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Quiet/Low output Gretsch G5440 LSB Hollowbody

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MrUsefulAlien, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. MrUsefulAlien


    Jun 10, 2011
    Prague, CZ
    I've tried to search for this "issue" on the forum, and haven't found useful solutions.

    The issue: the output is super low on this bass. Pickups are stock and I've had the same results with both rounds and flats (have TI Jazz on rn)

    I use an outboard pre (Aguilar TH500) and that remedies the problem.

    I'm just curious as to why the output is about half that of my passive pbass or active warwicks? If the volume is on 9pm on my amp when I use a normal bass, I need to crank it to 12 or 1 with the Gretsch.

    I can only raise the pickups so much before they start sounding whacky because they're too close to the magnets.

    Other observations:
    The G string is very loud compared to other strings, in general, the D/G will make a punchier A or D note then if they're fretted on the E or A string. I can sort that out by lowering the treble side a lot.
    I also checked the wiring, and it seems fine. The punch and proper sound is there when amplified a lot, its purely a volume problem, not a tone problem.

    What are my options here?
    - Suck it up and just keep turning the gain up (no problems live, btw.),
    - would changing the pot resistance or wiring the pickups to the output help?
    - are there any drop in replacements that might help, that dont cost $150 each (looking at you TV Jones)?

    Any ideas and suggestions are welcome!

    pics of a setup that works tone wise, but annoys me volume wise:

    IMG_20170930_154410.jpg IMG_20170930_154426.jpg IMG_20170930_154500.jpg

    If I can't sort this out I would also trade this for a short scale hollowbody, because my OCD is killing me with this volume 'issue' and the barely-manageable neck dive.

    I know, whiny millenials :D
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    It's a gorgeous looking bass, that's for sure. I think TV Jones makes replacement pickups in that form factor, might be worth a try - they're certainly going to be louder than the stock pickups.
  3. MrUsefulAlien


    Jun 10, 2011
    Prague, CZ
    I'd love to, but that sets me back $270 or so. I rather trade it and pay $270 on top for something nicer, someone else might not mind this volume discrepancy.

    bholder likes this.
  4. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    That is a pretty serious difference in volume. Is it the same for all switching configurations (B,BN,N)?
    I am wondering if you have a bad pickup or if there is a problem with a volume pot.
    MrUsefulAlien likes this.
  5. MrUsefulAlien


    Jun 10, 2011
    Prague, CZ

    It is fairly egregious, indeed!

    It is with both pickups, yes. As you would expect, within the limited volume/output, the neck pickup is louder and rounder than the bridge.

    There is a fairly useless master volume, and an additional volume for each pickup.

    Is there a way for me to test the output at the jack with a multimeter?

    Embarrassingly, I'm not sure what the resistance is for the pots, but I'd be happy to do away with a master volume and just do V/V/T and the 3 way selector. Or even just tone, kill switch and 3 way selector. I don't need any volume control.
  6. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    You can get a rough and ready measurment. Just be aware it will include the resitence of the other components in the path. You need a meter that reads Kohms. I have a test plug which is just just a plug with the two wires attached and can read from those points. If you don't have anything like that use the tip and sleave of a short cord. Touch one probe from the meter to the tip and on to the sleave while the other plug is in the jack. Have all the contols all the way up. Try each pickup seperate and together.
    MrUsefulAlien likes this.
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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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