! I jumpered the terminals and the guitar is transformed! Output levels match my other guitars and the ohm readings make sense.

I would still love to see the original wiring schematic to see where mine is different than yours. Also, the tone pot still sounds a little "mushy", perhaps the cap is shot?

I couldn't be happier with the improvement. Thank you again for pointing out the simple fix.


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