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Black Top Filtertrons

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by Doc Helliday, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Doc Helliday

    Doc Helliday Gretschie

    Dec 21, 2009
    Hey, ya'll.

    I was wondering about the black top filtertrons in the Tim Armstrong model. Are they just standard filters but in a different casing? Or are they unique in design?

    T simmons and Random1643 like this.
  2. Michiel

    Michiel Friend of Fred

    Jul 29, 2009
    The Netherlands
    That's what the filtertrons looked like on all the 70s gretsches.
    These is a remake to match Tim's guitar.

    I believe that casing is the only difference compared to today's filtertrons. The innards are the same I suspect.
    T simmons likes this.
  3. guitarmaker

    guitarmaker Synchromatic

    Mar 1, 2010
    Oley, PA
    Yep, Baldwin era filtertrons.
  4. Jukebox

    Jukebox Gretschified

    Jun 2, 2008
    Little Falls,MN
    Nice sounding though!
  5. Doc Helliday

    Doc Helliday Gretschie

    Dec 21, 2009
    So, I guess what I'm trying to ask is: Did they recreate the Baldwin era pickups or just make them cosmetic reissues?
  6. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I love it and when I find I a used one I have a brand new bigsby sittin in a box waiting for it. That and a polish wheel on my dremel to kill that gawdawful gold off the guitar.
    Nice warm nickel waiting just underneath that pimp tooth shine

    btw Doc.. a friend had TVjones make him a classic to fit into his dynasonic casing (6120DSW) and it has that black top on it. Tom said the pickups sound a little more
    alive without the case top surrounding them. He's right because the p90 style plastic covers versions have more "Air" to me in comparison to the regular ones.
  7. Doc Helliday

    Doc Helliday Gretschie

    Dec 21, 2009
  8. fieldhdj

    fieldhdj Gretschie

    Jun 10, 2008
    The Hills
    I have a black topped Supertron made for my Telecaster. Doesn't sound different from a regular Supertron but I think it sure looks great in the Tele.

  9. zipzett

    zipzett Electromatic

    Sep 6, 2010
    normally they are single coil

    I wonder to see these as humbuckers, a kind of mixed filtertrons with the 70ies design maybe. Who build these different versions? I saw one korean electromatic, tim armstrong model, but did not test it yet.
  10. Anni_Lover

    Anni_Lover Synchromatic

    Jul 17, 2009
    New Zealand
    The original black top Filter 'Trons from thre Baldwin Gretsch era had ceramic magnets. I believe these have Alincos. If you look closely, the casings are basically Hi Lo 'Tron casings with an extra set of pole pieces. What surprised me about the Gretsch guitars from that era was the change in the pick-up surrounds from plastic to all metal. Cosmetically they look really beautiful, espescially with the original 24 carat gold plating. The G5191 will be standard 9 carat gold plating which has the advantage of lasting longer. It will be interesting to see if Grestch/FMIC fit the black top Filter 'Trons to the G7593 White Falcon I to make it's appearance historically correct:



    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  11. Above Dimension

    Above Dimension Electromatic

    Jun 8, 2015
    Gretsch recreated them completely.In the Baldwin era the BT's were ceramic magnets,but as far as I'm aware the new ones are Alnico .i saw somewhere in these forums a photo of a White Falcon equipped with BT's.Which says something about these beautiful unique pickups isn't it.
  12. Above Dimension

    Above Dimension Electromatic

    Jun 8, 2015
    I would love to hear how these Baldwin Era BT's sound
  13. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    ^Your answer came nearly 6 years too late :rolleyes:. But back to topic, the new BTs are ceramic pick ups like the old ones. One reason why their tone is more nasty and harsh vs. the usual Filtertrons.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  14. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    My guitar tech took the black top pickups apart that came in my 2011 5420 & my 2012 Pro Jet and the magnets are 100% alnico - not ceramic. He rewinds & repairs pickups so I know he's not mistaken.
    Above Dimension and ZackyDog like this.
  15. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Country Gent

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Thanks. I wonder if they are alnico V, like HS Filtertrons.
    CronTron likes this.
  16. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    I never opened my BT FT to see... But I read somewhere (sorry I can't retrieve) a FMIC tech saying that the BT FT had ceramic magnet, so I was ready to believe that :confused:... without obvious proof ! Nonetheless, these pickups sounds good, both on my G5420T LH and my Hagstrom Viking :



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  17. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Wow You're a lefty too?
    There must be a few of us here.
    That Hagstrom looks great by the way!
    Les Pedals and Armygirl like this.
  18. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Only some Baldwin Blacktops were fitted with Alnico magnets, and I wonder if they weren't confused with the last batch of Gretsch filtertrons, when Gretsch ran out of covers, and used open Hilotron covers instead?

    Everything I have read about the new Blacktops would suggest they come with ceramics.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  19. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    I thought so too.
    I had my tech take apart the Black tops to see if he could put alnico magnets in them.
    When he got them a part he told me that there was already alnico magnets in them.
    He showed me different magnet types that he had on hand since he repairs pickups.
    He showed me ceramic vs alnico and I could see that the black top magnets were alnico.
    It's been nearly 4 years since then so I forget all the details.
    But I was going to get him to replace the magnets if they were ceramic - but he didn't have to.
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