TV Jones to the Rescue.
We make a lot of custom pickups. We repair a lot of pickups. However, when it came time to upgrade our favorite Gretsch, there was only one choice: TV Jones.
We've worked on a lot of Gretsch guitars over the years, and we started seeing a number of them with TV Jones pickups installed. They always sounded great and our customers always talked about how much they liked the sound.
Fast forward - our Gretsch Electromatic 5120 has been a great guitar, but it always seems like it needed something. When we got the guitar a number of years ago, it played great, but just didn't sound that great. We did a number of setups, changed string gauges and brands, did the frets, and just about everything else we could think of. Finally, it was clear - something had to be done about the electronics.
We decided to take the plunge and get some new pickups and a new harness. The TV Jones website had everything we needed. We chose the TV Classics for both the neck and bridge positions, and decided to get one of the upgraded harnesses, too. By the way - make sure you buy the installation kit with the tubing and jack stick.
We got the box of components, did a good inventory, and organized it on our bench. Before the surgery started, we made an audio file of the "before" sound on the original pickups.
We then watched the installation video twice, making notes each time. I know it was last updated in 2016, but it doesn't matter - it will walk you through the process.
Note (Opinion): Have you noticed the best YouTube videos are the old ones? It's almost like they have gotten worse with the rise of advertising and Influencers.
We budgeted some time on a weekend afternoon and decided to attack the project! We also thought the guitar looked better without the pickguard.
The installation was very straightforward and it was done before we knew it. We used the same strings we used on the "before" recordings to keep it close to an objective sound sample.
Click here to listen to the Before and After on SoundCloud. What do you think?
1. Yes, we spent a lot of money. The pickups and harness cost about what we paid for the guitar! At least we didn't have to pay for installation.
I like the guitar a lot more now. It was worth the expense to start
playing the guitar more regularly.
5. Don't be afraid to like what you like.
Before, under LED lights and looking kind of pink.
After, looking orange with no pickguard and killer pickups. Look at the killer surrounds!