Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

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Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby jamesfarrell » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:38 pm

Got one coming tomorrow. Alligator model. Always wanted a wood body. We'll see if this thing is a piece of sh(t or what. Sweetwater looked it over and said it was a nice one.

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= Wish me luck.

The SD P-rail is a cool pickup. P-90 / Humbucker / Single coil all in one, controlled not by a 3 way switch but the triple shot pickup ring.
I hate wrenching on sh(t but if I bring it somewhere they'll F it up. Seems the only folks capable of working on these is National Guitars. Anything they've ever done, not a single flaw. I've had 2 separate guys do work on my resonators (best guys in the the area) and they both SUCK. So as they say, you want something done right ........

Only thing that concerns me is cutting the slot for the humbucker with a dremel saw. I have no idea what I'm doing or how to compensate for the pickup ring. But fear is the enemy.
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Re: Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby Disciple » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:50 pm

Make your hole under size with the power tool and shape outward using a hand file, you probably thought of that but just in case.

To prevent screw ups make a template that prevents the Dremel from going beyond the hole you need.

Or if you have it, use a router and a flush trim bit inside a guide template to cut the hole, no way to screw that up aside from bad measuring.

Good luck, measure twice...cut once :D
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Re: Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby NEONMOONY » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:28 pm

Real interesting pickup. I put a sd rail (as well as other pickups) in one of my resonators and I was real pleased with the results. That one though, looks like it gives you more options. Cut away.
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Re: Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby ricbleu » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:27 am

I can't vouch for the Gretsch in particular, James, but recently I have been using a wood body Republic triolian resolian which, after using standard flattops and steel body triolian for a few months has developed (or I have perceived it to have developed), a thick, malty tone to it. Straight out of the box there were no issues. I play her with 13- 54s tuned to open E. So I am sure you'll love that wooden Gretsch. I have left the action of my Republic on factory setting, which means that bottleneck comes easy as do the little finger style lead breaks which is something you might want to consider. So James, if this is your first wood body slide, sit back and prepared to enjoy. I just hope you have as positive a time on yours as I do on my Republic. And mine is surprisingly loud so you are going to rattle some eardrums as you play through your parts on the set list.
Last edited by ricbleu on Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby jamesfarrell » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:18 pm

Anyhow it was a success. Put a P-rail pickup in it. This pickup does P-90/Humbucker/Single coil, all with the triple shot pickup ring.
7 hours it took to do this. I'm frickn pooped from the stress. But it came out mint, save for the scratch behind the pickup, which was from a screw driver.

Dremeling the slot for the pickup was tough on the brain, but managed not to screw it up. Put on a REAL tailpiece, although it's a tad longer than that ugly POFS that Gretsch puts on the guitar, I wasn't sure if it would put enough pressure on the bridge, but it seems ok. Tail piece did not cover up the hole from the original wood strap button. So I cut the head off the wood strap button and glued it in the hole and it looks hardly noticeable in person.

Plugged into the Mesa Mark V the thing absolutely honks. There are two switches on the pickup ring with 2 positions, so that's a boat load of combos you can get with this thing.

Overall the guitar is decent. Of course the fools that painted it got paint all over the binding on the player side. The side that faces the floor is fine. But that can be expected with anything from China. The workers over there just don't give a crap about doing a perfect job. But I don't want to get into that. For $400???? Come on. Thing is unreal for $400 and it sounds 1/2 decent unplugged as well. I'm actually thinking of getting another one and doing the same thing again and using one for each tuning that we do in the non-baritone resonator realm.

I'd rather use beaters when we play out than 2-3k Nationals. But it's not like I want to baby the Nationals either, they're to be played. But there's a one that I wont take out of the house. Got to keep one perfect.

Anyhow, I'll post a video of the thing later on.


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Re: Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby NEONMOONY » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:02 am

very cool.
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Re: Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby ricbleu » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:02 am

Excellent workmanship, James. Congratulations. :D Peace.
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Re: Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby jamesfarrell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:58 pm

Thanks guys.
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Re: Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby Freeman » Thu May 02, 2013 4:19 pm

How about some clips of the pup. I've played a couple of the Gretschs at my local music store - curious to see what it sounds like thru the pickup.
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Re: Experiment with a Gretsch resonator

Postby jamesfarrell » Sat May 04, 2013 12:52 am

I tried it through my ipad and iphone, it's so terrible sounding it's not worth posting. Not the guitar / pup, but the sound quality.
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