Harmony Central Forums
No announcement yet.

Fender Greasebucket Circuit


  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fender Greasebucket Circuit


    I just recently modded my Fender American Roadhouse Strat with the Greasebucket wiring set-up per Fender's online schematic for their Greasebucket equipped American Highway One Strats. My Roadhouse has a stock set of Fender's "Texas Special" pups and so the tone of my "Greasebucket" mod is slightly different from the Highway Ones' tone which use Alnico3 pups. The Texas Specials seem to be more aggressive in the mids and consequently the Greasebucket mod doesn't sound quite as "sweet" or as "vocal" when I roll off the tone knob. My Roadhouse doesn't sound bad, just not as sweet. Any suggestions out there of some sort of mod to get "sweeter" results from my Roadhouse without changing out the pups?

    Thanks for all of the help!!

    Proprietor of fine music and hot sauce...


  • #2
    the grease bucket circuit is stupid as hell. i always hate the sound of it, especially when you roll off the highs. It also caused some strange crackling problems in my friends guitar.
    Oº'I'm not your villain, Not your adversary,I'm not your reason to crack and divide. - Ian

    GEAR:Marshall 1960a, Fender Silverface Vibrolux 2x10, Red Bear Cub 50, JMP-1-> Marshall 9200. Squier Super Sonic, Fender Tele Custom RI.
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A [START]
    'if none of that sounds familiar, think of a super distorted chainsaw jacking off on a ghost.'

    Originally Posted by kittycaster

    I'm stacking two Strobostomps for better intonation.



    • #3
      I, on the other hand, love it.

      I modded my strat with a switch so I can switch between normal and Greasebucket tone control.
      "Have we grown so hard we can't feel right or wrong, or have we grown so cold we just don't care?" - Dave Matney


      • #4
        I, on the other hand, love it.

        I modded my strat with a switch so I can switch between normal and Greasebucket tone control.

        How did you do that? Sounds sweet. Any schematics?

        Imagine how a stock Strat sounds when you roll off the tone knob, then compare that to how the Greasebucket circuit sounds. My Roadhouse is somewhere halfway between the two. It definitely helps the tonality of it all, but my Strat still doesn't have quite as "sweet and buttery" tone when I compare it to the Highway Ones. I can actually get my Strat to sound the closest when the tone knobs are around 3-4 but it still isn't quite the same. The Highway Ones definitely have a more pronounced vocal quality to them than what my Roadhouse does. Perhaps different pots would help? Or slightly different caps?

        The Fender schematic calls for one of each of these on each of the tone pots:

        .1uF, 50 V, Ceramic Disk Capacitor
        .02uF, 50V, Ceramic Disk Capacitor
        4.7k{}, 1/4 watt, Metal Film Resistor

        Here's what I grabbed at the local Radio Shack:


        Any discrepancies here?

        By the way, here is the schematic for the Greasebucket circuit:



        Again, the Texas Specials are AlnicoV, whereas the Highway One pups are Alnico2's. Are the pups the issue here? Any suggestions?

        Thanks again for the help!!!
        Proprietor of fine music and hot sauce...



        • #5
          While I was waiting for my Fender Custom Shop 69 pickups from being backordered, I went ahead and took out my greasebucket circuitry on both tone controls of my Highway One Upgrade strat and rewired it the old way. Then I've used a 0.047uf capacitor for the neck tone control and kept the stock Alcino 3's pickups. The tone of my strat is awsome and amazingly beautiful, and it's none of this mellow sounding tone you'll get from a greasebucket. The greasebucket circuitry makes all guitar pickups sound smooth and mellow; blocking out the full spectrum of sound of a classic Fender Stratocaster.
          Claiming that it "rolls off the highs without adding bass" means one thing: it filters out all the good stuff.


          • #6
            I own two Custom Shop Strat Pro's with the Greasebucket circuit and samarium cobalt noiseless pickups. For my tastes this is the best electronics package I've used in a three pickup single coil guitar. The tone controls on these guitars do exactly what Fender claimed: roll off highs without adding mud. I usually start a gig with both (neck and bridge) tone controls at halfway and turn them up while playing solos, then back to half when comping.
            The neck pickup sounds almost L5-jazzy with the tone control all the way down. The bridge pickup has a great melodic sound with the tone control at half, clean or distorted. In spite of my "L5-jazzy" comment I would not consider the circuit to sound mellow with these pickups at any settings. Note that on these guitars the bridge tone control at max has a slight detente that seems to switch out the control completely. I'm not sure I need that feature, the less-than-max tone settings are the useful ones.
            I recently compared these guitars to my mid-70's Strat with Lace Gold pickups and standard tone circuit: back to the closet it went (it still is great for recording), the Strat Pro won. It's good news to me that this circuit is in the Highway Strats, I might be able to leave the Custom Shop guitars home, but I suspect the pickups are a huge factor in how this circuit sounds. What I can no longer do is get the Jeff Beck bridge pickup "vocal" tone achieved by backing off the volume about 2-3 points, but this may be due to the samarium cobalt pickups.
            My perspective: started guitar in 1964 (I was born with a Strat in my hand, Mom was pissed because I didn't remove the whammy bar) and have played full time for 20 years, the last 20 in part-time retirement. My comments apply for all amps and software I've played through, clean through high gain settings. I'm working on a thorough review of the Strat Pro with sound samples, but in the meantime the Fender web site has a nice video demo filmed right on the factory floor (cool professional vibe) by a fellow geezer who enjoys the Strat Pro as much as I do and can play it well.
            MacBook Pro 17 i7, Logic, Reaktor, Strat Pro, Tele, LP, CA GX Performer


            • #7

              I just installed one of these kits in my Squier Affinity Butterscotch Telecaster. I only paid 6 bucks for it on E-Bay and I have to say that it was definately worth the price. Saved me a lot of money as far as going out and buying a new set of pickups. My Tele now has a nice Vintage tone to it. I love it.


              • WRGKMC
                WRGKMC commented
                Editing a comment

                Greasebucket circuit  forms an RLC circuit, a resonant circuit comprising a resistor, an  inductor, and a capacitor. You can personalize the Greasebucket circuit to match the pickup type you're using vs. trying to match the pickup to the circuit. Its allot cheaper for sure.

                For example,  you can try different tone-cap values and materials. The 0.022 ?F cap connected  to the tone control is the standard configuration.  There are tons of alternatives. You can try other values from 2200 pF up to 0.1 ?F,  and also different types of new, used, or new-old-stock (NOS) caps