Rate the Blacktops.

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by BCRatRod73, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. BCRatRod73

    BCRatRod73 Gretschie

    Sep 1, 2020
    For any of you here with experience with these pickups, how do they compare to other Gretsch Filters? I’m still new to the Gretsch world so I just want some opinions on these pickups. Where would you rank them against other Filter’Trons? I’m liking them a lot as they are a nice change of pace for me. What do you like about them? What don’t you like about them?
  2. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    I like the blacktops on my 5220. They pop a little more than the TVJ Classic pups in my 5120. It’s not a Dearmond or HiLo sound exactly, but it catches enough of that flavor to make it an interesting choice. A11DFAA6-F174-4A0F-AA5C-711F2208F905.jpeg
    BorderRadio, Marv666, michelb and 2 others like this.
  3. BCRatRod73

    BCRatRod73 Gretschie

    Sep 1, 2020
    Thanks for the input. I want to try some Dynasonics.
  4. xtcclassic

    xtcclassic Gretschie

    Jan 9, 2019
    I assume you’re talking about the Blacktop Filter’Trons? They’re great sounding pickups, especially if you play with a dirtier tone. IMHO they lack a bit of something compared to TVJ’s - I’m not sure what, exactly (TVJ’s maybe have a more openness and sweetness on the highs?) but at the same time they have their own sound that is cool in its own way. I’ve not tried the Gretsch High Sensitivity Filter’Trons so I can’t compare those, but I have several TVJ’s which replaced the stock Blacktops in my various Electromatics so I’m very familiar with how those compare. While I do obviously like TVJ’s better, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Blacktops, including the Blacktop Broad’Trons which I like even more than the Filter’Trons.
    Marv666 and BCRatRod73 like this.
  5. BCRatRod73

    BCRatRod73 Gretschie

    Sep 1, 2020
    Yeah, BT Filters.
    I’ll probably end up leaving my Rat Rod stock. I do like it. I think I’ll just save for one of the 61xx made in Japan series, then get to know those pickups that came with and go from there. You know how tone chasing goes...
  6. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    I think what we have in our G5220's are BT Broadtrons.
    I like these better than Dyna's in the 6128 or the HS Filters in the 6120. It depends on the sounds you are expecting out of these pups I guess.
    BCRatRod73, Tadhg and Tele295 like this.
  7. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    as @Gretschmen65 said, depends on what sound you're looking for, I have HS FT, TCJ Classics both in hollowbodies, Dyna's and BT FT in jets, they all sound different, my 5230T is my go to for the more overdriven faster music, they just work for me.
    BCRatRod73 and new6659 like this.
  8. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Synchromatic

    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    The blacktops in my 5420 we’re alright. Too quiet out of the box but after some adjustments they were great. If all I had was a 5420 I would have been totally happy. But they didn’t compare to the pro lines at all so I never played it and eventually sold it.
    BCRatRod73 and calebaaron666 like this.
  9. Lacking Talent

    Lacking Talent Synchromatic

    Aug 5, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Mine are a deep, brassy gold in a pale green guitar so they'll be coming out before I ever hear them. ;)
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  10. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I’d rate them a 6 out of 10.
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  11. Tegzsa

    Tegzsa Electromatic

    Dec 6, 2019
    I like them. I use a little bit of crunch and they respond really well to how I play. I tried a Hot Rod through my setup and didn't like whatever was in it as much (TVJs, but I don't know the model).
  12. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    They’re great pick ups... I like them but IMO Gretsch HS FilterTrons are a zillion times better..
  13. Marv666

    Marv666 Electromatic

    Jul 26, 2020
    I like them in my jet but absolutely hated them in my 5420.
    I think these pickups work great in solid bodys (eventough the jet is semi hollow) but suck in hollowbodys
    Even with the ones i tried in stores same thing
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  14. Rusty Silver

    Rusty Silver Gretschie

    Very good pickups, for clean and drive, great for Chuck Berry rythm parts (expecially bridge pu) and great for hot vintage blues (expecially neck pickup). Not the typical Gretsch sound, but anyway a well distinctive sound. If you play clean on middle position on a hollowbody you can find a real "semi acoustic" sound. I like them, but you need to find the right setting before to enjoy BT... If have to rate I'd say 7.5/10.
    BCRatRod73 likes this.
  15. BCRatRod73

    BCRatRod73 Gretschie

    Sep 1, 2020
    Thanks for the feedback.
  16. Shadowy_Man

    Shadowy_Man Gretschie

    May 18, 2020
    I didn't like mine much, but it's possible I didn't give them a fair shake.
  17. adauria

    adauria Gretschie

    Dec 22, 2016
    Wake Forest, NC
    I didn't love them in my 5420. They were OK, but lacking something. I eventually replaced them with TV Jones Classics and am much happier. I think it is the sweetness in the highs and clarity/note separation that was missing. And I found them more lacking with overdriven sounds than with clean tones (though the TV Jones Classics are AMAZING clean too).

    YMMV - some folks love the BT filtertrons.

  18. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    They're OK - pretty good. I would give them a 6/10
  19. Mark W

    Mark W Country Gent

    Jun 6, 2008
    Central Florida
    I was (am) kind of surprised at the Broad'Trons in my G2420. I rarely use distortion but clean they seem to have some decent dynamics and a full sound. I am not unhappy and even though I bought the guitar to install HS Filtertrons for now I am content with the guitar stock.
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