Gretsch G6122 '58 reissue: Using volume controls question

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Gretsch G6122 '58 reissue: Using volume controls question

Postby Jim Jarrell » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:00 pm

I've had a G6122 '58 reissue for about 10 years and play it regularly. I'm strictly a "bedroom player" and intermediate
fingerstyle player. I play the Gretsch through an LR Baggs Acoustic Reference Amp (*great* amp but no longer made) and when playing the Gretsch I use a Tech 21 SansAmp GT2 (classic/clean/tweed mode) and an MXR Carbon Copy Delay. The net result is a pretty descent sound trying to emulate the sound I hear on Chet, Yandell, Dobbins, Moseley, Hudson, Pennington, Kiser etc. recordings.

But, I am constantly "fooling around" with the three volume controls on the 6122. The master volume and individual volume controls for the two pickups. I go from putting the two p/u controls on full up and then the Master volume from off to a low setting, or I do the opposite, by putting the p/u controls on low and using master volume almost full up. And this is with the 3 position Master Tone switches in the center.

Question: I'm curious as to how other Chet Board members use their volume controls using guitars like the Gretsch or others that have a master volume and individual p/u volume controls. Is there any consensus as to which sounds best as described above, aka. Master full up and p/u controls low or Master down low and p/u controls up high. ????

Any thoughts on such would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Jim Jarrell
DeLand, FL
http://www.tabpigs.org
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Re: Gretsch G6122 '58 reissue: Using volume controls questio

Postby LMark » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:02 pm

Jim, I see that your post has been sitting here for a few days. I wonder if part of the issue is that the 58 is not a popular as the 59, which is wired differently. Have you found that opening the pups wide and controlling the vol at the master produces a different tone that opening the master wide and controlling via the pups? I'm just curious here. I have a later '58 RI, but I rewired it to '59 specs. I find it essential to have a tone control (other than mud switch) on the instrument. LMark
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Re: Gretsch G6122 '58 reissue: Using volume controls questio

Postby Jim Jarrell » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:14 pm

LMark, Thanks for the reply. I was wondering if the reason nobody had responded was due to my somewhat peculiar question. But to your input, first I got the '58 reissue instead of the '59 (which I know is more popular) only because I have really small hands and preferred the more narrow fretboard on the '58. I did put a Bigsby 59 tone arm on it (even though I still can't play and hold the arm at the same time...too hard!)

But, I can definitely hear a difference in the tone with Master volume full up and the pups lowered and vice versa. And that's playing with the pups evenly matched in strength, aka. not favoring bridge or neck p/u which of course varies the tone. I tend to favor the pups full up and the master lower and was just curious as to how other Gretsch players did it.

Jim Jarrell
www.tabpigs.org
JRJarrell@aol.com
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Re: Gretsch G6122 '58 reissue: Using volume controls questio

Postby LMark » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:18 am

Jim, what you are saying about the tonal differences makes sense to me, especially since Chet wired the 59 differently. I suspect (without a shred of proof of course) that Chet rewired the 58 too. The 59 wiring bypasses the secondary vol control for the rhythm pup entirely. It's wide open and goes straight to the master vol. The vol of the treble pup is blended with one of the rear knobs. The other rear knob controls overall tone. The later 58 RI's have an "improved" mud switch. Yours is a later model if it has the brass nut. If you want it to sound like Chet in Hollywood, or Guitar Genius (I'll stand corrected here), plunk a TV Jones Classic Plus in the rear and a TV Jones Supertron in the front; then rewire it as a 59. You will not believe the likeness to Hollywood. It's uncanny. I'm not saying that Chet had the Supertron on Hollywood, but the sound is there. Maybe he still had the Ray Butts "Pat Applied For" version of Filtertrons. Who knows? Anyway, if you have the stock 58RI pups, they're ceramic and hotter than the alnico TV Jones pups. But if you're reasonably happy with it, why change? LMark
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Re: Gretsch G6122 '58 reissue: Using volume controls questio

Postby Jim Jarrell » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:20 pm

LMark, Thanks *much* for the detailed reply. You clearly know a *lot* more about p/u's and Gretsch guitars in general than I ever will. I thought about putting TV Jones p/u's in my '58 reissue years ago but, again, being only a "bedroom" player who actually plays acoustic far more than electric, I decided the sound of the '58 "as is" was good enough all things considered. Plus, I would also think that the long-term value of the '58 will be higher if its not modified. As mentioned, I put a thin '59 Bigsby arm on it that Gretsch Rep Joe Carduci gave me "gratis" at CAAS a few years ago (great guy Joe). But I kept the old arm to, again, try and keep the '58 all original for the future as required.

Jim Jarrell
DeLand, FL
www.tabpigs.org
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Re: Gretsch G6122 '58 reissue: Using volume controls questio

Postby LMark » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:04 pm

My knowledge is not all that great compared to many others who peruse this list. In the process of rewiring I just figured out most of what I indicated above. I guess Chet wanted the cleanest signal path possible while retaining the ability to control tone and pickup blend. LMark
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