TV Jones Filtertron vs. Harmonic Design z90

Mark C

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4,417
I've been looking at pickups to put in a humbucker rout in a baritone guitar and I think I want one of these two pickups. Not looking for metal tones, I want to use this in a rootsy rock band. I'd like to hear opinions, good and bad for both of these pickups. Thanks in advance!
 

iainmc

Member
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843
i have a guitar with TV jones filtertrons & another with harmonic design p90s. Both guitars are Kolls - the filtertron one is a duo glide & the p90 one is a tornado.

I love the filtertrons more than any other pickup i have used. It is a far far more rounded pickup than a p90 - it being a humbucker & all. It's almost as if there is a bunch of air around it (the guitar is semi hollow so there is another resonance thing to it). they are less dense than most humbuckers i've used. I also like the tvj ones more than stock gretsch ones

the p90s are far more rock (at least as i use it in this guitar) more direct more biting. oddly enough i think the far end of a p90 can sound like the filtertron. then again it may be i just osund the same regardless of instrument...

i have been thinking of getting another bari (i have the danelectro one) & for me the TVJ filtertrons would be what i'd put in.

best of luck!

/i
 

jjhboots

Member
Messages
107
That's interesting: I have a Tornado with Lollar P90's and a duoglide with TV JonesFiltertrons on order. Glad to hear that you like them. I can't wait to get them.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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I have TV Jones Classics in this guitar



and Z90s in this one.



The PUPs, to me, are quite differently voiced.

What tones do you want? Please be specific, as merely asking about the two choices, in the same sentence, for the same guitar has me :confused: !
 

Mark C

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4,417
Jon, I guess I'm looking for tough, but with bit of twang. I'm currently leaning towards the TV Jones, thinking that Gretches can be twangy, yet you can also get into Malcolm Young territory when you crank it up.
 

Ogre

Member
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4,651
These two pickups are night and day different. The Harmonic Design is a refined take on the classic P-90, which is a single coil pickup. The TV Jones Filtertrons are an authentic recreation of the classic Gretsch Filtertrons, which are humbuckers without the mud that I hear in almost every Gibson electric I have ever played. I think each would work well for a baritone guitar, but I would give the edge to the TV Jones pickups. They would be rounder and less noisy.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
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42,050
Interesting! I think I understand what you mean, Ogre, well, certainly about the FilterTrons. The Z90s for me, though, are not what I'd call "refined" in their tone. To me, they're the ballsiest, most in-your-face Strat-type PUPs ever made with lots of bottom end AND high end grind/sizzle.

But you know, you have me thinking now (always an improvement in my case ;) ). I tend to keep my PUPs up fairly high to the strings. I wonder if I were to lower my Z90s 2-3 64s of an inch whether they'd start taking on more "refinement." I'll try that someday, if only as an experiment! :)
 

Shane S

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1,728
I have a Gretsch Baritone Spectra Sonic. I came with T.V. Jones pickups and sounds fantastic. If you want an idea of what they sound like, I recomend that you pickup a copy of Brian Setzer's Live in Japan DVD. He plays two songs with the same guitar that I have and it sounds killer IMHO!
 

erksin

Senior Member
Messages
23,127
I had the TV Jones TV Trons in a solidbody Tele and they just didn't sound very good at all - no real complexity or 'air' like others have mentioned. It was totally the guitar's fault IMO as I'd heard them in other hollowbodied intruments and really liked what I heard.

The Z-90s by contrast worked BEAUTIFULLY in the Tele - twang, grind, air, throaty - the perfect pup in there.

If the Baritone is a solidbody, I'd say get the Z-90s - if it's a hollowbody then it's a toss up IMO - they both sound great, different but great.

And Jon S. - bust out the screwdriver! The Z-90s are super sensitive to pup height - you'll discover a whole bunch of tones in them...
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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I don't know, they sound so damn good as they are in the Reverend. But I'll soon have another data point: my 2nd set for this guitar (my Godin LGX-SA) arrived this very evening. :D

 

erksin

Senior Member
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23,127
It'll be interestiing to hear your opinion on the differences between the Rev and Godin - please let us know what you find!
 

Unburst

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Originally posted by Jon Silberman
The Z90s for me, though, are not what I'd call "refined" in their tone. To me, they're the ballsiest, most in-your-face Strat-type PUPs ever made with lots of bottom end AND high end grind/sizzle.
Hate to disagree with you John, but the Z-90's I had were anything but Strat like.

I had a pair in a Klein and I would describe them as very "wide" sounding with no real spike in the frequency response.
They sounded quite dark, but they were in a dark sounding guitar.

They are great sounding pups, but if you were looking for rawness or twang I'd look elsewhere.
 

erksin

Senior Member
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23,127
Originally posted by splatt
me, i've found the z90 neck to sit just past the midpoint of an unusually great p90 and a great strat neck pickup, leaning distinctly towards the p90-side; i def wouldn't characterise them as 'dark' in the gtrs that i've played, which have headstocks and hardware that's considerably less harmonically absorbent than the classic steinberger stuff.
dt / spltrcl
That's how I hear them too.

The Z-90s have a BUNCH of tones in them - it's all in the height adjustment...
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
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42,050
No problem at all with disagreements over tone. If we all agreed on everything, why would we choose to discuss and compare our various tastes so much?!

Yikes, my Z90s are VERY bright and raw sounding. I don't understand your "dark" response at all, Unburst, unless the difference is due to the PUPs sounding very different in my phenolic resin/hollow Reverend versus your Klein (and that could indeed be the explanation since standard P90s in a Rev also sound way more Strat-like in a Rev than in, e.g., a Gibby) and also the scale on the Rev is 25 1/2", that's make a difference, too.

P.S. I am actually hoping they do sound different in a solid mahogany axe versus a hollow phenolic guitar as I want the new set for my Godin to "be there own thang."

P.P.S. Another thought: Unburst, you are using 500K pots with yours as Scott Petersen recommends, right?
 

Unburst

Member
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4,215
Originally posted by splatt
well, the kleins can be very difficult gtrs for which to find the 'right' pickups --- as w/other headless guitars w/steinberger hardware, imo --- so may not be the most suitably 'average point' from which to judge pickups on their general timbral characters.
dt / spltrcl
100% correct sir, but after replacing a pair of Barden HB's in that guitar I found them relatively mellow.
Out of curiosity, what pup's did you find most suitable on your Kleins?

John-I haven't played a Reverend but from what I've read, they are probably a lot brighter and more lively sounding than the Klein I had.
Yes, I did have the 500k pots, but as splatt says, the headless/Steinberger combo can take away some of the higher harmonics.

btw, I would love to hear a clip of that Z-90 equipped Rev.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
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42,050
Unfortunately ... and I would love to have a clue as to anything related to recording. :eek:
 

Unburst

Member
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4,215
Originally posted by splatt
eventually, it didn't really matter, since i became dissatisfied w/the string response/resonance --- most likely (at least, partially) due to the bridge;
dt / spltrcl
Thanks for the info dt.
I had the same problem and came to the same conclusion myself.
 




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