General tech questions

Filtertron Identification and Setup suggestions



I'm a long time Gibson and Fender player but I LOVE the Gretsch sound. I'm working on my Chet licks (they need a LOT of work) - but being a big tinkerer I thought I'd also upgrade my hardware on the cheap to help inspire me.

I don't have the scratch for a hollowbody Gretsch or TV Jones Classics, so I just bought a very well priced pair of Filter'trons on that the previous owner said were pulled from a 2009 6120-1959. As far as I can discern from several posts on the board these should be foreign-made FMIC era alnico pickups, perhaps TV Jones "designed" (unclear). They have US Pat# gold covers. However, I'm also unclear whether these would be "High Sensitivity" Filtertrons or just garden variety, or even what the difference would be? Can anyone give me specs on things like DC resistance or magnet thickness for the type of pickups that would be found in this era 6120? Just looking for clues to how they'll sound as I'm too impatient to wait, and wonder how they'd compare to the gold standard TV jones.

I'll be dropping these into a great (but a bit heavy) korean-made Epiphone Les Paul Custom - any suggestions on how to optimize tone? (I know hollow-body is the way to go, but hoping I can get at least some duo-jet vibe from my LP).

What pots should I use - 500k or 1meg? I was planning on using standard LP 50s-style wiring, two vol / two tone... but would it be better to go with master volume / master tone and individual vols per pickup like a more Gretsch-style layout?

Aaaah! So many questions! Thank you Gretsch experts!


Filters were always paired with 500K pots. Pretty sure you have the High Sensitivity Filters and they should compare favorably to TVJones, but of course the TVJones' are quite a bit more. I'd stay with the wiring you have now.Your sound should be in the Chet ballpark as he later used Filters in more solid guitars. Go to the TVJones website for a tutorial on how to best set up the Filters.

Register Sign in to join the conversation