TV Jones Magnatron


About a month ago I found a set of TV Jones Magnatrons on a local classifieds website and decided to pull the trigger (I have a thread here about it, also showing how I mounted them). I like to spend some time with pickups before I form an opinion on them because there is often either a honeymoon period or a learning curve in terms of adjustments. One month in, I remain quite impressed with these. They are my first TV Jones, but their reputation for quality is obviously well known and I have no complaints about the quality--they are solid. It is also my first Gretsch, so I can't really speak to how different they are from other more traditional Gretsch pickups because I don't have enough experience with those. What I do know is that the pickups that came in my 5620 stock were decent, and the bridge definitely got me closer to a legit Beatles sound (which is my frame of reference for the Gretsch sound).

They are bright, very bright, but not particularly harsh. I've played them on a lot of digital amps (4 different vox amplugs and 20ish amp models on Amplitube) as well as a vox tube amp. The highs were really only verging on a problem on the Vox Amplug2 "classic rock" (i.e. marshall) and a few of the Marshall type models on amplitube. It didn't need any special treatment on fender, orange, or vox models as well as the actual Vox AC4 I played it through. The timbre (if I can call it that) is like a really "airy" or "woody" telecaster. It sounds fantastic, and really does have a single coil character that I find very pleasant. I was also very impressed with the single coil character of the Gibson's P90S pickups (P90s with pole magnets instead of bar and screw-poles), so I'm starting to think there's something about that type of construction that appeals to me. In any case, I am very impressed with them, and they are definitely in there to stay. Unfortunately, that means I'll have to buy another Gretsch at some point so I can get that traditional Gretsch sound back in my arsenal ahahaha.

Anyone else have love for the Magnatrons? Are there any known recording artists that use them (I'd like to see how they sound in a processed recording)?


Unfortunately the cool demo of 'Hallelujah' from 4 years ago is no longer available. I still love my Pro Jet with Magnatron bridge and Supertron neck. So much so I've put off doing surgery to add a Bigsby because I don't want to mess it up. But I think this will be the summer! I also have a TVJ baritone with Magna in the neck position which sounds fabulous in that guitar. As you'll see from searching around, a lot of people appreciate Magnatrons but it is usually another guitar after you've found that great Gretsch sound with your first. I have an overwound Fralin bridge pickup in a nice tele and the Magnajet is on par with that. It is a nice platform for tele sounds (plus the shorter scale length on the jet makes bending easier when I'm out of shape!).

There are so many affordable Gretsch modding platforms now that anyone can get a nice guitar and try different pickups to their hearts content. Enjoy!

Magnatron/Supertron thread


I love the Maggies, especially in the neck. I made a huge mistake selling a 6120N with a Mag in the neck and a Classic + in the bridge. Thinking about putting that combo in a Jet or maybe a Broadcaster Jr...


That demo of Hallelujiah is mine. I converted my YouTube page to a band page and pulled it down. Thanks for the kudos. I'll see if I can post it back on the Gretsch Radio for you.



I guess it's still in Gretsch Radio.......Supertron Neck and Magnatron Bridge. Neck rolled back and bridge wide open, nocturne brain dynobrain, slight delay, 57 mic and twin reverb amp


I had an '89 6120 that turned into a brand new guitar after I swapped in TVJones Classics. But something was missing. I tried a Classic+ in the bridge, but it was too dark. Then TVJones came out with the Magnatron. My first electric was a '56 6120 and I really missed the sound of a Dynasonic. I got the Magnatron and I was pickin' and grinnin' for years. If you roll back the volume on the Maggie in the bridge, you got those familiar chimey Beatle-esque tones. Turn up the volume and you got a great snarl; very much what TVJones describes as a humbucking Dynasonic. Hopefully if we keep yakking about the Magnatron some big-name picker will get one and do something epic with it. It's only a matter of time; the Magnatron is just that good a pick-up.


Magna'Trons are great pickups. I think you'll come to appreciate them even more as you play the guitar. Congrats.


That demo of Hallelujiah is mine. I converted my YouTube page to a band page and pulled it down. Thanks for the kudos. I'll see if I can post it back on the Gretsch Radio for you.

– LarryR

Larry - please do repost your beautiful recording - I'd love to listen again and it is a fine demonstration of the Magnatron in action.

Do you still have the guitar set up that way?


Thank you. The link is above a couple of post is it not working? Here is the Gretsch that I recorded with. 3161 historic heavily modified. The latest modification was I moved the master volume from the lower bout to just below the bridge pickup. I tried for years to get comfortable with the standard position but finally just decided to move it to where I'm most comfortable when performing.


Thanks Larry - missed your reply with the link before I responded. Thoroughly enjoyed hearing your recording again and will load it onto my iPhone to enjoy on the go if you don't mind. Nice pic too of a beautiful guitar! For my limited ability to do volume swells, I learned on the Tele and have never been able to do it on my Gretsch with any reliability. Although I already have a Pro Jet set up with this pickup pairing, hearing your guitar again makes me want to try it in a hollow body as well.


Holy crap. When I checked the next day it had 0 replies. Thanks for pointing me to that thread Twang, and beautiful playing Larry! And yeah I agree that the neck is definitely magic, I might experiment with others in the bridge when I get the modding itch, but that won't be for a while!


Larry, that was beautiful with tone to die for. Thanks for sharing.


Does anyone have a guitar with a TV Jones Power'Tron in the bridge and a Magnatron in the neck? I would love to hear how these pickups compliment each other. I believe this would be the combination that would work for me.


I have a Country Club (purchased in Gretsch Garage) with a Mag in the bridge & a T Armand in the neck. Sounds like a Gretsch to me.

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