Modern Gretsch Guitars

Mp3 Clip Comparison - HS Filtertrons v TV Jones Classics in a Jet F…

1

Guitar used - 2004 Gretsch Jet Firebird 6131. PUP switch was kept in mid position for all recordings (ie both PUPs activated). Tone in mid position, PUP volume dials maxed. Amp used was a Mesa Boogie Express 5:50. Has 6L6 power tubes. Runs on 5w and 50w and has 4 amp voices. Amp EQ settings were the same throughout - used 5w in Class A, spring reverb engaged at 11 oclock. Distortion used was an MI-Audio Crunchbox pedal run thru the clean channel of the Mesa. Mic used was a Sennheiser e906. Audio interface - M-Audio Fast Track Ultra. DAW was Sonar 8.5.3. Recorded tones are fully raw with no post EQ or compression. Both mp3's are 7-8 MB.

1st mp3 is with the stock Gretsch HS Filtertrons.

http://www.mediafire.com/?j...

2nd mp3 with TV Jones Classic in neck and TV Jones Classic Plus in bridge position.

http://www.mediafire.com/?t...

I chose music you'll probably know to showcase the differences in clean, OD and distortion tones of both PUPs. These were all quick and nasty first takes. You guys decide for yourself what the differences between the PUPs are.

Not sure how much of this will be audible on the mp3's but.... IMO The TV Jones PUPs are brighter & crisper than the HS Filtertrons. TV Jones have slightly better string articulation. The recording levels in the DAW showed they're also higher output. The TV Jones are more prone to give an ice-picky tone when distorted and I'll need to make some amp EQ adjustments to counter it. The HS Filtertrons are slightly darker & mellower. The TV Jones create bigger differences between the 3 PUP settings than the HS Filtertrons so they do extend versatility a little. The bridge PUP only with the TV's is brighter and hotter than with the HS Filtertrons. The neck PUP only is fatter

My opinion - not much in it really but I do prefer the TV Jones so it's money well spent to swap them in IMO. The HS Filtertrons are still fantastic PUPs though IMO.

Hope this helps people decide whether or not the upgrade is worth it in Jet series guitars. Comments please.

2

hehehehehe - lots of people downloading the mp3's but no-one is commenting. Some feedback would be nice. Do the mp3's help people decide on differences between the 2 PUPs or do they sound very samey to you ?

3

I like the clarity of the TV Jones pups but still prefer the clunky twang of the filtertrons.

4

I went through this a few years back, for me it's a no brainer. TVJ pickups have it going on. The standard filtertrons sound blah for me, dead in a way. Still a good pickup, but not the one for me.

5

I prefer the standard FilterTrons myself.

6

Hmmmm I'd give it to the Filtertrons too, based on what I'm hearing. They've got a more raucous, twangy, sit-on-my-face-if-you-dare-lady-ga-ga type sound.

7

After re reading your initial post, I have realised that you are comparing apples with oranges.

The standard Gretsch pickups are wound at 4.6 ohms and the TV Jones Classic plus that you bought is wound at 7.8 ohms, more output. Stands to reason what's going on with the sound.

The Gretsch High sensitive pickup has higher tops and the Plus sounds a little darker, this is due to the plus having more windings which equates to a higher output hence less clarity. If you were to compare the TV Jones Classic (which has bell like tones) which is wound at 4.8 and not the plus, then that is a fairer comparison.

I hope I have shed some light.

8

Just so there is no confusion! Click on dc resistance, this will give you the correct output. This is very important, windings, magnet wire etc...

In essence the above comparision is invalid, different pickups entirely.

http://www.tvjones.com/pick...

9

I agree with Decal. I prefer the sound of the TV classic over the standard alnico Filters.

10

Hey Decal - I don't understand why you think this little comparison is invalid. I've just made before & after recordings, stated exactly what I've done, and how I did it and then left any conclusions to be drawn by the listener.

Anyone can do the same with any 2 guitars, any PUPs, amps or anything else. No comparison is invalid IMO and this one will potentially be useful to anyone who's thinking of changing PUPs in their Jet. If it's not useful to people then too bad.

The only reason I did this was to help Gretsch Pages members. When I was considering whether to change PUPs in my Jet I posted a thread asking people to describe, or provide sounds clips, of exactly how the TV Jones Classics differ from the HS Filtertrons in a Jet. No-one could help me in detail covering clean, OD and distortion tones so I decided to do it myself.

I totally agree with you that I'm comparing apples to oranges. 2 different PUPs - No prob's with that. People can decide which they prefer is all

11

Technically valid? I don't know, I always thought comparisons were all about comparing different things.

Useful? HELL YES!

Good job Waxhead, I found the clips quite informative, I prefer the mellowness of the HS Filters when clean. Can you dial down the TVJones to sound like the Filters?

12

same guitar, same amp, same effects, same settings, same music. thats about as valid a comparison as you can get.

13

TVs just seem a little brighter, more jangly to me. They are definitely very ice-picky when distorted.
I'm sure a turn of the treble knob would cure that though.

Good comparison. A friend of mine is considering Filters in his SG but doesn't know whether to go for TVs or standard HS Filters. This might be useful for him.

14

Interesting comparison, and thanks for taking it on. Seems a toss up to me, since there was very little which was recorded "clean" which is the sound I prefer.

The TVJ did seem brighter, which if you're doing the thrash sound as demonstrated here, that would be a good thing.

For the $$, I'll stick with the HS Filters which will be going into the 5122 and play around with those for a year or so before deciding whether to swap or not.

15

Thousanium: asked

"Good job Waxhead, I found the clips quite informative, I prefer the mellowness of the HS Filters when clean. Can you dial down the TVJones to sound like the Filters?"

Answer - you can make the TV Jones sound as mellow as the Filters by flipping the tone switch down to a fatter, fuller tone but it still doesn't sound exactly like the Filters to my ears.

And some amp EQ adjustments does resolve the ice-picky tone of the TV Jones. Just turning down treble and raising bass a touch does the job :)

16

I actually like the Filtertrons better , they sound a little more open and more pure to me.

This surprises me , because I heard so much people choosing TV jones instead of filtertrons.

Every man has his taste I guess :)

17

Waxhead don't get offended, I think you are missing my point. read my post again.

I'm not here to piss anyone off, I'm just trying to be informative. I have done these sorts of comparisons to last me 2 life times.

Anyway sorry if offended.

18

uokclan and others - my point is the Gretsch Filtertron in this comparison sounds more open because it is WOUND at about half the output, this will make the TV CLASSIC PLUS sound darker less tops, more grit, dirtier.

Both great pickups but different. If you compare the TVJ CLASSIC (not the PLUS) to the Gretsch High Sensitive Filtertron, then that is a fairer comparison.

Good Luck! Hope this post will clarify what I mean.

19

How dare you decal?? ....just kidding. Your info actually helps me dive further into the the Gretsch world for me as I just bought my Setzer Phoenix in December. It goes into the science behind the pups and helps when I'll be doing more pickup shopping.

waxhead - I gotta go with the TVs. The Classics plus can really tear it up and have been able to play some great growling Stevie Ray songs on it. My buddy has them switched on his White Falcon.

I just think the TVs are more versatile but then again, I'm a Strat veteran and a Gretsch rookie.

20

In my experience, the TV Jones pickups do that greasy twangy rock-a-billy thing that Gretsch guitars have seemed to come to be identified with really well...but HS Filtertrons are a more versatile pickup for pop, standard hard or pop rock, jazz and blues. The tone is less bright and jangly but with more substance and thick tone. So in my opinion if you want to play that surf music or the James Bond Theme...or maybe are after a 60's pop sounds...yea go with the TV Jones stuff.

But I think the HS Filtertrons are more versatile for other music.

21

In my experience, the TV Jones pickups do that greasy twangy rock-a-billy thing that Gretsch guitars have seemed to come to be identified with really well...but HS Filtertrons are a more versatile pickup for pop, standard hard or pop rock, jazz and blues. The tone is less bright and jangly but with more substance and thick tone. So in my opinion if you want to play that surf music or the James Bond Theme...or maybe are after a 60's pop sounds...yea go with the TV Jones stuff.

But I think the HS Filtertrons are more versatile for other music.

22

I've said this before but based off my own experiences with both HS and Classics and a bucket load of other peoples reviews all with opposite reviews I would bet that you could dump 10 of each in a box and randomly pick out a pup and all would sound different from each other.

You would probably find a few that sound identical and those might be from either manufacturer. They both look like they use exactly the same materials. I will say TVJ's look to be a little better made. If I were to take an guess the difference between the two amounts to who was winding them on a given day at either factory. What I mean by that is the number of winds, one being over wound the other under, two very close, etc. That would explain the slight variations in tone and the wide accounts of varying performance plus or minus between the two.

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I play and make my living out of it, and I'm sure many of us do, so really only trying to help.

I love this place, and I love the guitars.

I'm passionate about this stuff so I just strive to get the right information out there.

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decal said:

"Waxhead don't get offended, I think you are missing my point. read my post again.

I'm not here to piss anyone off, I'm just trying to be informative. I have done these sorts of comparisons to last me 2 life times.

Anyway sorry if offended."

Answer - hey no wurries man. You'll have to try much harder than that to offend me :)

I understand what you're saying but I didn't have any choice in the matter cause I wanted a Classic Plus in the bridge position. And now I'm glad I chose it cause I'm mainly a rock & driving blues player.

The comparison is there for anyone who's interested and it looks like it's been helpful for lots of people so I'm happy :)

25

This is a good comparison. Yes the TVJ's are more ice-picky but that is easily taken care of with the tone control.

No one seems to mention the deeper, darker base or the TVJ's. The base is definately more prominent. In the rhythm of Highway to Hell the TVJ's are darker sounding than the filtertrons. (Is this because of the classic plus?)

One last thing, the string separation of the TVJ's is a lot clearer than the filtertrons. This is not so obvious from the low volume mp3 clips but try a gigging volume double stop and the muddiness of the filtertrons is more noticeable.(not necessarily a bad thing!)

Thanks for the comparison waxhead, (+1), Always good to exercise the ears.If I may say, I think if you had set your amp with the treble turned down just a notch to kill the ice-pick of the TVJ's then most the comments here would be along the lines of "wow, those TVJ's are incredible...."


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