Vintage Gretsch Guitars

2 new old killer archtops

26

Fat has never been what I look for in a bridge pickup. I want as much brightness as I can get.

I want both! My issue, so to speak, is not fat versus bright, but more of a balance between the two pickups. I found that with deArmonds when gigging I would only go between neck and middle position. The bridge position would be a loss of presence and even volume. It should be the other way around.

– knavel

My guitar buying has slowed down so much in recent years that I've only had two dual DeArmond Gretsches since 2006 - a '56 6120 and a '53 Duo Jet. And both were exactly as you describe. Fantastic neck pickup, great with both pickups, but the bridge pickup alone lacking. On the '53 Jet with the bridge pickup moved closer to the middle, it was fatter sounding, but lacked the articulate presence. On the '56 6120, the bridge pickup was thin and bright, but again, didn't have the same presence. I don't remember this being something I struggled with on guitars I owned earlier, but maybe I just wasn't as picky when I was younger.

27

maybe I just wasn't as picky when I was younger.

Definitely the case for me. My only criterion was that the price had to be below market. I didn't care about anything else.

28

Andrew - I'm curious, when the bridge deArmond pickup is placed more towards the center point between the neck PU and the bridge, does the guitar sound "better"?

What I'm driving at is that I tend to find that the neck deArmonds sound perfect, fat and rounded; while the bridge ones are thinner. I wonder if the more centered placement on yours is, in fact, the "perfect" placement.

– knavel

That's a very astute observation Mark. The bridge Dynas on every 55 -57 have sounded weak but this 53 does indeed sound equally fat in the bridge pickup position. It must be as you suggest. Good spot dude. Anybody else concur?

29

The early Dynasonic ("Fidelatone") Gretsches had the bridge pickup's pole placement oriented towards the neck; early Jets too.

30

That 6187 is probably magic. Congrats.

31

The early Dynasonic ("Fidelatone") Gretsches had the bridge pickup's pole placement oriented towards the neck; early Jets too.

– lx

Do you know why this changed?

32

Perhaps it's something similar to what you guys have said, the sound wasn't bright enough. The '52/3 catalog shows all of the bridge pickups oriented this way. If you want to do the "Dynasonic Flip" on your 6187, you may find that you'll have to do some cutting of the top.

33

Perhaps it's something similar to what you guys have said, the sound wasn't bright enough. The '52/3 catalog shows all of the bridge pickups oriented this way. If you want to do the "Dynasonic Flip" on your 6187, you may find that you'll have to do some cutting of the top.

– lx

Very true. I considered flipping the bridge pickup on my '53 Jet to squeeze a little more brightness out of it. No go. The routing was very tight and wouldn't allow for flipping it without further routing.


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