5420TG vs. 6119 Tenn Rose

MonteSS

Electromatic
Apr 9, 2022
34
Quinte West, Ont, Can
Years ago I owned a 2004 Tenn Rose with a DIY aluminum hollow tube bridge. A while ago I bought a used 135th Anni. 5420TG. Unfortunately, to my ears, the sound is dull and lacks "That Great Gretsch Sound". Many players like the black top pickups but I find they lack the sweetness of the Filtertrons. Also the electronics seem to lack - not responsive as the 6119. If I were to modify the electronics and upgrade to Filtertrons (and perhaps the bridge) would I get closer to the tone of the 6119? By itself the Electromatic is a nice guitar.
 

rake_ether

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
Aug 24, 2019
660
Athens, GA USA
I would say probably yes. I have both a 5420 and a 6119 Rosewood Tenny with TV Jones Classics and yes the tone is different. But since I play a lot of blues I very much like the Blacktop Filtertrons. I'm even thinking of putting in some Rio Grande Textrons to get an even more PAF tone. Your upgrade ideas are a great way to have a more "Great Gretsch Sound".
 

Irish-Jay

Electromatic
Silver Member
Jul 2, 2015
65
Vancouver, WA
Years ago I owned a 2004 Tenn Rose with a DIY aluminum hollow tube bridge. A while ago I bought a used 135th Anni. 5420TG. Unfortunately, to my ears, the sound is dull and lacks "That Great Gretsch Sound". Many players like the black top pickups but I find they lack the sweetness of the Filtertrons. Also the electronics seem to lack - not responsive as the 6119. If I were to modify the electronics and upgrade to Filtertrons (and perhaps the bridge) would I get closer to the tone of the 6119? By itself the Electromatic is a nice guitar.
Maybe not answering you exactly as asked, but I don’t really care too much for the blacktops. I put TV Jones Power’Trons in my Tenn Rose, and even swapped out Filter’Trons in an HH Strat I own. I have standard Filter’trons in my G6228, and think they would sound great (better than blacktops, imho) in your 5420.
No matter what, best success!
 

NitroSonic

Electromatic
Nov 12, 2022
33
EU
I have both a 1989 6119 and a 2016 5420T.
They are similar but not the same.
My 6119 has a long scale neck, that I prefer.
Also smaller F-holes.
Pups at this moment are TV Jones Powertrons.
Bridge is a Compton Stainless steel.
But I will probably replace those with TV Classics.

5420T has a short scale neck, more like a 6120.
I changed the bridge to a floating base with a Compton stainless steel bridge.
Also changed the pickups to TV Jones Brian Setzer pups.

Between those two guitars, I prefer the 6119.
It feels better to me, although it is heavier. Personal preference.

Anyway, If you want a 6119, buy one.
You can get close with the 5420T but it is not the same. imho.
 


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