Gretsch Super HiloTron question

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by Txrsm, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. Txrsm

    Txrsm Electromatic

    Jan 1, 2021
    Hey guys and gals...quick question as I am still new to the world of filtertrons. Are Super Hilotrons like HS filtertrons from a tone perspective or are they two totally different animals tonally? Can the SUper Hilo do the traditional stereotypical Filtertron sound? I see things like blacktop broadtrons when they sorta look the same as blacktop filtertrons so I’m just trying to gather my bearings.
  2. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    I think super Hilo pickups are HS filtertrons with one row of pole pieces removed
    Txrsm and new6659 like this.
  3. montereyjack66

    montereyjack66 Country Gent

    Feb 29, 2012
    Hilotrons are really damn clear. Clean enough to annoy some folks. For others, it's like pristine syrup, serenity, and seduction. Super hilotrons are the same with a bit of gnarl. However, a pre-amp alters the equation.
    Txrsm likes this.
  4. AllenK

    AllenK Gretschie

    Although still dual core pickups, the SHT's have more of a single core character to them. Sort of somewhere in between a Filtertron and regular Hilotron. They are quite low output but I never had any issues if I wanted to push into over-driven sounds. I have them on a 5622.
    hcsterg likes this.
  5. aFriendbFrosty

    aFriendbFrosty Gretschie

    May 22, 2020
    West Coast
    This is always a fun video to watch... and it has the added bonus of being a SuperHilotron equipped Gretsch:D
    AllenK, GVDobler, drmilktruck and 2 others like this.
  6. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    The original HiLo's were a cost-saving measure back in the day and are essentially a standard filter with a coil missing and a relocated magnet. Low output, bright and clear.
    Super HiLo's are a bit of update and are more like a filter but one of the bobbins has no pole pieces. The effect of this is that they are humbucking since the noise received by one of the coils cancels with the noise from the other since they're wound oppositely, just like a typical filter or humbucker, but you only get string signal from the bobbin with pole pieces. The SHT's are not quite as bright as the original but are much more single-coil in their character than a filter.
    One thing I did notice about these: they suffer quickly from any parasitic capacitance. When I upgraded the electronics in my 5622, the stock harness I pulled out had about 9 wires all running parallel and zip-tied to each other in the channel under the pickups, which is a recipe for unwanted capacitance (and noise for that matter). The new harness I put together uses thin low-cap coax cable, fewer back-and-forth runs needed and all shielded. The "after" sounded as though a blanket had been pulled off of them.
    If they sound too dull to your ears, look into upgrading the wires, pots, and switches. I'm diggin mine now, bright and clear and they take gain very well.
  7. Txrsm

    Txrsm Electromatic

    Jan 1, 2021

    This video was perfect and exactly what I representation in the style I'm after! I'm now a proud owner of a set of those pickups thanks to you all!

    I sure as heck can't play everything he demonstrated but that is the style I'd like to learn...rockabilly. I've got a very heavy blues background but I love rockabilly and want to learn more in that style.

    I may need to pick your brain a little more @Mr. Lumbergh on a couple pics of your refined harness. Right now I have the typical 50s gibson wiring in my dot studio.
  8. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Actually, super HiLo's do have two sets of pole pieces-- except that only one set is adjustable. the others are simply flat non-adjustable slug polepieces underneath the cover. Consequently, they contribute some fullness to the sound when the strings are vibrating heavily (e.g. a hard-struck barre chord), but are not high enough in the flux field to effectively interact with the strings if they are played or picked lightly. This helps give them the cleaner voice.

    You can clearly see the slug poles in a rear photo shot:

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
    Txrsm and audept like this.
  9. Txrsm

    Txrsm Electromatic

    Jan 1, 2021
    So for these pickups...what are the best mounting rings to drop them into a humbucker equipped guitar? I’m noticing one side has two screws and the other only has one. I’m pretty sure these will need something different than the English mount ring. Just curious.
  10. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Check out my build thread:
    Well that's interesting. I probably should've noticed that when I was working on my 5622... :rolleyes:
    In any event, if they're far away from the strings, it's still much more of one coil than the other that'll get picked up.
    tartanphantom and Txrsm like this.
  11. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    TV Jones provides adapters. You'll need new rings to avoid gaps because these are smaller than full-size buckers.
    Txrsm likes this.
  12. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012

    @Txrsm : and TVJ also offer the correct pickup rings for installing HS FT, BT FT, DC SHT instead of classic humbuckers. I used them on two of my guitars :

    Here on my (now sold) Hagstrom Viking RI LH, with 2x BT FT :

    And on my Custom DIY SuperCharger with HS FT, for the bridge pickup :

    Here they are :

    I think that I used the EM1 model, IIRC.

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