Pickups

Ray Butts or Brian Setzer Sigs for my G5422T?

1

Hello all, I just joined up to this very cool Gretsch Forum!

I read over similar topics and I'm dizzy! Too dark, too bright, wax potted or wax free!? I'm lost!

The Namm demo of the RB's I saw sounded amazing. And so did the demo I saw on the BS Sigs! They both sound incredible! I'd be over the moon to have sweet new Gretsch sound like that :)

So the big question is, which set will sound best in my guitar, G5422T? Double cut away hollow body. No centre block :)

I love that Chet Filter'Tron tone... and Brian Setzer always sounds killer! I mostly play clean. Been spending time lately learning chord melody style and Travis picking style. Since I'm not in a band these days and I can't sing, I'm playing solo pieces / arrangements. Nothing wrong with some gain / crunch, but I really do mostly play clean. I like a snappy tone with tons of clarity in the bass strings. I've been playing a Fender Jaguar with flats and I like a big bright tone... without the icepick highs. It's all about the TWANG!

My set up: Maz Jr - Reverb - Delay - Tremolo - DynoBrain - Gretsch

Thank you in advance!!!! :)

2

What pickups are in there now? What don't you like bout them?

3

Hi hilosean, it came with Blacktop Filter'Trons. In fact like them more now than I did 3 weeks ago when I got the guitar. Overall I find the tone can be a bit dark on the lows. I want the strings to be more balanced. Looking for a bit more clarity and twang.

4

I never played the Setzers or the Butts, but I can say we were all perfectly satisfied with regular TV Classics until a few years ago. Don't count them out.

5

When you like the more fidelity sound, your best way will be the Ray Butts Pu.I got mine from Tom at the Musikmesse and they are now in my greeen SSU.Tone clear as glass but not too sharp in the highs, no muddyness in the lows and the tone is great for clear fingerpicking, while the Setzer ones add more mids to the tone and have more balls.

6

Chris, the tone you describe sounds like you could be perfectly happy with a good Dynasonic type of pickup. Clarity, snap, tight lows, bright but not ice-picky (unless you want it)... TV Jones makes his version in Filtertron mount and you should consider those.

7

I would think that if balance is a priority, the Butts wouldn't give you what you need, as the string spacing on the pole pieces is uniform. TVJ makes his other FilterTron style pickups with wider spacing at the bridge so the poles line up with the strings better. Then you just adjust the heights of the pole pieces to balance to your needs.

I also second the T-Armonds.

8

Otter, yep i agree the clips I've heard with the TV classics sound great!

Truth is if I couldn't change a thing on my guitar and had to keep it stock i would still keep it and be pretty happy. It's that never ending tone quest in my head. But also what i hear in some of those clips is just fantasticand it's the reason i wanted to get a Gretsch. The pro series are pretty expensive here in Canada, so after trying the G5422T and loving the way it played i figured i could upgrade it a bit and still spent way less than the first one i was looking at.

I'll keep the Dynasomic idea in mind, but I'm pretty set on FilterTrons right now :)

9

I've never played the ray butts, but have a guitar with the setzers and another with the classic/classic +. To me, the setzers are sweeter and the classic/+ are clearer and twangier. If you're looking for clarity and balance, I think my ideal would be setzer neck classic + bridge. Again, I've never tried the rb set.

10

That's interesting, i haven't even thought about a mixed pair. That does give me something to think about :)

11

Classic neck and Magnatron bridge is way fun.

12

I would think that if balance is a priority, the Butts wouldn't give you what you need, as the string spacing on the pole pieces is uniform. TVJ makes his other FilterTron style pickups with wider spacing at the bridge so the poles line up with the strings better. Then you just adjust the heights of the pole pieces to balance to your needs.

I also second the T-Armonds.

– Strummerson

Ironically they sound just as clear even though they dont line up, they are fantastic pickups. Dynasonics are the guitarded little cousin of the Filtertron, Chet Atkins sez so! :)

mmmmhhh filtertrons!!

13

Ironically they sound just as clear even though they dont line up, they are fantastic pickups. Dynasonics are the guitarded little cousin of the Filtertron, Chet Atkins sez so! :)

mmmmhhh filtertrons!!

– THE NOCTURNE BRAIN™ (actually loves hippies)

I see your Chet Atkins, and raise you a Cliff Gallup, Eddie Cochran, Duane Eddy, and a Billy Zoom...though I'd love a chance to play some Setzer Sigs.

14

All great examples. (But no idea who Billy Zoom is)

Cliff Gallup's got the best tone imo of the "Dyno" bunch. Could be that it's cause he's a monster player, but my conclusion was Dyno's sound great in a Jet. Duane Eddy is also a fav of mine but i could never nail down his tone.

Back to Chet... whatever he played on Man of Mystery sounds great to me. I love his tone on that one. I thought it was FilterTrons... if not i gotta rethink this :)

15

so again, my questions is based on the guitar i have G5422T, are there any suggestions on what pups (Ray Butts vs Setzer Sigs) would work best, or even better, is there one set i should avoid? with my guitar is there one of these sets that would be for example; too bright? i know this is all very subjective... but I'm just looking for guidance, i can't really order both and try them out.

16

Your 5422 is a 5 ply tone post model, yes? I have Classics in my 5 ply tone post 6120, which is reasonably close in construction bar the body depth and single cutaway. I also had the same pickups in a trestle braced SSLVO. The Classics in the more open body add more midrange and a little less top end in comparison. From 30 feet away through a cranked amp, they sound much the same.

To be honest, all Filtertrons sound much the same by the time you crank them. For clear single note separation, Dynas beat them hands down.

17

The Blacktop filtertrons sound best when they are up as close to the pickups as they can be. Joe C. Took mine out, trimmed the springs down, put them back in and raised them up high. Totally changed the sound and I love it.

18

Youre either really old or really young if you dont know who Billy Zoom is.:) The Godfather of seminal Los Angeles punk rock band; X He also was the guitarist in Americana/Rockabilly band THE BLASTERS! I grew up w both in High School along w The Stray Cats.
BUT... going to your request for guidance, dummy #1 here has been a Tvjones dealer for a long long time, but actually an installer. Those blacktops are all rock n roll.. the Setzer Sigs are the finest and most vintage "refined" of all the Filtertrons made today.. The refinements take liberties in miss matched bobbins to bring out a superbly balanced filtertron. The Classics were the first, and its because of these that Setzer in a blind tone test chose these and Tvjones took off. The Setzer Sigs take a better turn in note separation in chords, and in having the Classics solve problems like better bridge pickup height and pole screws wider at the bridge for lining up under the strings, that added some snark that the originals didnt have. This is a benefit for rockers and beneficial for better balance of both pickups in the middle position giving that position a distinct voice for 3 completely unique sounds on the gretsch. Before the Classics middle position wasnt so distinct IMO. Classics have more edge on the highs too... Setzer Sigs smooth out the highs a tad, balanced the mids across the board and again brought some really great note separation to chords on the neck pickup w the low E and A. Consequently the change on the bridge pickup reduced the snark and improved clarity. Cant say enough about these pickups and just how much they improved the sound on my older SSU w the thicker top.

I took them out though, of my new Setzer 2015 model black SSU, because the trestle bracing is so different in sound compared to the tone post 6120's. All the growl and bark are subdued and all the added wood makes the high end so bright. So that I could let customers know what the Butts sound like first hand I decided this guitar might really benefit from these REALLY early creations of the Filtertron, the originals.. Tom REALLY stuck to everything, no wax potting, no soldering the covers down to the base plate, no wax holding the magnet bars in place, pole screws dont line up at the bridge, almost crazy looking to me in comparison to the rolls royce of filtertrons (setzer sigs) ....YET when I got them in the guitar, it was an instant "There we go!" I got the low bark back that I love in my 99' tone post, and it attenuated the overly crystalline jangle I DIDNT want from it. It was the perfect pickup especially if you have ears for old Gretsch filtertron tone. CHET IS ALL OVER THESE! Ironically though my overdrive pedals sound soo good, I thought the guitar would squeal but that hasnt happened. AS a bonus, I hear early Stray Cats tone more so from this new 2015 G6120SSU-BK w the Butts than I do from the 99' SSU w the Setzer Sigs that sounds exactly like his Dirty Boogie/Vavoom/68 comeback special sound. note: your amp paradigm has a lot to do w it.. in my world its Class A 40s gibson tweed or 60s blonde fender. Both ironically relate more to vox and marshall than they do the horrible blackface era of fender amps for me.Leo sucked the life out of his amps after 64' IMO.

PS I WOULD proofread this but Im helping my kid w his history lesson and the lies that are in the book about thanksgiving. :)

20

Paragraphs, Tavo. Paragraphs.

21

Hey Tavo, all, thank you guys it's very helpful. It's still a hard decision. I think I'm looking for more Chet than Setzer... i play clean way more than i do with dirt. With 2 small kids I'm not in a band these days and i can't crank anything... i play for self enjoyment.

One record i really like is Chet picks on the Beatles, i really love the tone on most of the tracks. Well pretty much all but some more than others :)

Ok.. with either of those sets be a direct fit in my 5422, 5 ply tone post?

Thank you!!

22

They won't be a direct fit, but TVJONES supplies all the right Hardwear to get them in.

23

They won't be a direct fit, but TVJONES supplies all the right Hardwear to get them in.

– Uncle Daddy

Music to my ears! Thanks

24

"Youre either really old or really young if you dont know who Billy Zoom is.:) The Godfather of seminal Los Angeles punk rock band; X"

i grew up on the east coast... nobody was into LA punk. We were into the British and New York punk stuff... you know, good punk musichehehehe
i joke.. actually one of my fav's from back in the day was TSOL :)

ok back to pups. if i'm understanding all this, the BS Sigs would be good casue i have a tone post. but the RB's would be good casue it's a 5 ply top? did i get that right?

as for the amp... well that's the subject for another threadat home i have a Princeton Reverb 65RI and a DR Z Maz Jr. these were the amps i used when i was in a band and played a Strat 99% of the time. They also sound good with my Fender off sets

25

"Youre either really old or really young if you dont know who Billy Zoom is.:) The Godfather of seminal Los Angeles punk rock band; X"

i grew up on the east coast... nobody was into LA punk. We were into the British and New York punk stuff... you know, good punk musichehehehe
i joke.. actually one of my fav's from back in the day was TSOL :)

ok back to pups. if i'm understanding all this, the BS Sigs would be good casue i have a tone post. but the RB's would be good casue it's a 5 ply top? did i get that right?

as for the amp... well that's the subject for another threadat home i have a Princeton Reverb 65RI and a DR Z Maz Jr. these were the amps i used when i was in a band and played a Strat 99% of the time. They also sound good with my Fender off sets

– Chris-O-Matic

What I got from Tavo's post is that the Setzer Signatures would be good if you're going for an updated Rolls Royce of Filtertrons with pole screws that line up perfectly with your strings. The Ray Butts would be good if you're going for original Chet Atkins vibe. From what you're saying about what you play and how you play now it sounds like you may want the Ray Butts. I think either will be amazing upgrades in your tone post 5422 with a 5 ply top.


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