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FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / 1954 original Gretsch Electromatic Dynasonic pickup wiring



Feb 6th, 2015 04:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

Restoring a 1954 Gretsch Electromatic archtop (blonde) factory equipped with a DeArmond Dynasonic pickup (single coil, but with individually adjustable magnets for each string) with single volume/tone controls. Very odd problem in that when turning down the tone control no treble is bled off, but volume goes down (all the way off on "0"), just as if it was two volume controls. Tried replacing the dried out original paper/oil factory cap, but no difference. The factory wired volume pot is unusual in that the pickup signal goes to the middle lug on the pot, then out lug#3 (lug #1 is grounded to the pot case) to the tone pot. Tried several different standard methods of wiring the tone pot into the circuit, but still acting like a second volume control. What am I missing?

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Feb 6th, 2015 05:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

The wiring should be as simple as a flashlight. I've linked a drawing. Reversing the volume wiring as you describe will work, but the wiring in the drawing will preserve fidelity better.

I would make one change. The wire that goes to the tone control is soldered to the outside/pickup leg of the volume. I would move it to the middle leg of the volume. This will help preserve fidelity as you turn the volume down.

If the tone is working like a volume, it has to be wired wrong. The cap HAS to be in series with the signal to ground (through the control.

The alternative to the drawing is to put the cap between the volume and the outside leg of the tone control and then wire the middle to the case. There should be no discernable difference.

Go step by step and it will work.

Single pickup wiring



Feb 8th, 2015 09:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, Steve. Have completely re-wired the controls EXACTLY to your specs and still get the same effect. Tone control is now removing some highs, but still completely kills volume when turned down about 80% of travel. These are the original pots (cleaned thoroughly with DeOxit)....bad pot or too high value of cap? What are the correct Gretsch factory values for both when used with the original DeArmond 2000 DynaSonic pickup? TIA!

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Feb 9th, 2015 09:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

I had assumed the cap wasn't the problem as you said you replaced the cap and had the same problem.

.022uF should work fine. Too large a cap (.22uF or .47uF) would likely work more like a volume, shunting nearly all frequencies to ground.



Feb 10th, 2015 09:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

Mystery solved! Upon further examination and more cleaning with DeOxit, lo and behold a tiny solder ball maybe .015" comes rolling out of the pot. My best guess is that it was somehow wedged in the carbon track of the pot and was grounding all signal once a certain position was reached on the rotation of the pot, happening to be near the end of it's travel to "0" on the knob. The pressure and lubrication of the cleaner finally worked it loose and now the tone pot is working fine and correctly. Not bad for a 60+ year old factory pot! Thanks again.

FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / 1954 original Gretsch Electromatic Dynasonic pickup wiring

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