Help me make my Gretsch g5120 sound better

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by dtheaker, May 24, 2011.

  1. dtheaker

    dtheaker Member

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    Hey guys,

    I bought a Gretsch g5120 a little over a year ago and it just sounds very muddy to me the more I play it. What is the best way to get this guitar to sound more like the $3,000 ones?
     
  2. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    There is a lot that goes into the quality of a guitar... stuff that would essentially end up being a new guitar like the choice of wood, the care taken putting the wood together... these things are probably not things you can change without buying a $3000 guitar.

    However, for Muddiness, I would ask what pots you have? If they are 250k, upgrade to 500k (1meg is a bit too much IMO). What kind of pickup? What are you playing into?

    Pots are an easy fix, either yourself or at the music shop. A brighter pup might suit, that is fairly easy and cheap. It could also just be that you don't like your amp or its eq...

    Oh yea, how old are the strings? Probably a dumb questions, but might help too.

    Or if it is actually getting worse (and not just more bothersome) there might be something else wrong....
     
  3. lando014

    lando014 Member

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    Put some of Gretsch's single coils in it
     
  4. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    Far and away, the best mod I did was popping in some TV Jones Classics in mine. new pots help, but the pickups make all the difference in the world.

    Also, make sure you're running at least .11's, if not heavier, strings.

    Here's mine, with the TV's.....

     
  5. lando014

    lando014 Member

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    Is it just the guitar that sounds muddy? What amp/pedals are you using?
     
  6. teleguido

    teleguido Member

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    Get new pickups. I put Filtertrons in my 5120 and it rocks!

    Take a look at the regular Gretsch Filtertrons, TV Jones wide variety of pickups, as well as many of the GFS gretschy-sounding pickups. Any of those options will be an improvement over the stock pickups.
     
  7. CharlyG

    CharlyG Play It Forward

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    Try some GFS first only set ya back 70 bucks. Londons are twangier than Nashvilles and they also have high output. You can got to TV JOnes later and resell the GFS somebody is always willing to try GFS at these prices. They OWN the factory in China so the parts and QC are top notch.

    Oh, I almost forgot, you need to rewire the 2 pup vol pots. They wired the hot to the outside terminal instead of the middle terminal, and all 3 vols act as the master! I have no idea why this has not been corrected at the factory.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  8. lizardville

    lizardville Member

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    yep!

    get rid of those gretschbuckers and enjoy the difference...
    I put filtertrons on mine and im very happy with the results
    for more info you should try http://gretschpages.com/
     
  9. dtheaker

    dtheaker Member

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    I have found that it is just the guitar. When I play my Les Paul everything sounds great.

    I'm playing a VoxAC30C2 w/greenbacks with a sparkle drive as my main drive and fulldrive 2 for more gainy stuff.
     
  10. CharlyG

    CharlyG Play It Forward

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    make sure both pup vols are max, and you should be able to dial in with the master and tone. Mine did clean up a bit with the rewire.
     
  11. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    Like Jimfrog said - just stick a set of TV Classic PUPs in it and forget the rest.
    TVJ Classics are simply the best PUP's money can buy imo - especially in a Gretsch. Why do you think they are fitted stock in the Setzer G6120 SSVLO - the big brother of your 5120 and possibly the best guitar available today :)
     
  12. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

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    The thing that did the most difference for me was an aluminum Compton bridge.
     
  13. CharlyG

    CharlyG Play It Forward

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    Don't say forget the rest, rewire the dang vols.

    Not everyone cares about the word best as it is relative. I happen to play blues and don't want all of the Gretsch twang. The Nashvilles fit the bill for me, and I didn't have to break the bank to get a great tone.

    Some of the fun for me is making a guitar do something besides what it is known for.

    PS- yes saving for a compton myself, or at least a tru-arc.

    Another edit - I don't mind the floating bridge, not hard to adjust the intonation at all.I'm not gonna pin it.
     
  14. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    ok :) - and put a new bone nut in it while you're there, plus bigsby if you need one
     
  15. Geosh

    Geosh Member

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    Just got my G5120 w/ TV Jones Classics, and rewired with CTS pots, and did a proper setup and dressed the nut and it sounds killer now. That upgrade I currently own a G6119SP and also have had a G7593 and G6120-1959LTV which both had TV Classics, and now my G5120 is in a similar league tone wise.

    The G5120 isn't quite as good as my "real" Gretsch IMO, but it is a close 2nd. It went from a guitar that was only nice to look at, to a guitar that plays and sounds as good as it looks.
     
  16. bicktrav

    bicktrav Member

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    Like everyone's saying, the TV Classics will be the most effective fix. I would also consider a treble bleed mod (TV Jones has instructions on a Gretsch treble bleed posted on his site). It isn't just the Electromatics; every Gretsch gets muddy when you dial down the volume knobs, including my Professional Series Jet. It's just part of the Gretsch thing. A treble bleed can definitely help. Still, if you only do one thing, put in the TV Classics.
     

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