Filtertrons in Non-Gretsch guitars

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Intoamartian, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. Intoamartian

    Intoamartian Electromatic

    Feb 10, 2021
    I’m considering putting filtertrons of some type in my Gibson SG standard and I began to wonder what non-Gretsch guitars would sound great with filtertrons.

  2. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Didn’t you get the memo? Everything sounds better with Filtertrons! :)

    Back when Gretsch still made the (solid body) Corvette they used Hilo- or Mega-trons. Maybe an idea for your SG?

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  3. Duo Slinger

    Duo Slinger Synchromatic

    Sep 11, 2020
    California, USA
    I'd imagine it sounds good. They've made teles with filtertrons and it was excellent.
    Intoamartian likes this.
  4. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Gretschie

    Jan 11, 2019
    I'm putting a set of TV Jones Classic/Classic plus on a Strat pickguard. I found a video on line of a Strat with them in and thought it sounded good. I already have the pickups, so it's just the cost of a pickguard, which is only about £15 over here and I'll cut the holes myself.
    Marko60 likes this.
  5. dbirchett

    dbirchett Gretschie

    Feb 11, 2009
    I put Power'Trons in my Starfire V and they are killer!
    Intoamartian likes this.
  6. chicago slim

    chicago slim Synchromatic

    Dec 27, 2008
    Bowling Green, KY
    From my experience, Filtertron type pickups in a mahogany guitar, will still sound like a Gretsch. They will still sound good in an ash or alder guitar, but to me they don't sound like a Gretsch. I used standard humbucker sized pickups, which may simplify things, unless you already have the Filtertrons.

    Inexpensive pickups that I have liked, include GFS Memphis Retrotrons and Dream 180's. For more expensive pickups, I liked TV Jones Classics and PRS Starla's.


    Intoamartian likes this.
  7. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    TVJ Classic/Classic + sound great in my Ibanez RC320 (solid mahogany body w/ maple neck w/ "rosewood" board):
    Some of my favorite filtertron sounds so far come out of this guitar in fact :)

    Blacktop filtertron at the bridge was great in this alder bodied Duo Sonic I had as well:

    HB size Powertron/Powertron + are a bit thick/syrupy for me in my wraparound 25.5" scale Frankenstang w/ a solid swamp ash body & maple neck, but I'm guessing that's more a product of the pickups themselves than the guitar they're in....
  8. Intoamartian

    Intoamartian Electromatic

    Feb 10, 2021
    You’re all convincing me to get on with it and swap ‘em already.

    Thank you!
  9. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    Another example of HS FT use in custom models : my "Minerva Verde" and "SuperCharger" guitars, where the two filtertrons flanks an ARTEC lipstick pickup...





    Those combinations sound great, as expected... IMHO, you won't go wrong with HS FT pickups, but beware : this is not the tone of a PAF, though !

    Note : if your guitar is a Gibson SG with the regular Gibson bezels, you can buy a set of HS FT compatible bezels at TVJones and swap them ;).

    I used a pair of these TVJ bezels when I put a set of BT FT in my Hägstrom Viking RI (now sold) which had classic humbucker format PUs :cool: :


    But it's me, OK ? :D

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  10. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Telecasters are the obvious but..... after that - almost anything :D
    Intoamartian likes this.
  11. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    Another Fonky shape that doesn't exist in LH from Guild or DeArmond... :rolleyes:

  12. AZBrahma

    AZBrahma Gretschie

    Dec 18, 2020
    I always wonder how FTs sound in the longer scale compared to the standard Gretsch 24.6. Adding almost another inch to the scale has to have some kind of effect on tone and response. Then again I never hear Cabronita players complaining, so I suppose its all good!
  13. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    I have a Cabronita (as well as a 6120 Hot Rod). Honestly, I don't HEAR much difference in scale length... that's more of a feel thing. The extra scale length does make for slightly higher tension, so I guess in theory the strings might "twang" more, but if so it's subtle.

    I've had a love/hate relationship with FTs forever. I basically decided I do NOT like them, I'm "just not a FT guy". Then, Somehow, I fell in love with my Hot Rod (Setzer Sig FTs). I can't figure that one out, it's like once I stopped trying to like them, and decided I didn't, I just let them "be as they are", and all of a sudden I liked them in that guitar LOL

    In my Cab, I did not like FTs AT ALL. I tried Classics, Setzer's, Powertrons... I put T-90s in it and loved those, then put T-Armonds in it and loved those more, then put in Rio Grande BBQ'Tron set, and that's the end. These pickups in this guitar is IT. BUT... they are not regular FTs. They don't accent highs/lows and are not mid-scooped like regular FTs. They are closer to PAFs... rounded highs, lots of mids. I LOVE them. But they are nothing like the FTs everyone knows who plays Grestches. They are DIFFERENT.
    Shadowy_Man, AZBrahma and Henry like this.
  14. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    I wind up thinking the distance of the pickup placement from the bridge & neck (& their relative position within the full scale of the strings) makes at least as much difference as the string scale in & of itself IME.

    With that in mind the guitar probably does have some noticeable contribution to how the HB size Powertron set in that 25.5" Frankenstang I posted sound (mostly in the bridge pickup being pretty far from the bridge), but I'd guess it's less than the HB bobbins, or the generally PAF biased, thicker sound of them in their default form on a sizable majority of the guitars I've tried them in.

    Oddly, the only guitars I consistently haven't liked Filtertron style pickups in have been solid body teles so far, but I don't doubt there are a lot of great sounding Cabronitas out there & I just haven't run into many.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
    Ando and Henry like this.
  15. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Something to consider:

    Although Eric Johnson is best known as a Strat® player, he has always played humbucker-equipped guitars as well. After getting a new Gibson® Les Paul® 1959 re-issue, Eric asked us if it could be made to sound like an old Gretsch® Country Gentleman guitar. We said, “No problem!” The pickups we designed are exact replacements for standard, full-size humbuckers. They’re bright and have great presence without sounding thin. When Eric tried them, he said they were almost as clear-sounding as Strat® pickups. He was surprised at how well they sounded with heavy distortion, because no matter how overdriven the sound, it did not become muddy. The EJ Custom™ is available with exposed coils in all standard DiMarzio® colors and plated or unplated nickel covers at additional cost.

    Gibson® and Les Paul® are registered trademarks of Gibson Guitar Corp., with which DiMarzio, Inc. is not affiliated.
    Intoamartian likes this.
  16. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I chose TVJ Supertrons for my custom Blue Belly guitar:
    Bluebelly 2 at home 017.jpg Bluebelly 2 at home 006.jpg
    TubeLife, Marv666, nickurso and 5 others like this.
  17. SAguitar

    SAguitar Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    Go for it! I have put a pair of GHS Retrotrons on a Telecaster, I know they're not the same but the results are outstanding.
    Intoamartian likes this.
  18. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    An SG with Filtertrons would be dope!

    I kinda want a Tele with Filtertrons, or a Strat, even though I’m not a strat guy.
  19. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I have a Cabronita that I simply love. Sounds great with a little more attack and bounce than my Gretsch guitars
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