G5220 Blacktop Broad'Tron vs BT65 Audio

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by YouFellowRebels, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    29D89D54-3550-4E94-BA93-79B411CF60B4.jpeg 961B85DA-F98D-4889-9B6E-5299407E7D93.jpeg D93ED5E0-5EB6-4091-8DEE-C92A21AC7135.jpeg 5876144A-3614-44ED-983B-0E8309245E58.jpeg 6DEB99B8-52C4-4C90-B6E2-91D01FF86187.jpeg So my pickups arrived a day early (thanks USPS). Right before and right after installing I recorded these files direct into GarageBand using the AC30 amp setting. Clips go bridge, neck, bridge, then neck. I left the strings the same to try not to give the new pickups a leg up. Also had pickups set to the same heights. I'd love to hear who thinks which audio is which pickups. I will say that I prefer the BT65, I will give a more in depth review after I play them some more though.

    https://soundcloud.com/yourfellowre...?in=yourfellowrebels/sets/g5220/s-ecBtQxpzczS
    https://soundcloud.com/yourfellowre...?in=yourfellowrebels/sets/g5220/s-ecBtQxpzczS
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
    Wjensen, Jeff67, Floo and 2 others like this.
  2. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    First clip is the BT65 second is the BT-BT. I feel like the BT65 is more airy/jangly, especially through an amp. Seemed to have a little more compression to it than the Blacktop, which sounded a little more raw/paf-like to me. It seems to have more note clarity, even in chords. I feel that the Blacktop Broad’Tron is a plenty good pickup, but I do feel the BT65 is a definite upgrade. It felt like playing a high end Epiphone, which is a great guitar that could do anybody well, and then picking up its Gibson counterpart. Either will get the job done and sound good, but one is definitely nicer.
     
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  3. mike77rios

    mike77rios Gretschie

    215
    Nov 13, 2011
    san Diego
  4. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    A fellow forum member has swapped them for TVJ’s and sold them here. Got lucky, they are pretty awesome sounding.
     
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  5. Tadhg

    Tadhg Gretschie

    191
    Aug 8, 2019
    Qld - Australia
    First off, thanks for the comparison. I still feel we're learning about these new BroadTron variants, every bit helps.
    Did you take photos of the pickups from underneath?
    The differences were more minor than I anticipated may be the case. :)
     
  6. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    I didn’t snag any of the BT65, but can get them from the sellers post. I can definitely take some of the BT-BT. I’ll get them up today.
    Did my best in comparison, but it of course sounds more noticeable plugged into an amp. Wanted to get some kind of sample in the world though! I could still hear a difference in them.
     
    Tadhg likes this.
  7. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    50203A01-4F1A-452D-A49B-57815269ADFC.jpeg 918F36FC-2F81-4EC5-996E-641592D87C56.jpeg 438451AE-F6AF-4A2B-997C-58C27AE5D20E.jpeg 0E8CE3B1-92CB-433A-B882-816D111705D8.jpeg
    View attachment 143364 View attachment 143365 View attachment 143366
    Hopefully this helps. First two are the Blacktop Broad’Tron, second two are the BT65.
     
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  8. jfassett

    jfassett Synchromatic

    620
    Dec 9, 2017
    Tucson
    I did the same with my 5220 And got mine from a member here as well, love the BT 65 pickups! I think the blacktop Broadtrons are awesome pick ups as well, they just lack the clarity of the BT 65, The blacktop Broadtrons get a bad rap on this forum because they don’t sound “Gretschie” enough, they’re great pick ups!
    But what do I know, I’m the guy that put gold foil pick ups in a 5420, Ha!
     
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  9. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    I feel much the same! It’s not that the Blacktops were at all bad, but there’s a noticeable difference with the BT65 pickups. The clarity is the biggest, sounds to my ears like the high notes have more chime to them (but I also play in DADGAD).
    I also started the steel wool on the fretboard and it’s getting to where you can see the wood grain.
     
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  10. jfassett

    jfassett Synchromatic

    620
    Dec 9, 2017
    Tucson
    Worth a shot with steel wool eh? You can always re-stain if you don’t like the look.. have you done an upgrade on your bridge? I bought a Gotoh GE103B-T off eBay for around $25 bucks and it’s Significantly better than the original Stock bridge!
     
    YouFellowRebels likes this.
  11. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    848FDD5D-7B36-4A44-92E7-12F24AC86BD0.jpeg
    Haven’t done the bridge. Had to replace the switch, and did the blasphemous switch to a Gibson style three way. I like it better.
    Here’s the neck, have to work a little harder to get next to the frets and around the inlays. I like it, seeing the grain is nice.
     
    jfassett likes this.
  12. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Age:
    53
    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    Awesome! Love that SG with the minis!;)
     
  13. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    The 2018 SG Special. Still searching for its perfect pickups!
     
  14. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Age:
    53
    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    Please do us a thread on that project- should be a fun one! There are so many choices out there for them compared to years ago. I've got a pair of Rio Grande minis I'd put in there in a heartbeat.;)
     
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  15. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    Tell me more? It’s the next in line. The stock ceramics were just too hot. I tried some Gibson Blues 90s that just didn’t hit the spot. It now has Kent Armstrong Firebird pickups in it. It doesn’t sound bad, but I know there’s more in there.
     
  16. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Age:
    53
    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    The Rios are kinda pricey- $160 each. They do come up on ebay fairly regularly for around half that. Dave Wintz at Rio Grande is a super- nice guy, and usually answers emails quickly, if you have any questions. I emailed him several years ago to ask if they made a replacement for the Gibson/ Epiphone Nighthawk slanted bridge pickup. He told me no, but he wanted to, and if I send it to him so he could use it as a sample, he'd make me one FOR FREE. So, I guess I have the original Rio Grande Nightbird pickup. The Seymour Duncan Vintage Minis are great, too- A5 magnets, 6.3K and 7.4K output. Plus, they have that cool SD logo on the tops. I haven't tried the Antiquity version, though.
     
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  17. mike77rios

    mike77rios Gretschie

    215
    Nov 13, 2011
    san Diego
    I sent gretsch an email asking about purchasing then and they said no....they weren't for sale as stand alone pups ..
     
  18. mike77rios

    mike77rios Gretschie

    215
    Nov 13, 2011
    san Diego
    I had that SG. I replaced the minis with BareKnuckle Super Massive P90's and replaced the controls with a monotone pressured set up. That guitar was effin great! I had to sell for financial reasons. My buddy says he'll sell it back to me any time want for the same price as I sold to him
     
  19. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    227
    Jun 17, 2020
    Minnesota
    Definitely a right place at the right time.
    The pickups surprised me a lot. I was a little worried they’d be too hot, but they have a great output level and get that gritty clean. The highs are super crisp and they still have enough low end to feel full. I’ve now tried these, the 2000’s, blacktop Broad’Trons, and blacktop Filter’Trons. I’d easily say these are my favorites. They have the best clarity and a great openness/jangle in what I play.

    Its a killer guitar! I had walked into a Guitar Center when I was out of town to kill some time and tried one on a whim. Ended up ordering one. The original pickups are just always dirty I felt like, and that was the only weakness. It feels and sounds amazing. I’ve debated P90’s! I think I might see if Buddha Pickups will wind something close to an old Epiphone mini first since I have P90s in my Les Paul.
     
  20. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Age:
    53
    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    Now what we need is for someone with all the broad'tron models to take one of each apart and show us the differences, kinda like the thread a while back about the DeArmond 2K /2000 pickups.;)
     
    YouFellowRebels likes this.
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