Upgrade g5135 Corvette with Hilotrons

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by echocat, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. echocat

    echocat Electromatic

    8
    Apr 30, 2020
    Lisbon, PT
    Hi everyone!

    I have a reissue corvette with megatrons and want to get a bit more twang out of it. Really want to try swapping pickups for hilos, but not quite sure which hilos exactly. I know there's at least two modern hilo pickup: Gretsch and TV Jones. Are there any major difference in those? Would they fit corvette pickup cavities? TV Jones are twice the price of Gretsch ones and a bit more difficult to get in Europe. Maybe someone already did a similar swap in a corvette?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    64
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    I don't know how to answer your question. But I do know how to say, "Welcome to the forum!"

    And I know how to say, "Let's see some pictures of your Corvette!"
     
  3. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Welcome to the forum! You'll want to get the HiLos from TVJ as he makes them with a full FilterTron style mount if you request that. You can also get them hum-canceling with one pickup reverse wound IIRC. The original HiLos are surface mounted and won't work in a modern Corvette without a little creativity. The MegaTrons are well liked too, so you should be able to sell them easily if you decide to go that route. MagnaTrons from TVJ are a similar option, but hum buckers.

    Good luck with the mods. Corvettes are the unsung heroes of the Gretsch lineup! (And never call them CVT!)
     
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  4. rake_ether

    rake_ether Gretschie

    316
    Aug 24, 2019
    Athens, GA USA
    I just replaced the pups in my Corvette with TV Jones HiloTrons. Simple drop-in with no modification needed. I like them although I'm still learning their strengths. Modded Corvette.jpg
     
  5. echocat

    echocat Electromatic

    8
    Apr 30, 2020
    Lisbon, PT
    Thanks, its 2008 model, has a nice anniversary plaque on the back of the headstock
    IMG_3360.jpeg
    IMG_3363.jpeg

    Thanks! Corvette is an amazing guitar, however it's so thin that it gets a bit uncomfortable to play one after getting used to a hollow body, lol, at least for me. I wonder if Gretsch is going to keep making them, I don't see red Corvettes on their website anymore. I like stock pickups, but I already have filters (albeit HS and in a hollow body) and want to try a different flavour of Gretsch. I was thinking about Gretsch reissue HiLos, not vintage ones, the ones they put in Tennessee Rose and they are sold separately also. Are those also surface-mounted?

    That's cool! Something you don't like about them? Do you miss having MegaTrons in Corvette? I see that you also have trapeze tailpiece and different tuners, are those locking?
     
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  6. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I was asked to clarify my comment on the HiLo Tron by another member. It mostly applies to vintage models though, especially hollow bodies.

    "They're not surface mount but they are not deep mounted either. They have a small shallow rout, not the usual FilterTron style. When I was replacing the HiLo Tron with a SuperTron on my 64 Corvette, TV Jones told me to install a neck pickup in the bridge as it was shallower and wouldn't require routing the pocket to put in a full depth SuperTron."

    That might not apply to modern Corvettes. My point was that the TVJ model would be a direct replacement, while the Gretsch model may require some mods or shims.
     
  7. rake_ether

    rake_ether Gretschie

    316
    Aug 24, 2019
    Athens, GA USA
    I've only been playing guitar for 10 months and the three electrics I have all had humbuckers and I wanted something with single coil (and not buy another guitar, yet). Since I'm so new at this I've never played a Strat, Les Paul, Tele, etc., only acoustics, a Peavey JF-1 (335 clone), and my 5420 and Corvette. I'm still learning the difference in how pickups sound. The Bigsby just got in the way (although I love it on my 5420) and I did replace the tuners with Sperzel locking.
     
  8. Bom dia !

    As I recall - from a summer in the Algarve (mostly) -
    the sayin' goes . . .
    Lisboa shows off, Coimbra parties, Beja prays . . .
    and Oporto WORKS !

    So ya' better have some showing off of that 'Vette if ya' get the chance - LOL

    Oh yeah, welcome to G-T forums !
     
    echocat likes this.
  9. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Those megatrons are ceramic magnet filtertrons, thicker in the mids than regular filters and fine pickups for rocking out. Hilotrons sound much thinner to me, more like a Strat single coil. I'd go for the TV Jones, he winds the bridge hotter than a regular Hilotron.

    Funnily enough, I've been looking for a Corvette to do this same mod to.
     
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  10. echocat

    echocat Electromatic

    8
    Apr 30, 2020
    Lisbon, PT
    Yeah, they're pushing my amp a bit more than HS Filtertrons, but there's less chime.

    Looks like I'll probably go for TV Jones, since they're hotter and easier to install. Thank you all for advice!
     
  11. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    55
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    Because I used to own a lot of vintage Corettes I can tell you that Hilos really sound great in these.
     
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  12. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Synchromatic

    993
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    echocat likes this.
  13. Fox Rox

    Fox Rox Gretschie

    213
    Nov 8, 2009
    Waterloo, ON
    Echocat if you decide to upgrade and want to sell your MegaTron I would be very interested in buying them
     
  14. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Welcome.

    IMO, the extra cost of the TV Hilos are worth it, just for the sound that they produce.

    TV told me to set the body of a HiLo close to the strings. Twang city and beautiful sounding.

    TV also said the his HiLo's through a Marshall is just one of his favorite combinations.

    Get them set up correctly, and the smiling will begin.

    Best of luck with your project.
     
    RomanS likes this.
  15. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    55
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    That`s one ofmy favorites, too. It really growls in cruch-mode.
     
    G5422T likes this.
  16. echocat

    echocat Electromatic

    8
    Apr 30, 2020
    Lisbon, PT
    Thanks everybody, I've just ordered a pair of TV Jones, yay. The only one I could find in stock in EU were nickel, so I'm going to have mix and match hardware on this corvette.


    Would love to sell them, but I actually like how hot and punchy they are, so I'd probably really miss them.
     
    Fox Rox likes this.
  17. Fox Rox

    Fox Rox Gretschie

    213
    Nov 8, 2009
    Waterloo, ON
    If you ever change your mind please consider me first in line to buy them
     
  18. echocat

    echocat Electromatic

    8
    Apr 30, 2020
    Lisbon, PT
    I've got the TV-HT installed a couple of days ago and wow they sound great in corvette. I was a bit worried that I would miss high output of mega'trons but I don't. These hilos' output is very similar to my hs filters, I didn't notice big difference in loudness. And the tone is just perfect, very snappy and defined, neck and middle position are quite similar tonally, bridge is twangy af. I took my corvette to practice, plugged into a mesa head and oh boy, they sound so good overdriven, a lot more punchier than filters in my country gent. I'm really happy with this upgrade and would totally recommend it to anyone who wants to try something different with his corvette. Thank you all for your suggestions!

    IMG_3530.jpg
     
    MTurner likes this.
  19. Mojoman

    Mojoman Electromatic

    Age:
    65
    26
    Jan 14, 2019
    Gardena, ca.
    I am a huge hilo fan. Had a 61 corvette with one in the bridge for years and loved it. Lower volume you get snappy clean like motown, beatles or stones. Put some amp behind it and it rips up nice. The key to dial it in is to get the screws close to the strings and it overdrives easy. You can get away with it because its low voltage. If you put a hummer or P90 that close you are gonna have noise, scratchy tones, etc. Enjoy the hilos boys!
     
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