Tone of the Blacktop Filtertron vs HS Filtertron?

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by DHart, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Between Gretsch and TV Jones, we have so many great and different choices in the Gretsch/'tron pickup "family". Fab-u-lous! :)
     
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  2. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Caleb... TV Classic Plus in the bridge position and T-Armond at the neck?

    How would you describe the tones?

    (I elected not to buy the 5420, but a 5622 with Super Hilo'trons instead. So, I still don't have a very good sense of how the Blacktops sound.)
     
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  3. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Interesting comparison. I play only my own music, not covering anyone else, so I just go with pickups that give me the tones I like best. I do like a more sparkly bright tone, so perhaps the Blacktops may be less preferable to me than the HS Filter'Trons.

    Of course the best measure is playing them myself, but without buying a guitar with them in it, I'll may buy a Blacktop neck pickup to try. Good news there is that the Blacktops sell for about 1/2 the price of the HS Fideli'trons. Not costly, at all, to try one out. :)

    Ultimately, since I have an available set of HS Filter'Trons on hand, another set in a 6119T, a set of Super Hilo'trons in a 5622, and a set of TVJ TV-HT's in my ES-339... the next set I buy probably should be a set of T-Armonds.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  4. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    What you got is what I expected.
    HS Filtertrons are a bit darker than TV Jones Classics.

    What I dislike about the Fidelitrons is they're way too bright for me, too thin and weak sounding, lacking in punch and fatness. Especially using overdrive and distortion they perform poorly imo :)

    HS Filtertrons are great fat, punchy but very articulate pups for me.
    Everyone's different :)
     
  5. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    The classic plus is like a TV classic with more output. More snarl.
    The T-armond is, well, a T-Armond. Sonic BOOM! Super articulate.

    Basically with this guitar I get my two favorite Gretsch tones. Filtertron bridge and a dynasonic neck.

    They don’t mix well in the middle position though. At least it’s not a tone I use. The middle position sounds really thin on the treble side, BUT that’s okay with me because I don’t need a middle position with the guitar.
    I bet it’d be a good tone for finger pickin’.
     
  6. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Years back, I had a 6120 with a Dyna in the bridge, and a TV HiLo in the neck position.

    The "middle" position was a heavenly mix. Crisp neck sound and Dyna twang in the bridge go well together.

    I miss that old gal.

    Now Blacktops to me sound more "garage rock" compared to the HS's. The HS's sound great, just darker overall than TV Classics.

    Like them all for what they are.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  7. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Caleb... try reversing the leads on one of the two pickups and you may find that the middle position sounds much better to your ears? It may just be a phase thing.
     
  8. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Isn't it great that we have so many different options. Some like this option, some like that one. All are GREAT, just DIFFERENT.

    The mix of a Dyna (or T-Armond) at the bridge and a TV-HT at the bridge seems like it might be just the ticket for me to try!

    Blacktops... probably aren't going to be my favorite option. ;)
     
    G5422T likes this.
  9. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Yes... we are all different in the tones that we prefer, the amps that we play through, and whether or not we use pedals.

    With my set-up (I'm not into distortion or heavy overdrive - I really want to hear the character of the pickups clearly), Fender Fideli'trons (with 880k volume pot) in the Cabronita Thinline are rich, full, sparkly bright and de-light-ful! :D Of course, I like the HS Filter'trons too!

    My set of HS Filter'Trons, that I have sitting around, will find a way into one of my guitars at some point... I have a good number of options and love to "tweak and mod".

    Something for everyone!
     
    Waxhead likes this.
  10. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Nah, it’s perfect as is.
     
  11. GretschPraise

    GretschPraise Gretschie

    198
    Jun 26, 2017
    Tampa Bay
    If I'm reading this correctly, you ordered a new Annie under the pretense that you needed to road test a set of black top filtertrons? That's one of the best rationales for a new guitar I've heard in a while. I wonder if my wife will buy it LOL?

    This discussion has arisen here before and I seem to remember the general consensus being that black tops do well on solid bodies but the big hollow bodies get along better with HS/TV Jones. Perhaps it's that those players are more in the Rockabilly vein and the HS's nail that sound more accurately. At any rate, I have blacktops in my cheap ProJet and they're great in that guitar.
     
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  12. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Hey there GP! :) Haha! Well... here's the whole story on that.

    I had a 5420 hollow body on order at my local Guar Center (which had Blacktops in it). When I went to pick it up, I spied a 5622 (with Super Hilo'trons) 1.75" body with center block, that I actually preferred to the deep hollow body 5420. (I knew I had a 2.25" hollow body 6119T arriving soon.) So... those Blacktops never came home with me.

    The 6119T Players Edition Tenny I bought separately from Sweetwater at about the same time. I ultimately decided that I wanted one hollow body Gretsch (6119T) and one Center block Gretsch (5622T).

    Preferring a brighter, crisper tone in general... I am under the impression that the HS Filters provide a little more of that than the BTs do. Thus, my reduced motivation to buy a guitar with BTs in it.

    That said, with the cost of a Gretsch Blacktop neck pickup around $37, I may order one just for kicks, to try out in one of my Teles! :D I'm always open to trying various pickups, as I have a good number of different guitars to try them in - especially Teles.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  13. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I haven’t tried HS filters but for what it’s worth I have
    Blacktops in a 5120 replacing the original Gretchbuckers(actually pretty nice for a PAF) but a big improvement for sure.
    TV Classics in my White Falcon.
    TVJ T-Armonds(in a Filtertron mount) replacing the old mini Gretschbuckers in an 06’ ProJet.
    IMO the Blacktops really shine with some OD.
    The TV Classics are just so darn rich and full range on the Falcon. They seem to be able to handle anything.
    The TArmonds turned a neat little lightweight LP(ish) player into a Tele or Strat killer.
     
    DHart likes this.
  14. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Am I correct in thinking yourself, and almost all the other posters in this thread, are exclusively clean players who might use a touch of overdrive very occasionally. You don't have amps or pedals that do mid overdrive or distortion .... or am I wrong?
     
  15. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    I don't do "covers", thus, I don't have a need to emulate anyone else's sound or tone. I play my own music in the tone that pleases me most.

    I like a pretty clean style... at most just very mild overdrive. No interest in moderate to heavy distortion. A little reverb, a little delay, some compression (which lends a very slight bit of edge to the tone)... and I'm in tone heaven. I work at enjoying the richness of tones that some pickups offer. The quality of tone is really a big thing for me (as it is for many players).
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  16. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    I think my next set of pickups will be T-Armond to replace a set of Kent Armstrong PAFs in a D'Angelico hollow body. Truly awesome guitar, but oriented toward warm jazz tones and I would prefer more of a Gretsch sparkle from this guitar.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    yeah ok and that's same for the great majority of GT members I've observed.
    All fine and good :)

    You should acknowledge then that when you comment on pups, amps, pedals etc you're referring to a small range of its capabilities - it's clean range.

    For me, and other guys, who use the full range from clean thru high gain the performance of any piece of gear is dependent on how it performs thru the full range. So the clean performance of a pup is no more important to me than it's mid / high gain distortion performance. I'm giving all round ratings.

    Some pups (like Fidelitron for example) sound ok clean but are rubbish for distortion. P-90s and Dynasonics are too noisy using mid/high gain. Others sound best with overdrive/distortion.

    I rate TV Jones Classic and HS Filtertrons as the best pups made by anyone cos of their overall performance from clean >> overdrive >> high gain. They are great, low noise and super versatile with all gain levels for all genres imo.

    Pups, guitars and amps that are 1 trick ponies for just 1 gain level (like cleans) I rate poorly :)
     
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  18. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    So... the "great majority" of us here have been put on notice that we should state a disclaimer (that we just like "1 trick ponies") in all of our posts regarding pickups, amps, pedals, etc? :) I am amused! We'll see how that goes! :rolleyes:

    For the record, I quite frequently state, in my pickup-related posts, about my preference for clean, detailed, articulate, and sparkly tones.

    In fact, I made that point clearly in at least two of my earlier posts in this thread alone, one of which you clicked "Liked" for, so I assume you must have read it? See my post, 9 posts above this one.

    If you're still confused by that, we can just leave it at "so be it". :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  19. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Gretsch -->

    Fender
    Seymour Duncan CS
    Curtis Novak
    Fletcher UK
    The Creamery UK
    Mojo UK
    Mojotone USA
    DAllen
    Allparts
    Tom Holmes
    Alnicotron NL
    Barfuss DE
    Eyparts
    Roswell(WSC)
    Mojo UK
    Rio Grande
    Lollar
    Porter
    Häussel Germany
    Oil city UK
    SchuylerDean

    <-- TV Jones
     
    DHart likes this.
  20. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    644
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Oh man... that'll keep me busy and broke, fa-eva! :D
     
    Ricochet likes this.
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