Filtertrons in PRS - Considering 5422

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Blue Rosebuds, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Blue Rosebuds

    Blue Rosebuds Newbie

    3
    Jul 4, 2020
    texas
    Been watching videos and reading forums for a few months now and zeroing in on the 5422. The Blacktop PUP seems to have the potential for a really clean tone that I require. Still haven't put my hands on one since everything is basically closed but have one in cart waiting for the right moment... Only minor concern is bridge rattle coming through on clean recordings. In the meantime I am unhappy with the sound of stock PUP's in PRS SE 22 Custom. Neck is WAY too muddy and low strings WAY overpower high strings no matter how PUP is adjusted, just a terrible clean tone. Would Filtertrons be a drop in replacement and sound clean in solid body guitar? Looking for clean sound options to start as I feel I can always get satisfactory distortion. Ideas and recommendations welcomed.
    Ron
     
    section2 likes this.
  2. xtcclassic

    xtcclassic Gretschie

    120
    Jan 9, 2019
    Missouri
    Regular sized Filter’Trons aren’t a direct replacement, you’d have to get different pickup rings. Or you could go the TVJ route, they offer humbucker-sized versions of most of their pickups.

    as for the 5422, you could always get a Tru-Arc replacement bridge, that’s what I did for mine. Great upgrade.
     
    Blue Rosebuds likes this.
  3. tolm

    tolm Gretschie

    222
    Jan 25, 2016
    UK
    Yeh, TVJ HB-sized Classics or maybe Lollartrons would probably be a good option.

    I also have a feeling TVJ do some rings that allow mounting of a “true” Filter in a HB route but maybe that still requires removing some wood? Or maybe I imagined the entire thing ... :)
     
  4. Scott Fraser

    Scott Fraser Country Gent

    Jan 14, 2012
    Los Angeles
    You & me both. I've come to really dislike those PRS SE pickups. The guitar is great, the pickups are poor. I'd love to hear how your experience turns out, as I'm always looking to improve clean tone on my PRS SE's.
     
  5. Blue Rosebuds

    Blue Rosebuds Newbie

    3
    Jul 4, 2020
    texas
    Thanks for replies. Never heard of Lollartrons. Interesting. Over on the PRS forum they seem to think nickle wound strings sound muddy on the older PRS SE. And the SE loves 9-42's, bronze I guess. I used 9's for years and went to 10's a couple years back, always nickle wound though. Will give some bright strings a try before I swap PUPs but getting the itch now for new sound...

    ETA - No bronze on electric, duh... Maybe I'll try stainless or half wound?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  6. tolm

    tolm Gretschie

    222
    Jan 25, 2016
    UK
    I’ve played a few SEs and not been impressed with the pickups in them at all. TBH, until the 57/08s and subsequent variations, I never found any USA made PRS pickups that I liked the tone of either. The guitars themselves are impeccable, though.
     
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  7. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I know how you feel! I have a PRS SE 245, and while it's my most comfortable guitar to play, it gets the least amount of playing time. The pickups just don't hold up next to my Gretsch guitars.

    You should be able to drop in Filtertrons without routing out any extra wood. We have a few forum members here who have replaced standard-sized humbuckers with Filtertrons without any trouble. You'll just need Filtertron-sized pickup rings. The pickups are a little smaller than the regular humbuckers in your PRS, but the Filtertron pickup rings have the same exterior dimensions as normal humbucker rings. The screw holes on the new rings might not line up with the holes on your guitar, but aside from that, you won't have any issues.

    Blacktop Filtertrons would sound great in your guitar. They have a bright, clear tone that's miles away from muddy. In my experience, the Blacktops sound good clean but really shine when you add some distortion. At about $50 or $60 for a pair, they're an amazing value.

    If you have a little extra money and want an even bigger step up, you can go with HS Filtertrons or something from TV Jones. These are the pickups used in the pro line Gretsches, and they're flat-out amazing. Lots of clarity and string separation; they sound equally good clean or distorted. HS Filtertrons cost less than TVJs, but I think they're equally good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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