Chinese Filtertrons...Be Kind Please!

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by Mark W, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. Mark W

    Mark W Country Gent

    Age:
    68
    Jun 6, 2008
    Central Florida
    I have purchased a lot of generic pickups including GFS stuff. Some have been good and some have been not so good. In my search for a filtertron that would fit a humbucker guitar I stumbled (these are not humbucker sized) on these and was just curious if anyone here had ever tried them and if so what their thoughts were. Not really looking to buy them but I am curious.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Filtertron...854797?hash=item2cd37eaa8d:g:ooIAAOSwPHxa56JG

    NEW - Filtertron® Style Alnico II Humbucker Pickup - NICKEL
    • Choose Bridge or Neck position
    • Nickel plated shell
    • Total length x width: 72mm x 35mm
    • Overall height: 21.4mm
    • Pole spacing: Neck 48.5mm / Bridge 50mm
    • Resistance: Bridge 4.8K / Neck 4K
    • Magnet : Alnico 2 Bar
    • Single conductor shielded wire
    • Mounting screws are included
     
  2. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
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  3. jfassett

    jfassett Synchromatic

    641
    Dec 9, 2017
    Tucson
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  4. johnny g

    johnny g Country Gent

    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    I installed some Golden Age Parson Street Humbucker pickups in a build about 4 years ago. A 5 alnico in the neck and a 2 alnico in the bridge. I love them. The builder says that they are made with the same specs as the 50's Les Paul humbucker.
     
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  5. Mark W

    Mark W Country Gent

    Age:
    68
    Jun 6, 2008
    Central Florida
    The Artec and GFS are wound at the Bridge to a 1960's correct 6.2K and the neck to 5.8K where as these are Resistance: Bridge 4.8K / Neck 4K which is more in line with an HS Filtertron.
     
  6. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Age:
    56
    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    I'm sure that they are nice, but vintage Filtertrons used 1/4", alnico V magnets, and were wound at 4k ohms.

    upload_2020-8-30_14-12-37.png
     
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  7. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    280
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    I feel it gets hard when trying to get the sound of a certain product on a budget. I usually end up spending money on “just as good” but cheaper options then buying what I initially wanted anyway. I think pickups are a thing worth saving for what you want or working with a custom builder like Buddha Pickups on reverb to get exactly what you want. My experience at least!
     
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  8. Back in Black

    Back in Black Gretschie

    215
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    Mark,

    Just walk away, that is after you get finished reading the ''negative'' responses on the seller's E-Bay ad.

    Looks like a ''small bulk buyer'' of questionable offshore parts.

    Somebody once told me, ''you can't make chicken salad from a rubber chicken''.

    After you've paid for the parts, paid for the shipping, suffered the disappointment, TV Jones's discounted blemished PU's would have been a much better option.

    Besides, this seller is ''no guarantee/no returns.

    Beware of unbranded ducks, their appearance is questionable, and they neither walk/quack or fly.

    BIB.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  9. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    My take is that it's styled like a filter tron but is more of a humbucker. If they have any idea and can tell you what it sounds like, I would start there. But for that money and free shipping, are you willing to just give it a try? Or is this about saving money?
     
    Mark W likes this.
  10. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Nothing wrong with Chinese filtertrons . . . Gretsch uses them in most of their guitars. whatever floats your boat.
     
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  11. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    That’s pretty much my experience, as well, and not just with guitar related purchases. Usually, if I buy a less expensive product, I end up buying what I had initially wanted and the lower priced item just ends up being an expensive speed bump between the starting point and the end point.

    There are many variables in something like a pickup. The magnet material would be a huge factor and the quality of the wire is probably another significant factor. HS Filtertrons are a true bargain and might be the best bang for the buck. TVs are a step up in quality.

    My personal philosophy with these things is to buy lasting quality, with the goal that I probably won’t have to go back and do it over again if I do it right the first time. I can’t begin to number the times I have spent more in the long run by trying to save money in the short run.
     
  12. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Have they moved Filtertron production to China? The Blacktop Filtertron in my 5620 was made in South Korea.
     
  13. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Age:
    57
    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    My philosophy has always been "It doesn't cost that much more to fly first class."

    Knockoff products are usually cheaper for a reason, especially with something as niche as a guitar pickup. There's a reason that it's cheaper-- do you really want to be the one to find out why... on your dime?

    (not aimed specifically at the OP, just a rhetorical question)
     
  14. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    280
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    Definitely agree. Owned a Ric and sold it in my 20s when I was playing heavier music. Always sought that sound, and nothing but another Ric would fill that void. Wanting a Fender tone, nothing but a Tele got me where I needed. I think Gretsch is much the same. I know with Rics many people complain about playability or their quirks, but it seems you either learn to deal with it/learn to like it or go after another sound. Not saying there isn’t great budget gear out there, just that it’s great on its own merits and will always only get you so close to something else. I had wonder Guitar Madness A2 pickups, but they had their own sound and did not sound like a burstbucker or a 498.
     
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  15. Mark W

    Mark W Country Gent

    Age:
    68
    Jun 6, 2008
    Central Florida
    I have had some decent GFS pups but those and the Artecs are wound hotter than the HS Filtertrons.

    I had (Tim?) at Buddha wind me some 57's and I guess I am a contrarian cause everyone over at AGF loves his pups but I never did like those 57's. THat's the thing about custom winding pups. Hard top know what you get till you get them. But he has a well respected business so ignore my comments.

    I was curious about these but based on your comments it kind of confirms my thoughts. I would doubt they are even 4.0 something ohms.

    It is always worth asking. If you don't ask you will never know. I am leaning towards the HS Filtertrons if I keep the Streamliner. I don't have the heart to replace the pups in the guitars I have. I like them that is why I got the Streamliner.
     
  16. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    AMEN.. its never worth buying the 30 dollar weed whacker. Delayed gratification is an art and a worthy investment
     
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  17. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Synchromatic

    777
    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    I've been considering swapping some Blacktop Filtertrons into my G2622 and found a great price at Angela's. Genuine Gretsch including silver rings, made in Korea, $32 each, cheaper than some of the clones.
    https://www.angela.com/gretschparts.aspx
    Obviously, the guitar will have to be modified to fit them.

    Edit: Oops, they're currently out of stock.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
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  18. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    A pair of Blacktop Filtertrons would be an excellent upgrade for any Streamliner. They sound great, and I don't think there's a better pickup out there for that price.
     
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  19. Lacking Talent

    Lacking Talent Synchromatic

    921
    Aug 5, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Anyone wants a gold pair, hit me up.
     
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  20. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    That sounds like a reasonable solution. HS Filters are good pickups. I’ve had several sets and, to be honest, never felt the need to trade those up for a set of TVs. Besides that, they are quite reasonably priced.
     
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