Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups darrenriley.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

cheap Chinese-made filtertrons on Alibaba or alternatives

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by 2after909, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. 2after909

    2after909 Tele-Meister

    483
    Dec 23, 2010
    brooklyn, ny
    I've got a guitar with a body routed for filtertrons. It's currently got TV Jones in it. I don't really love the guitar, though. I'm thinking of giving it away to a kid I know. Before I do, I want to pull out the TV Jones pickups and use them in another project. I'm thinking about trying some of these in the guitar I'm going to give away. Has anyone tried them? Are they decent? Any info would be of interest to me.

    If anyone can suggest some budget alternatives that will fit the filtertron size routs in the body I'd be interested in those, too.

    Thanks!
     

  2. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    Don't know if they fit exactly (but maybe?) and those are not Filtertron copies, but Hilotron copies, thus single coil.

    They appeared a few years ago, some British firm was also selling them under their own brand, they look like real Gretsch pickups.

    There are also some Artec copies of Filtertrons, those are not exactly the same size as Filtertrons and they look different with squared edges and two sets of polepieces.

    Then there are the GFS ones, supposedly also made by Artec but another size altogether, those are the size of Gibson mini-humbuckers.
     
    2after909 likes this.

  3. Preacher

    Preacher Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    You might try Donolis. There was a thread about them earlier that Antigua Tele posted for us all.

    I see he has given you a link above, he knows what he is talking about!
     
    2after909 likes this.

  4. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Holic

    924
    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    Not sure if they have filtertrons but cheap enough to try out anything you might want. As in, really cheap. I am happy with their humbucker sized P90 and aka Dirty Fingers: Guitar Madness

    Also, Buddha Pickups can custom make you one without charging an arm: Buddha Pickups
     

  5. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    Donlis doesn't have filtertrons afaik . New or used fender fidelitrons would probably be the best value. I think that's what is in the listing I posted.
     

  6. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I don’t know for sure, haven’t bought any, but these are Super HiLo’Tron copies/un labeled pickups. A humbucker, and nothing like HiLoTrons. The markings on the bottom are identical to Gretsch Blacktops, wouldn’t surprise me if they are made in the same factory. Blacktops fit where other Filtertrons will, I’m guessing so will these. The difference is the corner radius.
     

  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    These are a good deal but weren’t the Fidelitrons A5? These list as A2, like most copies I’ve seen, including the Frankentone variety, which I was going to link here until I saw yours.

    I think A2 would make a Filtertron ‘worse’, since these pickups need to be basically touching the strings!
     

  8. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    I'm sure that's a misprint. The copy says "These are the same Pickups that are on Fender Cabronita Telecasters" and I can verify they appear to have the same screws and cover as the later production runs of Cabronita pickups that didn't have "Fender Fideli'tron" imprinted in the top. I measured the same strength at the pole tops with the Filter'trons as I did the current run Gretsch Filter'trons http://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/tv-classics-vs-gretsch-filtertrons-vs-fender-fidelitrons.154849/ The TV Jones were stronger, but that was because the screws were shorter (extra screw out the bottom makes it weaker).
     

  9. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    Those are clearly not super hilotrons. There are only 6 pole pieces visible from a single coil as it would be in a regular hilotron, unlike a super hilotron which would have 12 pole pieces visible.
     
    BorderRadio likes this.

  10. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Good catch! @radiocaster nevermind post #7 about these being SuperHLs, I was putting "humbucker" together with the top that only shows 6 screws. :eek::)
     

  11. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    Is a Super HiLo'Tron just a Filter'tron with a different cover?
     

  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I guess the bottom line is to question anything in print about these pickups, so "I'll believe it when I see it". Frankentone pickups look the same, and they list A2 bars, and the Allparts FT kits also come with A2 bars, both 1/4" though. Filtertron covers and screws are easy to come by nowadays. We had a short discussion about the Frankentones at Gretsch Talk, a member was swapping to rough cast A5s. I have a few 1/4" A5s ready, along with 4 dozen Filtertron screws but no project worth taking a shot at Frankentones. Should your link prove to be the same thing as the Fidelitron you tested before, then those are the best deal around.

    https://reverb.com/item/4418708-fra...tyle-size-alnico-ii-humbucker-bridge-position
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    Zepfan likes this.

  13. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    If those are the same Hilotron copies I have in my Cabronita, they don't sound bad at all - very close to recorded Hilotron tones I've heard (never had a chance to play real ones myself). Bright, jangly, thin - but in a good way, and very low output. Great if the kid the OP wants to give that guitar to likes jangly 60s stuff, garage rock, BritPop, the softer side of contemporary indie rock, and the likes; not great for any type of harder, heavier rock music that would require higher gain guitar tones.
     
    2after909 likes this.

  14. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Where did you get your HiLo copies?
     

  15. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    French Ebay seller that is not around any more, bought them a few years ago, the auction said those were made at the same factory as contemporary Gretsch Hilotrons.
     
    BorderRadio likes this.

  16. 2after909

    2after909 Tele-Meister

    483
    Dec 23, 2010
    brooklyn, ny
    Thanks all.

    Antigua, I feel like you and 11 Gauge are two of the most amazing sources for trustworthy information on guitar topics around. Special thanks to you!

    I'm considering the used fidelitrons over the hilotron type pickups. Firstly, it makes sense to me because I'm certain they'll fit the routs in the body. And second, because, even though this guitar isn't going to be for me, I don't particularly like hiltotrons. I have some experience with an old gretsch hollowbody that had one hilotron in it and I found it to be too clangy, puny and thin sounding for my taste. I can imagine a hilotron suiting me ok if the body it was going in was extremely dark sounding. But I'm working with a cheap pine body, which is made from what I consider to be NOT a legit tonewood. I'm not down on pine. I have a pine tele with lollars that sounds incredible. But all pine is not created equal, and some of it really shouldn't even be considered tonewood, in my view. This particularly body is incredibly plinky sounding. It's going to be given away. Those TV Jones deserve to be in a better guitar.

    Thanks again!
     

  17. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast

  18. bender66

    bender66 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    Antigua Tele likes this.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.