Pickups

HiloTrons In A 6120

1

I tried to look for pictures on Google and could not find any of a 6120 with HiloTrons. I would think they may be a direct drop in for FilterTrons and maybe even for Dynas. I suppose no one has done so. Do you know of anyone who has?

Thanks

2

They are not a direct drop in. The routing for each is entirely different

3

I believe that would be a crime against humanity.

4

I believe that would be a crime against humanity.

– crowbone

I agree. I would not do that but I figured every mod that’s possible has been done so I was wondering why never has that been done. I love the Dynas in my DSW and would never do that. I love Hilos in 6119s. Something about the closed top makes a really great sound with the Hilos. Much better than in a 6117.

5

Someone has done this and to great effect; a long time poster. I'm sure he'll show up soon. Never underestimate the HiloTron.

6

Sounds like a wonderful idea! Hilo'trons make anything better.

7

you can always put a coil split on the existing Filtertrons. It won't be exactly the same as a HiloTron, but might be close enough.

8

Sounds like a great idea. Give it a try. They sound great in a double anniversary, why not a 6120, as long as you don't plan to sell it that way. 6120s tend to attract the most fanatical Gretsch purists and as such it would be seriously devalued. They sound great in big hollow bodies. I have a pair on a converted 1955 Convertible. I also tried a pair in a big solid top Yamaha 1200S and one of those ARIA FA700s (L-5 copy).You would have to probably fill the routes on a 6120 and just have just holes for the pole pieces as hiltotrons mount on the top, rather than through the top and on the braces like filtertrons. Entirely possible to do even non-invasively. For a hilotron-esque sound , rather than coil splitting a filtertron, take one row of pole pieces out. Easy and it gets pretty close. That's how I have my 72 Deluxe Chet set up.

9

Since I never got the 6120 religion, I say why not. Could be a cool sound. I stuck em on an Astro Jet and was ok with that result

10

To me, it's like putting a luggage rack on a Lamborghini.

I'm not the biggest fan of Hilos, but I've come around to them in recent years.

11

Toxo is right, HiLo'Trons mount on the top rather than being routed into the wood. On the other hand, TV Jones makes a routable version so you could do it as a reversible mod to see if you like it.

But why bother when Annies are so plentiful?

12

Toxo is right, HiLo'Trons mount on the top rather than being routed into the wood. On the other hand, TV Jones makes a routable version so you could do it as a reversible mod to see if you like it.

But why bother when Annies are so plentiful?

– Deke Martin

Only reason I could think of is one already has a 6120 and doesn't want to spend on another guitar. I like my DSW as is and wouldn't do that but just curious who here may have done it. 6119 with the closed top and Hilos sound amazing.

13

DSW is a different kettle o' fish. Dynas are also top mounted (like HiLos) so it's possible the elongated pole pieces may fit into the slot that's routed for the pole pieces on a Dyna.

First Gretsch I ever played was as early 60's Tenny with HiLos and I loved it. I think it's the only hollow-body variation I've never owned (actually, I've never had a Club either, but they're basically plain-clothed Falcons).

14

Only reason I could think of is one already has a 6120 and doesn't want to spend on another guitar. I like my DSW as is and wouldn't do that but just curious who here may have done it. 6119 with the closed top and Hilos sound amazing.

– ThePolecats

Amen!! They work well for Travis Good.

Link

15

Also good for pop music or non-roots music

16

Amen!! They work well for Travis Good.

Link

– Sourpuss

Appears to be his 1972 Baldwin Tenny (7655?) sounding great. Nowadays he has a quiver : )

17

Appears to be his 1972 Baldwin Tenny (7655?) sounding great. Nowadays he has a quiver : )

– vibrotwang

A quiver??

I used to love the Sadies when they were doing their country-bluegrass-spaghetti western-surf thing, but I haven’t followed them much lately.

Anyway, so I’m not accused of derailing, I put TV Jones Hilos in my 5120 and love it.

That said, I could not see myself doing that to my 6120 DSW.

18

After learning that here's a big similarity between the old Supro Vistatone pickups and the Hilotron in construction, I spent a lot of time today studying them. I've become a massive Vistatone fan. But, they seem way higher output that Hilos in spite of similar construction.

Any other wise opinions on their similarity or differences?

19

Plus, the Hilotron was released in 1958 and copied the principal of Ralph Kellers Vistatone design which had appeared on Supro guitars since 1952. But they had a much higher output and stronger sound. So there

20

HiLoTrons first appeared in '59 on a batch of Ramblers along with the new Venetian (soft) cutaway on the 319xx batch. The new thin-line Clippers debuted a little earlier at 315xx, but Gretsch had gotten between 400 and 500 of the soapbar pick-ups and used them up before debuting the Hilotron on the Clipper's 338xx batch (although I've documented one Clipper from the 315xx batch with a suspiciously clean looking Hilotron.)

My thought (FWIW) is that some Gretsch suit got the idea that the entry level electric guitars didn't need the costlier Hilotron, but that too many of the guitar players in the factory thought that the soapbar was inferior and should be ditched asap. You can see this as reflected in the 1959 catalog which features a well done photo-illustration of the soapbar Clipper with very crudely drawn polepieces, done by someone who could barely draw. This signals to me at least, that Gretsch decided to change course and invest in the Clipper (and the Hilotron) as a quality entry level guitar/pickup.

Gretsch was serious about digging into Gibson's thin body market, but the soapbar was no match for the mighty P-90, always advertised in Gibson's catalogs as "the powerful pickup with individually adjustable polepieces." The Hilotron was a professional grade pick-up, not some cheap plasticky non-adjustable surface mount, DeArmond knock-off.

21

Amen!! They work well for Travis Good.

Link

– Sourpuss

I don't understand these demos where they just demo the guitar with a distorted sound?

22

A quiver??

I used to love the Sadies when they were doing their country-bluegrass-spaghetti western-surf thing, but I haven’t followed them much lately.

Anyway, so I’m not accused of derailing, I put TV Jones Hilos in my 5120 and love it.

That said, I could not see myself doing that to my 6120 DSW.

– 50 Shades of Orange

Recent YouTube videos of The Sadies show Travis with more than a few different Tenny's on hand. I think he might even have a Filter'Tron equipped one(!). A 5120 would be the right place to try HiLos rather than in anything that started life as a 6120 in my way of thinking and I'm glad you like it! I do want a HiLo guitar at some point and might look for a double Annie or do what you did. The Sadies have evolved but still a lot to like for me. I will revive one of the existing Travis threads and post the YouTube link for 'Ten More Songs' at Vancouver. It is everything I love about them in one 3 minute extravaganza! Happy HiLo-ing!

23

Recent YouTube videos of The Sadies show Travis with more than a few different Tenny's on hand. I think he might even have a Filter'Tron equipped one(!). A 5120 would be the right place to try HiLos rather than in anything that started life as a 6120 in my way of thinking and I'm glad you like it! I do want a HiLo guitar at some point and might look for a double Annie or do what you did. The Sadies have evolved but still a lot to like for me. I will revive one of the existing Travis threads and post the YouTube link for 'Ten More Songs' at Vancouver. It is everything I love about them in one 3 minute extravaganza! Happy HiLo-ing!

– vibrotwang

With so little chance to get out, I need to check back in on the Sadies.

As for the Hilos in a 5120, I often wonder if a Tenny would be cooler, but sound-wise, my rationale side says to leave well-enough alone. That 5120 sounds incredible.

24

I made a copy of my 60s double anniversary out of a 5120. It was almost identical sounding though it had one modern hilotron which did sound a little different. I also took the 'soundpost' out of the 5120 and repaired the evilly routed braces. The hilotrons are mounted to plywood 'plugs' mounted on the braces. Hilotrons sound good in any guitar really.

If it's a modern 6120 then it's no big deal as it's not a collectors item. Besides it can be easily reversible. Make a plywood plug with the narrow route for a hilotrons poles pieces, and attach it in the filtertron routes to the braces with screws the same way the filtertrons mount using the same screw holes. Then mount your hilotrons to that. You might be able to do all it with same screws if they're long enough. Completely non-invasive and easily reversible. I don't see any reason not to try it. 6120s aren't sacred relics and it's only the old ones that command the big dollars.


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