Option A: CTS Dual-Tone Pot
Option A: CTS Dual-Tone Pot
Stellartone Gretsch Wiring Diagram A - 3.4 MB
For ALL Gretsch guitar models with more than one volume knob (tone pot, tone switch, standby switch)
Page one shows a composite of four original Gretsch control plans & wiring diagrams: tone pot, tone switch, and standby switch layouts (dual pickup volumes plus master volume), plus the 1959 Chet Atkins "Nashville" layout, which deletes the neck pickup's volume knob. Just disregard any controls shown that are not installed in your Gretsch model.
Page two shows the original single-deck "master" tone pot replaced with a CTS tandem-deck "Dual-Tone Pot". Open the hi-res PDF in full-page view, and use your mouse wheel or page buttons to "flip" back and forth to compare the easy "before" and "after" wiring. For a clear close-up view of all wiring details, zoom in to the 100% - 400% image size range.
This modification corrects the original “Gretsch Mud Tone” design flaw, caused by the “master” tone pot being improperly-connected to the output circuits of several volume pots in the wiring harness.
If all volume knobs are set to maximum, the original tone pot’s performance is normal.
However, when volumes are reduced, the tone pot is “decoupled” from the pickups via series resistance, but it remains connected to the amplifier input at a zero-ohm connection. This causes the tone pot to shift its function from controlling the pickups, to “remote-controlling” the amplifier.
Remote-mounted amplifier tone controls work poorly,
situated at the end of a 20’ shielded cable! This signal flow error
causes comb-filtering and phase cancellation... a dull, muddy tone, and loss of signal strength.
The inexpensive remedy is to remove the single-deck “post-volume” tone pot, replace it with a dual-deck “pre-volume” tandem tone pot, and hard-wire the two independent tone circuits directly to the 100% strength “pre-volume” pickup signals, on the volume pot's center input terminals, where the pickups are presently connected.
Now, volume reductions have zero adverse effects upon the pre-set tone of either pickup, at any volume, tone strength, pickup blend, or selector switch settings. As a bonus, by creating two tone pots operated by one tone knob, two contrasting tone caps may now be installed, such as a full-range .022uF (#223) for the neck PUP, and a mid-range .010uF (#103) for the bridge PUP.
Because the Dual-Tone Pot re-uses the original Gretsch arrow knob, the guitar's appearance and operations are unchanged.
Use a pair of .022µF tone caps to maintain the original Gretsch tone pot's range... finally without any muddiness or signal loss when volumes are reduced! You may also expand the tonal range of your Gretsch by using the lower-frequency .022µF tone cap for the neck pickup, and a higher-frequency .010µF tone cap for the bridge pickup.