Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1960 Anniversary Conversion (photos) (updated)

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I mentioned a while ago that I would be getting a 1959/60 single pickup Annie with the intention of converting it to a two pickup model. Here are the first stages of the work. Gotoh tuners replaced the funky old Grover Rotomatics.

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Bridge pickup routed for the original neck position PAF Filter'tron.

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With the pickup installed. The neck position will get a Fender designed Dearmond 2000. That's it for now. My tech will send more photos as the work progresses.

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I like these types of conversion!! I don't consider them mods but rather 'upgrades' and very tasteful ones at that!

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Good thread. Looking forward to the progress.

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The DC resistance on the PAF is less than 5 and the Dearmond 2000, that will be in the neck position is around 8. I was worried that the 2000 in the neck would be louder than the PAF in the bridge, but we hooked them both up to compare. I held the PAF close to the strings near the bridge and it was louder than the 2000 in the neck. So, there should be a good balance.

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Cant wait to see how it turns out !

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Cool! Makes me want to do the same to my 59 green Annie.....

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I can't wait 'till the project is done ... that'll look sweet!

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Coming along nicely. This thread is a perfect example of how different angles really change the way that smoke green looks even in the same light with the same camera.

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Here is the 6124 with both pickups installed. He built a plexi riser for the Dearmond 2000 and painted the back to match the original; at least close to it.

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I wired it like a Telecaster, with one volume pot, pickup selector switch, and the mud switch was changed to a tone pot.

I'll be replacing the fingerboard with an ebony one as this one has a very flat, mismatched radius, and it will get a Zero Glide nut to go with it. I'll have to wait a month or so as both of my guitar techs are busy with building right now. There is also a stainless Tru-Arc Serpentune in the mail to replace this brass one. So far, I'm very pleased with the sound. I just wish the fingerboard was done, but I'll have to be patient.

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What does the second switch do? How's the volume balance between the pickups?

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What does the second switch do? How's the volume balance between the pickups?

– WB

I think you beat me to the last post WB. Its a tone pot that looks like a switch.

The PAF Filter'tron has a tad more output than the Dearmond 2000, even though it has a much lower DC resistance. In the bridge position it balances out very well; almost equal to the neck pickup. As is, the middle position, with both pickups on, is just about right. If the bridge was hotter, I'd probably have to install separate volume pots to make the middle position usable.

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You can re-radius the original fingerboard before refretting it, or is Ebony a must?

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You can re-radius the original fingerboard before refretting it, or is Ebony a must?

– JazzBoxJunky

Well, it's been refretted once, and with jumbo frets, which I'm not fond of, and the thumbnail markers are so thin that I can't see them from the side, On top of that, it is Brazilian rosewood and it's uncertain at this point that I could get a license to carry it over the border; probably could, but I just don't want to deal with it, and regardless of the amendments to the treaty allowing transport of a certain amount for personal use, border guards have total discretion to do whatever they want. I don't like how it looks, and I could probably find other reasons to replace it. So, in a month or so I'll be able to use one of my favorite Newfoundland sayings, "And there it was,....GONE."

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Well if you plan to cross borders with it, I can see your point.

I'm sure you'll be able to sell the rosewood board on without too much difficulty.

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Shouldn't be a problem getting a passport for the guitar, should it? I'd think twice before removing a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard.


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