DeArmond Model 2000 pickups: everything you need to know

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by ZackyDog, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK

    The modern era Dearmond 2000 is like the kid brother to the Gretsch Dynasonic, whereas the TArmond is like the older cousin with slick back hair and a Triumph motorcycle. They all have the same DNA, but act a little differently when there's girls around.
     
    CaliforniaSlim likes this.
  2. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    HiLo's are a different animal. There construction is also apples n oranges to Dynasonics/DeArmond.

    I find the T-armonds the quintessential modern replacement of the DeArmonds I grew up w as a kid. Ironically even Billy Zoom seems to have taken a turn completely toward the T-armonds compared to the Seymour's that his Zoom Signature came stock with. He says the Seymours have horrible feedback (which ironically is true to the ones I used as a teen) and SD's customers service is bad. However, I can say that the SD dynas I had really didnt feed back much in the humbucker mount that I had in my ES-135. The top was a little too smooth and the overall response was very gentleman like. Not what I am used to.
    The flip side is that Tom builds the T-armond slug mechanics w simple bobbin material. And this may be why I cant get mine to feedback even when annihilated with overdrives n boosts.


    They are simply beautiful clean or dirty. I do find on a 25.5" scale gretsch, the neck T-armond needs to be flipped around, to balance the bass w the bridge pickup on the Falcon.
    In the big body guitars, flipping the pickup so that the slugs are moved slightly away from the fretboard alleviates boominess on the lower strings. in the case of the Falcon, it was a no brainer to turn it around and attenuate the boomy low for a wonderful classic Dynasonic response from these unique DeArmond "T-armond" filtertron mounts.. which by the way sit right on top of the tone rails and yes you can raise and lower the slugs a tiny bit but there isnt too much room to drop the low E side of the pickups magnets. Cant lower the body of the pickup, its sitting on fiberboard mounting plates so the pickup and the mounting plate rests directly on the guitars tonerails that its screwed down into.. again, the solution, flip the freakin pickup. no magic dust involved.
    for you skeptics.. I decided to make a little two picture example of this T-Series T-armond to show flipping that pickup moves the magnetic slugs more than you realize. Observe white grease pencil markings.. kind of wide markings but you can see that there is a measured distance. I got 9/32" spacial distance from the magnet center point marked between the grease pencil marks.. not uber technical but even with a grease pencil and ruler this measurement is just over a quarter in forward/reverse movement. This actually decreases the boominess of the pickup in a hollowbody with a 2.75 depth.
    [​IMG]
    here is the pickup flipped over magnets closer to fretboard, measured distance w dumb grease pencil marks 9/32"distance of positions both ways, pic of my ruler... for posterity. I wont mention the change in harmonics too
    [​IMG]


    On a nashville, it seems to be opposite for me, on the bridge. I want more low end thonk than twang there.
    [​IMG]
    And.. on my tele I find the best balance is w the slugs toward the neck and on the bridge w slugs toward the bridge.


    ps.
    you may not like the sound of your stock Dynasonics because the pickups are not set up correctly. I know that these pickups are usings magnetic slugs instead of a magnetic bar like a P90 or Filtertron BUT to get the best sound out of the overall pickup, you will get a great sound if you lower all the slugs and rather raise up and shim the pickup to be closer to the strings, utilizing the magnet adjust for string balance only. You'd be amazed at the difference this makes in the instrument.
    [​IMG]

    nice anecdote from Tom of #tvjones
    "

    I have had customers over the years say they want more output, or a thicker tone out of their bridge pickups. They say "it's too bright, too thin." The first thing I ask is "how close is your pickup to your bridge?" Usually too close to the bridge. The bad news is, there's not too much you can do if you're after more power, or a thicker natural tone. There is less string energy closer to the bridge. Same applies to the neck position. Too close to the end of the fingerboard, generally too full and boomy – more string energy. Neck pickups are compensated with less power and adjusted lower for this reason. Basses and neck position pickups: I prefer the neck pickup on a bass not to be mounted at the end of the fingerboard. Too boomy, too much string energy. Look where the pickups on a Fender bass are located.

    • The magic to great tone is to do everything LITTLE thing you can do to get where you want to be. All of the crazy little things add up to a huge difference. I am nuts about this. It really works.

    • Not discussed: Fundamental string harmonics, and 1st harmonic, 2nd harmonic, 3rd, 4th... Placement of the pickup (in this case a single coil - more detailed string sensing).

    • Also not discussed: Nodal points (wave nodes, the point along a standing wave). Put a single coil under the 2nd octave and try to play harmonics at frets other than the 12th (single coil pickups sense the string at one point).

    Whenever I do fret work, build a guitar, design pickup, I add up all the little things that end of making a world of difference.


    "
     
  3. afire

    afire Country Gent

    If DeArmonds were fitted to Falcons? Yes, from '55 to '57.
    [​IMG]
     
    j.s.c, MKunie and Groutsch like this.
  4. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    450
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    If read some credible sources state that if one is accustomed to Filter'trons, then one may find that T-Armonds seem a bit "dark" or "warm".

    To my interest, that makes me think that perhaps the TVJ TV-HT/Hilotron may be more pleasing for someone like me wanting a sparkly-bright tone, and not a mid-ranged focused pickup.

    Does that sound about right?

    I know that the two pickups are of completely different design - but how might they be characterized vs. each other, in words?

    One brighter than the other

    One more mid-range than the other?

    One more clarity than the other?

    One sounding more "full-range" tonally that the other?

    I'm interested in a fairly even but "full-range" tonal response, with a sparkly bright high end. What might get closest to that description?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  5. Falcon LPB

    Falcon LPB Gretschie

    110
    Aug 15, 2019
    Sydney, Australia
    Yep, I went back to some of my research material and had it down that Dynasonics were fitted 1954-58 and then Filter Trons from 1958 - (1958 also being the year the Melita bridge was replaced with the "Space Control" bridge. At the moment I can chart 52 different models with the biggest difference in sound coming from the pickups used and or the internal bracing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  6. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I've got an electro cat eye honey here w 3 HiLos and I feel like the lows are smooth and indistinct w clanky mids and strident highs. I love twangy but those pickups are coming out when I have the money.

    I think this pickup is probably more along what you may like, a tv magna w dearmond mount.
    https://isteam.wsimg.com/ip/06560842-9266-11e4-ad7d-14feb5d39ff1/ols/635_original/:/rs=w:600,h:600
     
    DHart likes this.
  7. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Overall, it sounds to me like you want a HiloTron. Not as middy as either Filters or DeArmonds. Hilos are about as bright and HiFi as they come.
     
    DHart likes this.
  8. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    450
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    I've heard a lot of great things about the TV Jones Magna'tron. The name itself kind of puts me off (thinking it implies it's a really "HOT" pickup). I guess that would be the Power'tron.

    But my understanding is that the Magna'tron is clean, and rich, and bright, and nice!
     
  9. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    450
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    I have a set of TV-HTs on order, so I guess I'll be finding out about the Hilo'trons pretty soon!
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  10. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Jeez, now I’m thinkin’ I oughta try flipping the T-armond in my 5420.
    Hmmmmmm...
    563B6A4C-8C11-4696-8742-93C7C7FF1B56.jpeg
     
  11. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    450
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Caleb... I flipped the neck humbucker on my ES-339 around and I think I gained some high end sparkle as a result. The technique is almost certain to reduce low end boom and boost high end sparkle, at least a little bit. I didn't have a low-end "boom" issue with my ES-339, but I did want more high-end from the neck pickup!
     
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  12. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Age:
    55
    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Nice. My 2 cents: a DeArmond is sweet in the neck position; very rich and clear to my ears.
     
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  13. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    That’s why I have one. I use it often.
     
    MKunie, ZackyDog and DHart like this.
  14. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    [​IMG]
     
    MKunie, DHart and calebaaron666 like this.
  15. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Hehe
    I have mine set a little lower than TVJ’s recommended height with the slugs up a little proud.
    I’m pretty happy with how they sound, but I love not leaving stuff alone. Hence the ridiculous amount of mods to this guitar.
    If I can experiment, and possibly make it sound even better, why not?
     
    DHart likes this.
  16. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    72
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I have a Historic 3140. It came with DeArmond 2000 pickups which had a great twangy Gretsch sound. I replaced them with TVJ T-Armonds which I like better, even though they are not as "twangy" as the DeArmonds (which I kept for future projects).
     
    DHart likes this.
  17. Alanqa

    Alanqa Electromatic

    26
    Aug 22, 2019
    Lancashire UK
    60CFCC9D-02DD-4A6E-90CF-0EE12456D82C.jpeg
    Yeah mine is very heavy but I use it seated. Looks fab but I would definitely say the sound isn’t as bright as my pro jets blacktop filtertrons.
     
    audept, ZackyDog and MKunie like this.
  18. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    450
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    I think I read on TV Jones site that they reduced the highs on their T-Armond from the DeArmond 2000s. Is that the reduced "twang" you mentioned?
     
  19. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    450
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Interesting - the Blacktops may be a bit brighter than the DeArmonds?
     
  20. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    72
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, Alanqa!
    vintage_grunge_uk_flag_union_jack_doormat.jpg
     
    Alanqa likes this.
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