TVJ Classic vs. TVJ Setzer sigs


Just found this... Good demo. Setzer sounds fuller on this beautiful falcon


yeah not sure exactly what it is more lower mids... but feel like some of the highs are toned down on the setzer as a result of the beefer lower mids. least on my crappy monitors that is what I hear


From my own personal experience, I like the Setzers better, in both positions. They are a bit more rounded, a bit fatter, where by comparison I find the Classics a little TOO pristine (some might even say sterile ) JMHO, but I think the Setzers are the ULTIMATE Filtertron (not talking about "Pluses" or "Powers", etc.... just straight filters)... TVJ hit a grand slam with these.

I just got one to put in the neck of my Cabronita Thinline


In the description he says that the Setzers suit better due the longer scale on the Falcon. Compared to the 6120 with Classics the difference is more present. I really like my Classics and stay with them. For bolder tones I have a set of Supertrons in the Tele.

What I always wondered: Setzer always played Classics in his guitars a few years ago and everybody said what an "unbelievable great tone" hes got.

Does he really sound that much better with the Setzer Sigs now? Is that much of an improvement? Don't think so...


"Does he really sound that much better with the Setzer Sigs now? Is that much of an improvement? Don't think so..."

Brian does:


I know that demo but I'm sorry to say that it neither represent an authentic sound of the pickups or the guitar. Maybe cause the amps volume is to low and doesnt breathe at all to my ears. Rather sounds thin actually


If you think that bridge pickup in Brian's demo sounds "thin", with all due respect, you need to get your hearing checked (just kidding)

But in all seriousness, every single user review I've read of the Setzer Sigs is that they are slighty "rounder" in the trebles, and slightly warmer due to increased low mids. Brian's video definitely shows that on the bridge pickup. Now, "better" is a matter of OPINION, of course, but I don't think it's opinion that the Setzer's are rounder and warmer than the Classics.

Personally, I think the Setzers were actually designed to sound like OLD Filtertrons. And what I mean by that is: the Classic may indeed sound like a NEW Filtetron in 1959, but the Setzers sound like a 1959 Filtertron with 30+ years of age on it.... magnets change over time, and mellow out. The Setzer Sigs give you "vintage tone" (God I hate that term) out of the box.


The Setzers sound great to my ears in this vid. Just for comparison I'd love him to pick an older model up, too. The sound you describe as "thin" funnily is what makes the classic Filtertron so appealing to me. (If I want "fat" I play a P90s equipped guitar.) Give it some drive and the transparency combined with punch is hard to find anywhere else. I might look into these pickups for my 120th Anniversary, although I do not need the signature on the cover.


I'm also in the camp what thinks Clasics can sound a bit thinnish. I like the Setzersigs. Might put them in my 6120GA, which I've always felt could use a little beef.


I was trying to say that the Setzer Sig. bridge PU sounds thinner in the Setzer demo than in the White Falcon demo from the original post. Maybe crappy speakers cause that but that what I thought. I don't think that the Classics sound "thin" compared to the Setzer Sigs. But as for every filtertron - Height does matter! And I believe the sound of them is propably more sensitive to its adjustment like a "more beefier" Setzer Sig. I believe they can go elbow to elbow if set up right.

I agree with Ruger that Setzers are designed to sound "like" OLD Filtertrons... But then, I always thought that the PU magnets weaken over decades and loose output. So I rather believe the guitar itself (the wood) mellows out the sound more than the pickups the same age.


"So I rather believe the guitar itself (the wood) mellows out the sound more than the pickups the same age."

I'd say the pickups aging have more affect on the tone, but it's a formula: everything matters. Now, if we were talking ACOUSTIC archtops, there can be a HUGE difference. Just not sure how much of that would transfer into a pickup on the electric models... especially the maple gretches.


Not to beat a dead horse (or resurrect a long-dead thread, I know...sorry), but I am trying hard to like the Setzers in my new SSLVO, and still think I prefer the Classics. The Classics, to my ears, have more twang and growl....which I love....more of the vintage sound, to me. Yet, there is something I think I might miss about the Setzers, if I swapped them out for Classics. More output, maybe? Beefier bridge pickup? Hard to tell....just another reason to get another 6120, I reckon!


Try the Ray Butts Filtertron maybe? Maybe its more "vintage sounding" to you than Setzer Sigs.

A lot of guys go the Classic+ Bridge and Classic Neck route too for beefing things up.

Setzer also played a hotrod (the pinstriped one) with a set of supertrons. Huge Sound


Meanwhile I prefer the combination Classic/Classic+. To me the classic in the neck is unbeatable and the classic+ is the best bridge F‘tron I know (and even Tom Jones favorite pkup). The Setzers are superb Pkups nevertheless, but they‘ve got some mid frequencies I dislike, personally. Classic/Classic+ is pure Gretsch to my ears.


I've read that TVJ is personally partial to HiLos.


Too add confusion: I heard TVJ is more on the heavy side and prefers the Powertron


I've read that TVJ is personally partial to HiLos.

– Strummerson

Tom is a classic crunch guy.. you've seen his badcat amp demo's. :)


I've had Classics,
I've had the Classic neck / Classic+ bridge,
I've had Classic neck / P'tron bridge,
I now have the Setzers.

I prefer the Setzer neck, and I think the P'tron bridge, it won't surprise me if I end up replacing the Setzer bridge with a P'tron, I just hate breaking up a set... they have the "signatures" on them and all...


After listening to a playback of a gig, I've decided to keep them. They are different, but still all Gretsch. A big part of the equation was the amp....tweed Blues Junior. Just totally opened up the sound for me....even better than through my Bassman. Who knew? Can't go wrong with TV Jones, no matter what the pickup, I'd say!

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