Ray Butts or Brian Setzer Sigs for my G5422T?


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.

– BuddyHollywood

thank you for that. very clear! i could not agree more that either set will be amazing. certainly a good problem i have here :)


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. :)


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.

Saw Billy play with X many times, then Dave Alvin for a bit (original Blaster), and then Tony Gilkyson, then Billy again at the reunited shows. When Dave Alvin left the Blasters I think Hollywood Fats played with them for a bit before he passed on. For many years Keith Wyatt has been playing with them. What years did Billy play with the Blasters?


Re: the Ray Butts or Setzer Signature, will they fit in my G5422? Anyone here know? I can always email Mr. Jones, but I figured I'd check here first :)


Yes, they'll fit as long as you get the EM2 gretsch rings, I think he provides the universai clips on all his pickups so they can be English mounted.{Suspended from the ring).


I use two (2) neck HS Filtertrons for my George Harrison/Brian Setzer tone. I removed most of the wax potting and I've never been happier. The only TV Jones pickup that sounds like a vintage Filtertron to me is the Classic neck pickup. The bridge pickup is too trebly and hot. And I've also tried the Setzer Signature; that's great that Brian endorses them, but I wouldn't use them if you are seeking the early Stray Cats sound. To my ears, Filtertrons on steroids. But some like them; not my cup of tea.


HS filtertrons dont have the correct magnet Alum,Cobalt,Nickel ratios that TV Jones pickups have nor do they have the correct metallurgy of pole screws or pickup covers. The stock pickups are fantastic no doubt but if youre gunning for getting it real real, then the Butts are the way to spend your money.

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