Are Tv PowerTrons ok for all… ?


Hi !

I'm the proud owner of a Gretsch 6118T-LTV, the Jaguar Tan colored model. All in my guitar is near to perfect, once it's been settled to my taste… but… I do think that those PowerTrons PU are a bit "dark and too much powerful"… to get that clear nice Gretsch tone I love… Finally, I'm not sure this PU's are the right choice for a hollow-body Gretsch, and sometimes think about swapping them for Classics… am I alone to think so ?

Tell me, guys… thanks !


You're not alone! I'm not a big fan of the powertrons, I had one in my 5129 for a little while, I like the classics a lot more.


Ok, powertrons not for everybody......i have them and i like them BUT,....i turn the voulme pots all the way up to make them "cleaner" and turn down the amp volume down....I love my classics but the powertrons are nice in a jet!


A lot depends on what amp you are using also


I have a Power Tenny I really like. I love the Powertrons through a Fender blackface type circuit or an EF86 Vox circuit. I do have a treble bleed mod - it helps quite a bit.


They do seem a bit amp-picky.

The aluminum Tru-Arc I put on also seemed to help lighten them.


I'm in the opposite camp on this question.

Absolutely LOVE the mid range voicing of PowerTrons in my Jag Tan. For me these pickups just seem to work with the ML bracing, producing something that's different, but still closer to a Gretsch FilterTron than Gibson PAF. The change to an Aluminum Tru-Arc and fresh D'Addario EXL115s have made the Annie smoother and more articulate than with the stock setup.

Amps also figure into the PowerTron equation. I prefer the 6118T-125 through the Normal Channel of a Blond Bassman slightly over the same guitar through a Tweed Bassman. The 6G6B is pretty easy to dial in and the results are sweet indeed. OTOH Fender tweeds have interactive controls that take time to properly explore. So I may still get there with the Victoria 45410.

Colonel, you're certainly not alone, as evidenced by the number of GDPers who have switched to TV Classics in their Jag Tans. In the end few thing are more subjective than guitar tone where one man's prize is another man's poison. The player's opinion is the only one that's relevant in any particular case.

I'd suggest dialing down the Bass and Mid Range knobs on your amplifier before giving up on the PowerTrons. You may yet come up with a combination that works.

In my experience the TV Jones pickup than can be overpowering if you're not careful is a neck position SuperTron. They have a lot of umph and can easily steamroller a lower output neck pickup.


I'd add that the Jag Tan gets much brighter through a Black Face Twin Reverb.

I doctored a 65 TRRI with a lower gain 12AY7 NOS GE tube in V1 and that worked very well opening up the Jag Tan Anniversary.

Said Twin migrated to a closet when the 6G6B came to live here and I'm mustering the strength to move it somewhere else in the house. My wife's not a fan of three large amplifiers in conspicuous places.


roadjunkie wrote:

A lot depends on what amp you are using also

I'm using a Rivera Pubster (a kind of the same model that Paul Rivera designed for Fender when he was working for them, say something like Superchamp…), upgraded with a 10" Celestion Alnico Gold, this amp has a nice clean tone (Fenderish ?), but those PowerTrons are so high leveled that they crunch it too early ! So, of course, I tried to put the vol pot a little down on the guitar, but without treble bleed on it, all my trebles go down away !

I play many different songs, that require from the cleanest to the full distorted sounds, and, if distorted ones are really wonderful, I can't say the same for clean sounds, they don't "shine"…


I'm not a filtertron fan, but even less of a Powertron fan - the bass strings are too dull and dark for my taste. IMO and YMMV.


Well, I also had the problem with both PU's switched on, it sounded like if only the neck one was working… so I had to screw it (neck PU) down to death to have a correct balance of the 2 PU's when both on… and now, when only on neck PU, it sounds quite dull and dark… It makes me wonder : are those PU really good ones for a Gretsch hollow ?

Notice : I had before a Gretsch Electromatic G5125, with De Armond 2000 in it, and they were much more nice to me than those P'Trons, go figure !


Well, Powertrons are one far end of Gretsch pickup tone, and DeArmond 2000s are the opposite far end...from the darkest/thickest to the brightest/lightest. You apparently need to find the middle of that road – Dynasonics (fat singlecoils) or TV Classics (bright dualcoils).

I wouldn't say P'trons are "wrong" for a Gretsch hollow, but they do take a lot of getting-used-to. I really enjoy my Jagtan Annie, but it took me months to come to terms with the pickups. By adjusting your attack, even where you hit the strings, you can somewhat moderate the heaviness and optimize the sparkle – and amp settings that sound fabulous with other pickups may need adjustment to create a sweet spot with the P'trons. (And if tweaking gets you close but not quite, a graphic eq can help pull in the final tone.)

I like them clean, both individually and together – for a warm, full sound. Chords or lead, all sweet. (Though you have to pay attention not to make dense voicings in the low end if the neck pickup is on.) The tone has Gretsch high-end, but definitely fatter. Yeah, they'll make the amp bark earlier (and maybe in a different register) than you're expecting – so I learn to work right up against that, and if I'm going there, I know what I'll get and it doesn't surprise (or disappoint) me anymore.

And I like 'em for crunch, dirt, full distortion too – but there are rules. If you're playing rock rhythm, just forget there's a neck pickup. It'll just mud up. The bridge will take you anywhere you want to go. For lead, any combination can work...but again you'll spend most of the time at the bridge.

The tone switch is completely useless for clean work – even the "mild treble cut" setting is too dark. I'm sure TV could recommend a better combination of cap values than were used in the production model...but it's easy enough just to stay away from it. (OK, a real jazz guy could maybe make the half-dark work.)

With strong dirt and/or high drive, though, the tone switch and bridge pickup offer some entertaining rock lead tones.

For my purposes, Power'Trons aren't the first Filtertrons I'd have on a hollowbody – I prefer Power'Trons or Magna'Trons – but nothing else does quite what the P'Trons do, and there's a place for them.

(And, yes, an aluminum bridge can pull just enough low mids out of their tonal spectrum to tame them a bit – but that's a fact, not a sales job. [Disclosure: I sell bridges.])


Colonel, Powertrons are good for a Gretsch hollowbody for people that are into Powertrons. It's really that simple.

If you liked those 2000 pickups so much, maybe you should have gotten a guitar with single coil pickups? Dynasonics sound like those 2000's, only with more balls and authority.


It also depends on how you set up your amp. If you've set your EQ to produce a big, full tone with DeArmond 2000's, Powertrons are going to sound dark and muddy.


I was in the same boat - the bridge PowerTron in my Jag Tan Annie just wasn't cutting it for me. I swapped in a TV Classic, added an Aluminum Tru-Arc and love it to death.

In fact, I actually enjoy the neck PowerTron in this combo, and still use it pretty regularly.


I have PowerTrons in my ProJet, and love them, but I could see them giving hollow guitars fits with all of their mids.

I have heard PowerTrons in solid, semi-hollow, and full-hollow guitars. They have all sounded great to my ears, but they may not be the best for clean and pristine roots or rockabilly.


I'm looking at getting a couple of powertrons for my g5120. Proteus for "your purposes" does that mean rockabilly? I play primarily worship music so I need a powerful full rich tone for lead lines. In your opinion would the powertrons work for that?


The powertrons in my G6143 Spectra Sonic sound great, especially when a nice rangemaster type boost is used. Compared to classics/classic plus bridge pickups the powertron bridge pickup is loads darker and doesn't have that twang that the former do. Chris Cheney of The Living End seems to prefer the powertron neck/classic plus bridge combo in his hollowbodies. To him, the powertron isn't clear enough for him for live applications. I haven't heard a powertron in a hollow body yet, but I can see where the low mids/low end grunt could be too much.


Thanks to y'all, guys !

So many answers… wow !

OK, I'm gonna try to find the "right" setting of my amp, and will also tweak a bit some more those PU's by changing their global height and pole pieces adjustement… I did as said on the TV site, but I don't like the result... I will tell you asap !

Remember, I love their crunchy tones when I play some ZZTop or heavy rock, but not their clean tones when playing oldies or ballads…


Blauto, I wouldn't say my purposes for that guitar include classic rockabilly, no. It would do it...but it would be like pushed P90s through a REALLY mid-heavy amp. Honky and blatty at best. Psychobilly on the bridge pickup, with some gain and the amp set not to fart, probably.

And if I was using only that guitar for a set that included a rockabilly tune, I wouldn't necessarily change the guitar for that song.

But the Power'Trons are not what most Gresch guys think of first when you say "rockabilly hollowbody."

Well wait, that's not entirely fair. If you dialed your amp in for this guitar (less bass and mids than you'd use for a guitar with Classics or High Sensitives, and maybe a little treble boost), you'd certainly get in Setzer/Rev/modern'billy territory, without going all the way to fuzztone psycho.

Tell ya what...I believe Ronnie Crutcher of Hillbilly Casino uses Power'Trons in his red Hot Rod. You can hear lots of live audio of him in this thread, pretty far down the page.

Two videos here comparing the Jagtan Annie with a 6120 with TV Classics, same music, lots of pickup, pedal, and tone settings. (You're free to ignore the too-long intro.)

Jagtan Annie w/PowerTrons
6120GA w/TV Classics

Taint rockabilly, and may or may not help.


The aluminum Tru-Arc really does a lot to open it up. And they ARE amp-picky. I never have been able to get the Annie to get along with my Dula. I think they like a big amp. Sounds great through my 2X12 Peavey or Valco/National.


Being a tvjones installer guy I agree with Baxter on the powertrons being amp picky.. The Powertrons in the soapbar mount for reason of having a plastic cover instead of the metal surrounding them have more "air" to the notes. I took a rather thin sounding 6118T and put the powertron soapbar mounts in and that guitar was so beautiful with the Tophat King Royale (a vintage 60s Vox AC30 style clone) but was brutish with the fender like a gibson.. Ironically I liked them through a Roland Jazz Chorus amp a lot

over posted pic but sexy none the less..


Colonel, don't be afraid to turn down the individual volume control for the neck pickup while you're fiddling with the amplifier.


WIREDTURTLE here SINCE2002 wrote:

Being a tvjones installer guy I agree with Baxter on the powertrons being amp picky.. The Powertrons in the soapbar mount for reason of having a plastic cover instead of the metal surrounding them have more "air" to the notes. I took a rather thin sounding 6118T and put the powertron soapbar mounts in and that guitar was so beautiful with the Tophat King Royale (a vintage 60s Vox AC30 style clone) but was brutish with the fender like a gibson.. Ironically I liked them through a Roland Jazz Chorus amp a lot

over posted pic but sexy none the less..

Still dig the look of that Anni! I must say that the Powertrons into a TopHat Club Royale have been great. I haven't had a chance to plug my Spectra Sonic into anything else, but that will change soon enough! Granted a Spectra Sonic is completely different than a traditional Gretsch maple hollow body!

The aluminum Tru Arc did help wake things up a bit with the Powertrons. I have been thinking about an electronics overhaul...maybe trying some 1 meg pots in there. Just gotta put thinking into action and do it! Then again I'm usually lost in the shuffle of all the different parts for electronics/wiring harness upgrades. I mean how many different 500k or 1 meg pots can there possibly be? Caps and resistors?!? fuggetaboutit!!!


Sorry to come back with my 1 year old thread… but I found THE solution, its wonderful !!!

Remember I wasn't so pleased with my PTrons ? During all this time, I kept on trying to set them correctly… but in vain…no result !

And, at least, I decided yesterday to all "reset" and start again with my "quest"… So I screwed back all the pup pole pieces, all at the same height… Before starting tweaking again, I plug my guitar, and then… THE SOUND !!! !#$@% !#$@% !#$@% That's just what I always wanted !!! Clear, no mud, chime, articulate, EVERYTHING !!!

Happy end, no ???:D 8-)

By the way, thanks to you all who tried to help me during this quest !!! 8-)

Register Sign in to join the conversation