TV Jones or something cheap?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Mark the Moose, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The trick with the cheap TV Jones clones is to not get something that advertises 'Hotter' or more 'modern' this will typically have more winds, and a higher inductance. Takes you away from the TV Jones high end Jangle and 'crang' and moves the tone more towards a typical PAF type humbucker.

    The TVJ classics are something like 1.4Henry inductance in the neck position. Compare that to a strat pickup which tends to be around 2.3H-3H. They are wound with a very small amount of wire to get that low inductance. That low inductance is what gives the high frequency response that the classic Filtertrons had. Lots of treble content, not so much mid push.. Most of the 'budget' Filtertrons, for whatever reason are 'overwound' which gives a fatter darker sound.

    The price and name on the pickup is not what gives it that sound. You just need something spec'd correctly.
     
  2. strat54

    strat54 Tele-Meister

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    I totally agree. When I take a couple guitars to a party it is the TV Jones equipped ones that always have the most play time. Musicians are always complimenting me on how clean & clear sounding my Koicaster with TV J Filtertrons plays. If I had bought cheaper substitute pups I would have never been satisfied and would have eventually ended up buying the real deal:).
     
  3. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    This is true for the TV Classics, but much of TV Jones' catalog is also hotter Filter'trons, like the Power'Tron or the "Plus" models. I have a theory that people hate hot pickups that come stock, but love them when they install them aftermarket. The guitar companies seem to push hot pickups in their lower end models thinking they will sound more modern and appealing to younger players, while the expensive models have vintage correct pickups, like Fender Custom Shops, or Gibson 57 Classics, etc. but in the end, those young people realize the hot pickups don't have a decent clean tone, and they think the pickups are garbage, when it's just that they happen to be hotter pickups.
     
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  4. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cheap? Buy some ceramic Filtertrons used - you can buy alnico mags off eBay and swap them yourself ((I picked up alnico Les Paul size off Stewmac and doubled them - Filtertrons are exactly twice as thick but a little shorter). For $20-30 I had alnico FTs So very like new Filtertrons. Measure 4kohm. Lovely in my Setzer! I used al4 in the neck and al2 in the bridge. Had to file a notch in the end.

    IMG_20190401_194139.jpg
     
  5. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    Dimarzio DP211 - Eric Johnson designed humbucker. Not really a Gretsch sound, not really a PAF sound, almost in the middle. Does pretty much everything really well IMO and the price is approx 1/2 of a TV Jones. Recently put one at the neck of an old tele that was cut way back, works really well with an Area T bridge p/u. Silence is golden particularly when recording.

    Everything I wanted and doesn't overpower the bridge p/u. Depends what style you play I guess. Didn't want the tele to sound like my Country Gent but it does go in that direction a bit.

    Also have a Seymour Duncan Jazz p/u in a Les Paul Custom which is more PAF sounding, works really well. I do Soft-Rock, Blues, Jazz Standards, Pop, Latin, retro R&B, Rock & Roll.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  6. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    They cost way too much. And there are plenty of good clear pickups for a lot less $$$. Look for some Gretsch HS Filtertron pickups on eBay.
     
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  7. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

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    I feel less dumb when my ambivalence plays out in the hive mind! Sounds like TV J is where it’s really at, at least for the neck. Less concerned about the bridge.
     
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  8. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You guys saying TV Jones= the real deal, I just gotta point out those are copies of Gretsch Filtertrons. So those actually are the real deal.

    It is true, the more current versions of "the real deal" do seem to be overwound
     
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  9. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Exactly. TVJ are good pickups, but are expensive copies of Gretsch Filtertrons.
     
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  10. Garruchal

    Garruchal Tele-Meister

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    I have one Gretsch with patent filtertrons and one with TvJones. The TvJ's sound better and offer more variety of tones. They turned my 5420 into a fantastic guitar. Worth the price.
     
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  11. stax

    stax Tele-Afflicted

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    I saw a great young player in a rockabilly band using an Epi Swingster and was suprised when I asked what pickups were in it to be told it was stock, that guitar sounded so good I assumed it had something fancy in it.
     
  12. Garruchal

    Garruchal Tele-Meister

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    I should mention:I have a Classic Plus in the bridge and a Supertron in the neck position. This was a night-and-day change from the blacktops that came in the guitar. I can get everything from smooth jazz tones, to biting twang, to a nice overdrive just by adjusting the pots and switch on the guitar.
    My other Gretsch, with the patent filtertrons, sounds great and has a very Gretsch-y jangle, but can't measure up to the TVJones guitar.
     
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  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    The "better" I've heard in A-B comparisons between TV Jones and HS Filtertrons seems to be enhanced high-end on the TVJ's. This is subjective, of course, but that's what I've noticed in the comparison videos. They are high-quality pickups, though, So it would be worth the extra $$$ if that's an important factor to the buyer. One thing I do know is that unlike most copies, TV Jones are quite highly respected.
     
  14. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    TV Jones are the only pickups I've heard so far that get that Gretsch Filtertron tone.

    The cheaper types can be made to get convincing similar tones with the heights as close to the strings as possible and high value pots or low value tone caps and some require magnet swaps. Which could cost you as much as getting the Gretsch or TV Jones in the long run.
     
  15. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Nothing beats TV Jones, I‘ve tried the Setzers also but came back to classic/classic+ as my favorite pair (dunno about the Butts so far).
    You need only one pickup, look for a 2nd hand offer.
     
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  16. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    The TV's are very popular. If you are looking for the standard Filtertron, real Gretsch HS 'Trons are available at less than $70 usually. Frankly, I don't hear a difference between those and TV's in the standard type. But it's been years since I bought a TV. Now if you go to Supertron or hot ones etc ...I do hear a difference.
     
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  17. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Here's a technical comparison I conducted between TV Classics, Fideli'trons, and modern Gretsch Filter'trons http://guitarnuts2.proboards.com/thread/7785/jones-classics-analysis-review-shootout

    The differences between them are trivial. With TV Jones you're paying for more expensive American overhead as well as all of the marketing money that goes into convincing people they're the best. If you just want a Filter'tron, I think TV Classics are unnecessarily expensive, but TV Jones also offers some Gretsch remakes and derivatives that can't be bought elsewhere, such as the Magne'tron or the Power'tron.
     
  18. misterdontmove

    misterdontmove Tele-Meister

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    I customized a Tele and put blacktops in it just to see if I was going to like it. I never took them out. Crazy clarity and ZING. You can buy them on the cheap just to try them out. You may never look back! 28943315_10214292764464490_72039242_o (1).jpg
     
  19. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think based on the previous relationship where TVs were optional in Gretsches they've both done well - he also consulted on Fidelitrons.

    TV's Classics as has been pointed out, are a modern take on the originals.

    Filtertrons have half the physical size coils of a PAF but the magnets are twice as thick. The magnet gauss is quite high. So as JD0x0 points out you get treble response due to low inductance but you also get mids. My Gretsch doesn't seem loud in a band context especially not compared to a Gibson but boy - does it cut through! It easily overdrives a BF type channel.

    Amazing such small differences - make a difference!

    TV Jones deserves recognition because he kept the Gretsch faith. His pickups aren't cheap but like Seymour's or Fralin's or other boutique brands they give you a lot of choice and a quality sound and experience.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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