T-armond , magnetron and hilotron... which is the brightest?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Modman68, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

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    Looking to replace a neck pickup in a gretch I own.

    I like neck pickups with LOTs of treble. I removed the cover from my tele neck just to get it as shiny bright as possible.

    I’m looking at replacing with a tv Jones. The Tv-Ht (hilotron), magnetron and the t-armond (dynasonic) all look interesting to me.

    I want as close to a tele single coil sound as possible.


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  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Have you looked at the TV Jones Starwood Tele neck pickup? That might be just what you're after...
     
  3. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    By design, the Filtertron covers don't contribute any significant eddy current losses, and hence no significant treble losses. It was the brilliant idea of J.R. Butts, the designer, of the "H" cutout that made that possible. So unlike the Tele neck cover you pulled, you may as well leave that beautiful shiny cover on rather than remove it. :) Here is a comparison of the TV Jones with and without cover:
    TV_Jones_cover.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
  4. CalebAaron666

    CalebAaron666 Tele-Meister

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    Hilo will be the brightest, but the T-Armond will be quite bright, booming, articulate, and twangy!
    It’s the best neck pickup I’ve ever played! I can’t say enough good things about it. It sounds like a single coil cuz it IS a single coil!
    I NEVER get any unwanted hum or hiss from mine.
    DECFD387-7CB4-4D42-BF0B-C42D35C317B1.jpeg
     
  5. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

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    To clarify, this is to replace a blacktop filtertron on a Gretsch.

    Removing the cover on the filtertron wasn’t in my plans either. I just mentioned the tele neck cover to give you all an idea of what type of treble content I’m after.

    Didn’t know that about the filtertron cover not contributing to eddy current loss.. cool stuff!


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  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have TArmonds in my 6120. They are a single coil, not just sound like one. Bright and fresh as a clear mountain stream.

    I play mostly neck.
     
  7. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

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    Would you say they are more like a p-90 style sound (thicker, less chimney) or a strat kind of bell?


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  8. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    The magnetron and TV-HT are about the same, but the former sounds like a humbucker, the latter a single coil. The t armond is darker, more like a P-90 but with a stronger magnetic field at the strings.
     
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  9. CalebAaron666

    CalebAaron666 Tele-Meister

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    The T-Armond can give a bell like sound too.
    Think Duane Eddy.
     
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  10. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Imo, the bell sound usually comes from darker pickups. I guess it depends on the size of the bell, though.
     
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  11. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Uh, both. Neither. They're their own thing. More mids than the typical Fender s/c. But crystal clear and clean, like a bell. So, not like a P90.

    Do you know what a dynasonic sounds like? That, only better.
     
  12. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    No.
    Absolutely nothing to do with a P90 soundwise.
     
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  13. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The T-Armond is not a dark sounding pickup. I don't know where that's coming from. Bright, rich, full, crisp, clean, clear. Like the proverbial Tele on steroids.
     
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  14. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

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    Hah! Language is so tricky and personal when describing sound. What one man says is dark, another says is thick and a third says is broad shouldered..

    This is all very helpful, though. I’m thinking I’ll need to make a trip to a brick and mortar and see if I can play through some examples.

    One of the characteristics of my neck pickup on my tele (with the cover pulled) that I like is that it almost has a scooped sound, with a lot of resonance above 2-3k but less in the 400-1k range. Makes for nice cleans and blues tones. I’d like to find that for this Gretsch.

    Some guys at the Gretsch page made some comparisons of the hilotrons to lipstick pickups because of a described “chimeyness”

    Sorry for the rambling, been living in tele-vile for so long, that I’m admittedly clueless here.

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    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  15. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don't know frequencies, but I would not call the T-Armonds 'scooped'. When I think of that, I think of Strat tone. The T-Armond has a lot of mids. It's just that when people think of a 'middy' pickup, it's the P90. Well... not always! Middy does not have to mean thick, raw, gritty, etc etc.
     
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  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Here's a decent demo of some Duncan dynas, and some T-Armonds. I guess a better demo for you might be Ts against the Hilos, but maybe this gives you an idea of the tone.



    Listen to Tim's playing around 4:15. Of course, part of it's the amp - he's playing clean through a Gretsch Variety, a 6L6 Tweed Pro kinda amp.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
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  17. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Have not tried the TV Jones HiloTron, but the Gretsch version is very bright, closer to a strat.
     
  18. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Hilotrons/TV-HTs are the brightest. I love ‘em, clanky clear sound. They have more in common with a offset Teisco goldfoil then a Tele neck pickup or Lipstick. They are low output though, so you may or may not have an issue balancing with the BT bridge pickup.

    I haven’t messed with Magnetrons, but they don’t seem to be much like Dynasonics/T-Armonds, more like they have their own bright HB thing going on.

    T-Armonds are great, not as bright as the TV-HT, but still bright pickups with the right set-up. I’m speaking about the neck in particular, as the bridge pickup is kinda hot and middy—it has twang but less ‘sparkle’. What people don’t mention much is that the Dyna-type pickup can be set up to minimize the bass string response, and enhance the highs. This will make the neck pickup sound more Strat-like, simply by lowering the coil/body, and raising the magnet slugs to taste. Doing this with DeArmond mount pickups is a chore, but with Filtertron-sized T-As on an archtop with lots of strings clearance, it’s a piece of cake. Use 500k pots or even 1meg with DeArmond/Dyna types if you value the sparkle.
     
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  19. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, sorry, I misread the post the first time and went back for an edit. But it was a worthwhile dig through my archives because I forgot how well the darn things work. By comparison, I think the best fully closed nickel silver covers such as used on the PAF type lose about 1dB (which is still practically inaudible). The Fender neck covers are special because some of them are brass which has huge losses yielding a noticeably softer tone.
     
  20. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Consider GFS Surf90.
    No kidding.
     
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