Ray (Filtertron) Butts Interview


Fascinating read, the way it all went down then.

Some guitarist -- wasn't it, suggested the Hi Lo Tron? As Hi Lo guy I should know this.


Terrific read!! Sure glad I have a pair of his pups he built himself.


The HiLoTron was invented/fabricated by Jerry Perito (according to Dan Duffy), who was a Gretsch woodshop foreman. It was introduced on a batch of Ramblers in '58 as a replacement for the Dynasonic (Ed Ball: Gretsch: The 1950's). Gretsch then went to the white soapbar on a few batches of the '59 Clipper; the Hilo was "re-introduced" on the '59 Clipper after 400/500 units.

The white soapbar was cheaper to manufacture and install than the Hilo, but Gretsch wisely decided that the HiLo was a more serious pickup (with individually adjustable pole-pieces like Gibson's P-90), as evidenced by the crude after-artist drawing of pick-up poles on the white soapbar pick-up on the Clipper in the 1959 catalog.


Great article, right from the horse's mouth. (You're lucky Dave, I sure wish I had an original set!) But I do have a Butts TVJones set, made after Tom visited Ray Butt's Daughter and viewed and followed some of his original notes and drawings, available at TVJ's website. They sound great and my sense is that they will only improve with age. Thanks very much for the link, very informative

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