Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Rewiring 1953 Electro 2


I was playing a show last night on the big ol' Electro 2. everything from ocuntry-a-billy- to pop to evil alt rock, all original stuff, and wasn't the bridge pickup coming in at half volume sometimes. Also at rehearsal lately I had the neck pickup cutting out so I think I'll yank it all out and replace ALL the old wiring. I thought I'd done so but maybe I left something in or maybe I need to replace the ancient pots/redo some solder joints. I'm into functionality over historic accuracy, especially with interior electronics.

Any recommendations on good sturdy modern co-axial cable and pots?


Check out TV Jones website. It'll give you ideas for quality components or possibly a premade harness.

Best of luck.


Thanks I'll make my own I was just wondering as to Coax mostly


I used modern Belden cable (dunno if that's coax - it just seemed like modern old stuff) and it worked just fine. Interesting to see if the pots in your Electro are 1Meg or the later 500K. Modern CTS pots work just fine. The next wiring job I'll do the 1Meg thing with a linear tone pot and and audio tapers for the rest. Something BZ said about connecting to the wiper lead, if that helps. I've also used TVJones harnesses and those work great too.


Hey Toxo... if you can, please note your original pot codes (dates) for me. I'm always trying to fill in data points on the chronology of the 50's models. Thx!


Okay the pots seems to have a diamond logo with CRL or CPL in it and USA stamped beside it.

Codes for the both the pickup volume pots as requested (feel free to tell me what this means if anything)

134145 200-3

reading the pots in circuit I get 1.25 meg on the neck pot and 1.34 meg on the bridge pot

Right now I'm checking out these pots and the associated wiring as it would seem to be the source of difficulties. They have a lot of surface goo on them

All the wiring has been replaced with newer stuff. I'm going over the solder joints and doing some testing


I had a similar problem two weeks ago with a 1953 Duo Jet. I thought it was the wiring, maybe a solder connection, but I cleaned (with DeoxIT) the master volume pot and all was well. I'm mentioning this because the insulation for the wiring was extremely brittle, wouldn't flex at all and a few chips came off with hardly a touch. I thought I would be in for a re-wiring project but closed it up and it's okay (for now).

Last time I rewired a pickup on a 1950s Gretsch I used this: Shielded Push-back Wire


The guitar is serial number 8801 which would seem to put it in 1953 I originally though it was a 52. I had a look at the wiring did some more pot cleaning and fixed one fraying connection. All the wiring is new.


It's '52.


Oh what fun! It just got older. It is PAST retirement age! I was just starting to really put it through it's paces! It does have a 54 or 55 factory re-neck though. So it's a 67 year old guitar with a 64 or 65 year old neck.




It's been here before, It's a refinished sunburst, now blonde, that I restored, refretted and reset the neck on. It has a bigsby now and a synchromatic style bridge I made. Here it is with a princeton deluxe reverb I built recently and stuck in an old cabinet.


Wait, what's a Deluxe Princeton Reverb? PR's are my favorite amp.


Well you might not like this one as it uses the long tailed pair phase inverter which is the big circuit difference between the princeton and it's bigger brother the deluxe. This has a princeton type power supply but uses a 12" speaker. So I was calling it a Princeton deluxe reverb. It really more like an 16-18 watt deluxe reverbn with princeton bias vary tremelo in a very small package. It's built using a Bogen VP20 transformers and chassis.

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