Gretsch G5220 - question about better tuners

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by WalATX, May 2, 2021.

  1. WalATX

    WalATX TDPRI Member

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    tl;dr: what kind of replacement tuners can I put in this thing? Also, master volume and tone pots swapping to log/audio rather than linear... see below


    Hey folks, just got a new Firestick Red G5220... went into the store to check one out, along with an Aged Walnut G5622. I wanted to like the G5622 better -- I think it looked just ridiculously amazing (seriously, the Aged Walnut is a very special looking finish!!!), and it probably sounded just a bit more resonant, but as soon as I stood up with a shoulder strap, it was over. The 5220 balances nearly perfectly. The 5622 neck dives badly--I had to keep fighting it, sadly. The 5220 had 95% of the 5622 tone and just felt better to me overall. And she isn't ugly, either! :cool:

    Anyway. This is my first Gretsch. There are a couple things I feel like I need to do to this guitar:

    1. Better tuners. These tuners are okay, not great. Frankly... they're annoying to use. I've never had to buy replacement tuners before, so how do I find ones I know will fit? I understand Gotoh makes drop-in options... Grover? Does it matter?

    2. Replacement output jack. This is self-explanatory. I couldn't believe how garbage the jack is, it's essentially a paper clip. My Mexican Strat came with a Neutrik. For shame, Gretsch.

    3. Swap the Master Volume pot for a log/audio. It is linear right now. B500k. There seems to be very little change until there's too much change - maybe I'm used to the Fender style, which I believe is log/audio?

    4. Swap the Master Tone pot. Not sure what is in there right now, but I'm switching it. Same problem as the Master Volume.


    This sounds like a lot of changes, but (at least for the pots and the jack) we're talking $5.

    Moreover, the guitar itself is absolutely wonderful. Sustain for days, beautiful finish, warm gooey sound. It very, very nearly does the round semi-hollow jazzy thing on the neck pup, and can grind out some real spank and grit on the bridge. Think like a thicker, chunky Tele sound on the bridge.

    I know the Broad'trons aren't everyone's favorite, but the synthesis of this guitar, with these pups, and this tone, is excellent. That said, I can totally see why people would want to swap the neck (especially the neck) for a barkier option, but I'm not going to give up the reedy, jazzy, ice-cream-clean thing this has going on.

    Thing is, they make an Electromatic Jet with the Filter'trons, so why not just buy that one...

    But I could totally see the neck going P90 too, that would kill as well.



    BTW, I tried this one out along with the 5622 as mentioned (a perfect sit-down guitar!), as well as a Les Paul. This thing does all the Les Paul stuff but a little better, to my ear.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  2. miguelalmeida

    miguelalmeida Tele-Meister

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    I totally get what you're saying.
    I've got an entry level 2655, and although I truly love the guitar I already made some changes and still have to make some more.

    The broadtrons I didn't like, Rhett Shull has a couple of videos praising the exact model and color of my guitar and he loves the pickups. Maybe due to my ignorance I didn't manage to cope whit the broadtrons. Had bridge Filtertrons and Seymour on the neck installed. It made a huge difference in my opinion.

    One day the jack input just went inside the guitar while I was removing the cable, yes, very poor for even a streamliner from Gretsch. So that is already fixed.

    What I still need to change are the horrible tuners, and eventually all the electronics. The knobs feel cheap compared to my other guitars, and aren't really responsive.

    You could say that I should have bought a better gretsch and you're probably right but what is done is done.

    I do love everything else about the guitar and it feels really special when I play it. It's my practice guitar and the one I spend more time on.
     
  3. WalATX

    WalATX TDPRI Member

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    Nice! I played briefly on some Streamliner guitars when I was looking, but didn't like the Broadtrons in those. I believe they are different from the black top Broadtrons in my guitar; I'm not sure how much different they really are, though.

    And yeah, the plastic knobs on the Streamliners weren't great. Is that worth hundreds of dollars to upgrade to Electromatic series? Who can say. In this day and age you can get whatever knobs you want for a couple bucks a pop.

    All in all, I thought the Streamliners were great for their price point. They felt put together. There was one I tried, with a P90 in the neck, that was really neat.
     
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  4. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    Yup. Here’s what I did.

    17519D26-7253-484E-B68B-C5E7F14833B6.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
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  5. miguelalmeida

    miguelalmeida Tele-Meister

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    @WalATX , yes I guess you can say that the streamliners are worth the money even if one doesn't update it. I love the guitar and will have it "pimped" up when I get a chance.
    With other guitars like entry level epiphones I always thought it wasn't worth upgrading. Never felt a connection with them.
    Except for the Inspired By Gibson standard 50s that I own, that's a beautiful well made epiphone guitar. A friend of mine owns a Sheraton and that's pretty cool and its own thing as well.

    @GGardner , that looks professional indeed. I had mine fixed from the inside, the luthier managed to slip a thin metal plate behind the wood and now it holds in place well.
     
  6. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    What's wrong with the tuners?
     
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  7. miguelalmeida

    miguelalmeida Tele-Meister

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    @Nick Fanis , you'll probably say it's the nut, not the tuners right?
    I guess you're right but they're not great in any way.
     
  8. WalATX

    WalATX TDPRI Member

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    My buddy bought a Casino years back, it was superb. Gassed really hard for a while about that, but you can't get the same guitar your friend got, right? That's like ordering the same dinner at a restaurant. Haha.

    I used to work in a music store where we had basically the whole Epiphone range. To my mind, there's a big jump between the $150 Epi and the $600 Epi. As there should be. But I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one of the nicer Epiphone guitars, they're usually quite good.

    And yeah, for me, if the neck feels right, the body is good, the sound is there... I can worry about the knobs and small bits later.


    Folks at the Gretsch forum hinted at this, to make 100% sure it isn't the nut that's the problem. Idk. I can put some graphite on the nut and see if that helps.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  9. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    hmmm. classic internet BS....I suggest you move on and don't take it seriously...I never met a ...tuner that caused tuning problems in my lifetime...
    it was always the nut or poor stringing technique....

    even my 1964 Cruscianelly Elite that has the....worst tuners EVER made :lol: tunes up fine..

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I don't know what a "great tuner" is.
    It either tunes up or it doesn't. :)

    In this day and age even the cheapest tuners can do that easily.

    I have set up plenty of "cheap" Gretsches and their tuners are fine.
     
  11. tenthstreet

    tenthstreet TDPRI Member

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    I'm looking at the Electromatic line, too—actually kind of stuck between a Player Tele, a G5622T, and a G5422T (hollowbody). Been set on getting a Tele for years, but made the mistake of asking "what else is out there in this price range?" and came across those really beautiful and reasonably-priced Gretsches.

    I'm not a repair expert and probably couldn't make the adjustments you're pointing to as necessary on the Gretsch, but something in me is whispering, "you have a Strat, get a completely different sound!"—while the other side is saying "get a Tele, you always wanted one, and it's a better everyday/less specialty-type guitar," so I'm a little stuck. Also thinking the tremolo on the models I'm looking out might help with neck dive with the Gretsch. Any thoughts from you?
     
  12. miguelalmeida

    miguelalmeida Tele-Meister

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    I've never installed tuners before, I trust you on this. I am out of my league here.
    I tend to compare with other guitars and made an assumption just because the others feel better (more responsive) and hold tuning longer as well.
     
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  13. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I'm over there and I'd still ask: what's wrong with them? The tuners are actually decent, and I'd say the last thing that needs to be replaced. One thing you need to do on factory fresh Streamliners and certain Electromatics is tighten down each mounting nut. They are left loose to minimize impacting the finish. Stability/tuning issues are almost always the nut.
     
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  14. WalATX

    WalATX TDPRI Member

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    I may have misled y'all on accident, I meant the folks on the Gretsch forum said it probably wasn't the tuners but rather the nut. So everyone seems to be in agreement... and I learned something new.


    So I have a 50s Classic Series strat (which I think is a predecessor/of similar quality to the current Player Series) and the quality there is very good. I have no complaints. And... well. Only a Tele does the Tele thing. But I wouldn't classify a semi-hollow like a 5622 as a specialty-type guitar, necessarily. They're pretty versatile imho. I used to have a semi-hollow Gibson and played everything from alt rock to rockabilly and jazz/blues.

    I did not play a G5422 hollowbody, but like I said in my first post, I thought the G5622 was unbelievable. I will note that the 5622 has Broadtron pups, and the 5422 has Filtertron. When I was demoing the guitars, the Broadtron sounded a bit warmer than the Filtertrons, but both were good. I preferred the Broadtrons because they went all the way to jazzy warm, and I can get plenty of bright spank out of the Strat I own.

    If I only ever sat down while playing I would have bought a G5622. No question. Have you tried them with a strap? I think for a lot of people it might be a non-issue. I'm just sensitive like that. :lol:

    Also, just for clarity, I'm not saying any of these repairs are necessary; the guitar is functional and plenty good, I'm just a tinkerer. I build my own pedals. I mod amps. Etc. What I thought was a "tuner problem" is the only thing I found annoying, really, and since everybody basically agrees it's probably the nut I'm good on those.
     
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  15. WalATX

    WalATX TDPRI Member

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    I'm assuming you mean the mounting nuts on the tuners...?
     
  16. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yes, the tuner mounting nut on the headstock face.
     
  17. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I think that's now the Vintera series.
     
  18. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Interesting. I'll check this on my Streamliner Junior Jet Club (the one with the P90). I have had tuning issues with it (and I've done the nut) which I have been putting down to changes in temperature. Not really stable for a solid body.

    Thanks for the tip.
     
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  19. WalATX

    WalATX TDPRI Member

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    I uploaded a quick 45 second video showing what's going on with my tuning key if it helps...

    Guitar Nut or Tuner Test - YouTube

    I did kind of mess around with the mounting nuts on the headstock face, as well as the tiny screws in the tuners themselves.
     
  20. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Replied to this ^^ on G-Talk. The tiny screws just need to be snug. The headstock nuts just little beyond snug. As mentioned, check the button screws. You can swap buttons this way, but it looks like the shaft is stripped.
     
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