Miscellaneous Rumbles

I think I may be going off Filter’Trons

1

There, I said it.

Since I’ve been working on my AC50 (with Retnev’s invaluable help) I’ve been playing various things through it - my SSLVO, T-90 equipped telecaster, ‘56 6120 - and while I love the feel and look of the LVO the sound is leaving me wanting; there’s just no punch down in the low end. Also, the neck pup on its own is next to useless compared to the others.

I was playing the tele through my Line 6 UX2 with headphones and it sounded awesome. Switched to the LVO and...meh...

I know the strings could use a change, but the same is true of the others so that’s not necessarily the problem.

2

Have you tried adjusting the pickups or pole pieces?

3

Shimming the pickups as per TV Jones on his WEB site and / or using a E/Q pedal will do it.

4

Two words: Ray Butts.

5

I just lowered my TV Jones Classics by knocking the shims out, and at the same time added adjustment springs.

There were a few passive component changes as well...but, having said that, lowering the pickups made a big difference in my enjoyment.

It changed the dynamics of how the FilterTron's resonate.

6

Shimming is not an option. I have a super-low action and I am already constantly hitting the low E against the bridge pup pole pieces which results in a not-pleasant sound. I was actually toying with the idea of taking some wood out so I could lower the bridge pup to alleviate this. I could shim the neck pup I guess...

Twang, I didn’t consider I’d get a better sound by lowering them, that may be the answer.

I have some Butts pups on order so am hopeful this may help.

Just for the record I have no problem with Tom’s pups, I just think I’m evolving to prefer the sound of Dynas and P.90s.

7

I totally get that feeling. I just fell in love with Dynas a few years ago and just can’t enjoy Filters the same way any more.

I put vintage Dynas in my ‘08 LDS Falcon and a single 50s Dyna in my ‘13 6119-59 (with the aid of one of Setzer’s shims). Now my vintage ‘59 6119 isn’t getting much love poor thing.

8

My 6120T 55VS turned my taste towards Dynasonic style pickups. And even before that, while I was rehearsing with my duet, my buddy Ryan handed me his Epi Emperor Regent that he modded with some Gretsch Dynasonics, and I loved it, especially the clarity of the neck pickup. I did the whole rehearsal with that guitar, and then a few weeks later I bought my 6120T 55VS.

9

I was all about the Filtertrons until I was seduced by a Dyna Jet. Then a Country Club with T’Armonds. Then an old Guild Capri with Franz P 90s. I am a single coil convert and I ain’t going back.

10

Funnily enough, I dug out my jet firebird whilst trying out settings for recording this weekend.. equipped with Mels Offkiltertron pickups. So I have a flavour of dynas, teles, hilotrons, filtertrons all in one pup. Filtertrons was fave on Blackface amp settings. Just suited the song best

11

Shimming is not an option. I have a super-low action and I am already constantly hitting the low E against the bridge pup pole pieces which results in a not-pleasant sound. I was actually toying with the idea of taking some wood out so I could lower the bridge pup to alleviate this. I could shim the neck pup I guess...

Twang, I didn’t consider I’d get a better sound by lowering them, that may be the answer.

I have some Butts pups on order so am hopeful this may help.

Just for the record I have no problem with Tom’s pups, I just think I’m evolving to prefer the sound of Dynas and P.90s.

– Deke Martin

I've found that only 1/16" higher or lower setting on a TV Filtertron will make a BIG difference.

When installing my RB's in my -58 Gent, initially the bridge was about 1/16" too high, and the neck at 1/16" low.

Strung it up to check out what it sounded like, and I was pretty disappointed with how the RB's sounded. My initial thoughts were "WTF is all the hoopla about these TV's?"

I went ahead and took the time to shim them up to specs, and tried again not expecting much.

The heavens opened up with tone like I've never had. Perfection to my ears, all because of 1/16"

I'm not saying that you'll stick with Filters by doing this, as you may end up loving the Dyna thing. But, get the Filters adjusted correctly first to truly be able to say what you like more.

Best of luck.

12

Can anyone give some instructions to a useless guitar modding newbie on how to shim their pickups? I have a 6122-59.

13

Can anyone give some instructions to a useless guitar modding newbie on how to shim their pickups? I have a 6122-59.

– jalexanderdixon

I'm guessing that yours is like most newer Gretsches, and you'll have foam pads under each side of the pups.

On my -58, I decided to use wood shims under the pups to set the height correctly.

I made my shims from wood veneer, gluing several together, and then a little sanding to try and get them as close to spec as possible.

Some measuring, several fitments, and got them done.

It's anothet "tone debate" on the two methods, but I decided to wood shim mine rather than using the foam pads, which is a lot easier.

Based on how this guitar sounds now, I plan on wood shimming my other two Prolines also.

Very pleased with what my ears are hearing.

15

I love my SSLVO but it has taken quite some time to really dial in the bridge pickup. As we all know, Filter'trons are exceptionally sensitive to height adjustment. Too far from the string and they lose the punch, too close and they just go blat.

My big revelation recently however has been that I think I'm starting to like my VS'59 Jet more than the SSLVO. The more hollowed-out body of this particular Jet (more authentic I believe) has made it sound much twangier than previous Japanese Jets and now it has a similar tonality to the SSLVO but it's punchier. There is plenty of weight behind the low E but excellent definition too. (I use 10-52) The trebles are just a bit thicker sounding too.

The strange thing is that with the SSLVO I have always used slapback delay to help give it the twang and cut I need, but with the Jet I don't seem to need the delay as much. The VS Jet comes stock with TV Classics and I feel no need to change a thing. All I did was add a stainless Tru-arc Serpentune.

You don't mention the bridge on your SSLVO - maybe a stainless Tru-arc might help?

16

Bridge is a titanium Tru-Arc. Like stainless only more so

17

Well the bridge is probably not the issue then! Although... Can you just try a SS? Sometimes when you change something you focus on one aspect of the new thing that you really like but don't notice that something else is now missing. You never know!

And if you get the chance, try one of the recent VS Jets - the difference is remarkable.

18

I have NEVER been a fan of Filtertrons, unless they are in someone else's hands, like Brian Setzer.

Classic-no
Classic+-no
Powertron-no
Setzer Sigs-no Fidelitron-no
in my Hot Rod-no
in my thinline Cabronita-no

They are simply too mid-scooped, and too hard (lacking any compression or sag "feel") for me. Bass and treble heavy. Bridge too easy to icepick, neck too easy to woof. Even my single coil tele pickups have this "sag" feel I'm talking about, and I like it. PAFs have it. The T-90s have it to a lesser degree, but more than any Filtertron I tried.

I am am convinced the Filtertron is why I have never felt married to my Hot Rod. I wasn't married to my Cab (but I KNEW it was an awesome keeper- but I had to find the right pickups) until I put T-90s in it. (and I now have a pair of T-Armonds going in... and likely a set of Rio Grande BBQ Trons after that... they are more on the Gibson side of humbucker-land)

There was ONE TIME I loved the tone of my Hot Rod- I had ordered a set of Seymour Duncan P-90s in filtertron housings. They sounded amazing. Until one pickup broke (almost immediately). Then the horrible customer service I received turned me off SD Custom shop for good. Never again. Sold them. Too bad- they sounded great. Which is probably why I'm going to be putting dogear P90s on my Hot Rod, most likely. Unless I can find someone else who winds a P90-sounding pickup and stuffs it into a Filtertron housing... (and I DID try T-90s in the HR, did not like them... still too "hard"...)

OH- and yes I've messed with heights. The bridge pup doesn't sound good unless it's up to TVJ's spec... imo. And after that, the neck pickup must end up wherever it ends up to balance with the bridge, which is generally lower than TVJ spec. the only time I was able to run the neck pickup at TVJ spec was when I had a stronger bridge pup (Powertron), because that allowed me to RAISE the neck up to where it "should" have been to get the volumes balanced. Actually, the happiest I ever was was when I had a P'tron bridge and Classic neck. Should have left well enough alone...

19

I think Filtertrons are great rock pickups, from Malcolm Young-ish kerrang to Keith Richards-y grind. Clean or with just a little amp breakup they get that stratty quack thing I don't like, and the wound strings are not twangy enough for my taste.

20

I'm with Walter on this one.

21

I have NEVER been a fan of Filtertrons, unless they are in someone else's hands, like Brian Setzer.

Classic-no
Classic+-no
Powertron-no
Setzer Sigs-no Fidelitron-no
in my Hot Rod-no
in my thinline Cabronita-no

They are simply too mid-scooped, and too hard (lacking any compression or sag "feel") for me. Bass and treble heavy. Bridge too easy to icepick, neck too easy to woof. Even my single coil tele pickups have this "sag" feel I'm talking about, and I like it. PAFs have it. The T-90s have it to a lesser degree, but more than any Filtertron I tried.

I am am convinced the Filtertron is why I have never felt married to my Hot Rod. I wasn't married to my Cab (but I KNEW it was an awesome keeper- but I had to find the right pickups) until I put T-90s in it. (and I now have a pair of T-Armonds going in... and likely a set of Rio Grande BBQ Trons after that... they are more on the Gibson side of humbucker-land)

There was ONE TIME I loved the tone of my Hot Rod- I had ordered a set of Seymour Duncan P-90s in filtertron housings. They sounded amazing. Until one pickup broke (almost immediately). Then the horrible customer service I received turned me off SD Custom shop for good. Never again. Sold them. Too bad- they sounded great. Which is probably why I'm going to be putting dogear P90s on my Hot Rod, most likely. Unless I can find someone else who winds a P90-sounding pickup and stuffs it into a Filtertron housing... (and I DID try T-90s in the HR, did not like them... still too "hard"...)

OH- and yes I've messed with heights. The bridge pup doesn't sound good unless it's up to TVJ's spec... imo. And after that, the neck pickup must end up wherever it ends up to balance with the bridge, which is generally lower than TVJ spec. the only time I was able to run the neck pickup at TVJ spec was when I had a stronger bridge pup (Powertron), because that allowed me to RAISE the neck up to where it "should" have been to get the volumes balanced. Actually, the happiest I ever was was when I had a P'tron bridge and Classic neck. Should have left well enough alone...

– ruger9

That's it in a nutshell!...perfectly articulated.

22

I have NEVER been a fan of Filtertrons, unless they are in someone else's hands, like Brian Setzer.

Classic-no
Classic+-no
Powertron-no
Setzer Sigs-no Fidelitron-no
in my Hot Rod-no
in my thinline Cabronita-no

They are simply too mid-scooped, and too hard (lacking any compression or sag "feel") for me. Bass and treble heavy. Bridge too easy to icepick, neck too easy to woof. Even my single coil tele pickups have this "sag" feel I'm talking about, and I like it. PAFs have it. The T-90s have it to a lesser degree, but more than any Filtertron I tried.

I am am convinced the Filtertron is why I have never felt married to my Hot Rod. I wasn't married to my Cab (but I KNEW it was an awesome keeper- but I had to find the right pickups) until I put T-90s in it. (and I now have a pair of T-Armonds going in... and likely a set of Rio Grande BBQ Trons after that... they are more on the Gibson side of humbucker-land)

There was ONE TIME I loved the tone of my Hot Rod- I had ordered a set of Seymour Duncan P-90s in filtertron housings. They sounded amazing. Until one pickup broke (almost immediately). Then the horrible customer service I received turned me off SD Custom shop for good. Never again. Sold them. Too bad- they sounded great. Which is probably why I'm going to be putting dogear P90s on my Hot Rod, most likely. Unless I can find someone else who winds a P90-sounding pickup and stuffs it into a Filtertron housing... (and I DID try T-90s in the HR, did not like them... still too "hard"...)

OH- and yes I've messed with heights. The bridge pup doesn't sound good unless it's up to TVJ's spec... imo. And after that, the neck pickup must end up wherever it ends up to balance with the bridge, which is generally lower than TVJ spec. the only time I was able to run the neck pickup at TVJ spec was when I had a stronger bridge pup (Powertron), because that allowed me to RAISE the neck up to where it "should" have been to get the volumes balanced. Actually, the happiest I ever was was when I had a P'tron bridge and Classic neck. Should have left well enough alone...

– ruger9

Unless I can find someone else who winds a P90-sounding pickup and stuffs it into a Filtertron housing...

Well here ya go...

https://www.gabojo.com/ray-...

I love their MR2000SB pickup so they are worth a try!

23

P90, or DynaSonic....Either one is a big improvement over FilterTrons.

24

I know this is off topic ... not trying to hijack this thread ... but WOW is that ever a gorgeous guitar ...

25

I’m curious how anyone can get a good classic rock sound out of Dynasonics? And I’m talking about 70’s 80’s Rock not 50’s 60’s Rock. I just couldn’t get along with Dynasonics, they just squealed and I could never get a good rhythm tone out of them. I do like the big bottom end and the clear highs but it’s not enough for me to keep them in a guitar. So how do people crank up the volume and wow the crowd with, what are to me, pickups made for a twangy cowboy hootenanny?


Register Sign in to join the conversation