Workshop: M's Gretsch

So, this Gretsch is actually this Gretsch (click here).

I'd sold this for a consignor but when it arrived at its destination both top braces had become unglued. It's very rare for me to have any sort of shipping trouble, so I was a bit shocked when I received the news.

Anyhow, I got those braces fixed up after the customer shipped it back, but she also wanted a combination pickup system installed, so I did that as well. I used a super-cool 60s Japanese-made DeArmond-style pickup (4k output) combined with a K&K Twin Spot transducer. The controls are tone/vol for the magnetic pickup and volume for the acoustic pickup.

I'd wanted to use some 50s knobs I had around but couldn't get them to fit right, so I used some StewMac ivoroid barrel knobs instead, which look very cool with the rest of the trim.

Due to string height over the body, the magnetic pickup had to be installed directly to the top. This also gives the pickup a richer sound since it's grabbing some body movement, too. The pickguard is now also mated to the pickup wing and top and so it won't wobble around or vibrate while playing (and thus interfere with the acoustic pickup, which is really body sensitive and will hate that kind of stuff.

These old thin Japanese DeArmond style pickups have a really nice clear, crisp tone. They're very similar to those oft-lauded "Gold Foil" Teisco pups that so many (including myself) love to death. They were used in all sorts of applications from electric archtop guitars to acoustic soundhole pickups to straight-up solid-body guitars. I've seen them used all over the place!

It was lucky that the customer asked for a pickup when she did as I'd just sold the 2nd of this pair that I'd gotten in a month or so ago. It also has the cute "Tempo" brand engraved in the top.

1 comment:

El D said...

What kind of neck profile does this have?