Other Equipment

T-Armond, worth the upgrade?

1

I have a 57 silver jet that I play straight into a cranked tweed fender blues jr. 3 and I love dynasonics. Today I was playing and wondering, would the T-armonds be a worthwhile upgrade? At around $150 per pickup this would be a costly upgrade for someone that just plays cranked up almost all the time, not much clean except passages in songs. If they are worth it, why? Thanks everyone!

2

Also, would tweaking the poles really be all I need to do instead of pickups? Looking for more punch, raise them? They are wherever they came from the factory now

3

I played a 57 duo jet for a long time before upgrading. What would you like to change about the sound of you could?

I ended up wanting better balance and more oomph from the bridge and clarity from the neck. I upgraded the neck first (found one used) and then splurged on the bridge a while later. I ended up with better balance but not as much clarity as I wanted. I changed my pots to 1meg and am now happy as I have both.

I, however, probably play cleaner/less over driven but I do use a 5e3 in one band (hence wanting some more clarity) and play surf through bf fenders in another.

I adjusted the poles for my preferred results on both the dynas and the t-armonds.

4

I have them in my 6120DSW and they're worth every penny. And since they're wax potted, they can be played overdriven without squealing (which was a problem for me with the stock Dynas). Great pickups!

6

Aside from the general differences in tone, I find that the T-Armonds have a very consistent, even frequency response over the entire range of the guitar. The Dyna'sonics seem to drop out in the higher register.

7

Thanks for the feeback! I typically just play with the amp cranked, mid boost engaged at all times, like a reverend horton heat tone (not that I have his chops), sometimes cleaner in the middle, but rarely in the neck because I find it very boomy and muddy, the middle is nice semi clean but then muddy again with more drive. The bridge is great but not as punchy as I'd like, and I can't seem to get the treble strings to ring through as loud as I want. I should also add I use pure nickel strings, should I try something brighter?

8

Changing the pots can clean up that muddinesss. The t-armonds would definitely give you more punch on the bridge as well.

9

Changing the pots can clean up that muddinesss. The t-armonds would definitely give you more punch on the bridge as well.

– Cirecc

What pots do you recommend? My jet is stock in that department

10

What pots do you recommend? My jet is stock in that department

– Chmason85

I swapped my 500k over to 1meg and did all of them. I really wanted the clarity and went for it. It's easy enough to just try swapping two at first if you wanted. It also gave me an opportunity to try a different tone cap. You will want to pick one up if you're changing the tone pot, the stock one won't leave much to work with. Plus, it's easier to swap back if you don't like it.

Good pots are still a cheap experiment compared to the price of pickups. I would prioritize the bridge pu over the neck, since the tv jones will balance and have the punch. I like the tv jones neck better than stock, but with a cap change, the bridge showed the biggest difference between the dynas and t-armonds.

11

If you play cranked and use mid boost a lot then I would say yes, you would probably like the T-Armonds.

12

Cool, thanks for the help! Do the TV Jones look different from stock? I'll probably just get the bridge pickup when I decide to pull the trigger, as I really only switch between bridge and middle, so if they look the same that would be cool

13

They look about the same. Tvjones suggests orienting both pickups like the neck. I wanted more treble bite, so I have mine like the stock. If you look closely, you can the tv jones printed in the black plastic upside down. Other than that, they pretty much look the same.

14

I will add that I do like the neck better than stock, just that the difference was less substantial.

15

I also contemplated swapping to T'Armonds for a long time with my DSV Duo Jet for the same reasons you mentioned, a muddy neck and a thin bridge. My issue was I love the overall sound of the stock Dynasonics and didn't want to lose that but noticed these small detail issues after playing the guitar for a few months. I first bought a Dynasonic riser from TV Jones for the bridge pickup. It allowed me to get the pickup closer to the strings and it's made of foam so it makes the height of the pickup semi-adjustable. I adjusted the poles on the bridge for string balance and I have the neck poles a little bit higher to add some clarity. Then I also changed the pots to CTS 1 meg linear pots with a 1 meg audio pot for the master volume going from a recommendation from Billy Zoom who gave us this information on a thread here a while ago. He mentioned that the original 1950s Jets came stock with 1 meg pots. I am now happy with the stock Gretsch Dynasonics and since the Gretsch Dynasonic tone is what I originally fell in love with in my guitar I am going to keep them.

If money is not an issue then it would make sense to spring for the T'Armonds if you really want them. They really do sound amazing but from what I've heard they do have a TV Jones signature high mid bump that the stock Dynasonics do not have. It all depends on what sound you are trying to get.

16

There's also the Duncan version that I'm told has more oomph then both the current Gretsch and the TVJ.

17

Here is a thread I wrote a while back on my T-Armond swap. You may find it useful. Note the difference in the pole piece sizes between the T-Armonds and the Dynas.

http://gretschpages.com/for...

18

I also contemplated swapping to T'Armonds for a long time with my DSV Duo Jet for the same reasons you mentioned, a muddy neck and a thin bridge. My issue was I love the overall sound of the stock Dynasonics and didn't want to lose that but noticed these small detail issues after playing the guitar for a few months. I first bought a Dynasonic riser from TV Jones for the bridge pickup. It allowed me to get the pickup closer to the strings and it's made of foam so it makes the height of the pickup semi-adjustable. I adjusted the poles on the bridge for string balance and I have the neck poles a little bit higher to add some clarity. Then I also changed the pots to CTS 1 meg linear pots with a 1 meg audio pot for the master volume going from a recommendation from Billy Zoom who gave us this information on a thread here a while ago. He mentioned that the original 1950s Jets came stock with 1 meg pots. I am now happy with the stock Gretsch Dynasonics and since the Gretsch Dynasonic tone is what I originally fell in love with in my guitar I am going to keep them.

If money is not an issue then it would make sense to spring for the T'Armonds if you really want them. They really do sound amazing but from what I've heard they do have a TV Jones signature high mid bump that the stock Dynasonics do not have. It all depends on what sound you are trying to get.

– BuddyHollywood

Thanks for your detailed response, that's just what I was hoping to hear! I also have read of people just turning the pickup around, might try this with the neck. So youd recommend the risers from TV vs. raising the individual poles?

19

I tried the risers when I got my 6121 and they really made a big difference. Highly recommended! If I had kept the guitar I would have definitely bought TV's T-Armonds.

20

Thanks for your detailed response, that's just what I was hoping to hear! I also have read of people just turning the pickup around, might try this with the neck. So youd recommend the risers from TV vs. raising the individual poles?

– Chmason85

I only got the riser for the bridge pickup and I still raised the polls a little bit. It did help add some body to the bridge pickup. The poles are higher for the neck pickup but I kept the pickup height stock to help balance the pickups better. I've thought about turning the neck pickup around too but haven't done it.

21

Every guitar on this pic is equipped with T-Armonds and it was worth every cent. More balanced tone, more power on the bridge side.Not boomy on the neck pickup.When you'll find someone in your area, who has a TA equipped guitar, try it and you'll hear the difference .

22

There's also the Duncan version that I'm told has more oomph then both the current Gretsch and the TVJ.

– Charlie Vegas

In Proteus' shootout of the 2, I heard more mids in the SD versions, which I prefer. I've also heard form owners reporting the SD versions "do better with gain", which makes sense with the slight mid bump.

Unfortunately, SD doesn't make a version mountable into a Filtertron guitar like TVJ does.

23

Also, regarding the duncans, they're even more expensive. If I recall correctly, a set will run you $400-450.


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