Broadtron Vs Filtertron: Difference & Which is Better?

To hear the actual sound from a Gretsch guitar you have to use either Broadtron or Filtertron pickups. Only these pickups can ensure the production of authentic Gretsch tone. However, both these pickups are space-age-looking and produce almost the same sound.

But there is a but! Hence the discussion Broadtron vs Filtertron comes. Even though producing the same tone, there are slight differences. These differences will make you think twice about whether to get a Broadtron or Filtertron for your Gretsch guitar.

Broadtron Vs Filtertron

Major Differences in Short –

Filtertrons and Broadtrons are almost the same deal until you realize that Filtertrons are more likely to retain the classic twangy chime of Gretsch. On the other hand, Broadtrons offer more output with the presence of more mid-punch. Moreover, Broadtrons sound similar to the traditional PAF ones. However, the sweet similar fact about these pickups is that they both are slaying being on top of people’s choice.

Let’s elaborate more with a precise comparison table.

SoundMore powerfulLess powerful
Coil constructionStrong and tightLess tight
Magnetic FeatureLow DCRModerate DCR
Output level Not highhigher
Music Genre Genres for PAF-styleBrighter than PAF-style
Price RangeLowHigh

Broadtron Vs Filtertron Review Details –

Undoubtedly, both Broadtron and Filtertron are iconic pickups resembling their guitars. They are way versatile and can cover several music genres including pop, country, rock, metal, rockabilly, and whatnot! However, a detailed discussion will enlighten you more.

Broadtron – Detailed Perception:

Broadtron Pickup Review

These electric guitar pickups are the ideal example of fidelity and true power. Capturing the sonic palette of the guitar, Broadtron offers the most powerful mids possible. These pickups also reproduce extended lows with the smooth and clear high end.

However, Broadtron pickups are just another variant of Filtertrons made by Gretsch. The in-between features, articulation, and chime are Filtertron-like. Yet, these pickups have PAF-style humbucker output while offering more midrange with high-end clarity.

Therefore, you get to sense more punch in the sound. This also indicates the pickup has full-spectrum fidelity. Thus, the feature can overdrive unparalleled yet shimmering cleans.

Nonetheless, Broadtron pickups are available in the field of Electromatic and professional collections. But except for these sectors, you may not find Broadtrons that much.

Things We Liked About / Pros:

  • Comes with an aesthetic feature producing the authentic sound for the iconic Gretsch guitar.
  • Designed with PAF-style humbucker that provides intense high-end clarity.
  • Adds more midrange compared to other Gretsch pickups.
  • Comes with many variants and is compatible with the price class.

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • Available only within some specific guitar collections.

Filtertron – Detailed Perception:

Filtertron Pickup Review

There are a lot of things to say about Filtertron pickups. Being invented first in 1957, Filtertron is slaying since then in a monopolistic way. These pickups were the very first humbucking pickups for solving the hum problems of Chet Atkin. But it was first patented in PAF.

However, Filtertron pickups are still uniquely designed. Especially, their magnet feature that is surrounded by fewer winds. Moreover, the pickups are engineered with two pickups that are also smaller in size.

Offering a fair amount of punch, Filtertron pickups have exceeding accentuated highs. This feature also helps in contending the 60-cycle hum. Thus, it is relatable to single-coil pickups. Moreover, their coil construction is also the strongest one.

So, being the conclusive vintage benchmark, Filtertrons pickups are surely your desired ones if you actually own a Gretsch guitar. Again, these pickups were the core parts of some electro-acoustic instruments.

Things We Liked about / Pros:

  • Can be found in several models of Gretsch guitar and also Fender guitar models.
  • Come with the best possible designs of humbuckers and single coils.
  • Produce a lot more fullness in sound while also maintaining clarity.
  • High-end features offer extended lows and deal overdrive properly.

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • Provide low outputs as the overall power is low.
  • Offers less clarity while producing sound.

What is the Main Difference Between Broadtron Vs Filtertron Pickup:

Now that you know detail about both Broadtron and Filtertron, you can already predict their differences. However, some distinct differences are given below.

1) Sound:

Pickup Sound Quality System

To talk about sound or tone, Gretsch’s Filtertron surely offers the best tonal spectrum. But at the same time, it varies when it comes to one of the variances like Broadtron.

Surely, Filtertron pickups have a way broader frequency spectrum that produces a great deal of thickness and fullness in the tone. But in Broadtron pickups, you will get a tone with more of these features.

Moreover, Broadtron pickups sound more powerful. Moreover, compared to Broadtrons, Filtertron pickups offer less clarity. Also, Broadtron pickups offer more mids and extended lows in the tone. They can add a little more bite to the sound while also adding some grind to it.

However, both Filtertron and Broadtron can nicely deal with overdrive and distortion. Then again, speaking of the clarity, Broadtron pickups offer it more with some more punch in the tone.

2) Coil Construction:

Filtertron Pickup Coil

Even though Filtertron pickups produce less powerfulness and thickness in the sound, when it comes to talking about coil construction it wins. Compared to Broadtron, Filtertron pickups are designed with the strongest coil construction possible.

Moreover, the single-coil system is engineered tightly. Because of the tight build-up, Filtertron pickups are likely to provide low outputs. And that is why their overall power is also low.

Again, the coil design creates closeness when the pickups run over the guitar strings. This closeness can legit compensate for the power lack in the tone of Filtertron pickups. Furthermore, the closeness provides more fullness with greater volume.

Also, to some extent, the feature maintains tone clarity as well. On the contrary, Broadtron pickups do not have that strong coil construction so they can produce an effortlessly powerful tone.

3) Magnet Feature:

Magnet is another important feature to look for in pickups. Undoubtedly, Filtertron pickups have moderate or low DC resistance of about 3k to 5k. Still, it can manage to create higher power with higher volume.

Generally, higher DC resistance is required in the magnetic features of pickups. Even though the DCR is low in Filtertrons yet you can get the best bang by placing the pickup close to your guitar strings.

Moreover, low DCR comes with the benefits of producing thinner and brighter sounds while offering clearer tones.

Again, about the magnetic feature of Broadtron pickups, since they are designed to sound more like a Filtertron, the magnetic feature is almost the same. But Broadtron happens to come with a bit more DCR compared to Filtertron.

4) Output Level:

Broadtron and Filtertron both pickups are equipped with a high-end chime. And in this regard, Filtertron pickups are more popular worldwide. With a more balanced sound, Filtertrons also have that Twang thing that comes with the Gretsch guitar.

However, Broadtron compensates for this area by offering more punch in the mid-range. Hence, consider before banging on your sensitive gear.

5) Music Genre:

Filtertron Pickup Music Genre

Both Broadtron and Filtertron pickups are made to cover a versatile range of music genres. You can play rock, country, pop, jazz, blues or rockabilly and anything. However, Broadtron cannot go beyond PAF and produce a bit brighter sound. But fortunately, Filtertrons have that ability.

6) Price Range:

Compared to Filtertrons, Broadtrons come at a bit lower price range. If you are running low on your budget and still want the vibes of Filtertron pickups, get a Broadtron. So, Filtertrons come with a higher price range.

So, Which One to Choose?

Now that you have profound knowledge about both Broadtron vs Filtertron, you can choose by yourself. Yet, to make you more decisive, let us help you with that as well. So, if you want something brighter than PAF then Filtertrons are better.

Then again, availability matters. Filtertrons are not easily available compared to Broadtrons. Again, there are many pickup companies like MojoTone, TV Jones, and others that manufacture pickups that are Filtertron style.

These pickups have several outputs and voicings but are more likely to produce sound like Filtertrone. So, you can also go for such options.

FAQs –

Question 1: What is a Broadtron pickup?

Answer: Broadtron is an electric guitar pickup with more power and fidelity. It is just another variant of Filtertron with having PAF-system at the same time. It can produce a thick and full sound adding more punch to the tone.

Question 2: What makes a Filtertron different?

Answer: Filtertron pickups are exceptional inventions as the first humbucker pickups offering low output. They are different for their piercing high-end with warm and clean sound. Moreover, their tone makes them stay in-between humbuckers and single-coil pickups.

Question 3: What is the Filtertron sound?

Answer: Filtertrons are famous for sounding warm, fat, and at the same time clean. The sound comes with a combination of clear highs, solid low-end, and rich mid-range.

Question 4: What Gretsch guitars have Filtertron pickups?

Answer: There are a few Electromatic hollow-body electric guitars from Gretsch featuring new Filtertron pickup sets. The models include G5420T, G5422G-12, and lastly, G5422TG which has both the editions of leaf and right-handed ones.

Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by Perry Garner

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