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Dynas or Filtertrons for chord melody solo guitar?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by EsquireBoy, Aug 17, 2020.

For chord melody style solo guitar, I’d rather have:

  1. Dynasonics

    7 vote(s)
    63.6%
  2. Filtertrons

    4 vote(s)
    36.4%
  1. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

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    This is a thread for all Gretsch enthusiasts, but since these two pickups can be found on other guitars, and especially on telecasters, I’m sure I’ll get some good advice here.

    Next fall I will buy my first Gretsch 6120 as a present for my 40th birthday, and I’m having a hard time deciding between dynasonics or filtertrons pickups.

    NOTE: This is not about which one is better, but about which one you would choose, and most importantly why.

    So which one out of Dynas or Filtertrons would you choose to perform chord melody style guitar in a solo performance context?
    (Played clean with no effect besides a bit of reverb and tremolo here and there).

    I personally love both, that’s the reason why it’s so hard to choose.
    To me, the pros of Dynas would be:
    - clarity and great note separation;
    - deep piano-like low end.
    And the pros of Filters:
    - thicker tone that would fill the space better in a solo performance;
    - natural compression which can be more forgiving.

    I realize both choices are relevant and can work beautifully but I’m curious to hear your personal points of view.

    Cheers!
     
  2. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    My point of view:
    Just like deciding between 2 picks, flatwounds vs round wounds, or an open-back vs closed-back speaker, Some songs might sound a little better with one or the other. But neither choice will be best in all situations. I could imagine recording a solo chord melody piece where one pickup sounded better for the bridge while the other suited the verse.
     
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  3. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

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    So very true! I guess I’ll have to make my choice somehow.
     
  4. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    Chord melody? I do it, and there is no better choice than the Supertron. Chet Atkins loved them, and he was pretty ok at chord melodies. I really love mine- you can play them with the tone from 1-10, and you’ll get something workable.
     
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  5. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had 3 Gretsch guitars in my life. I definitely loved the 2 with Filtertrons the most. But remember, these are generally not a high output pickup. They do have a unique tone/timbre. They sound beautiful when fingerpicked, strummed, or flat picked for certain applications. They are wonderful for Country, folk, old 60s rock. Neil Young's softer electric tones were often on a Gretsch. The Eagles used them a lot in the 70s. Of course they were George Harriso's tone on many old Beatles records. Enjoy. They are a great sounding pickup.
     
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  6. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

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    While Chet loved his Filter- and Supertrons, I'd definitely go Dynasonic - those are my all time favorite pickup type, such clarity, but still plenty of balls, such versatility.
    If your Dynasonics sound too thin, just lower the magnets into the pickup, and then raise the whole pickup with shims - and suddenly you're going from a Tele sound with more balls to a P90 sound with more clarity.
    TVJones T-Armonds supposedly sound thicker than vintage-style Dynasonics, if you look for a fuller tone (never tried those myself).

    There are plenty of other players I like who use Filtertrons, but I could never make them work for me - they have something grindy, brash, strident in the upper mids that I could never dial out, and they exaggerate the difference between dull, thuddy, woody wound strings on the bottom and bright cutting treble strings even more than regular humbuckers do (I don't like PAFs, either...)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
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  7. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

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    That is definitely something that I hear too. It can be cool, but since I use flatwounds, I’m afraid it would be too much of a gap between the wound and the two plain strings.
     
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  8. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have new dynasonics and don’t know how they compare
    They are the clearest most articulate pickups I have

    And they’re the most transparent(I hate this term) pickups I’ve ever used they make my hollow body sound exactly as it does unplugged
     
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  9. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

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    That is of great interest to me, since I'd like the hollow character of the 6120 to shine through the most. I was afraid the snappy attack of the dynas would hide this woody acoustic tone (I've only got the chance to try dynasonic pickups on a duo Jet, but never on a hollow body).
     
  10. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

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    As I said - with Dynasonics you can really fine-tune the balance between treble snap and mid-punch by experimenting with pickup height vs magnet height.
    I like mine angled, so that the shell of the pickup sits closer to the treble strings, and farther away from the bass strings - and then I raise the pole pieces under the bass strings for balance.
    That way you get fuller sounding treble strings, and snappy bass ones.

    On a 6120 with top-mounted Dynasonics you might have to make custom shims to achieve that, though I have heard that some people use plastic "washers" (cut to appropriate lengths from surgical tubing) to have a bit of room for experimenting...
     
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  11. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    Dyna for every type of playing.
     
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  12. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Dyna's, hands down.
     
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