Modern Gretsch Guitars

Easy way to put Filtertrons in a 5420T


The blacktop filters are attached to the base plate with solder and four tiny screws. If you unsolder them, or cut through with a Dremel wheel, you can separate the brass base plate. You then enlarge the 12 holes for the poles to poke through, and drill two tiny holes for the Filtertron mounting screws. Also, you may have to enlarge the opening and re-radius the corners of the mounting rings. Once assembled, it looks like this.


Of course, you somewhat sacrifice the blacktops. But if you're ok with that....


Might as well upgrade the tone cap and jack while I'm in there.


It looks great. I bet it sounds even better.

I wonder if changing the ceramic magnets for alnico magnets in the Blacktops will achieve similar sonic results.


Looks great, I upgraded my old 5120 years ago but used aluminium strip which the screws went through the FT pickup into the strip.

Certainly did the job soundwise.

I do find the Bigsby on these needs more screws to hold it to the body squarely at the base plate, I swapped mine for a B6C V type on my 5420T and added a roller bridge.


clever good work jbgg!

filtertrons have low wind (low resistance) but use larger (than standard humbucker sized) alnico magnets...for increased gauss..thats part of their mojo

i 'd doubt the blacktops follow that formula..probably standard sized hb even with going from ceramic to alnico mags, it's still not right...also the increased gauss of the ceramic magnets might actually be closer to the filtertrons larger alnicos anyway

tv jones actually sources vintage correct magnets from the same company who supplied gretsch..bravo!



Where do you get the adjustable F-tron surrounds? Also, nice subtle paint job on your Bigsby, Mat66.


So, Josh, how does it sound? Gig with it yet?

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