Post Gretsch Pickup Swap Project - Questions



Hey guys.

I own a Gretsch 5120 which I recently swapped the pickups out to install a pair of High Sensitivity Filtertrons. In order to do this, some minor modifications needed to be made.

First, I had to fill the screw holes made from the previous pickup bezels to accommodate the classic Gretsch bezels. I used toothpicks as dowels and (elmer’s) wood glued them into place. I placed the new pickups in more or less the same locations, and some of the new screw hole locations had some overlap. I don’t think I can tighten the bezels down far enough because the holes don’t feel as strong and that I am on the verge of stripping the new holes, but I need to do something because there is some buzz from the English mount ring risers that TV Jone’s sells for installing pickups into a 5120. I want to point out that the riser are a hard plastic and not a rubber, they have some flex but don't compress. Any suggestions as to how I should proceed? Is this something that I need to consider moving the pickups ever so slightly and use virgin surface for the screw holes to remedy?

Second, I recently had the guitar modified with an Earvana nut and also set up by a luthier who put 11-52 gauge strings on. I prefer 10-52, so I put those on after the install and while the guitar is intonated properly, it still doesn’t sound in tune --the guitar seems to fluctuate in an out of tune as the strings vibrate, especially on the G string. The guitar played and sounded perfect after the luthier set up, so this happened after changing strings. The relief on the neck is fine and there is no buzz, but is this a string gauge issue? If so, I will just change back to the 11-52’s until I can get it set up again.

Thanks a lot guys.
I converted my G5120 to Filtertrons (plus some other mods):

To address your concerns:

1. I did the same thing with the existing pickup ring holes (filled) and then drilled pilot holes for the new bezel screw hole locations. Mine tightened down with no problem. If you strip the new hole... just fill it again with a toothpick and glue and try again.

2. Double check the nut's cut. There could be some binding (try using pencil lead) or it simply wasn't cut properly. Another easy thing to do is put 11-52 string back on and see if the problem continues.

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