Need tips on Gretsch G5238 Pickup adjustments

SunflowerGUY

Member
Messages
1
Hi,

Being a enthusiastic guitar player since the 70's, it is only very recently that I have come to explore the maintenance aspect of Guitars. I have had a number of acoustic guitars over the many years, but it was in 2005 that I decided to buy an electric guitar.

I ended up purchasing a Gretsch Pro Jet Electromatic G5238 (Gold Top). I like to do home recording with my acoustic & my synth, but I have barely used the Gretsch since I got it. Now with a change in personal circumstances and living on my own, I have taken a real interest in this guitar. I have also being looking at videos on how to setup a guitar, and have now come to realise that the tone balance of the Mini Humbuckers on this guitar are way out and have far too much Bass.

I haven't had much luck in finding a specific guide to assist me, as these pickups have 2 rows of screws, (see image with hotlink above). So, before I completely screw up the current setting and make it even worse, I thought I'd put a call out for guidance.

Thanks in advance.
 

jwalker99

Member
Messages
85
I agree completely, the neck pick up is way too bassy and dark on my new white falcon golden era. I've been told it is a height adjustment of the pick up just like regular pickup. But I have yet to figure this out . In the meantime I blend by 2 pick ups with the neck pick up At - somewhat lower volume.
 

ldizzle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,353
First, welcome to TGP!

Raise/lower the body of the pickup before pole pieces(the two rows of screws). I've set up several electromatics and they benefit in big ways from toying with pickup height. Remove the pickguard or slide it towards the lower bout and this will expose another screw on the inside of the pickup tab. These move the height of the pickup. If there is zero play, and there may not be play, there will be a need for a shim.

Also, I've never had my falcon neck pup overpower the bridge pickup after properly shimming the bridge. These filtertrons need some fiddling to get'm right ;) :D

Admin, can we move this to the luthier forum? @walterw You're a great voice here- any thoughts?
 

tartanphantom

Member
Messages
743
Honestly, I've never seen anyone who could get a decent sound out of the Electromatic mini-mudbuckers... which is why so many folks toss them and install something else. Problem is , nothing else fits the pickup routed recess very well without modification. This is why you don't find much info on these pickups-- most Gretsch folks consider them to be real dogs.

Even so, If you want to reduce the bass & mud, try totally removing the pole piece screws in the FIRST row of screws (nearest to the neck) for the E, A & D strings on the neck pickup (just the first three screws). You will still have humbucking capability, it's just that the first coil will act as a simple dummy coil for the E,A,D strings. If you like the result, you can do the same thing to the bridge pickup. This procedure will definitely increase the low-register clarity of these pickups.
 

9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,640
The Pro Jet should have the Blacktop Filtertrons, not the old "mudbuckers". The Blacktops can sound excellent ( I own a Pro Jet and a 5420 with them). Tilt the bass side of the whole pickup away from the strings a bit and adjust the polepiece screws to fine tune each string for each pickup.
TV Jones has adjustment specs for Filtertron type pickups on his web site that are a good starting point.
 

tartanphantom

Member
Messages
743
The Pro Jet should have the Blacktop Filtertrons, not the old "mudbuckers". The Blacktops can sound excellent ( I own a Pro Jet and a 5420 with them). Tilt the bass side of the whole pickup away from the strings a bit and adjust the polepiece screws to fine tune each string for each pickup.
TV Jones has adjustment specs for Filtertron type pickups on his web site that are a good starting point.
The OP is dealing with an older 5200 series Pro Jet. The Electromatic Pro Jets made from 2004-2010 (5200 series model numbers) have Gretsch mini-mudbuckers as stock equipment. The Blacktop Filtertrons weren't introduced on the model until 2011, when the 5200 series was replaced by the 5400 series. What's more, on the pre-2010 models the pickups were recessed into the body routs, leaving little room for vertical or lateral adjustment-- the pickups are pretty much bolted directly to the body slab.

5200 series Pro Jet: (stock)

 

9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,640
The OP is dealing with an older 5200 series Pro Jet. The Electromatic Pro Jets made from 2004-2010 (5200 series model numbers) have Gretsch mini-mudbuckers as stock equipment. The Blacktop Filtertrons weren't introduced on the model until 2011, when the 5200 series was replaced by the 5400 series. What's more, on the pre-2010 models the pickups were recessed into the body routs, leaving little room for vertical or lateral adjustment-- the pickups are pretty much bolted directly to the body slab.

5200 series Pro Jet: (stock)

I stand corrected. I didn't notice the 52xx model number.
 




Trending Topics

Top