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Blacktop Filtertrons vs ?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Charlie westside, Aug 9, 2018 at 12:30 AM.

  1. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    Being a fairly new Gretsch owner I don't know much about Gretsch pickups. I read a lot of things regarding the high quality of the TV Jones Pickups. I very much like the Blacktop Filtertrons that came equipped on my Electromatic. Are they considered low quality? compared to other Gretsch pickups ? I play all styles of music. Blues, Rock, Classic Rock, soon Rockabilly. What are the most versetile pickups without compremising the Grtesch sound? please shed some light. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018 at 12:40 AM
  2. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    They're costy and good pickups. IMHO, there's some fever about TVJs PUs that makes them highly regarded, justifiably or not...

    My daughter has a Grestch Corvette G5135GL which has a set of TVJ : a Powertron in the bridge position, which sounds rather like a PAF, and a Classic in neck position, which show no significative tonal difference with the Gretsch HS FT.

    And you're right : they were often underrated - much less now - and they are good pickups.

    Not at all. The HS FT, the BT FT, the DC SHT are the same building quality.

    The HS FT = High Sensivity FilterTron, is the classic FilterTron that you find on most Pro Line Gretsch.

    The BT FT = Black Top FilterTron, is a slightly more "PAF-Gibson-ey" version of the HS FT, but still retaining the Gretsch character. I mean : a bit more warm, a tad less shiny.

    The DC SHT = Dual Coil SuperHiloTron, is found on some models, namely the G5622T &st version, the 5620 in neck position. This is a humbucker pickup that sound like a wide single coil. They have a delicate, crisp sound combined with warmth.

    All of them are AlNiCo magnet pickups, AFAIK. I have the 3 models on several guitars, including non-Gretsch.

    The new BroadTrons PUs that you find on the G5220 are a bit larger pickups and seems to be a kind of "brighter PAF". I'll verify that when I'll have my G5220...

    I'd say if you want the most "Gretsch-Versatile" one, go for the HS FT... But your BT FT can also fit your multi-style playing !

    I speak about recent RI pickups, not the vintage ones nor the pre-Fender Gretsch era.

    And it's me, OK ? :D

    A+!
     
  3. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Black Top Filtertrons are fine. Gretsch said when they introduced them that they were designed to emulate the sound of Baldwin era Gretsch Filtertrons. I have no idea how accurate to that sound they are.

    Any stigma attached to them probably comes from them being offered on the Electromatic line, which are fine guitars. I don't think they have ever been featured on a Pro Line Gretsch. Pro Lines often come with High Sensitive (HS) Filtertrons, sometimes TV Jones Classics (or other TV Jones models). Every one of these has their fans and those who do not like them.
     
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  4. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    I can't Thank you enough. I have fallen for my Jet and like everything about it. When I purchase a guitar, I have to play it. If it doesn't feel right I won't take it. It has to be the complete package so I don't normally do mods.
    The only exception would be my Fender Strat Hwy 1. I changed out the stock vintage singles with the Fender noiseless because of the unbearable hum that would cut through my bass player and drummer. They sound great the guitar plays like butter.
    The Gretsch is the only guitar I have ever purchased on line. I was worried I would be disappointed upon its arrival. However, it came set up and everything was perfect out of the box. The pups are great. my lead guitarist had mentioned the TV Jones
    pups. Based on what you have written I think I'll hang on to the BT FTs. I hope you enjoy your 5220. That was the guitar I originally had my eye on. The demand is high for them so there's a lot of waiting around. I think the V stop tail is way cool. Needless to say I was suffering from GAS and purchased the G 5230 T instead. I saw the Biggs on it and had to have it. Let me know what you think about the 5220 when you get it.
    again, Thank you so much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018 at 12:54 PM
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  5. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    Thanks T Bone
     
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  6. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Country Gent

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    The Blacktops sound great in a ProJet, but not my favourite in a hollowbody guitar. If it's a bit more clarity and top end you seek, try swapping out the main volume pot for a 1 meg, with a treble bleed. Ten bucks vs 200 for a set of TV Jones!
     
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  7. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    Thanks I Think I'll give this a try. Yes maybe to aggresive for a Hollow.
     
  8. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    Blacktops are fine for overdriven stuff. That's why Billy Duffy wanted an overwound version for his Signture Falcon ... he seldom plays clean!

    When it comes to clean tones, they sound darker than HS Filtertrons, which in my opinion are the most versatile Gretsch pups. TVJ Classics are similar to HSF, but even brighter, though not that much.

    Sooo ... what do you expect from other pickups and how often do you play clean?
     
  9. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    I do a lot of both. I play overdriven music a lot. of 70's 80's rock stuff.
    from AC/D, Led Zep, to Billy Idol.
    Blues Eric Clampton-Stevie Ray, zz top
    Clean Stuff Tom Petty, Chris Issaks, Dire Straights. Beatles, Stones. Really starting to get into Rockabilly.
    Not to mention My gospel music ministry.
    A whole lot of clean playing with the gospel which happens weekly. I use some delay ,chorus, and reverb mostly for this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018 at 3:39 PM
  10. Joey L

    Joey L Gretschie

    444
    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    The Blacktops are not bad, but the TV Classics brought my guitar a lot more versatility and nailed the Gretsch sound if that’s what your after. But again.. this is all a personal preference.
     
    Charlie westside likes this.
  11. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    IMO
    Blacktop Filtertrons are cool..
    HS Filtertrons are cooler..
    ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018 at 6:17 PM
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  12. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    I do a lot of both. I play overdriven music a lot. of 70's 80's rock stuff.
    from AC/D, Led Zep, to Billy Idol.
    Blues Eric Clampton-Stevie Ray, zz top
    Clean Stuff Tom Petty, Chris Issaks, Dire Straights. Beatles, Stones. Really starting to get into Rockabilly.
    Not to mention My gospel music ministry.
    A whole lot of clean playing with the gospel which happens weekly. I use somedelay ,chorus, and reverb mostly for this.
     
  13. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    Well, then maybe a pickup upgrade might make you happy.

    Here's a video, that developed my GAS for a Panther with HS Filtertrons:



    Search Youtube for Gretsch reviews to find other guitars with HSF or even TVJs to get a feel for their sound ... love it? Need it?
     
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  14. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    Oh yeah!!
     
  15. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    Excellent video. I'll follow up as soon as I'm able to upgrade. Thanks
     
  16. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I also put Fender hot noiseless first gen in one of my strays! I love them probably my favorite strat pup.

    My Gretsch has HS Filtertrons andnI also love them! I am not a PAF person I can play with them a few weeks then I am sick of them. One reason my Minarick doesn’t get more playing time, it has their tone perfect pups which are modeled after PAFs.

    I would also look into some Dynas or Hilotrons if you are a single coil kind of person. I don’t know anything about super Hilos.
     
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  17. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Very classy playing! Love that guitar!
     
  18. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    When I saw that video back in 2013, I couldn't resist to test a Panther in a shop. Fatal, I had to buy it :D

    @Charlie westside : Don't expect your Elektro to sound like a Panther with HSFs, but the clean tone will definitely be improved. As I said ... check some reviews. There are also videos of G5120s, that were upgraded with TVJ Classics, that might be helpful for your decision.

    PS: HSF and TVJ are not a plug and play replacement ... search the forum about the needed mount. It was discussed before. If you decide for TVJs, you can contact Tom for help and mounting material.
     
    Charlie westside likes this.
  19. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    Thank you!! I really do have a lot to think about. This is going to take some time to accomplish. Hopefully in the next few months I'll make the switch. Going to take your advice. listen to some demos and test drive them myself.
     
  20. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Gretschie

    129
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    I feel you. I have never played a guitar with PAF pickups. I get plenty of Single Coil Action from my Strat. I wanted something different that's why I got the Gretsch and I'm happy with it. Didn't want to do The Gibson thing. The Gretsch sound is so unique It's not a copy cat of anything.
     
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