Upgrade to TV Jones? Suggestions wanted

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by yoshiii, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. yoshiii

    yoshiii Electromatic

    Oct 25, 2019

    I have a 2007 Gretsch Tennessee Rose(with the f holes). Its sounds good. But the pickups are kinda dark, or could be my amp.

    It it worth upgrading to TV Jones Classics? I will use the guitar for rock, rockabilly, not really Jazz. Maybe pop and Chet Atkins style music.
  2. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    My experience is the Classics sound exactly like the Gretch pickups.
    GAMBLER1234 and jfassett like this.
  3. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Depends a good bit on what's in it now. If you don't know, post some pictures, include a good shot of the pole pieces (the little screws). Tennessee Roses typically have Filtertrons, but there's several different flavors of Filtertrons, and they've used a bunch of different ones over the years. And unless you're the original owner, no telling if it's got the factory originals anyway. People swap out pups right and left these days. Pics will help.

    And if you think it might be the amp, maybe it is. Whatcha got?
  4. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Which pickups are there now? If it's FilterTrons (two rows of pole pieces) TV Classics won't be a lot different. (Although few describe either as "dark.") If it's HiLoTrons (single row pole pieces), then you got a bad batch as those are thin and bright usually.

    So, if you think the standard pickups are too dark, first try adjusting them as others have suggested. If that doesn't help, think of swapping them for TVJ HiLos or Magnatrons.
    jfassett likes this.
  5. jvin248

    jvin248 Electromatic

    May 16, 2017
    Near Detroit
    Series cap on the pickup hot leads (to cut the pickup internal capacitance), 0.047uF usually works.

    Lower uF tone caps

    Higher kohms volume pots (measure what are there and either sort for ones at their high end of the spec or jump to the next higher nominal like from 500kohm to 1Megohm.

    Lowering the pickups plus raising screw poles can also brighten the tone, as can tipping the pickups for more treble and less bass ... and are free plus completely reversible.
    sgarnett and kdm1218 like this.
  6. Waxhead

    Waxhead Friend of Fred

    Aug 30, 2014
    TV Jones Classics don't sound exactly like HS Filtertrons.
    I've done A/B before and after tests with my Jet 6131 - see

    Classics are slightly brighter.
    And no Yoshii - it's not your amp either :)

    Whether the change is worth it is up to the individual.
    For me it was :D
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  7. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    My experience:

    1. The neck pickups sound very similar
    2. The TV Jones Classic bridge has more treble, less mids; maybe because the pole spacing is wider and aligns with the strings.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
  8. capnhiho

    capnhiho Country Gent

    Feb 16, 2013
    I put a TVJ Super’Tron neck and a Classic+ bridge in my 5420. That combination is rumored to be Chet’s favorite.
    Tones are marvelous and notably (but not outrageously) different from the original BTFT’s.

    I figured if they’re good enough for Chet, they’re good enough for me…
    L Robbins, Craig Encinitas and audept like this.
  9. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Doubtful. TV Jones are wonderful pickups, but Chet passed away in 2001 around the same time TV started his business. ;)

    Also keep in mind Chet used a variety of pickups in his signature guitars from Filters, to DeArmonds, Hilos and PAF type humbuckers.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  10. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    For my ears any Filtertron-type of pickup has a tone that is brighter than a PAF but darker than a Strat`s pickup.
    The difference between TVJ and original Gretsch Filtertrons are not that big that you can expect a drastic increase of brightness when swapping them. It is more the little details that make a difference here.

    I would dial-in my amp in a different way or search for an amp or a little stompbox that makes a better match with your guitar.
  11. slickfaster

    slickfaster Country Gent

    Dec 29, 2009
    Yes… worth every penny
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  12. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Firenze, Italy
    Anybody rooting for Ray Butts? I put a pair on my Pre FMIC 6120 and there’s as sparkling as a Rolling Rock! :D
  13. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    I had Alnico pickups in my 6119 and they were pretty great. I recommend working with the height before swapping as you can make significant changes to your tone with just a millimeter or two of adjustment. And of course look at your amp settings or tube selection to see if you can make a difference there. So I would exhaust your options before swapping personally. TV Classics might be the closest to your stock pickups and while excellent, you might not hear much difference.

    But note that I said "had". I eventually put Setzer Signature pickups in mine. They are plenty bright but they have more body and fatness. And if you do decide to swap, look to the left or right of the TV Classics to get a significantly different tone from what you have:

    JLILL and Craig Encinitas like this.
  14. L Robbins

    L Robbins Gretschie

    May 3, 2017
    I did the same and I and very happy with the result!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021
  15. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    I'm a big lover of Magnatrons. I have a magnatron in the neck of 3 of my gretschs.
    Can't go wrong with a Classic+ or a Setzer.
    dilver likes this.
  16. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    I will also add to give the pick up heights a change to see how you go first the body that is not just the pole pieces, depending on what you want but to me the HS FT and TVJ Classics do sound different, to my ears the classics are a bit brighter and more refined all though the high end is actually smoother then the HS FT so not so much raw bite as the HS FT if that makes sense the neck though can still be a bit warm for lack of a better word, I love dynas/T-armonds in my jets so they might be an option for you and from what I heard from other people is the Ray Butts are supposedly very clear.
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  17. Craig Encinitas

    Craig Encinitas Gretschie

    May 3, 2021
    Encinitas, Ca
    My 6659 has Tim Shaw designed Fulltrons, and hitting my favorite E Chord sounds glorious.
    The 6120 has Setzer signatures, and that same E chord sounds wickedly mean! :mad:
    Interesting that someone (sound engineer?) decides to put identical pickups in both positions, versus something like TV Jones Classic in the bridge and Classic+ in the neck.

    Also, regarding Fulltrons. No info about them to be found...and I don't know what other Gretsch models have them.
  18. Desirsar

    Desirsar Gretschie

    Jun 9, 2021
    Lincoln, NE
    Glad to see this thread up right as I buy that 2420 that I'll want to throw every mod onto...

    Despite the similar construction, the Supertrons don't seem to sound in demos anywhere close to Seymour Duncan Hot Rails. Anyone know of anything along those lines that can fairly easily mount into a Gretsch? Or can that sound be dragged out of the Supertron?

    And if I go with what I'm liking from demos, anyone have any immediate thoughts for the combo Supertron bridge, Setzer neck?
  19. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Firenze, Italy
    If you want something half way from a Filtertron and an humbucker, I would say Seymour Duncan Psyclones. I bought the humbucker size version for my 5220 as I wanted something ready to be installed without too much tweaking. They'll sure fit straight in to your 2420 with no other work needed.
    Sure they're hotter than a regular Filtertron and boy they scream, but if you roll down the volume a bit then that great Filtertron tone comes up. Here’s a pic of them.
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  20. Desirsar

    Desirsar Gretschie

    Jun 9, 2021
    Lincoln, NE
    If I wanted all scream-y, I'd copy the Blacktop Broadtrons from my 5655. I was thinking each of the pair would sound very different from each other and somewhat unique when blended, but I wondered if there was any reason to not mix them or to put them in the opposite positions.
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