Why aren’t filtertrons more popular?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by bdub415, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. bdub415

    bdub415 Electromatic

    Jun 29, 2020
    I’m new to gretsch and filtertrons. I think filtertrons sound amazing. I like them more than my single coils right now and they have no hum. I checked out some examples of other variations of filtertrons on youtube and they all sound fantastic. In fact I preferred the filtertron gretsch with high gain (i think he said it was a powertron) more than the les paul which was surprising. They’re super versatile pickups.

    I’ve played guitar a long time. Why isn’t the filtertron design more popular outside of gretsch?
  2. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    I think you answered it already. They only sound good with gain. Clean they sound plinky with poor note separation on the wound strings, and have such a characteristic sound it makes them less than versatile.

    Dynasonics for the win!
    j.s.c, RomanS and TV the Wired Turtle like this.
  3. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    uh.... whuuuut?? ok maaan. I FULLY and TOTALLY disagree :) Good lord, a clean blonde bassman w filtertroned gretsch guitar is better than sex. well.... sometimes. haha.

    Here's early chet with Ray Butts Filters, Mr CLEAN!

    W the same filters

    Not even the sweep arpeggios are plinky w Chet

  4. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Filter'Trons sound awesome clean and even better dirty.
    Berington, stevo, MKunie and 6 others like this.
  5. Marv666

    Marv666 Electromatic

    Jul 26, 2020
    I would say that filtertrons aren´t more popular because of the same reason gretsch guitars aren´t more popular.
    Tv jones were the first after market filtertrons i think, and they came out in the 90s ..... by that time you could already get so many different pickup designs, and that may contributed also to the filtertron being such an outsider pickup :)
    Ricochet likes this.
  6. Marv666

    Marv666 Electromatic

    Jul 26, 2020
    Dynasonics are also great but you just didn´t find the right filtertron for you yet :)
    michelb, Outlaw, MKunie and 1 other person like this.
  7. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I believe they get pigeon holed along with Gretsch guitars, which is unfortunate as both Filtertrons and Gretsch are extremely versatile, IMHO.
  8. dlew919

    dlew919 Synchromatic

    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    It took me a while to find the clean, but I use it in funk. That’s how clean you can get it. Lift the treble on the amp, and wind back the tone on the guitar.
    tpwaterhouse, MKunie and Wjensen like this.
  9. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    yes bdub414 you're right.
    Filtertrons are my fav pups and I'm very glad they're not more popular.

    Happy cos I've found my personal sound with Gretsch, filtertrons and Mesa Boogie amps.
    I've not seen or heard anyone else with this combo so it makes my tone very unusual and distinctive.

    This gives a point of difference so I'm not just another boring ho hum Strat/Tele/Fender amp player :rolleyes::p
    So I don't want Gretsch/filtertons to be any more popular please :eek:

    I'm always complimenting Gretsch with filtertrons so it's a good thing no-one listens to me :D
  10. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Lot's of Dyna love from lot's of folks, but I guess that everyone's ears hear what they hear.

    Note separation in spades with TV RB's. Dang sweet and special highs too, clean or driven.

    But, that's my ears.
    MKunie likes this.
  11. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    May 11, 2017
    They certainly do! I absolutely love how the Magnatrons sound slightly overdriven. And clean. And severely distorted. I count them as Filtertrons although they have slug magnets.

    But ... hm ... well, if people tend to like SC and Gibsonish HB better, so they should...
    Marv666 likes this.
  12. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Well, you may or may not have a point. It's a little amusing for those of us who have been watching @Uncle Daddy buy guitar after guitar with Filtertrons only to sell them again and again in short order :D
    Waxhead, Wjensen, MTurner and 2 others like this.
  13. Marv666

    Marv666 Electromatic

    Jul 26, 2020
    I also use a mesa and it sounds great with gretsch guitars.
    I got a dual rectifier, and you´re right it´s a very unique tone
    Waxhead likes this.
  14. Marv666

    Marv666 Electromatic

    Jul 26, 2020
    I´ve always been interested in magnatrons, can you tell a bit more about them.
    I like filtertrons and dynasonics so they might be a great choice
    DennisC likes this.
  15. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I disagree with the statement Filtertrons are not popular. They are incredibly popular, and are found on almost every guitar out there, usually in TV Jones form. TVJ probably has done the most to popularize, or at least deliver quality, true to the original FTs, and make them for other mounting styles.

    So much so, Lollar, SD, Novak, Fender, GFS, etc all offer a FT of some kind. Even the parts are commonly found to wind your own.
  16. capnhiho

    capnhiho Synchromatic

    Feb 16, 2013
    ;)Why aren’t Filtertrons more popular?

    They’re our secret weapon! ;)
  17. bdub415

    bdub415 Electromatic

    Jun 29, 2020
    That hasn’t been my experience at all. I’ve played a bunch of different humbuckers and single coils from duncan to dimarzio to bill lawrence on a bunch of different branded guitars. Never played a filtertron type pickup until I got my gretsch. It’s like every guitar is routed for a standard humbucker or single coil and I think a lot of people including myself never even considered a filtertron or other different pickup design because of that which is a shame. Now i want to check out a dynasonic!
    tpwaterhouse, Scott, Alanqa and 3 others like this.
  18. afire

    afire Country Gent

    That's kind of what my first thought was too. They're certainly more popular than they ever have been in the past. Tons of winders making them, now they're stock on a lot of Fenders, and plenty of lower profile builders are using Filters or Filterish pickups.
    RomanS, Marv666 and BorderRadio like this.
  19. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    May 11, 2017
    Yes! The Magnatrons are great. They don't sound opposite to the Blacktops that were in her before, but they do deliver a bit of extra twang that I wanted to have.

    I found this video prettty convincing, as it isn't that the guy shows off what a great player he is, but is focussed on the difference between the HSFT he had before and the Magnatrons afterwards:

    The extra-twang I wanted - is there! They, too, sound really nice overdriven, but, as always, the dirtier it gets, the less of a difference remains.

    Compared to Dynasonics, they still may lack the last bit of highest highend, but on the other hand are hum cancelling, which certainly played a role in my decision. Hum sucks - it may be something worth being accepted here and there, but in itself, nothing about it is any good. They convinced me from the first note I played with them on her.
  20. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    No it's cool, I get it. I know there are people still new to anything other than Strat/Les Paul paradigm, and Gretsch sound is the only Filtertron sound. I'm looking at the big picture. In 2000 there were how many Filtertron options? Now? At least two dozen offerings.

    If you want to go Dynas next, well that's a real sleeper/unknown and unpopular pickup. Hilos are even more cult. I love em both and glad they'll stay a bit undercover :D
    tpwaterhouse, Outlaw and Marv666 like this.
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