Filtertron’s coils wiring


Hello everybody, I'm new to this super forum. I need help because when I was young (and stupid) I modified the wiring of my country gentlemen (made in 1976) in order to split the two side of the filtertron and have the possibility of connecting them parallel or serial with a switch. Now that I'm old (and reasonable) I'd like to re-wire my gretsch like "original" The problem is that I dont remember how these filtertron were wired. So I join a pic of one of the filtertron : You see a black and a red wire coming out of each coil. So I've seen that the two coils must be wired in parallel (I suppose ?!) But how must I connect them : red with red and black with black or reds with blacks and which wire must go to the ground. Thanks a lot for your infos because before doing anything wrong, I wanna be sure !


Hang tight. We've got some (smarter than me) people here that will likely have an answer for you.


You may want to try TVJones' website (link to your right) which should have a schematic of how the wiring goes.


They're wired in series. You want to end up with a black and red from each pickup . Use the outer two (black and red) for your pickup wires to connect to the wiring harness and connect the inner two black and red wires to each other, put some shrink wrap on them and tuck them between the coils. Done!

If you have it wired for coil splitting then with the coils not split it should just sound stock.

Filtertrons individual coils are a little weak and tend to be pretty thin and quiet by themselves


Toxophilite: Sorry but I dont understand well your explanation (maybe it's due to the fact that English is not my mother language )


Hello John Lindsey, thanks for the pic. So if I see well, the coils are connected in serial. But the problem is that a lot of people on the net say that for a country gentlemen made in 1978, the coils were connected in in parallel ??!! So who is right ?


John illustrated exactly what I was saying. I think you are over thinking this

A lot of people on the net say a lot of things, much of it misleading.

This is a humbucker pickup. If it was connected in parallel it would read maybe 1-2k I personally have NEVER heard of a filtertron reading that low, Usually 4-5k with each coil being around 2-2.5k

Connect them in series that's how they work.

When you use BOTH pickups together, on all the Gretsch guitars I've seen, those pickups are then hooked up in parallel with each other.

However the coils within your filtertrons are wired in series (the word is 'series' not 'serial' or 'cereal' ) I've had a few vintage filtertron gretsch and afew modern ones and they're all wired in series

Try both if you must, it's easy and won't wreck anything.

You did come seeking help i just offered it based on experience.


Hahaha thanks Toxophilite for improving my english. So I will connect them in Serie -- And Thanks to everybody for your help


Hi Thanks to everybody. In fact the filtertron coils must be in serie as Toxophilite and John have said. My work is already done now, but I am asking to myself some questions that you will maybe consider as pure integrism : Some wires in the harness were original ones (white) ; but I was obliged to make missing connections with grey or black wires instead of the original ones. Is that important or not considering that I wanted to put my gretsch in its original state. Another funny thing that I ve seen and that I dont understand: the two potentiometers for neck and bridge pups volumes were wired in parallel with original white wires ?! Is it normal or not. I've suppressed this connection because it was not indicated on gretsch wiring diagrams


Do you have original 1970s wiring diagrams? Modern Gretsch is Fender and has little to do with the original company as far as data base goes.


I have the wiring diagrams dated 2001, 2005 which are similar to modern ones , but nothing from the 70' and 80' - I dont even know if these old diagrams are available somewhere ?! And what do you think about my new connections with new cables instead of vintage ones ??


I think there is NO value in using old wire. It is often brittle, corroded etc.

New wire is better, good for you for using it where necessary!

Not an issue at all

Plug your guitar in and enjoy it!


OK Toxophilite, I think you are right - I 'm happy to have good advices from an experienced Gretschman - thanks again


VERY IMPORTANT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE THE SAME GUITAR THAN ME: In fact for this country gentlemen, the correct wiring between the two coils of the filtertrons is in serie, BUT the red wire of one coil connected to the red wire of the other coil and one black wire to ground and the other black = output !!!!


That wiring color scheme (2 black wires going to the wiring harness) would be very abnormal indeed. I've never seen a pickup with 2 wires of the same color coming out of it... there would be no way to know which is hot and which is ground.

Of course this doesn't matter ALOT- you only need to make sure the TWO pickups send the SAME wires to hot, so that the two pickups will be IN-Phase when used together.

Register Sign in to join the conversation