First go a changing electrics.

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King85King85 Frets: 46
edited December 3 in Making & Modding
I've got this Gretsch G2504 which I don't really use much on account of the pickups being pretty bad.



I fancy having a go at swapping out all of the electrics for new.

If I got  kit such as one of these https://www.axetec.co.uk/guitar_parts_uk_028.htm would it be a straight swap or would there be any measurements that i'd need to check for fit?

Are humbuckers a universal size or would I need to measure for replacements to ensure that they'd fit correctly?

I'm comfortable with soldering as I do it as part of my job but never had a go at wiring a guitar circuit up so would like to do so.

Thanks for any advice.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2170
    I’d just swap the pickups on their own, even if you intend to swap the circuit. The reason is that you can understand how the pickups change your sound. 

    Are the tone and volume controls noisy? Do they not give you the level of control you need ie not all at one end of the throw? If No to both questions then I’d be tempted to leave them.
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  • King85King85 Frets: 46
    edited December 3
    I think they do sound noisy and as it's a low end guitar thats got a good few years on it it's ripe for a refresh especially at the low cost of the wiring kits and it's something i'd like to have a go at.

    There's either an issue with the bridge pickup or the wiring/controls as it sounds like trash.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3462
    King85 said:
    If I got  kit such as one of these https://www.axetec.co.uk/guitar_parts_uk_028.htm, would it be a straight swap or would there be any measurements that i'd need to check for fit?
    On the original pots, you need to check the diameter and length of the threaded shafts. Upgrade pots may require the holes drilled through the top of the guitar to be enlarged.

    King85 said:
    Are humbuckers a universal size or would I need to measure for replacements to ensure that they'd fit correctly?
    Sort of. Your Gretsch has two humbuckers of the same size. (Some guitars need a slightly wider polepiece spacing on the bridge position to align with vibrato bridges.) Where you could come unstuck is with the mounting surrounds. Generic Asian ones rarely conform to the Gibson dimensions. This affects both the position of the four fastening screws and the tightness of the pickup aperture. Covered humbuckers might not fit through the surrounds.

    The depth of each pickup cavity may restrict your options for replacement pickups. On "historically accurate" humbuckers, the height adjustment screw lug may prove to be longer than the stock cavity is deep. 

    King85 said:
    I'm comfortable with soldering as I do it as part of my job but never had a go at wiring a guitar circuit up so would like to do so.

    Much of what you will be assembling is easier to do with the pots outside the control cavity. Make a template of the four drilled holes. Flip it over. Orientate the four new pots on the template. Make the necessary connections, confident in the knowledge that you can install that portion of the harness as one.

    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • King85King85 Frets: 46
    Snip
    Thanks I'll do some measuring and see what I find.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3462
    King85 said:
    There's either an issue with the bridge pickup or the wiring/controls as it sounds like trash.
    I am going to be indelicate and suggest that the issue is both. Indifferent pickups and control components. 

    If the playability of the guitar is good, it should be worth pouring some money into the electronics upgrades.

    The Axetec kit of A500k pots will work well with the majority of dual-coil, hum-cancelling pickups. You could play on the guitar's Gibson-inspired looks with black/cream humbuckers or go more Gretsch with Filter'Tron-alikes - maybe, even, one of each?
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2170
    Much of what you will be assembling is easier to do with the pots outside the control cavity. Make a template of the four drilled holes. Flip it over. Orientate the four new pots on the template. Make the necessary connections, confident in the knowledge that you can install that portion of the harness as one.

    Gratuitous picture.


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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3462
    Roland said:
    Gratuitous picture.
    Maybe so but still helpful. 

    Er, I cannot help noticing your use of mains flex cables. ;) Is that harness for a type 1 Telecaster Thinline?
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • King85King85 Frets: 46
    edited December 3
    Gretsch with Filter'Tron-alikes 
    I was thinking this as it was mentioned by someone on a previous thread. Artec do a set that are less than £30 which I'm going to give a try initially as if they're naff I don't mind losing that sort of money.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3462
    edited December 3
    King85 said:
    Funkfingers said:
    Filter'Tron-alikes 
    Artec do a set that are less than £30 which I'm going to give a try initially
    You will need the version with the Gibson style screw and spring mounting rather than the original Gretsch method. 

    If the guitar is mostly maple and alder (or basswood), 'Trons are going to make it sound very Telecasterish. I would be tempted to go for replacement pickups with plenty of midrange such as humbucker-sized P90s.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2170

    Er, I cannot help noticing your use of mains flex cables. ;) Is that harness for a type 1 Telecaster Thinline?
    Nope, it’s for my own version of a Telecaster. Over the last few years I’ve been experimenting with different design changes. The jig was made when I changed from a front mounted metal control plate to a rear entry control cavity. With a plate you don’t need a jig. The thick cable is to hold the pots and switch in position as I lower them into the cavity. (It also means that I don’t have to buy hook up wire.)
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