The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Guitars for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Dampening the feedback on a hollowbody gretsch Electric Guitar
Old 21st November 2018
  #1
Dampening the feedback on a hollowbody gretsch

Picking up a nice Gretsch hollowbody G5422TDCG this week and going to need to tame the squeel.

Been looking into how I'm gonna rock out live without feedback on stage. Ive seen f-hole covers which I her dont really work and tone sucking suppressors but I'm not sure what would work best on this particular axe. I've only used strats and les pauls up until now for live application. Well, I used a archtop hollowbody once live and it squeeled the entire show scaring me away from archtops for years but I wanna give them another try. There must be a way without taking the whole top off and filling the guitar with wood or something. I mean, dude from Rancid plays a 335 doesn't he?? That's screaming punk w/ blaring distortion, how do these guys do that? Although jazz influenced, My indie-rock band gets pretty heavy at times so I need to figure out an easy fix for this guitar. Thanks in advance!
Old 21st November 2018
  #2

Stand to the side of your amp and turn down the gain....



-tINY

Old 21st November 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

335s have a solid wood center block which removes feedback issues. Not sure what the solution is for proper semis other than to stuff some socks in there.
Old 21st November 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
RicTone's Avatar
 

I had a 2012 Gretsch G5420T hollow body and it had nasty feedback. I solved the problem (albeit always temporarily) by plugging the F holes. I made some thick vinyl "F" oversized cutouts and inflated some black rubber balloons inside the body. When the balloons were inflated correctly I inserted the vinyl covers inside the F holes and the balloons pressed upwards and held the covers in place.

This was a perfect plan except the balloons would eventually lose air... I've never had a guitar in my life that had so many little issues - floating bridge was a pain - I had to modify the Bigsby - factory nut was incorrectly cut, had a bone nut installed - I didn't like the stock neck pickup and so I changed it out with a nice Gretsch HS Filtertron. I finally sold the guitar, in retrospect primarily because my F holes coverings were always failing

I did see someone (a few years ago) online selling custom F hole covers, OP you may want to check and see if those are still available.
Old 21st November 2018
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by jml designs View Post
Picking up a nice Gretsch hollowbody G5422TDCG this week and going to need to tame the squeel.

Been looking into how I'm gonna rock out live without feedback on stage. Ive seen f-hole covers which I her dont really work and tone sucking suppressors but I'm not sure what would work best on this particular axe. I've only used strats and les pauls up until now for live application. Well, I used a archtop hollowbody once live and it squeeled the entire show scaring me away from archtops for years but I wanna give them another try. There must be a way without taking the whole top off and filling the guitar with wood or something. I mean, dude from Rancid plays a 335 doesn't he?? That's screaming punk w/ blaring distortion, how do these guys do that? Although jazz influenced, My indie-rock band gets pretty heavy at times so I need to figure out an easy fix for this guitar. Thanks in advance!
A 335 is only semi-hollow. It has a big maple block running down the center of the body.

On the Gretsch some people stuff 'em full of foam rubber.
Old 22nd November 2018
  #6
Watch old Ted Nugent videos. He played a hollow Gibson. Embrace the squeal and work it into the act.
Old 22nd November 2018
  #7
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Watch old Ted Nugent videos. He played a hollow Gibson. Embrace the squeal and work it into the act.
+1
I advise the OP to wait and try it out first before worrying. I find position is key.
I use an ancient ES-295 and enjoy the fight. Usually the old P90s squeal before the hollow body starts to sing.
Maybe a Gretsch is wilder; I only ever rode a Gretsch once and it seemed tame enough.

Last edited by lumpfish; 22nd November 2018 at 06:58 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 22nd November 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
 
RicTone's Avatar
 

Not tame by any stretch of the imagination with an OD pedal. I recall a gig with my Gretsch before I plugged the F holes when I was literally stuck in one small narrow confining position on stage, in which I was unfortunately pointed 45 degrees away from the crowd. Not too much fun. My G5420T screamed like a banshee, it was not pleasant nor musical.
Old 23rd November 2018
  #9
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicTone View Post
Not tame by any stretch of the imagination with an OD pedal. I recall a gig with my Gretsch before I plugged the F holes when I was literally stuck in one small narrow confining position on stage, in which I was unfortunately pointed 45 degrees away from the crowd. Not too much fun. My G5420T screamed like a banshee, it was not pleasant nor musical.
Really liked your antics with the ballons inside the hollow body. I would have made that part of the act.
Old 23rd November 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
 
RicTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpfish View Post
Really liked your antics with the ballons inside the hollow body. I would have made that part of the act.
Antics?

Tell us your gigging experiences on stage with a hollow body.
Old 23rd November 2018
  #11
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicTone View Post
Antics?

Tell us your gigging experiences on stage with a hollow body.
"Antics" was not intended to offend. I genuinely think it must be amazing to see someone stuffing and inflating ballons into a guitar.

The only stage banshee-screaming experience that I can contribute, was after a bass player of another band had put his iPhone on charge behind my amp. But that had nothing to do with the guitar.

The old gibson P90s will squeal if you get within six feet of a dimed amp, no matter if it is a solid or hollow body. I wonder if it is the pickups in the Gretsch are making it more prone to feedback?
Old 23rd November 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 
RicTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpfish View Post
"Antics" was not intended to offend. I genuinely think it must be amazing to see someone stuffing and inflating ballons into a guitar.

The only stage banshee-screaming experience that I can contribute, was after a bass player of another band had put his iPhone on charge behind my amp. But that had nothing to do with the guitar.

The old gibson P90s will squeal if you get within six feet of a dimed amp, no matter if it is a solid or hollow body. I wonder if it is the pickups in the Gretsch are making it more prone to feedback?
Thank you, I didn't understand your post. Although I will mention as a kid in the '50s I recall it was a thing when people at street corners or someone's uncle at a birthday party would do the blow up balloons (at lightening fast pace) and twist and turn them into dogs (wiener dogs was popular) or other objects. You don't see too much of that any more.

I believe it was the design of my Gretsch and not the pickups.

I do agree however that different pickups can make a massive difference in being prone to feedback. I have an export model Rickenbacker 1997 Rose Morris (with classic F holes) with Toasters that is maddeningly prone to feedback when I use one certain OD pedal. I had the Toasters wax potted in the hopes I could continue to gig it (the audience had an earful of bad experience the one time I gigged it), but no way, even after potting it still squeals horribly. I'd love to gig it, fantastic guitar, but I can't. On the other hand I have a Rickenbacker 360 with Hi-Gains that will take all three OD pedals on my pedalboard on at the same time and it's never had any feedback (unless you want it up next to the speaker). I could change out the Toasters in the Rose Morris but I love the sound of the Toasters.

I play a Strat 99% of the time, but I love the Ric jangle. Any time I play a Rickenbacker I play it through a JangleBox. It's absolutely necessary. I have the JB2 Byrds Edition.

If you play a Rickenbacker, fun and true video:


Last edited by RicTone; 24th November 2018 at 01:44 AM.. Reason: duplicated word
Old 27th November 2018
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicTone View Post
Not tame by any stretch of the imagination with an OD pedal. I recall a gig with my Gretsch before I plugged the F holes when I was literally stuck in one small narrow confining position on stage, in which I was unfortunately pointed 45 degrees away from the crowd. Not too much fun. My G5420T screamed like a banshee, it was not pleasant nor musical.
OP here, can I ask what you (or others) use to plug up the body? Do people really just stuff socks in there and hope for the best? There must be some science here... hopefully. Has anyone tried different materials with greater success? Thanks!
Old 27th November 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 
RicTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jml designs View Post
OP here, can I ask what you (or others) use to plug up the body? Do people really just stuff socks in there and hope for the best? There must be some science here... hopefully. Has anyone tried different materials with greater success? Thanks!
I've stuffed different types of foam into my Gibson Tennessean and 335 clone. The one thing I would caution is that it's very easy to mar the finish around an F hole jamming and removing foam.

In my experience it may make a difference plugging the inside (and it seems to perhaps make a difference in tone), but to have absolutely quantifiable results and stop the feedback you must physically cover the F holes.

I think this is the website I previously mentioned: Doug's Plugs - hand-made f-hole covers to eliminate feedback in your archtop guitar
Old 27th November 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 

I never found a way to stop feedback on my herd of White Falcons. But then, they are always too unweildly for me to use on stage anyway, so aside from maybe 6 gigs, I never used them live.... although one of them is in the Ferris Buehler movie and sounds great because it's not plugged in and not played .

My thin double cutaway Falcons were slightly better at not feeding back (look similar to the guitar you mentioned), but still not ideal.

As mentioned, center block 335s are much better and tamer on stage. At the opposite side, my 1965 Epiphone Casinos (no center block) were horrible at feedbacking if you even look at them wrong.

In Gretschland, my thick 1950s era Nashville hollow body was bad at handling feedback.... my double cutaway Orange Nashville with fake F holes was really good at being tame on stage.... but the sound isn't distinct enough.

I'm planning on having Gretsch build a custom, center-block, double-cutaway thin body White Falcon for me with latter day headstock emblem and regular Bigsby etc etc. After 8 or 9 Falcons, I'm pretty sure the custom model will be the only one to be able to use in front of say, a cranked Marshall stack. If I ever decide to get on a stage again that is. I'm also weighing getting a Country Gentleman as so far in life, I haven't yet owned one. The fake f hole versions of that are probably manageable on stage at loud volumes.

I was on a jet from LA to Nashville with Chet Atkins in the 80s, talking music and showing him pics of my Falcons along the way. I asked him why he never played them and he said they were way to gaudy looking for him what with all the white/gold. I told him that was part of what I loved about my guitars. He said, "yeah, but you don't take them anywhere to play". Which..... was true.

Some guitars are meant to only be in pictures.
Old 14th December 2018
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I never found a way to stop feedback on my herd of White Falcons. But then, they are always too unweildly for me to use on stage anyway, so aside from maybe 6 gigs, I never used them live.... although one of them is in the Ferris Buehler movie and sounds great because it's not plugged in and not played .

My thin double cutaway Falcons were slightly better at not feeding back (look similar to the guitar you mentioned), but still not ideal.

As mentioned, center block 335s are much better and tamer on stage. At the opposite side, my 1965 Epiphone Casinos (no center block) were horrible at feedbacking if you even look at them wrong.

In Gretschland, my thick 1950s era Nashville hollow body was bad at handling feedback.... my double cutaway Orange Nashville with fake F holes was really good at being tame on stage.... but the sound isn't distinct enough.

I'm planning on having Gretsch build a custom, center-block, double-cutaway thin body White Falcon for me with latter day headstock emblem and regular Bigsby etc etc. After 8 or 9 Falcons, I'm pretty sure the custom model will be the only one to be able to use in front of say, a cranked Marshall stack. If I ever decide to get on a stage again that is. I'm also weighing getting a Country Gentleman as so far in life, I haven't yet owned one. The fake f hole versions of that are probably manageable on stage at loud volumes.

I was on a jet from LA to Nashville with Chet Atkins in the 80s, talking music and showing him pics of my Falcons along the way. I asked him why he never played them and he said they were way to gaudy looking for him what with all the white/gold. I told him that was part of what I loved about my guitars. He said, "yeah, but you don't take them anywhere to play". Which..... was true.

Some guitars are meant to only be in pictures.
Oh man great story but I can’t agree with you that some guitars are only meant to be in pictures, unless of course they don’t play or sound good. Those guitars you mentioned are meant to be played brother. Chet mighta thought they were too guady for him and that’s a mighty humble thing to say (and MAN was he a phenom of a picker) but all those Tal Furlow and obscure Gibson and gretsch hollowbodys sound and play AWESOME. If I had a country gentleman I’d play the sh** outta it live! I’m using a snowcrest g5422tg live with an acoustic white falcon and I wish I could afford the penguin too! Soon will. I used to have a real vintage silver jet but traded it straight up for a motorcycle - these fancy guitars look great live and sound and play even better. Of course, to each his own tho and Chet makes a romantically personal point but I humbly disagree. All guitars worth playing are meant to be played! The saddest sports car in the world is the one behind the garage door beingbwiped down with a cloth diaper. Viva la Ferris Bueller!!!!!!
Old 15th December 2018
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I never found a way to stop feedback on my herd of White Falcons.
White Falcons come in FLOCKS, not herds. Herds are for mammals, not byrds.
Old 15th December 2018
  #18
Gear Addict
 
Sniff's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
White Falcons come in FLOCKS, not herds. Herds are for mammals, not byrds.
Everybodies Herd About The Bird ...
Old 15th December 2018
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Sniff's Avatar
 

Never used one, or even really know how useful they are, what about a feedback destroyer a la Behringer.

Sorry, I said that word ....
Old 16th December 2018
  #20
Lives for gear
 
vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
White Falcons come in FLOCKS, not herds. Herds are for mammals, not byrds.
One of my favourite jokes when I was a kid.

First farmer. 'Look at that bunch of cows over there.'
Second farmer. 'Not bunch, herd.'
First farmer. 'Heard of what?'
Second farmer. 'Cows.'
First farmer. 'Course I've heard of cows.'
Second farmer. 'No, no, I mean a cow herd.'
First farmer. 'So what? I've got no secrets from a cow.'
Old 16th December 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
White Falcons come in FLOCKS, not herds. Herds are for mammals, not byrds.
My White Falcons are money-eating herds. My credit card charges have always shown that.

If they ate money like birds and were unassuming like birds, I'd call them fowl.

As it is, they are eye catching, heart-stopping, charging behemoths that bully their way into the attention spotlight. Get three or four of them together in a room at the same time and better clear a path.

You don't want to let loose a White Falcon in a china shoppe. Or hey, maybe that would be a great design idea.
Old 16th December 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Hot Vibrato's Avatar
 

I play a hollowbody (an old Framus) with an R&B/ gospel band. We get kind of loud sometimes - but not compared to most bands (we're WAY quieter than the average "indie-rock" band). My guitar simply wouldn't work if I didn't inflate balloons inside of it. Even with thre balloons, it wouldn't work if we were much louder than we are. And it certainly wouldn't work with distortion.

OP - you mentioned that your band gets "pretty heavy". If that means that you use distortion and play loud, the Gretsch hollowbody is going to howl out of control. You might try shoving cloth or foam rubber inside of it, and maybe get some Doug's plugs. But if you're in a loud band, it's a losing battle. I think maybe you chose the wrong guitar.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
One of my favourite jokes when I was a kid.

First farmer. 'Look at that bunch of cows over there.'
Second farmer. 'Not bunch, herd.'
First farmer. 'Heard of what?'
Second farmer. 'Cows.'
First farmer. 'Course I've heard of cows.'
Second farmer. 'No, no, I mean a cow herd.'
First farmer. 'So what? I've got no secrets from a cow.'
<groan>
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniff View Post
Never used one, or even really know how useful they are, what about a feedback destroyer a la Behringer.

Sorry, I said that word ....
No, not a good idea. You don't want a robot arbitrarily causing your signal to dip without warning.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Mikhael's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I never found a way to stop feedback on my herd of White Falcons. But then, they are always too unweildly for me to use on stage anyway, so aside from maybe 6 gigs, I never used them live.... although one of them is in the Ferris Buehler movie and sounds great because it's not plugged in and not played .

My thin double cutaway Falcons were slightly better at not feeding back (look similar to the guitar you mentioned), but still not ideal.

As mentioned, center block 335s are much better and tamer on stage. At the opposite side, my 1965 Epiphone Casinos (no center block) were horrible at feedbacking if you even look at them wrong.

In Gretschland, my thick 1950s era Nashville hollow body was bad at handling feedback.... my double cutaway Orange Nashville with fake F holes was really good at being tame on stage.... but the sound isn't distinct enough.

I'm planning on having Gretsch build a custom, center-block, double-cutaway thin body White Falcon for me with latter day headstock emblem and regular Bigsby etc etc. After 8 or 9 Falcons, I'm pretty sure the custom model will be the only one to be able to use in front of say, a cranked Marshall stack. If I ever decide to get on a stage again that is. I'm also weighing getting a Country Gentleman as so far in life, I haven't yet owned one. The fake f hole versions of that are probably manageable on stage at loud volumes.

I was on a jet from LA to Nashville with Chet Atkins in the 80s, talking music and showing him pics of my Falcons along the way. I asked him why he never played them and he said they were way to gaudy looking for him what with all the white/gold. I told him that was part of what I loved about my guitars. He said, "yeah, but you don't take them anywhere to play". Which..... was true.

Some guitars are meant to only be in pictures.
I was gonna make a joke about that, considering all the star-spangled sequined suits people like Porter Waggoner used to wear, then I went and looked through a bunch of pictures of Chet online. There wasn't even one of him wearing one of those ostentatious suits. I guess the man was true to his principles, all the way. Sorry, Chet. Certified Guitar Player, indeed.

As far as feedback resistance, a true hollowbody will scream when you try to pull a hard rock/metal sound from it. That's why B.B. King eliminated the F-holes from Lucille. So, foam in the guitar (try to use foam that doesn't turn to dust after a while), and plugging the F-holes is about all I can think of for that. The idea is to damp the top and back from vibrating. Maybe some sort of rubber brace inside, from front to back? Not sure; I haven't worked that issue too much.

Someone suggested a feedback destroyer; not a good idea. It will take narrow notches of tone from you at inconvenient times, and if you get one of those long sustaining notes like Santana does, it will find it and take it away from you.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Op here - ended up getting the slimline double cuttaway and put tv Jones in it. Doesn’t seem to feedback all that much .... at all really. You know, I played a couple shows already and they’re just mic-ing the cab anyway so it’s not even an issue not sure why I worried. Ended up picking up the matching white falcon acoustic for live gigs. Not a great sounding guitar and would never track with it but does the job live and looks insane together- thanks guys!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
audioforce's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post

On the Gretsch some people stuff 'em full of foam rubber.
This. ^

Done.



cheers,


audioforce
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
White Falcons come in FLOCKS, not herds. Herds are for mammals, not byrds.
Yup: FLOCK of White Falcons, HERD of Burns Bisons, CROWD of Les Paul's, and Dog-eared P90s come in a PACK
Old 4 days ago
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Yup: FLOCK of White Falcons, HERD of Burns Bisons, CROWD of Les Paul's, and Dog-eared P90s come in a PACK
WOOF!
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
jannis / So many guitars, so little time
16
CptnAhab1 / So many guitars, so little time
10
scruffy / So many guitars, so little time
1
haunted3 / So many guitars, so little time
6

Forum Jump
Forum Jump