Pickups

What’s wrong with my TV Jones upgrade?

1

This is weird. Last year I installed a TV Jones harness in my 2002 6122/62 Country Classic. I was hoping to eliminate a slight ground hum with new wiring. The harness went in beautifully and I uploaded some pics of the project on these pages. I didn't notice any significant changes with the new harness, but I do know I now have better pots and switches. The hum was still there despite my paying close attention to the grounds, and the attachment to the tailpiece. I lived with it because it only does it in my house, but it's the only one of 7 electrics that does it. (My house doesn't have 3 wire grounded wiring.) There is a slight hum while playing (less than a single coil hum) but when I put the standby switch to standby (middle position) the hum really shouts. Consequently I never use that switch. This year I decided to upgrade the p/ups to TV Jones, assuming that my '02 p/ups were ceramic, not alnico. I was also hoping that with luck some this might help the ground hum. So I ordered a Classic neck, and a Classic Plus for the bridge. Everything went fine except I was surprised that the bridge p/up was a lot thicker than the original. I had to remove the (mousepad) shim to allow it to fit under the strings at proper height. No problem. I also pulled out the two vol. pots and soldered the p/ups directly to them, as is proper. It's pretty easy with these guitars because of the removable back plate. The p/ups sound great and I'm happy. But I still have the hum, and now my mud switch does absolutely nothing....no change at all between the three positions. The hum while playing can be eliminated by turning the master volume to full on or below 3/4 vol. At 3/4 vol. it's still there. I called TV Jones and spoke with a tech lady. She said she never heard of any of this and would have Tommy call me....he wasn't in the shop at that time. That was two days ago. I'm guessing he didn't get the memo or he hasn't come in yet. I'm stumped, but am still enjoying the great sound with these p/ups. Anyone have any thoughts?

2

I saw TV Jones at NAMM and hardly got a Hello!

He knows me too cause I've been using his pickups from the beginning and always been plugging him over the years to students, fellow players, and others,

He may be under a lot of stress or very busy lately?

Kind of strange?

I thought that I had more a rapport with him too?

Anybody know what's up?

As far as the electical stuff and advice, I'd have to analyze the circuitry pathways more ,,, sounds like the tone caps pathways have changed or bypassed via connecting pups directly to the pots,

3

If it only hums in your house on that particular socket, it's not the guitar/wiring/pickup's fault.

4

I hate when things like this happen, but you probably need to pull the harness & check everything. Also, what tailpiece are you using? Could there be a grounding issue with it?

5

There is a few possibilitys. Your polarity is wrong on your ac outlet. You have a bad (unsheilded) guitar cable. Or a really noisy radio frequenty device in your house. FCC loosened the rf rules, read the "must accept interference" statement on almost any electronics you buy good luck

6

I had a similar issue on the Prnguin I just got...brand new it had a 'crackle' when I touched any knobs or switches.It was the only Gretsch that I that would do it.I took it to my techs to have a Bigsby and a setup done.I told them about it thinking it was just the Dynas but they said when they would put on the Bigsby they were going to take the ground wire coming out,solder and put the end back into one of the mounting hole for the screw and bare wood to ground it.They do this with every Gretsch...it worked.May or may not for some though.

7

If the hum gets louder with the Standby switch on "standby”, it sounds like a bad or missing ground connection. When the switch is in the "standby" position the guitar input should be shorted to ground.

8

If the hum gets louder with the Standby switch on "standby”, it sounds like a bad or missing ground connection. When the switch is in the "standby" position the guitar input should be shorted to ground.

– Charlie Vegas

If the hum gets louder with the Standby switch on "standby”, it sounds like a bad or missing ground connection. When the switch is in the "standby" position the guitar input should be shorted to ground.

– Charlie Vegas

Mmm hmmm.

9

"I lived with it because it only does it in my house"

If you have floursenent lights they could be causing the hum. try turning the lights off to seem if the hum decreases.

10

"I lived with it because it only does it in my house"

If you have floursenent lights they could be causing the hum. try turning the lights off to seem if the hum decreases.

– Stephen

"I lived with it because it only does it in my house"

If you have floursenent lights they could be causing the hum. try turning the lights off to seem if the hum decreases.

– Stephen

And dimmers.

11

Hey guys, Thanks for the responses. I've been busy traveling so I couldn't check in here sooner. A lot of good feedback here, and some things to investigate. I'm currently away from home so it'll be a while before I can look into everything. Tommy Jones just returned my call and said many of the same things that you gents did. I will definitely check the grounds again, and the continuity between all grounded components...knobs, switches, Bigsby, p/up covers, and the input jack. Also, as mentioned here, check outside sources such as lighting and electronic devices. He also said that the mud switch will be affected by volume, gain, pedals, different amps, etc. I have to say that Tommy was very accommodating and easy to talk to. He wants me to keep in touch with him as I go through the process.I believe he is determined to get to the bottom of it all. So again I thank you all for your advice, and will keep you posted as we go. :)

12

Hey guys, Thanks for the responses. I've been busy traveling so I couldn't check in here sooner. A lot of good feedback here, and some things to investigate. I'm currently away from home so it'll be a while before I can look into everything. Tommy Jones just returned my call and said many of the same things that you gents did. I will definitely check the grounds again, and the continuity between all grounded components...knobs, switches, Bigsby, p/up covers, and the input jack. Also, as mentioned here, check outside sources such as lighting and electronic devices. He also said that the mud switch will be affected by volume, gain, pedals, different amps, etc. I have to say that Tommy was very accommodating and easy to talk to. He wants me to keep in touch with him as I go through the process.I believe he is determined to get to the bottom of it all. So again I thank you all for your advice, and will keep you posted as we go. :)

– Gary Green

Hey guys, Thanks for the responses. I've been busy traveling so I couldn't check in here sooner. A lot of good feedback here, and some things to investigate. I'm currently away from home so it'll be a while before I can look into everything. Tommy Jones just returned my call and said many of the same things that you gents did. I will definitely check the grounds again, and the continuity between all grounded components...knobs, switches, Bigsby, p/up covers, and the input jack. Also, as mentioned here, check outside sources such as lighting and electronic devices. He also said that the mud switch will be affected by volume, gain, pedals, different amps, etc. I have to say that Tommy was very accommodating and easy to talk to. He wants me to keep in touch with him as I go through the process.I believe he is determined to get to the bottom of it all. So again I thank you all for your advice, and will keep you posted as we go. :)

– gresco

Does sound like a bad ground, that your house electrical exasperates. Also look into a line conditioner for use between socket and equipment.

13

Dr Gretsch,

I saw you at Namm and thought the same thing. I was wondered what was up - you walked by with your movie camera. It sounds like we were both pre-occupied, or there was a misunderstanding. I hope to catch up soon.

Thanks, Tom

14

Skip the line conditioner.

Proper electrical wiring and/or guitar wiring should do the trick. To echo the above, check flourescent/dimmers in your home. They are notorious for inducing hum.

If you can't get it to stop humming, teach it the words!

:D
15

It is nice to see Tom pop into this thread to show that he does watch our discussions here on the GDP.

I had the need to speak with Tom recently regarding some problems that I was having with my pickups and my desire to replace them with some of his. I also did have to call back on two or three occasions before I caught him in, but he told me straight out that he had been incredibly busy, but was aware of my call and had been intending to call me. During that conversation, he shared with me some great information that helped me formulate my purchasing decision. Don't forget that TV Jones is not a huge operation; it is still a small company that cares a lot about the products that it makes and the experiences of the people who use them.

DrGretsch, I noted your comments above and I have to share you with you my own personal impressions of Tom. As have you, I have seen him at the NAMM shows on many prior occasions and have often stopped in to talk with him at his booth. He has been nothing but gracious and informative on every such occasion. But, beyond the fact that he is extremely busy there, I sense that Tom is simply a guy who tends to be a bit more reserved in his personality than others. He has to spend a bit of time with you before he begins to cut loose. He also has a lot on his mind while at those shows and so I think that we have to cut him some slack in terms of how much time and attention he can give to us consumers in that environment. His primary job there is to book business with manufacturers and retailers.

That being said, I had the good fortune to share a meal with Tom (at a great Mexican restaurant) on one of the nights of this last NAMM show and he is one of the most interesting, likeable guys that you could ever hope to meet when he is out of his role of rep'ing his products at the show. Just a really ordinary guy who loves music and seems appreciative to be making his living building guitars and pickups.

I gathered from talking with Tom that he may occasionally be showing up at other Gretsch-centric functions in the future and, when we GDP'ers have a chance to hang with him there, we will all see that he is just a great guy (as well as a darn good guitarist!).


Register Sign in to join the conversation