Gretsch Pickups. Broadtron or Filtertron?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Rockhead, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    I'm looking at a G5220 BT as one of several possibilities for my next purchase and was wondering about the Broadtron pickups it comes with. I play classic rock/Blues so the hotter BT's seem like the better choice but I haven't had a chance to play the 5220 yet. I was at GC today and played a used G5230T with the Filtertrons and they sounded pretty good but I prefer the hard tail bridge on the 5220. Would love to hear from someone who has had any experience with the G5220 or the Broadtrons.

    Thanks! Screenshot_2018-12-24 Gretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet BT Single-Cut Electric Guitar SamAsh 2.png
     
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  2. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe this will help you with your decision.
     
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  3. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Zepfan. In the first video, he's plugged into an Eleven Rack Processor which could make any guitar sound good. Videos like that don't really help much. All ya need is a clean amp and a dirt pedal so you can hear the guitar and not an overly processed version of it. Second one was good. I liked the sound of the PuPs before being raised! Nice jangly tone even with overdrive.
     
  4. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have Filtertrons in my Gretsch, but I've been seeing a lot of favorable things said about the Broadtrons (not to be confused with those standard humbuckers they were putting in the Electromatics for a while).
     
  5. 0utputXfmr

    0utputXfmr Tele-Meister

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    I'm truthfully not sure what to think of the new Broad'Trons-- a PAF-ified FilterTron kind of sounds like an answer to a question nobody really asked... unless I'm misunderstanding the concept?
     
  6. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is revealing, that you liked the tone of the Filters lowered. I could go on why this not a good comparison, or about the nuances over the years, but instead I’m going to say go with the Blacktop Filtertrons. I won’t lie either, it’s partially because I’m a Gretsch purist of sorts. The Broadtron fiasco confuses the already confused Gretsch pickup varieties—there are three kinds of Broadtrons offered right now. I don’t consider any of them Gretsch pickups at all.

    Anyways, bottom line is the blacktops are jangly, but love dirt. I can’t speak for the BT-BTs, but they are basically a Gibson HB, underwound.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree with this. I think they are aiming for the “Gretsch is cool but why is it weird? Can’t it play and sound more like a Gibson” camp.
     
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  8. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    The vids were just a sample for a general idea, but maybe you can find what your looking for on YT. The second video was a different guitar with a wood based bridge that gives a different tone from the first guitar anyway, but maybe you can find something closer.
     
  9. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    I hope my reply didn't come off the wrong way. I was just commenting on the tendency of some of these reviews to pile on the effects and completely cover up the raw sound of the guitar. I do appreciate your response:)
     
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  10. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    I went over to Gretsch Talk and they gave the 5220 very good reviews.

    I guess they wanted to get closer to a Les Paulish sound, a Les Paul on the cheap?

    [QUOTE="Anyways, bottom line is the blacktops are jangly, but love dirt. I can’t speak for the BT-BTs, but they are basically a Gibson HB, underwound.[/QUOTE]

    Sounds good for my application.
     
  11. MrClint

    MrClint Tele-Meister

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    I have mad respect for the experienced Gretsch aficionados like @BorderRadio, they really know their stuff and are very helpful. I have a G2622 with BroadTrons and it's a great, affordable and versatile guitar. I like the tone from the BTs and different genres sound good to my ears. It is placed in the market as an alternative to the middle to low-end Epis, Artcore, etc. I had no allegiance to Gretsch going in, I just thought that the sound, price point and playability blew the competition away. The Gretsch aficionado knock on BTs is that they don't have that classic Gretsch sound that they know and love, which is valid, but may not be everyone's ultimate goal. The BroadTrons flexibility can't be denied.

    I started two streamliner tone threads over on the Gretsch sister site. These will give you some idea of what BroadTrons sound like and what folks who own them have to offer:
    Would love to hear your favorite streamliner tones...
    Let's hear more streamliner tracks!
     
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  12. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    No problems, I knew what you were saying and I agree with you. It's hard to find a video on what your looking for and then you get to filter through all the effects and bad recordings like a maze.:lol:
     
  13. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I really am interested in Filtertrons and Dynasonics. I already have 14 guitars and basses and I'm afraid of having to add 10 more for all the pickup choices.:D
     
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  14. Martinp

    Martinp Tele-Afflicted

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    I have both, the Filtertrons are a bit more Hi Fi, and they sound awesome with a bit of distortion - crunchy with nice note separation.
    The Broadtrons (in a 2622), give you that Gibson Grunt. not even similar, but both are cool.
    I may replace them anyway (this is, after all, the TDPRI), TV Jones makes Filtertrons that are sized for the humbucking rout.
     
  15. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    As Zepfan says, there are 3 different Broadton pickups. the ones in the streamliner are not the same as the the ones in the 5220 which are "Blacktop Broadtrons". I would love to put a pair of TV Jones in them should i get the 5220 but they are too expensive.
     
  16. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Mojotones are a little less. Just not many real versions available that sound like the originals or better.
     
  17. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks Zepfan for the videos. Now I have GAS for a Gretsch to the point where I HAVE to have one. I like the Filtertron p/ups.
    Interesting that a firm like Gretsch has the cheaper line of Electromatics made in China.
    Seems like the manufacturing there is getting better. I got so close once playing a Silver Sparkle Filtertron like your clip.( BTW my absolute favourite p/ups ar D'Armond ).
    Thanks anyway.
     
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  18. Martinp

    Martinp Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought mine a couple of weeks before Christmas. They were pushing Epiphone Semi-Hollows at GC, but they were kinda stiff and poorly set up. The Gretsch's played tons better for pretty much the same money.
     
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  19. Martinp

    Martinp Tele-Afflicted

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    I've seen Black top Filtertrons as well, it does get a bit crowded sometimes
     
  20. 0utputXfmr

    0utputXfmr Tele-Meister

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    I'd personally like to see someone dissect a Broad'Tron and see how much it has in common with the traditional Ray Butts or Seth Lover designs.

    I think someone hit the nail on the head when they suggested Fender was trying to market an alternative to Gibson\Epi. They likely saw Gibson's financial woes and smelled blood in the water.
     
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