Pickups

Why no love for the Gretsch mini-humbuckers?

1

Looking through online forums, it seems that people purchase the Gretsch Pro Jets with the intent - before it even arrives at their doorstep - to replace the stock mini-humbuckers with anything else. My experience with these is that they are certainly "twangier" than full-size humbuckers, and gave those guitars a character all their own. Does this negative assessment of these pickups come from comparing them to Filtertrons (which they are not), or other pickups (which they are not)?

2

I think the negative assessment of the pickups is that Filtertrons and other pickups just sound better than the stock mini hums

3

My Pro Jet came with mini-humbuckers and did not sound good. I added Gretsch Filtertrons and it sounded great. A year later I added TV Jones Classics and it sounded kick ass. I then put a Supertron in the bridge and it's now a magic guitar.

4

Many guitar players are obsessed with pickups since we now have so many choices. Many do not even give the stock pickups a chance. Before they plug the guitar in and strum a chord they've got their soldering irons and wire cutters handy.

Even Pro-Line buyers will rip the stock Filter'Trons or Dyna'Sonics out to install TV Jones or Duncan pickups. I've had TV Classics and I don't think they sound at all like the old fifties Filters, this is JUST MY OPINION, YMMV. I do love the sound of TVs Magna'Trons though.

I have changed pickups, but not until giving what came stock with the guitar a fair chance. Play the guitar for a month or so and if the sound just doesn't do it for you then by all means, mod it with new pickups.

A few people also don't take the time and effort to find the sweet spot for any pickup. It took me awhile to get my Black Top Filters set up right, but now that they are, they sing like angels.

I also think that a lot of times, pickups are changed merely for the status level that is perceived by some as elevating their guitar to the next level. "I have XYZ pickups in MY guitar', thumbs hooked in suspenders.

5

I didn't think the minihums in my Pro Jet (earlier type) sounded very Gretsch-y to me so I changed them. They had more of a generic modern 'gnarly' sort of sound which, I accept, might be fine for some types of rock/pop material, but that's not my sort of Gretsch sound.

Current Pro Jets have Baldwin-type Filtertrons.

6

I baught my jet in '05 with the mini humbuckers. It sounded o.k., but the guitar played excelently. I can always throw good pups into a good guitar, but buying a crappy guitar for pups is a waiste of money(IMO). So after playing the guitar for a couple of years, I discovered that the sound was kind of flat and dark. So I began the search for what kind of pups might fit the jet. I don't have woodworking skills, so cutting bigger holes didn't interest me. In my search I found this site. And became a member. Through research and adds posted here, I finaly decided to purchase some T Amronds from TVJones. He was making them in a soapbar mount, which I felt would be the easiest fit for the guitar. I was right. They fit nicely and sound so much better than the mini buckers. In my guitar, they were a one trick poney. It sounded best in the bridge pup with lots of drive. I do like playing a overdriven tone, but don't only play dirty. There are many stories similar to this people read, so they buy the guitar with the idea of upgrading pups to get that budget friendly "gretsch sounding" jet.

7

I gave them a chance in my Pro Jet, they didn't suck (too bad) but they didn't sound great. Replaced them with GFS NYII's, now it sounds great.

8

I agree with the opinion that status has something to do with it. People want everyone else to see that their Pro Jet has the "best" pickups in it, and the best can't possibly be the mini-humbuckers. I upgraded my Pro Jet with NYII's and it does sound excellent, but I remember the stock pickups sounding very nice as well. Completely different from the NYII's, of course. They didn't sound like Filtertrons, but that's because they weren't. Part of might also be reluctance to accept that those pickups are in fact 'Gretschy', in that they are Gretsch pickups made by Gretsch, in a Gretsch guitar, with "Gretsch" stamped right on them. We may be in the mindset that "Gretschy" absolutely has to be Filtertrons or some incarnation of them, or Dynasonics or some incarnation of them.

9

Part of might also be reluctance to accept that those pickups are in fact 'Gretschy', in that they are Gretsch pickups made by Gretsch, in a Gretsch guitar, with "Gretsch" stamped right on them. We may be in the mindset that "Gretschy" absolutely has to be Filtertrons or some incarnation of them, or Dynasonics or some incarnation of them. -- Stratman

Many Gretsch players look back to the Fifties and Sixties as the golden era of Gretsch guitars. They strive to attain that sound that those now-vintage guitars created. Filter'Tron and Dynasonic pickups were the pickups of that era, so, if you are seeking that sound, then you go with those pickups.

Gretschbucker pickups say Gretsch on them, but they don't sound anywhere close to how I hear a Gretsch guitar sounding. We are all chasing a particular tone that we are hearing in our heads. Some people find it with minihumbuckers, some find it with Gretschbuckers, others find it with AlNiCo Gretsch pickups or TV Jones pickups.

10

If you are a do it yourselfer and decide to change out the pickups, that's all well and good. However if you are looking at the expense of having this done by someone else be advised that it is unlikely that you will recover your investment by selling this guitar. If you feel certain that you will keep this instrument, or that money is no object then mod away.

In my opinion, sometimes saving up enough money for the guitar you want, with the pickups and sound you are looking for is the wiser course.

11

my problem with the ProJet minis was their low output, a good 15-20% lower than average. and that they weren't Dynas. but they sounded fine. there was a fellow at one of the California roundups playing a dead stock Pro Jet who sounded totally legit playing in a punkabilly style.


Register Sign in to join the conversation