Gretsch Setzer Hot Rod questions - pickups and date of manufacture

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Lavely, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Lavely

    Lavely Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a Gretsch Setzer Hot Rod on Ebay, and I'm not 100% positive what to call the pickups (I believe they are Filtertrons), nor can I answer questions about the date of manufacture or if it has "59 bracing." Can someone help me?

    Here is a pic of the pickup:

    [​IMG]


    That is a Filtertron, correct?

    Thanks,

    Lavely
     
  2. studiodunn

    studiodunn Member

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    Not all Setzers came with real TV Jones pups. The low end came with TV Jones Licensed pup's and they don't sound the same.



    I think the "licensed" pups had the same markings, but I can't remember.
     
  3. Lavely

    Lavely Silver Supporting Member

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    I thought all TV Jones pickups were labeled "TV Jones" - correct?

    Also, the serial number on the pickup is the same as Gretsch Filtertrons, which is why I was under the impression that is what they were.

    Lavely
     
  4. I'm Incinerator

    I'm Incinerator Supporting Member

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    Those are definitely filtertrons...not sure if they are TV Jones made or Gretsch made. Alot of people don't mind the Gretsch made filtertrons, since after Fender took over operations they had TV jones design some alnico filtertrons to put in their guitars...I believe the gretsch made filtertrons are made in Japan.

    The '59 trestle bracing came out in late 04 or early 05 IIRC with the upgrades for the setzer and hot rod models. Some people like the trestle bracing, but some also prefer the tone post bracing that came on pre upgraded setzers and hotrods....I think even Brian himself uses a '99 Candy Apple Red Hotrod. From what I've read the tone post keeps the low mids "whomp" intact. The Trestle bracing keeps things a little more focused and upfront...a buddy has mentioned that it's better to get an Epi Elitist 335 Dot and put some TV Jones Filtertron pickups in if you want that tone.

    I've only played an SSLVO with the Trestle Bracing, and TV classics...and I thought it was great, and my shop was dropping the price on it for the longest time...but then they got some more Gretsches in and the price mysteriously went back up...
     
  5. StJimmy

    StJimmy Member

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    TV Jones pups can come with three different engravings on the front, depending on what the customer orders. (1) The Pat # (like the photo above), (2) Pat Applied For, or (3) TV Jones.
     
  6. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

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    That looks like a pre-Fender Filter'tron. TV Jones Filters are not quite as rounded on the corners and come fitted to the guitar with slot-head screws from the factory. In fact the pickup surround is attached with slot-head screws on later guitars also.

    You will know if your guitar has trestle bracing or a soundpost just by looking inside the F-hole. The soundpost (which I do prefer!) is just a little square profile post between top and back under the bridge. Trestle bracing is huge - like four big table legs under the top where the pickups are.
     
  7. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

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    Unless you have the original sales literature, I don't think you'll be able to tell if those are TV Jones or not without pulling the pickups or looking through the f-holes with a dental mirror. All the Hot Rods should have the Patent Number pickup covers regardless of what is under them.

    I think all the post-FMIC Hot Rods should have trestle bracing, but looking at your auction, I can't tell if yours is post-FMIC (it has Grovers instead of Sperzels, which the pre-FMIC guitars had; it may be that some post-FMIC gits did too--I just don't know).

    Here's what trestle bracing (sometimes called '59 bracing) looks like:

    [​IMG]

    On the pre-FMIC guitars, you can supposedly tell TV Jones vs. Gretch Filtertrons based on how domed the pole pieces are (the pole screws on TV Jones have "Fillister" heads instead of more domed heads on the pre-FMIC guitars), but I think that takes a pretty experienced eye--more experienced than I have.

    Do you have a serial number? The Fender serial scheme puts the year of manufacture as the next two digits after "JT," followed by two-digit month, so "JT0406" would be manufactured at the Terada factory in June 2004.
     
  8. Lavely

    Lavely Silver Supporting Member

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    OK, back home with the guitar in my hands. Serial number is 027120SH-1298

    Sticker is labeled "Fred Gretsch Enterprises" No mention of Fender at all.

    What does that tell me?

    My guess:

    Gretsch Filtertrons
    Non-trestle bracing (just a soundpost)

    Can anyone confirm from the serial number?

    Thanks,

    Lavely
     
  9. Lavely

    Lavely Silver Supporting Member

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    If I am reading the serial number right, the guitar was produced in July, 2002 - correct?

    Lavely
     
  10. jonhope

    jonhope Member

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    The following is a direct quote from the TV Jones web-site Frequently Asked Questions section:

    Q: I just bought a Gretsch 6120 and the dealer told me that it came with TV Jones pickups, however the pickup covers are stamped PAT APPLIED FOR. I thought all TV Jones Pickups had TV Jones stamped on them. How can I tell if these are truly TV Jones pickups or not?

    A: The easiest way to tell TV Jones pickups apart from stock Gretsch pickups is to look at the pole spacing (distance between the screws) on the neck pickups vs the bridge pickup. The pole spacing is wider on the bridge pickup (.406”) than on the neck pickup (.380”). (See photo below) This aids in centering the pole screws under the guitar strings, which are farther apart at the bridge. The result is optimum string separation and output. Not all TV Jones pickups say “TV Jones” on the cover because on certain models Gretsch wants to maintain the look of the original guitar right down to the pickups, so in some cases you will see PAT APPLIED FOR others say U.S. PAT. 2892371 some have nothing stamped on the cover and some say TV Jones.ot all TV Jones pickups say “TV Jones” on the cover because on certain models Gretsch wants to maintain the look of the original guitar right down to the pickups, so in some cases you will see PAT APPLIED FOR others say U.S. PAT. 2892371 some have nothing stamped on the cover and some say TV Jones.


    I hope this helps

    :drink
     
  11. Lavely

    Lavely Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks to everyone for your help!!

    Lavely
     
  12. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

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    Different format than I've seen, and the "JT0X" format began to be used in 2002--or at least, I've seen that format with guitars as old as 2002. Maybe it's a 2002, or maybe it's a December 1998 (1298) guitar--The guitar was introduced at the Winter 1999 NAMM, if I recall correctly, but was debuted on the Tonight Show in December 1998. Could be one of the earliest ones. Sorry I'm not more help, but I just haven't seen that serial number format before.
     

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