Falcon with HS Filtertons- should I try Setzer?

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by Steveee, Feb 21, 2021 at 4:59 PM.

  1. Steveee

    Steveee Electromatic

    Feb 5, 2021
    Melbourne, Victoria
    I have HS Filtertrons in my mid 2000s White Falcon- maybe just a bit warmer and rounder in tone than other Filtertrons I have used, but I am curious about the TVJ Setzer pickups. Anyone used these in a Falcon, and if so, what's your opinion? My reason for changing would be more to try the TVJs out, rather than being unhappy with the HS Filters... but I might be surprised.
  2. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    TVJ Setzer's tone is hotter (thus darker) than TVJ classic, which are close to average HS filters.

    From my personal experience, before FMIC (<2006) the HS filters were inconsistent in their tone. I don't know why but some are very punchy, so others quite clear and bright, and some quite dark and muddy. Btw as everybody taste's is different, I find it good to try a guitar first and pick the one which has the sound you like. But, yes you can find pearls and donkeys.

    To me the main contribution of TVJ products was to give every pickup the ~same tone.

    1/ Try set up the pickup height closer to the strings (not the pole screw but the whole pickup body)
    2/ Swap neck to bridge and the reverse...
    3/ Go classics set from TVJ.com
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021 at 6:12 AM
    ZackyDog and Outlaw like this.
  3. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I never hesitate to replace pickups, I have done so in most my guitars for one reason or another.
    However, I love the HS trons in my Falcon. They are some of my favorite pickups, and it’s my go-to guitar.
    Outlaw likes this.
  4. Alanqa

    Alanqa Gretschie

    Aug 22, 2019
    Lancashire UK
    I have Brian Setzers in my Falcon
    G6139t center block.

    They are great but I only have black tops to compare them to.

    so not sure that is any real help
  5. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    Yeah, go for it. It won't hurt anything. I put a Bridge Setzer Sig in my G5232T. Sounds good.
  6. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, Steveee!
    g'day mate.jpg
  7. Marv666

    Marv666 Gretschie

    Jul 26, 2020
    i like both pickups, can´t go wrong with either of these
  8. Steveee

    Steveee Electromatic

    Feb 5, 2021
    Melbourne, Victoria
    audept likes this.
  9. Steveee

    Steveee Electromatic

    Feb 5, 2021
    Melbourne, Victoria
    Thanks for your responses folks!
  10. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Do you want a classic/late 50s/60s Gretsch sound or something different?

    I had the TV Jones/Setzer Signature pickups in my Country Gent/G6122-1962. They were kind of like a Filtertron on steroids. Interesting but not my cup of tea.
  11. Steveee

    Steveee Electromatic

    Feb 5, 2021
    Melbourne, Victoria
    I'm more into the old 50s/60s tone. Might steer clear of the Setzers.
    TV the Wired Turtle likes this.
  12. slickfaster

    slickfaster Synchromatic

    Dec 29, 2009
    Changed the HS to Classics in my Country Club.. was a bit bright but I got along with them...then went to the Setzer’s. I was pleased. Nice mix between the HS and Classics.. Twang, Articulate and Growl with a bit more hot mid range tone.. I got Em in three guitars now..
    I wana try the T Armonds in the Filter surround next.. gonna drop em in one of my Setzer Hot Rods.
  13. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Part of getting The Great GRETSCH 50s/60s sound is to use two, low output Filtertrons (~4.0k ohms each) that are the same output and standard string spacing, with alnico V magnets, sans wax potting. Two (2) neck HS Filtertrons or two (2) neck TV Jones Classics pickups work nicely. Ya' know, in the old days, there wasn't a "neck" and a "bridge" pickup.
    Outlaw likes this.
  14. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    TV Jones Ray Butts Ful-Fidelity Filtertrons are the closest one can get to the original Filtertron tone.
    They’re built based on the original design from the 50’s.
    I have a set in my 6120. They’re incredible pickups.
    Outlaw, j.s.c and G5422T like this.
  15. Lunchmeat

    Lunchmeat Electromatic

    Feb 25, 2020
    Portland, Oregon
    I have a double neck p/u set in my 5120. Should I schlep out my wife’s hairdryer and melt out the potting? Sounds pretty ok right now!
    ZackyDog likes this.
  16. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    I would, but if you're happy with what you're hearing, that's great :)
  17. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    With all due respect, the TV Jones Classic Neck is the closest specification (DCR - 4.0k / Inductance - 1.4H) wise and aurally. In the 50s/60s, Gretsch used the same pickup in the neck and bridge positions. I don't know of any vintage Gretsch guitars with Filtertrons that had these specs:

    Bridge: DCR - 4.2k / Inductance - 1.7H
    DCR - 3.8k / Inductance - 1.4H

    I'm sure that they sound nice though, and are better balanced than having two pickups that are the same.

  18. michelb

    michelb Synchromatic

    Mar 27, 2020
    I like the Setzers in my 5420, nice punch, great lows, bright highs and awesome break up point. You can allways tweak the sound a bit by adjusting either pickup, either side.

    Welcome to our little club :D
  19. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Ray Butts are what the doctor ordered

    from the words of Tom Vincent Jones on the Ray Butts pickups ""We offer a lower 3.8K ohm version for the neck position, and a 4.2K ohm version for the bridge position. I have worked on many late 1950's Gretsch guitars with these ohm reading variations...most vintage Filter'trons float somewhere around 4.0k" - TV Jones."
  20. YourBlueRoom

    YourBlueRoom Gretschie

    Jan 25, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    Just know it can be a messy job to remove that wax, especially with a hair dryer! And you may not even hear a difference afterwards.

    My vote would also be the Ray Butts for your Falcon.
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