Guitar World : The Secrets Behind Townsend's Tone On "Won't Get Fooled Again" and The Gretsch G6120

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by ZackyDog, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Age:
    55
    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Here

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Pete elsewhere mentioned that this special 61120 was the loudest guitar he ever had his hands on. Considering that the original pickups should value around 7k max this seems unbelieveable.
     
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  3. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
  4. DannyB

    DannyB Gretschie

    218
    Apr 26, 2019
    Michigan
    Isn't this amazing! I only found out this year that Townsend used a Gretsch not only on Won't Get Fooled Again, but according to Wikipedia, on much of the Who's Next album. From all of the photos and videos I have seen of the Who over the decades (I am a big fan) Pete always seemed to be playing a Gibson Les Paul or SG (my other guitar is a SG) or a Rickenbacker or in recent years a Strat. It's cool to see that Townsend also did a lot of work with Gretsches, just another example of how versatile these guitars really are!
     
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  5. G5422T

    G5422T Synchromatic

    705
    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Actually, if Pete's '59 still had the original pups, which it probably did, the pups were more like 4.5k for the bridge, and a tad less than that for the neck pup.

    These "Ray Butts" Filtertrons were only out a little over a year back then.

    Low on output, killer on tone.
     
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  6. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I acquired my first 6120-1959LTV after I discovered that the sounds on Who's Next were made using a Gretsch. This was the turning point and the start of my Gretsch obsession.
     
  7. rze99

    rze99 Electromatic

    80
    Aug 8, 2017
    London, England
    Keep in mind this was a guitar Joe Walsh gave him. Who says the pickups were original spec!
     
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  8. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Age:
    55
    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    My Filtertrons are about 4.1k ohms each, and that's close to vintage/late 50s/early 60s spec, which are about 4k ohms.
     
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  9. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Synchromatic

    641
    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    Pete Townshend sacrificed his hearing to give us the most important rock song of the 20th century. And maybe the 21st as well.
     
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  10. G5422T

    G5422T Synchromatic

    705
    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Don't know for sure, but I've never read anything that Joe modded that guitar, or had anyone mod it.

    One has to remember, that by the end of the 60's and early 70's, it was hard to give to give a Gretsch away. They sold cheap, or got stuck under the bed.

    They just weren't "it" with the general music scene. Only a few used them by this time.

    As far as rewinding Filtertrons back then, highly unlikely. It was far easier to hack up that old Gretsch and install Gibson Buckers.

    The custom and boutique folks weren't like they are today. Pretty much non existent.

    Again, anything is possible, but I'm betting those Filters are stock, low output RB versions. Tone heaven through a driven amp.
     
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  11. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    And this year? He's playing Won't Get Fooled Again on a Gibson J200 Acoustic (one of I think 3 rotated in the show along with a few Strats). Song still sounded great!
     
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  12. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I agree with what others have said about them being 4k-ish, but loudness isn't all (or even mostly) about impedance. I don't know about Gibson-style buckers (haven't owned one since I was 15), but of all the pickups I have a reasonable amount of experience with (Filters, Hilos, Dynas, P-90s, Franz, various Fender, Rickenbacker toasters), Filters are by far the loudest.
     
  13. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    933
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Sadly enough, Pete smashed that ‘59 in NY while shooting a promo live performance to promote Quadrophenia. (There’s even footage of it).
    Same old Pete...:D
     
  14. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Country Gent

    Age:
    56
    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    But he did have it repaired and reassembled. It was used to record Empty Glass and White City albums.
     
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  15. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    4k pickups are very happy to come close to the strings and become huge... where 8k humbuckers are just almost the same.

    I presume PETE'S filtertrons pôle screws are eating the strings...
     
    stiv likes this.
  16. rze99

    rze99 Electromatic

    80
    Aug 8, 2017
    London, England
    OK, I've always assumed that the Edwards pedal steel volume pedal was used to push (amplify) the signal into the Bandmaster to help cook the preamp signal. Am I right? I've never owned a volume pedal or even used one, just used volume control on the guitar and boost pedals.

    Can anyone confirm my assumption or shoot me down?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  17. rze99

    rze99 Electromatic

    80
    Aug 8, 2017
    London, England
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  18. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Country Gent

    Age:
    56
    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Not really. The Edwards pedal has no preamp to speak of. However, it operated on a photo electric principle, using an electric photocell and a light bulb. The pedal would actuate a shutter or blind, controlling the amount of light reaching the photocell. The volume would be controlled by the amount of light reaching the photocell. It's biggest advantage over a regular Dunlop-style volume pedal is that there is no potentiometer controlling the volume, so there are no gaps, jumps, glitches etc in the volume swell-- it is much more even across the entire volume range. Furthermore, the absence of a physical volume pot also reduced the amount of treble roll-off inherent when turning down a standard potentiometer.

    Essentially, it would allow Pete to crank the amp to feedback volume levels prior to recording a part, and then dial it back with the pedal-- this would allow him to introduce controlled feedback swells on demand as the song dictated.
     
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  19. rze99

    rze99 Electromatic

    80
    Aug 8, 2017
    London, England

    That's precisely the explanation I was looking for. Thank you.
     
    T Bone likes this.
  20. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Ray Butts ARE the perfect pickup for this era of Pete. There is nothing out there built like these pickups on the market, down to no wax potting, no solder attached covers, and a particular shape and gauge to the bass plate.
     
    T Bone, Lionpotato and G5422T like this.
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