Why aren’t filtertrons more popular?

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

  1. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    The Chet sound is important to me and I find it in the Supertron/DuoTron family. Chet used a Supertron in the neck and an open topped, Baldwin era, Filtertron in the bridge.
    Wjensen likes this.
  2. malc

    malc Newbie

    Jun 10, 2020
    Hi Synchro. Do you know what the nearest to Chet's bridge PU is called now. I wish that there was a list of Gretsch PU's and a description of the style of sound. I played Chet's 'country gent' circa '76. He got a great sound through a Kustom Sidewinder amp. BTW. He really liked those heavy strings. Thanks
  3. emitex

    emitex Synchromatic

    Aug 21, 2014
    I'd give you TWO likes for this one nickurso, if it were possible! :- )
    TV the Wired Turtle and nickurso like this.
  4. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    The G6122T-59 is a very close copy of Chet's '59 Gent and uses a TV Jones Classic + in the bridge with a Supertron in the neck position. I own one, and ended up putting a Supertron in the bridge, after I had to perform some electrical repairs. The difference between the Supertron and the Classic + is the bridge is subtle; with the Supertron being slightly brighter.


    I don't have a list of Gretsch pickups, but there's a great comparison chart near the middle of this page, from TV Jones. https://tvjones.com/pickup-advisor When Paul Yandell helped Gretsch to duplicate Chet's original Country Gent, he chose a TV Jones Supertron for the neck and a Classic + for the bridge. That's probably as close, sonically, as anything in existence.
  5. nickurso

    nickurso Gretschified

    Dec 24, 2012
    New Orleans la.
    Thank you.
    TV the Wired Turtle likes this.
  6. Berington

    Berington Electromatic

    Jan 6, 2014
    Los Angeles
    Took the words right outta my mouth. F/Trons are all over the market now, with every mfr offering some sort of "-tron" pickup. Yeah, the "secret" IS out, but it's their sound. I get SO many guitar aficionados after shows, saying how amazing my Gent sounds ('62 Reissue, pictured) w a Vox AC30. (Among other things, I'm in a Beatles tribute band, The Beatunes, in L.A. The Gent, Tennessean, a Ric-12 & Strat are pretty much mandatory fare for Beatles! But how can it get much better anyway, right? Whew! Of course I use 'em all & more for other stuff, too, including orig. music.)
    Wjensen and BorderRadio like this.
  7. thunderbaas

    thunderbaas Electromatic

    Sep 22, 2019
    Allthough verry obvious just a small tip. Just see what diversity in clean tone you can get out of your filtertrons by playing with the distance between strings & pick up.
  8. dlew919

    dlew919 Synchromatic

    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I have Filter’trons in mY 5420 and a Fideli’tron in my squier Tele

    I think they are great pickups. I never got along with PAFs, though I know they can be great. But the filters give me that humbucker sound while retaining the bite of single coils.
  9. malc

    malc Newbie

    Jun 10, 2020

    When I first started gigging, around 1959, I was playing Hofner and then Burns. There was an import ban on USA made guitars as our war payments to the US precluded us from spending dollars. However as soon as the ban was lifted we were able to buy newly imported Fenders, Gibsons, Gretsch and Guild. The quality of all those makes was excellent. My first American made guitar was a double PU Anniversary (made in '59). An amazing guitar. To say that Gretsch was not popular is wrong as most of the bands at that time had at least one Gretsch in the lineup, (even the bass with its built in stand, being played by a girl) Gretsch had just as good reputation as other American makes, certainly until Baldwin came along.
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    The initial premise of this thread was questioning why Filtertrons were not more popular, outside of the Gretsch realm. In our current day, swapping pickup types between brands is fairly routine, but this hasn't always been the case. Until TV Jones came along with various mounting options, putting a Filtertron into a Gibson was somewhere between messy and disastrous; but now it's simple. Cabronita Teles are a fairly recent innovation, at least in any number.

    If you go back 50 years or so, almost anything beyond a string change usually meant a trip to the dealer. It's not likely that the local Gibson dealer would take kindly to the notion of changing pickup brands. They might not have even known how to go about it. There were independent luthiers that could do mods, but this was probably more likely to be found in places where there were a lot of musicians, NY, LA, Nashville. A lot has changed in the meantime.
    Shadowy_Man likes this.
  11. slickfaster

    slickfaster Synchromatic

    Dec 29, 2009
    Most popular in my book!! Seems lots of pickup makers have jumped on the wagon.. but
    TV Jones is the man!!
    Love my Classics n Setzer Sigs
    I wana drop some Butts in a Setzer Hot Rod soon as I find another.
    Filtered since 2000!!!
  12. Alanqa

    Alanqa Gretschie

    Aug 22, 2019
    Lancashire UK

    look on eBay for Filter’Tron covers. I did this to the ones on my Jet. Still blacktops but now look....

    How does it affect the sound? It doesn’t, can’t hear a single change in character.

    Attached Files:

    GlenP likes this.
  13. jimfog

    jimfog Electromatic

    Aug 31, 2008
    I think one of the issues with Filters is they're a bit mid-scooped.......especially in the neck. So, if you play them through a dead clean Fender BF style amp, it's going to sound a bit plinky. To me they do better on slightly broken up amps, or something more mid-rich.......like tweed, blonde or brown Fenders, Vox or even cleaner vintage Marshalls.

    Right now, I'm actually digging the stock Blacktops in my 5420, for a taste of Filters, with a little more mid push. Check it out......twangy, jazzy and rockin'.......

    MTurner likes this.
  14. bone

    bone Gretschie

    Aug 9, 2020
    Because they're not in a Fender or Gibson type vehicle? until recently that is.. Gretsch are what i would consider niché for the most part_ although, i think they are trending north..

    i don't think the majority of people enjoy or want to experiment in ways that aren't considered the norm.

    how popular are humbuggy strats?

    phrases you never hear: man, this Gibson would be great with a single coil!

    there are plenty of exceptions but the norm they are not..

    people don't like putting square things into round holes.. i do! but again, I'm an acquired taste like a tele w/ a B-bender or Bigsby..

    i do think that trend is also starting to change though.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
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