Parts of The Guitar That Contributes Most to The Gretsch Sound

Jutaika

Member
Messages
272
I have a Gretsch G5420T with TV Jones Classics and I love it! I've been eyeing Gretsch Jets for a different feel (closer to solid body) but similar sound. To me, filtertrons seem to share an EQ range with a P90 - not as bright as a Fender single coil, not as beefy as a humbucker. But it has a special character that is different from a P90, noticeable and recognizable. Here's what I'm wondering:

1. Do the filtertron pickups really make the sound? Could you put filtertrons in a Les Paul and get very close to a Gretsch Jet sound?
2. Is the Gretsch body build and hardware unique enough to also contribute enough to the sound that putting filtertrons in a non-Gretsch design just wouldn't be the same?

Interested to hear your thoughts!
 

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gretschplayer

Member
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420
I think the Filter'trons are key, but combined with the hollow bodies of the guitars. To me, there is also a certain texture from Filter'trons that I've never heard in other kinds of humbuckers or in single coils, except the TV Jones Starwood.

I've got a set of TV Jones Classics in an Epiphone Les Paul, and a Gretsch Double Jet with real Filter'trons, both solid bodies, and they do sound different, with less of that texture.
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
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42,755
The name on the headstock seems to be the thing most important to other guys, imo.

Plenty of other brands make similar models. There isn't anything particularly unique about Gretch.

Filtertrons certainly have a distinct tone and guys have been putting them in lots of other guitars for years. You can go on YT and find lots of demo videos and see if they float your boat in other guitars.

I think they work well, for example, in a thinline tele with a Bigsby if you want an alternative to a hollowbody Gretch. Or, buy a Gretch if you like'em.
 

michael.e

Silver Supporting Member
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20,531
Are used to gig a really nice 6120 solid wood top with TV Jones. I loved the sound and feel. Of course I sold it. A while back I picked up lower end model that looked pretty. I think it was a 5420. It was white with gold. The guitar was a complete disappointment with regard to my expectations after owning the 6120. I even swapped out the pickups for TV Jones and it was still nothing like Old Orange. The paint was too thick, the top was too thick. Definitely not the same guitar except and looks for the most part.
 

xmd5a

Member
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2,381
Filter'trons and pickup placement. Or the fact that it has Gretsch mojo. It depends on the observer.
 

Jutaika

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Messages
272
I think it was a 5420. It was white with gold. The guitar was a complete disappointment with regard to my expectations after owning the 6120.
My 5420 is 5-ply maple and feels like a very heavy plastic guitar. But it plays well and sounds great with the TV Jones. I don't doubt you're right that it doesn't compare to a $2,500+ Japanese made hollow body.

I've been comparing $500 Electromatic Jet Pros with $2,400 Duo Jets. I've had the chance to play both and the Duo Jet is obviously a better build and finish. Still don't know if it's 5 times better.
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
272
The name on the headstock seems to be the thing most important to other guys, imo.
Interesting. I don't care if it's a Gretsch, Guild, or some other brand. I just like the sound. I've seen some YouTube videos, but you're missing a LOT if you're not playing it yourself. I'll watch some more (filtertrons in non-Gretsch guitars) and see if I learn anything.

Honestly, I don't care for 3 volume knobs on my guitar! I understand the logic for that circuit, but it's not useful to me.
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
272
I've got a set of TV Jones Classics in an Epiphone Les Paul, and a Gretsch Double Jet with real Filter'trons, both solid bodies, and they do sound different, with less of that texture.
This is what I'm interested in. I know what you're talking about when you say the "texture", that's the word I would use too. It's a characteristic of the sound separate from clear or muddy, or anything EQ related.

But you have FilterTrons in a Les Paul and you notice less of that character. That's what I was wondering, and it does make sense.
 

Rick51

Member
Messages
3,739
Pickups are the biggest part of it, but the rest of the guitar matters. The design matters, and every piece of wood is different.

In a differently designed guitar, you'll get more of a cousin than a twin. A family resemblance.
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
272
Pickups are the biggest part of it, but the rest of the guitar matters. The design matters, and every piece of wood is different.

In a differently designed guitar, you'll get more of a cousin than a twin. A family resemblance.
Nice choice of words. That makes sense.

Based on that, good advise is probably: If you have an extra set of FilterTrons and more than one humbucker guitar, you could try it. But if you really want a Gretsch Jet, buy a Gretsch Jet.

My understanding is that most Gretsch Jets are chambered, so that contributes to the sound as well.
 

michael.e

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,531
My 5420 is 5-ply maple and feels like a very heavy plastic guitar. But it plays well and sounds great with the TV Jones. I don't doubt you're right that it doesn't compare to a $2,500+ Japanese made hollow body.

I've been comparing $500 Electromatic Jet Pros with $2,400 Duo Jets. I've had the chance to play both and the Duo Jet is obviously a better build and finish. Still don't know if it's 5 times better.
Yes I agree that these guitars sound very good and play GREAT. I I had not wanted a replacement for my 6120, I probably would have kept it. It IS A nice guitar.
 

yoshiii

Member
Messages
743
I have a Gretsch G5420T with TV Jones Classics and I love it! I've been eyeing Gretsch Jets for a different feel (closer to solid body) but similar sound. To me, filtertrons seem to share an EQ range with a P90 - not as bright as a Fender single coil, not as beefy as a humbucker. But it has a special character that is different from a P90, noticeable and recognizable. Here's what I'm wondering:

1. Do the filtertron pickups really make the sound? Could you put filtertrons in a Les Paul and get very close to a Gretsch Jet sound?
2. Is the Gretsch body build and hardware unique enough to also contribute enough to the sound that putting filtertrons in a non-Gretsch design just wouldn't be the same?

Interested to hear your thoughts!
The Jets have lots more chambered areas then a les paul. So I think will be different sounding
 

michael.e

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,531
I love the Setzers but found out that the White Falcon at 17" is a whole inch bigger than the 6120. So my love for the orange 6120 has now possibly shifted to a Duffy Falcon (I like the pinned bridge and silver hardware).

When you say easy to play, much beyond the 12th looks a nightmare with that deep body. Am I worrying over nothing?
Well, it’s no Les Paul up there. It IS more difficult but not out of control. Especially after adapting. There are ways to effectively work with anything. When I played Gipsy Jazz on my Selmer style guitars, I learned how to solo up high with my thumb off the neck altogether.



 
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rmconner80

Cantankerous Luddite
Gold Supporting Member
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3,971
Duo Jets have a heavily chambered mahogany back with a 3 ply maple arch top. Setting aside these silly ‘player’ models, they also have a floating bridge like an arch top. Slapping filtertrons into a Les Paul or other solid body guitar does not really sound much like a Duo Jet to me.
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
272
The Jets have lots more chambered areas then a les paul. So I think will be different sounding
Slapping filtertrons into a Les Paul or other solid body guitar does not really sound much like a Duo Jet to me.
I'm sensing a pattern here. That's exactly what I wanted to know. Now it's just a matter of whether to save up for a Duo Jet or if an Electromatic Pro Jet will do.
 

phoghat

Member
Messages
1,149
Hollow construction, floating bridge, pickups.

The floating bridge is important. Any Gretsch model without one sounds dramatically less "Gretschy" regardless of pickups. Throwing Filtertrons in a different guitar can sound great, but it won't sound like a Gretsch.

IME, this goes for both Filtertrons and Dynasonics.
 




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