Vintage Gretsch Guitars

54 (I think) Electro II bummer

1

...nothing real serious like having it fall out of the van on the highway, but... I hauled her out to a gig last night...pretty big, loud packed bar with a pretty loud band, but...I was really looking forward to running this beauty through the '58 Bassman...plenty of horsepower, right? I kept turning the amp up and up and the guitar just wasn't cutting through...not loud enough and too distorted. Pulled out #2 (Les Paul '50's Trib, P90s) and ZINGO...volume knob down to 4 and sounding like it SHOULD. The guitar has been fine the last few times I played it, so I doubt it's the guitar. I'll check into it, if course. Any idea what could have caused this behavior?

3

Ground as mentioned, or switch. I've had funky selector switches where you have to mess with them a bit before they make proper contact. If I was playing out, I'd fix it right but I just fiddle with it until it makes contact properly.

4

I'd hate to have to go fishing around inside this thing. Not even sure if anyone has ever been in it. And there's no switch.

5

Man I am really sorry to hear that, I know it's been a while but that rig never let me down. Have you tried something as simple as cleaning the pots? Maybe shined a flashlight in there with a dental mirror and see if there is a wire that is obviously coming un connected?

6

63 years old. Might be time to check out the wiring.

7

Man I am really sorry to hear that, I know it's been a while but that rig never let me down. Have you tried something as simple as cleaning the pots? Maybe shined a flashlight in there with a dental mirror and see if there is a wire that is obviously coming un connected?

– spike

No harm on your part, of course, Spike. The bummer was, I was about to get my Tiny Grimes and T-Bone on and had to switch guitars! I was so psyched to gig the old girl with the tweed Bassman! It ALMOST cut it....but there wasn't enough wiggle room if the band got louder. It wasn't intermittent or crackly; all pots worked silently and well; a few in-and-outs of the cable didn't reveal a bad connection at the output jack... just low output...maybe by 1/3. Strange one, but...yeah...I can imagine a ground doing this. Maybe after 60+ years, a cold solder is showing itself.

8

Could be just a worn out pot, too. I hope you find the solution and get the old girl going again!

9

I dunno the circuit, but caps don't last forever. (And can change values over time).

10

You really don't want to play a guitar built like that loud, not enough bracing. I always go for my 59 Annie with a light trestle when I have to play loud, or my tele. Could be the wiring, but still sounds like a dicey choice for a loud gig with a Bassman amp. The clarity and feedback resistance really go away when you crank a deep hollow body electric, in my opinion of course.

11

I've played it quite loud before. This one likes to howl the low E so I often keep my left thumb on it. Other than that, she doesn't mind screaming.

12

A bit of broken old insulation on the hot wire to the output jack...maybe touching the shielding just a tiny bit. I'll take it to rehearsal tonight and see if it's fixed.

13

Yup...I also re-flowed the solders on the master volume. Whichever it was did the trick. And...this guitar through a tweed Bassman...un-freakin-believeable. I can't wait to gig it!!


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