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TV Classic vs. Setzer Signature Question

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by YourBlueRoom, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    While I agree with this, and I too am more of a rock/blues guy, I preferred the Powertron in the bridge over all others. But I got so tired of swapping pickups in the Hot Rod, I just left the SS set in... it's not my main guitar anyway, it doesn't get gigged. It's just for playing 'billy and such on at home... if it were a main/gigging guitar, it would a Ptron bridge.
     
  2. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Country Gent

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    How much wax comes out if you take a hairdryer to a pickup? Is it hard to do?
     
  3. YourBlueRoom

    YourBlueRoom Electromatic

    13
    Jan 25, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    I've only tried it one time so others can probably speak more to the hairdryer method than I can. In my experience it was not difficult but it was messy. Most of the wax will just drip out but some of it can splash around as you're blowing air on it. Also in holding the pickup at different angles to try and get at all of the wax the TV sticker on the bottom ended up coming off and the black ribbon wrapped around the pickup lead came loose. I'd say there was 2 tablespoons of wax that came out, give or take.
     
  4. YourBlueRoom

    YourBlueRoom Electromatic

    13
    Jan 25, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    I've finalized my order with TV Jones for two unpotted neck Classics.

    You may have already commented on this in another thread but how are you setting up the two neck pickups in terms of height? Have you been able to dial them in so the volume is balanced between the two? I would still hope I can get a slight increase in output in the bridge position.

    I've also decided I'm going to modify the wiring by disabling the mud switch and replacing the two independent volume controls with independent no-load tone controls. I have never and will never use the independent volume controls but I would like to be able to roll a bit of high end off the bridge pickup from time to time without it affecting the neck pickup. But I'd like a tone control for the neck pickup too so I can dial in a good jazz tone if needed. Plus the no-load tone pots would essentially give me hot rod wiring when they're both on 10. I'll probably add a bright cap to the master volume as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
    ZackyDog likes this.
  5. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    You guys should remember that those guitars are made to be played with and to cut thru a band. You're in need of other frequencies on a stage compared to your living room.
     
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  6. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Country Gent

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Congrats. I bet it will sound great (!)

    Here's a good guideline for the set up:

    [​IMG]

    As far as getting more output from the bridge pickup: maybe reduce the neck pickup volume slightly? Bear in mind, that this will affect the combined pickup sound.

    As far as using pickup height/distance from the strings to vary the output: the Filtertron is very sensitive to adjustments. I wouldn't want to deviate from the diagram (above); it's really optimal for getting the best sound.
     
  7. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    166
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    I have Setzers in my 6120 and a Classic/ Classic + combo in my Falcon. In my little world the Falcon is the best sounding thing that I've ever heard. I like a lot of cleanish breakup and dirty breakup though. The combo is super touch sensitive super dynamic and to me, it's just, the deal man...
    The Setzers are great and provide nice a sonic alternative. There is something harsh going on in there that I am not in love with though that lends itself to more strident gain. They sound much better better in a band situation than at home (as someone had mentioned above. I also may have them set up a little bit too hot.
     
  8. dddn

    dddn Electromatic

    6
    Jan 25, 2013
    Brooklyn NY
    Not sure if I should be posting here, but just wondering if anyone has thoughts about installing a TV Jones TArmond in the neck position and a Powertron Plus at the bridge on my MIM Cabronita? I like the tone of the single coil with the meatiness of the Powertron. Wondering mostly about the tone when both pups are engaged. Would love to hear from anyone who has that or a similar configuration on a guitar.
     
  9. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Friend of Fred

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Gonna have to get custom cut saddles for your two "neck" pickups because those strings are not gonna line up across the pole screws at the Bridge. You can also request the bridge "height" pickup cover even though you are requesting two neck pickups.
     
  10. YourBlueRoom

    YourBlueRoom Electromatic

    13
    Jan 25, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    Yeah I debated on whether or not to get the taller bridge cover but decided to get both with the standard neck cover in case I ever decide to sell it or put it in the neck position of another guitar. Of course now I have the challenge of finding a way to raise the pickup ring in a discreet way. Or I can just live with the gap between pickup and guitar (fooling myself bc I'm obsessive and I can't). Know of any ring risers that would work? I was told the EM2 mount risers will not work. I may just get another standard gretsch ring and sand down the surface so its flat and then stack the two rings.

    I understand in theory why the strings should line up with the poles but does it make that big of a difference in the sound? "If" we use an original 59 6120 as the benchmark then wouldn't the misalignment between strings and poles be more vintage correct?
     
  11. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Country Gent

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    I glue a couple of thin wood shims that resemble a popsicle stick to the bridge cavity of my G6122-1962. Additionally, I employed some thick mouse pad/compression rubber, on top of the shims. It's seamless and works fine; NO gaps and the perfect amount of clearance, per the diagram above.

    How do you like your new pickup configuration?
     
  12. michael6136

    michael6136 Electromatic

    34
    Dec 6, 2016
    Australia
    I am stepping in to confuse us all even further! Haha..

    I have a vintage Gretsch hollow from 1961 and it has original pickups. This guitar sounds absolutely nothing like any modern Gretsch I have played.. TV Jones or not... it's a much more mellow, less bright twangy sound. Zacky, as much as many disagree with you (page 1).. I wouldn't be surprised if you are totally right. My old gretsch's tonal characteristics seem spot on with what you described. I'd say you are right OR both our old guitars need a good service! Haha
     
  13. YourBlueRoom

    YourBlueRoom Electromatic

    13
    Jan 25, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    I was going to just start a new thread with a review but I've been lazy ;)

    I love it and I’ve pretty much found everything I was after with this. I should mention that along with the new pickups I also disabled the mud switch, added a treble bleed and converted the individual volume controls to tone controls with no load tone pots. So along with the slightly lower output, regular pole spaced neck pickup at the bridge and zero wax potting I've also removed a lot of the capacitance of the original circuit. The tone overall is much brighter (some may say it's too bright) which is probably adding to the increased clarity across the board.

    As with anything related to tone ymmv but here is what I am hearing:

    The low end is tighter (very noticeably) in every position. In my mind I've found the cure for the mushy, weak low end on filtertrons. btw it just so happens that the low E, A & D strings line up perfectly over the bridge pole pieces. It's only on the higher strings that they're not lined up. I'm not sure if this is affecting anything or not but there is definitely nothing lost on the bass side compared to a Classic bridge with wider spacing and with the brighter tone of the guitar overall the string misalignment over the the treble poles is probably working in my favor to soften the high end just a bit.

    Every position is clearer and there is less of a tonal shift between bright and dark from bridge to neck. I have numerous times thought I was on the bridge pickup only to look down to find I’m actually on the neck!

    The neck position is less muddy and to my ears has very noticeably increased string definition.

    The middle position has much better clarity and definition. Truly a big improvement over the stock classics where I was always wanting to squeeze 25% more clarity out of the middle position.

    Also I’ve always read of some problem with a mismatch of output between bridge and neck pickup… I do not have this problem at all. I currently have my pickups set at the stock recommended TV Jones height settings.
     
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  14. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Country Gent

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    With that amount of modification, can you tell which mods have contributed the most? I run stock potted Classics, but with 1 meg pots all round, and I have plenty of punch but still get a mmmph tone from the bass strings.
     
  15. YourBlueRoom

    YourBlueRoom Electromatic

    13
    Jan 25, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    I did all the mods at the same time so I really can't say how each part individually is affecting the tone.
     
  16. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Hi Blue Room :)
    Am I correct in assuming your comments are only in regard to totally clean tones?
    And what amp are you using?
     
  17. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Guys just because Brian Setzer likes the pickups named after him it doesn't mean that it's because they are exactly like an original filtertron pickup from the 50s.
    The thing about Gretsch pickups from that era (as well as all other pickups) were that they all varied because winding in those days was not an accurate procedure.
    No two pickups have ever sounded the same to me even if they were made at the same time.
    I think you should just try stuff until you find something you like.
    It really doesn't matter what others think.
    Just because a famous artist likes something that doesn't mean it's gonna work for you or me.
    Brian could play any of my guitars and he will still sound like Brian.
    I could play his guitars but it's not gonna make me sound like Brian.
    In the end it really don't matter anyway...:).
     
  18. Henry

    Henry Friend of Fred

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I agree with trying stuff until you find your sound, but choosing pickups at random seems like a protracted and expensive path. It seems to me that starting with pickups from artist you like the sound of makes a bit of sense.
     
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  19. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    It's never worked for me.
    Probably because most of my favorite artists use lots of different guitars and pickup combinations.
    George Harrison for one used many different Gretsch guitars with at lease 3 different types of pickups including Dynasonic in his Jet, hilotrons in his Tenny and Filtertrons in his Country Gentleman - all very cool sounding but also very different.
    As far as Brian Setzer goes I'm sure he has various Gretsch models with different pickup configurations.
    I also bet he hasn't replaced the pickups in his original 59 Gent with TV Jones Brian Setzer pickups...:).
    I mean if he had TV Jones copy the pickups in his dream guitar what would be the purpose or gain to replacing the original pickups if they were as good as he said they were.
     
  20. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Friend of Fred

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    In a blind test of 10 builders who submitted samples of their pickups to replicate an actual set of 59's that Brian loved, he chose Tom Jones submission. Thats what took Tom from being a luthier at World of Strings, to going into business w the sole focus on recreating vintage Gretsch Filtertrons and then refining them to what Setzer wanted. Along the way Tom made many other fine examples of vintage Gretsch pickups.
    Time and ears change including Brian Setzer, who after some 20 yrs developed tinnitus and started playing at lower volumes and dropping back to a single Blonde 6G6-B amp So He found these Setzer sigs to be something that felt more authentic to the sound he gets from his herd of vintage Gretsch guitars.
    Tom's got better ears than most, even Brian :)
     
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