Heresy! PAF humbuckers in a Gretsch 5120!

CheapGretschLover

Gretschie
Dec 2, 2019
176
Portland Oregon
Well, I know how sensitive Gretsch owners can be, but Im really curious if any of you have put PAF style humbuckers in their Gretschs? I know, I know, it wont sound like a Gretsch and I should just buy a Gibson, except:
a) I dont want to
b) I couldnt afford one even if I did
c) I love the way my 5120 feels and looks

I was looking at the TV Jones Starwoods, '57 Classics or some SD Saturday Night Specials. Looking for thicker Gibsonesque blues sound than Im getting from my FilterTrons. I'd love to hear some feedback from other heretics:)
 

CheapGretschLover

Gretschie
Dec 2, 2019
176
Portland Oregon
My first reaction was a little nausea as I saw too many vintage Gretsches hacked with Gibson buckers in the '80s. But yeah, it's not a bad idea for a 5120. The chase for tone is eternal.
I get it. If i paid the money for a 6120, It would be for the Gretsch sound and look, but my 5120 is fantastic but inexpensive so I dont feel bad experimenting a bit.
 

Stefan87

Country Gent
May 20, 2019
3,292
Brisbane, Australia
I also heard good things about TV Jones Power Trons...
Powertrons are good, I have them in my 6118, compared to FT's yes they are more PAF, but compared to PAF's they are definitely filtertrons if you get what I mean.

They are still FT as that is their DNA, the sound clips on TV Jones website are a very accurate indication of what they sound like (i know that sounds obvious but yeah, some sound clips don't), so if you like that then that's what you will get.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
22,767
Monkey Island
I can't see a reason why not. In the full HB format you have a few options. :)

Classifieds are full with used sets from Gibson and Seymour Duncan. Just get lower winds, not the hot or hi gain stuff.

The Dimarzio Eric Johnson sig is full HB but tonally is modelled after a Filtertron. Very positive reviews.
 

epimetheus81

Gretschie
Mar 2, 2009
116
Berlin, Germany
My D'Angelico Deluxe DC Mini LE came with Seymour Duncan Antiquity Retrospec pickups. These are great sounding pickups. To my ears they sound quite similar to the genuine PAF pickups in my 1962 SG Les Paul.

Powertrons are good, I have them in my 6118, compared to FT's yes they are more PAF, but compared to PAF's they are definitely filtertrons if you get what I mean.

The Dimarzio Eric Johnson sig is full HB but tonally is modelled after a Filtertron. Very positive reviews.

I got some listening to do….
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
2,271
Albuquerque
I've got a G2622 WS (ES-335 copy) and a pair of GFS HBs I've been thinking of swapping in. I want more of a GIbson R&R sound so bought their "Classic 59" low-wind PAF style. Only about $70 a pair and the reviews are good.
Haven't done the swap yet because I will build a new harness with P/P pots for coil splitting.

GFS pickups are very popular and often sold out. They are machine-wound imports and that's why they are so inexpensive. https://www.guitarfetish.com/GFS-Guitar-Pickups_c_7.html
 

AZBrahma

Synchromatic
Dec 18, 2020
742
Arizona
No heresy here. PAFs are one of the classics for a reason. Best set I've ever used are the Schecter Route '57s in my Solo Classic, but there are just tons of great choices. Antiquities, even 36th Annies are great (though a little more mid forward and modern). Good luck!
 

Zeek

Country Gent
May 29, 2016
1,929
Illinois USA
Do it
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I own 2 Gretcsh ..... just sayin
I had a 5120 DC I was goin to do that to but sold it
 
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capnhiho

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 16, 2013
1,518
California
Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF’s are fantastic!
I have a pair in my Ibanez 335 clone. Several other G-T members swear by them as well. They’ll transform your 5120!
 

Powdog

Gretschie
Mar 15, 2012
220
Cool,CA
Mel Waldorf, owner of Alameda Guitars makes an asymmetrical dual bobbin multi-coil pickup called the Off Kiltertron. Housed in a Filtertron style cover and equipped with a 6 position switch they go from low output single coil to high output humbucker. I have a pair in my double jet and it still sounds like a Gretsch. You really can have your cake and humbucker too.
 


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