Pickups

Gretsch Jet - Taming harsh brightness on 1st string

1

Anyone out there have any advice for taming a harshly bright Gretsch Duo Jet's 1st (E) string?

The guitar has TV Jones Powertron pickups and I run it thru a Mesa Mark V 25 on the clean channel, with the 5 band EQ off. I've already tried turning down the treble and presence on the amp, but no luck.

I've also tried lowering both pickup's pole pieces for this string as far down as they will go, plus I even lowered the pickups on that side somewhat, but whenever I hit that string it just seems to really jump out and bite compared to the others, which seem fine and balanced by comparison. The worst of it happens when played open and the first few frets or so.

I am using GHS Boomers .010. Again, all the other strings sound bright and lively but not excessively harsh. Would a simple string change to a a "darker" toned set help, and if so, what do you recommend? Or do you think there is possibly something wrong with the pickups?

Thanks to all who respond.

2

Billy Zoom uses GHS Big Core Nickel Rockers.

3

Much depends upon the string gauges you are using. If it's a 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 46 set try moving the plain strings up to 11, 14 or 15.

4

i'm not familiar with the TVJones Power-Trons, nor have I played through one of those amps. Have you tried a different amp for comparison? Maybe a Nocturne Brain from Tavo could tame the overall goodness.

5

Thanks Guys. I was considering the Nickel Rockers, or even a "hybrid" set of my own making. I don't have the means to get a different amp currently and was trying to avoid that if at all possible. I do have a Kemper Profiler also, and even thru a Deluxe Reverb and other Fender amps it does the same thing.

6

It's not the pickups - they wouldn't vary in response from string to string. Can we assume you've tried several high E strings? Individual strings can be bad - and, in an extreme case (I've been through it) several strings from different sets can be bad, if they were part of the same manufacturing batch.

Which happened to me when I bought 6-12 sets from a supplier, who naturally enough got them from inventory which was naturally enough stocked from sets received at the same time from the manufacturer - D'Addario, in this case - who, also naturally enough, would have shipped them from the same batch.

In my case, it was several D-strings, in a row, from different string packages which just wouldn't intonate. When I finally hit on a D-string that worked, I contacted D'Addario...who had me check the lot number imprinted for quality control on the string packages, and sure enough - bad batch. They replaced them all.

So...try different first strings.

As for trying different series of strings, you can try it. But I'm not sure there's much difference in the core wire. Pretty much everyone uses nickel steel. You might enquire with a manufacturer or major string distributor (I like juststrings.com) about a plain string with a warmer tone.

7

If it happens on both pickups I’d assume it’s the string before assuming TV Jones messed up both pickups. Is it a frequency thing that happens on your B string at higher frets or just the E? Maybe you somehow have 1 meg pot or something.

8

If it happens on both pickups I’d assume it’s the string before assuming TV Jones messed up both pickups. Is it a frequency thing that happens on your B string at higher frets or just the E? Maybe you somehow have 1 meg pot or something.

– jarrodtaylor

I'm assuming it's the string also, but I figured I would ask anyway. It's the E string only, the B is fine.

I've got a set of GHS Nickel Rockers on order. Once I put those on, I will report back.

9

Have you tried pure nickle (not just nickle plated) strings? I find they really soften and sweeten up guitars that tend to have an inherent harshness.

Nickle strings tend to feel softer as well, so that I can usually go up a gauge (say from 10's to 11's) and feel and bending are about the same as the lower gauge steel. Plus you'll get a bit fatter tone with the thicker string as well.

10

Could it be perhaps that the string ever so slightly rings against one of the frets?

Assuming the neck relief is fine, try raising the the treble end of the bridge a bit.

11

Have you tried pure nickle (not just nickle plated) strings? I find they really soften and sweeten up guitars that tend to have an inherent harshness.

Nickle strings tend to feel softer as well, so that I can usually go up a gauge (say from 10's to 11's) and feel and bending are about the same as the lower gauge steel. Plus you'll get a bit fatter tone with the thicker string as well.

– Rhythmisking

I haven't yet, no. What brand are you using?

12

I haven't yet, no. What brand are you using?

– Kovachik

DR Pure Blues

13

What you're describing sounds to me like the string is momentarily hitting a pole piece when strummed. Does the harshness go away if you pluck the string softly and come back when you hit it harder?

I know you said you already lowered the pickup pole pieces and the pickup itself on the treble side, but sometimes the pole piece will just turn in the pickup without moving, especially if the edge of the screw is hanging up on the pickup case slot.

Also you may need to remove material under the pickup to get it to go lower.

14

What you're describing sounds to me like the string is momentarily hitting a pole piece when strummed. Does the harshness go away if you pluck the string softly and come back when you hit it harder?

I know you said you already lowered the pickup pole pieces and the pickup itself on the treble side, but sometimes the pole piece will just turn in the pickup without moving, especially if the edge of the screw is hanging up on the pickup case slot.

Also you may need to remove material under the pickup to get it to go lower.

– Rhythmisking

Yes it definitely goes away if the string is plucked more softly, but the string is not touching anything. Picked open, or the first few frets it can get harsh if hit just right.

One thing dawned on me today: I am using a John Petrucci Dunlop 427PJP Jazz III pick. I certainly don't do windmills like Pete Townsend, but maybe the pick is just too much for the Gretsch and I need to change to something lighter.

Rhythmisking - thanks for recommended strings, I will try those next time.


Register Sign in to join the conversation