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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
    There is this blog from a guitar tech "who winds and repairs his own pickups" I read.

    One of his entries describes rewinding a vintage Gretsch Filtertron on nothing but the premise it musta been broken since it only measured 4K...
    Way too many cowboys out there and they're all packing.
    Above Dimension likes this.
  2. MickeyB

    MickeyB Electromatic

    Jul 24, 2017
    Birmingham England UK
    The Blacktops are a really good cost-effective simulation but comparing my G5420 with a friends modified with filtertrons, the Blacktops definitely were sharper and somewhat colder. I liked the warmth of the full-spec filtertrons so I've just fitted some in place of the blacktops. For me, it's transformed the guitar - more warmth, more hi-fi, more presence - quality. That's not to say the Blacktops won't be just the thing for certain applications but the genuine filtertrons are decidedly superior for the sounds I want.
    So, I've taken the cover off one of the Blacktops. Seems well made and it is an alnico magnet. So where has the cost saving been made - apart from oriental labour costs? Quite a thin magnet that directly bears on the thinner polepiece screws - less mass (less flux?) than an original. Coils seem well made but is the wire pure copper or adulterated? Is it the same gauge?
    This pickup is going to be subject to experiments including magnet swops and possible rewinding.
    emitex likes this.
  3. sleeperNY

    sleeperNY Gretschie

    Jun 18, 2008
    central NY
    I had a C.G. in 72 and a Super Chet 73 and both had the Baldwin blacktops. I remember reading back in the day that they were wound hotter than the originals. There sound was not that far off from the lower output filtertrons.
  4. Jackal

    Jackal Gretschie

    Jan 23, 2016
    Gretsch confirmed that the current BT Filtertrons are Alnico 5.
    audept likes this.
  5. Joey L

    Joey L Gretschie

    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    It's all personal preference. I have a 2016 5420 that came with Blacktops which are not bad pick ups at all. I have TV Classics in it now which to my ear are smoother and a more articulate for clean playing. The Blacktop are great for a bit more distortion playing.
    emitex likes this.