Pickups

Love my first Gretsch, hate the pickups.

1

I bought a clearance 2016 Gretsch 5435 Pro Jet in December 2018. Its a Special Edition Blonde color. Its gorgeous and I love the guitar but hate the pickups. They are way to noisy and muddy. I even dropped the pickup height. I have nice amps and cabs but can't dial in an acceptable sound. Its the blacktop filtertrons. They look like a miniature size pickup to me. My preferred tone is the Gibson into a Marshall growl type tone. I guess I would prefer anything quiet with lots of clarity that rocks. I don't solder and have never swapped a pickup myself so consider that I must pay a tech to swap it out. I dont use a neck pickup so I just need a bridge. I'm afraid a tech would charge a fortune to route a full size humbucker chamber. I would prefer going to a full size and I already have a Gibson 500T and a Gibson 496 that I am quite sure that can be used in either position so that would save me the cost of the pickup. So what should I do? Just buy another mini that is not a Gretsch pickup? Any suggestions on a brand? Or have the guitar routed? I watched a video and the routing job looked quite time consuming and took some real skill. I would accept any option that has a lot more clarity. I kind of feel that jut getting another mini would be cheaper but I don't know that for sure. There may be some routing and adapting stuff required even on a mini.

2

If you're talking about the mini humbuckers, I can understand your issues. A P-90 is a direct drop in. Not a 'bucker, but it is one of the best sounding pickups ever made.

3

Have you looked at TVJones pickups? Lots of choice on pickups and no routing needed. Just make sure you pick the right mounting system. There have been threads on the subject here like this one: LINK

Even though a good tech or luthier would do a good job and is wel worth the money, I'd say learn how to solder and try it yourself. It's good to develop such skills. Who knows, you might choose a pickup and not really like it in the end, so you'll have to exchange them again. I'm in the middle of fixing up my guitars and I'm learning as I go.

4

I did a search for the guitar you described and can’t find a blonde example online. The mention of mini sized pickups has me curious. Can you post a photo or two?

5

I have a 5435 in Fairlane Blue and I felt the same way about the Blacktops. Lots of people seem to enjoy them, but I couldn't gel with them no matter how much I adjusted them (height, poles, even a 1m master volume pot).

I was able to pick up some TV Jones Classics for a good price and, voila, all problems were solved.

While the BTs are absolutely fine, they're missing something in the mids. TJ Jones Classics, T-90s, or Magnatrons might get you closer to that growl you're looking for.

Best of luck!

6

You went the wrong direction. Black-Top Filter-Trons need to be brought up as close to the strings as possible.

This really changes the voice of them.

My guitar was never the same, after I adjusted them up. Thank you Joe Carducci.

7

You went the wrong direction. Black-Top Filter-Trons need to be brought up as close to the strings as possible.

This really changes the voice of them.

My guitar was never the same, after I adjusted them up. Thank you Joe Carducci.

– Suprdave

I agree. I find my Blacktops to be brighter than HS Filtertrons and about right in between them and the worlds greatest pickup, the Hilotron! I've had brightness luck by lowering them a tad and raising the pole screws super close. Don't give up on them yet!

8

I've had brightness luck by lowering them a tad and raising the pole screws super close. Don't give up on them yet!

Not sure we are saying the same or opposite. Lowering the pickup body and raising the poles would make it sound tinier. I prefer my pickup bodies close with the poles almost fully tightened. This gives me a fat sound. I only adjust poles to balance string to string volume, not for tonality.

9

all filters; 3/16" spacing between bottom of both E strings and top of pickups. Do it, and you'll love it.. DONT raise the pole screws.. they are for string balance only.

10

Ditto on the Blacktop height, I was underwhelmed by the Black tops in my 5422, until I raised them up as per Suprdaves recommendation. It was a game changer, I love them now!

11

This guitar was one of three limited Edition colors made specifically for Riff City Guitar and Music Company in St. Paul Minnesota. I think Riff City just recently went out of business. The 3 colors were Tangerine Sparkle, which sold really fast, some type of mint color that looked like a light teal, and this one I have which has no official color name. When Rob Chapman and Rabea Massaad of Andertons and Chapman Guitars did a video of the Limited Color Gretsch Pro Jet G5435s they jokingly referred to this color as Blonde. It is the same color as Malcom Youngs but a veneer finish.

13

Do they make a noiseless P90 that sounds good? I have always liked them but not the hum and noise.

14

You went the wrong direction. Black-Top Filter-Trons need to be brought up as close to the strings as possible.

This really changes the voice of them.

My guitar was never the same, after I adjusted them up. Thank you Joe Carducci.

– Suprdave

Thank you to all the kind people who made suggestions. I'm happy to report that Suprdave was very right, raising the pickup height really helped. The guitar sounds like I always hoped and believed it should. I love the tone now. God Bless you guys. I bought a nice Gretsch case for it last week too. My go to guitar is a 2018 Gibson Les Paul Standard High Performance Hot Pink Fade. In April a Youtuber (Chris at the 'Guitar Pit") alerted me that the new C.E.O. Gibson wanted them all gone because the first ones (2019s) under his name were hitting stores. They slashed them $1000.00 and the Blue and Mojave ones went fast but not the Pink Fade ones so he slashed the Pink ones another $500.00. I did some calling and found out they only had 31 left. I tracked down a light weight one (8lbs) and got the guitar of my dreams that I never thought I could afford. I was just blessed to be at the right place talking to the right guy at the right time and got a $3,630.00 LP for $2,130.00. The robot tuners work good and it tunes manually good. They had 2 year financing at 0% at Guitar Center. It's paid for now and it sounds like a dream guitar should. It smokes! This Gretsch Les Paul will help me keep the milage down on the Gibson LP. I'm really happy I got on this forum. Thank you guys so much.

17

Glad to hear that you sorted out your pu problems with the tried and true methodology for Filter style pu's. Now...if you really want that Jet to sound even better (and look way Gretschier ie cooler) it needs to get a Bigsby. I would go B-3 with a Towner Bar to deal with the string break angle over the bridge (the Towner Down Tension Bar uses the stop tail studs so it's an easy to reverse retrofit). Just sayin'

18

I'm loving my 5435t, including the pups that came with it. Nice to see other special variant finishes on the Pro-Jets too.

I'm partial to the Aspen Green.

19

This guitar was one of three limited Edition colors made specifically for Riff City Guitar and Music Company in St. Paul Minnesota. I think Riff City just recently went out of business. The 3 colors were Tangerine Sparkle, which sold really fast, some type of mint color that looked like a light teal, and this one I have which has no official color name. When Rob Chapman and Rabea Massaad of Andertons and Chapman Guitars did a video of the Limited Color Gretsch Pro Jet G5435s they jokingly referred to this color as Blonde. It is the same color as Malcom Youngs but a veneer finish.

– fibes01

Blonde would be right. She looks awesome. Glad our advice helped out. RAWK ON!!

20

Please refresh my memory.. is the pick up to string space @ 3/16 with strings open or fretted at some point?

21

I feel pretty sure it's when open.

22

Yep, open string initial setting.

Once you get your string height finally set, recheck and adjust if needed.


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