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Black Top Filtertrons

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

  1. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Fascinating stuff. Now I HAVE to know!

    Anyone selling a set of new Blacktops I can crack open?
     
    Trash Kidd likes this.
  2. Geosh

    Geosh Synchromatic

    684
    Mar 17, 2010
    Chandler, AZ
    I might be soon...
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  3. T simmons

    T simmons Friend of Fred

    Age:
    56
    Jun 5, 2013
    California
    I agree.
     
  4. CronTron

    CronTron Electromatic

    64
    May 7, 2016
    Iceland
    they have AlNiCo's
    i believe Alnico 5
    after 2003 Fender had those equipped with AlNiCo's so if you have a Blacktop made after 2003 it has them in
     
  5. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    All sources are saying these are ceramics. To my ears they sound even ceramic.
     
    CronTron likes this.
  6. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Age:
    30
    Oct 5, 2009
    Michigan
    For standard filtertrons. Not black-tops.

    They're ceramic.
     
    CronTron likes this.
  7. CronTron

    CronTron Electromatic

    64
    May 7, 2016
    Iceland
    I stand corrected !
     

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  8. CronTron

    CronTron Electromatic

    64
    May 7, 2016
    Iceland
    I seem to have misunderstood an article i read But it seems like they are indeed ceramics.
    I dont have a reference point to hear the difference í have never played any other filtertron and i feel the sound is pretty smooth. I do not get any harshness
     
  9. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    That's why
     
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  10. CronTron

    CronTron Electromatic

    64
    May 7, 2016
    Iceland
    yeah i know, that was my point.
    but the Blacktops are real good in my opinion i like the way they sound.
     
  11. OldCowHand

    OldCowHand Country Gent

    Sep 24, 2015
    Kent, England.
    You won't find a shortage of love for blacktops around here.
     
    CronTron likes this.
  12. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Country Gent

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    For ceramic magnets, and slightly higher, output, the Blacktops sound pretty smooth:

     
  13. CronTron

    CronTron Electromatic

    64
    May 7, 2016
    Iceland
    that's good, then i am not an odd ball for liking them :D
    i don't like strat pickups nor do i like regular humbuckers with ceramics but somehow this design can handle those magnets and still sound sweet in the top end. and the neck pup has tons of warmth and sparkle
     
  14. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Thanks ! We are probably less than 10 LH on the forum... We should do a census also :D ! The Hagstrom Viking is a lightweight, comfortable and good sounding instrument : I recommend it - particularly if you decide to change for BT FT PUs...

    Maybe the sole difference between the HS FT and the BT FT would be the cover ? Since they have the same DC resistance and sensivity... But It would be surprising. Again, I never opened any Gretsch PU to see.

    A+!
     
  15. The Marlin

    The Marlin Friend of Fred

    Feb 2, 2011
    London...ish
    You think Blacktops sound nasty and harsh? Really? Have you set them up properly? I don't have a bad word to say about Blacktops. They're cracking pickups.....particularly with a bit of dirt...
     
    CronTron likes this.
  16. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    They are good pups anyway if you like that kind of tone. I've played them for a while, but I didn't love them. And yes, I've tried different settings. To me they sound more modern compared to usual (alnico) FTs and, yes, more harsh and frigid compared to TV classics. But thats just me.
     
  17. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Age:
    30
    Oct 5, 2009
    Michigan
    Ceramic is punchier.... Alnico is smoother. POWER is another thing. That depends on how much material is used and if they're gaused as much as possible or at a diminished level for whatever reason (Seymour uses degaussed magnets to get 'vintage' tones) but thats simply because we didn't rate magnets the same way we do now, or they're stronger. It's impossible to prove.

    Ceramic will pull FASTER.

    Ceramic also retains brightness/highs. and in some cases are considered a bit more middy... I agree with this, but they bloat out the bottom end too. In hot hot humbuckers with a high DC resistance (which decreases highs) builders like ceramic magnets, and on top of that typically these pickups are agressive and that ceramic EDGE as I call it is a nice touch with reatining the brightness.

    What it also comes down to is the coil itself. Precision wound coils Vs. Scattter wound. A scatter wound coil will breakup more, have less note separation. Precision wound coils are just that... high-fi...

    Compare a P90 coil, its so flat and wide that at some point they have to scatter a little, no matter how careful and precise you are. A strat coil is tall, thin, easy to keep the coils clean and precice. Nature of design in those two. You can still scatter wind a strat pup if you desire.

    Some humbuckers have a precision wound coil with a ratty coil, or sometimes the first half of the coil is precise and the second half begins to scatter. It's all a matter of taste of the builder, and from then the market dictates popularity.

    Ceramic was origionally used because it's CHEAP. But it's been used in modern pickups to get vintage tone with hum canceling options. Leo made the MFD pups for G&L as well as the Z-coils.

    These two pickups used ceramic magnets and ferrous iron pole pieces to get a rod-magnet feel (similar to the old WRHB) but without using CuNiFe. Cost effective, humbucking vintage tone. Not 100% accurate though of course. They just sounded sooo good though.
     
    deci belle, CronTron and audept like this.
  18. Above Dimension

    Above Dimension Electromatic

    82
    Jun 8, 2015
    Bulgaria
    Now that's an answer.Shure the Blacktops are great pickups very close to the HS Filtertrons.Love that sound.
     
  19. Country Member

    Country Member Electromatic

    35
    Aug 20, 2014
    Australia
    The new Blacktops are great in my 5420- very clunky, clear and woody. Get the pole pieces up as close to the strings as possible. I actually prefer them for clean authentic old 50s sounds over he TVJ Classics in Setzer, though they sound great for more modern versions of rockabilly if you get my drift.