To speak the best iconic humbucking pickups TV Jones and Filtertron come right on top. To speak the truth, both pickups are equally popular among all guitarists out there. They also look almost the same. And exactly that is why they are often compared to each other.
Even though both pickups look the same externally, are they actually the same? Well, the answer is no! As a passionate guitarist, you might have found yourself comparing TV Jones Vs Filtertron.
Well, you have come across the right path to explore the answers. Let us guide you till you acknowledge it all regarding our today’s topic.
The main difference lies in the construction features of TV Jones and Filtertron. To speak specifically, TV Jones pickups are made following the methods of the original construction. These are replicas and boutique products made from American materials. Whereas with Gretsch’s character Filtertron comes with originality and versatility.
Nonetheless, we know this is not enough information. So, let’s dive into the deep to have a profound comparison between TV Jones and Filtertron.
Filtertron – In-Detail Discussion:
Since its invention in 1957, Filtertron is literally slaying that moment. Filtertrons are in between single coils and contemporary humbuckers. Hence, users can get both vintage features with modern specifications.
To find a solution for the 60-cycle hum problem, Filtertron was invented. This humbucker is the first low-output one. However, in today’s era, Filtertron has many clones. Among them, Gretsch Filtertrons are great as Gretsch guitar pickup. Chet Atkins along with other Gretsch engineers was credited for this invention.
Guitarists who own vintage Gretsch guitars, always want to play the original pickups with them. It is the ultimate vintage benchmark and everybody loves the well-known Gretsch sound. Let’s get to know some of its features.
Tone – The Gretsch Sound:
Ye, Filtertron comes with famous tonal quality considered as the Gretsch Sound. This feature is obvious since the pickups are forever a significant part of Gretsch’s tools. Filtertron pickups are used for a long time in the segment of electro-acoustic instruments.
The produced tone will reflect the thickness, fullness, and warmth of the PAF humbucker. Again, the crips of the tone with clarity reflect the single-coil pickups. So, the tonal spectrum is especially holding the middle place between humbucker and single-coil.
However, Gretsch Filtertron pickups also have some variances. Like Broadtron and Fulltron pickups. Fulltron pickups have a way fuller and broader spectrum of frequency. Whereas Broadtrons have even more of those features.
With added power Fulltrons provide fullness and mids in the tone. However, their tone has less clarity. But with Broadtron pickups it is more powerful sounding and mids. The pickups are surely high-end with extended lows. Furthermore, both variances are good to deal with distortion and overdrive. You can slay the hard rock niche with it.
Filtertron pickups come with a tight and strong coil construction. That is why they offer low outputs. And so, their overall power is also low. But the coil construction compensates for it all. They are featured in a way that creates closeness while running to the strings.
The closeness fills up the power lack. Moreover, it also offers greater volume with a lot more fullness. At the same time, it maintains clarity.
It is always desirable that your pickup would have a higher DCR. Because higher DCR encourages the magnet to create higher power and volume. However, Filtertron pickups typically come with 3k to 5k DC resistance.
Yes, this is certainly a low DCR. But to get the best bang there is a trick in their placement. Place your Filtertrone pickups close to the guitar strings. Again, low DCR has certain advantages. It produces brighter and thinner sounds with clearer tones. This is what makes it unique.
Types of Filtertrons:
Till now, Filtertron pickups come in a wider range of types. Among them, you have already been introduced to the Gretsch Filtertrons. There are others like Lollar pickups, MojoTone, and even TV Jones. All these Filtertron replicas have distinct specifications.
For say, the Mojotone pickup adds an extra growl and chime producing the classing sound of Filtertron. The pickup also balances the low output efficiently. It also comes with a full and mellow neck pickup. This feature offers a soothing organic compression.
On the other hand, being another replica, the Lollar pickups also provide the classic sound of Gretsch. However, the pickups deliver high frequencies but a fullness with light low-end. Overall, the tone is sweet.
TV Jones – In-Detail Discussion:
Even though TV Jones pickups are replicas of original Filtertron ones yet there are many more to say. The manufacturer company is developing its production quality by only using materials sourced from America. They are improving the pickups by specializing the guitar technology. Moreover, the company produces TV Jones pickups following the original methods of manufacturing.
Tone – Vintage Gretsch Sound:
TV Jone pickups are really good at capturing the warm tone. However, it also offers a twangy tone which is a signature tone of vintage Gretsch pickups. The tone of TV Jones also has natural and sweet compression. It’s mellow high-end help in the sweet-sounding.
Sharing plenty of dynamics, the TV Jones pickups have controlled yet clear highs. While running the pickup you will feel a combination of clarity and a saturated growl.
Quality Magnets & Pole Pieces:
TV Jones Pickups are made of the highest quality magnets. The magnets are the reason for the warmest bottom end. Also, they come with a broader high-end. But it is not that harsh since it has a broader Q-factor. TV Jones pickups are designed with the latest 50s AINiCo Filtertron magnets. The manufacturer reproduces them in a specialized way for creating TV Jones.
Moreover, TV Jones pickups are constructed with pure magnetic materials. They are handcrafted proudly in the USA using unique and pure materials. Hence, there is no chance of impurities in their pole screws and magnets. To speak about the pole pieces, TV Jones pickups have customized pole screws. Their pole pieces also have different styles and alloys. This is to make the variation in the tones.
TV Jones comes with wider bridge bobbins. It is the width of the pole-to-pole distance. This feature helps in the proper centering of the pole screws. Thus, under the strings, the pole screws are placed properly right in the position of the bridge pickup. However, TV Jones neck pickups have a narrow pole-to-pole width.
TV Jones Types:
You must have introduced yourself to the TV Classic and TV Classic Plus of TV Jones. Both these pickups have brought TV Jones into the limelight. The reputation of TV Jones is standing right on them.
Nonetheless, Classic Plus has more to offer than the TV Classic ones. It is the advanced version. Combining the highest sensitive units and vintage Filtertrons, the Classics are the absolute way to go. Again, talk about the tone, they are clear, bright, and most importantly balanced. The tones offer an exciting combination of both twang and growl. Without even a bit of wooliness, the neck sounds have thrilling bass depth. They are clear as well.
However, the bridge in Classic Plus provides louder tones. The tones are also compressed but at the same time, they are clear and bright. Long story short, you can see that all the types of TV Jones have clear and bright tone versions. But they certainly have added belligerence and punch.
TV Jones Vs Filtertron – Main Differences:
Now that we have already talked about the features of each pickup, it is time to talk about their differences more specifically.
1) Original Vs Replica:
Yes, ‘Filtertron Vs TV Jones’ is more like a comparison between the originals and replicas. We have already mentioned, that the TV Jones are proud replicas of FilterTrons. Making replicas of pickups following the best brands is common in the industry of guitar.
Not all passionate guitarists can afford to buy the expensive ones but every one of them desires to have at least similar to the product or maybe something more. However, you get to buy both with money and that is what matters the most. Moreover, Filtertron pickups are originals but with fewer boutiques.
2) Sound Quality:
Since both pickups are made following the same models, many ask if their sound quality is also the same. Or, if they produce the same sound. Well, to answer your questions, yes to some extent both Filtertron and TV Jones sound the same while hitting the strings. But they do not match entirely.
It is because they use different materials. Though both pickups ensure better quality materials. Again, their construction process is also different. Thus, you can sense tones that have slight differences.
3) According to Price:
Many might think Filtertron and TV Jones cost the same. But they don’t. even though TV Jones pickups are replicas yet they are the better versions and cost twice the Gretsch Filtertons. So, you have got to decide which one you can offer!
Both Filtertron and TV Jones pickups are versatile. And they can also be played with styles in different genres. Filtertrons are specially designed for the rock genre because of their fabulous sounds. Their response to fuzz and overdrive is also excellent. Hence, without being muddy, they have plenty of basses. So, Filtertrons can play in a wider range of music fields.
Nonetheless, Filtertrons are not suitable for high-gain metal tones. Whereas, TV Jones can be played in metal genres since they have higher aggression.
Blacktop Filtertron Vs TV Jones:
All pickup sounds different while running on different guitars. BT Filtertron and TV Jones are not any exceptions. However, needless to say, both pickups are darn good. But the BT Filtertron pickups are way brighter than those TV Classics.
To speak fact, the latter ones come with complex basses and highs compared to the Blacktop Filtertrons. Especially, the BT Filtertron’s bridge pickups sound just amazing. Whereas, with the vintage sparkle TV Jones pickups are also great. Their Classic and Classic Plus are simply the real slayers of vintage tones, especially in the 5420.
Which One to Choose – TV Jones and Filtertron:
Well, you should be decided by now which one would suit your guitar. It also depends on your needs. Do not make it hard for you to resolve things.
There, let us cover you with that too.
If you want the best sound with more aggression and crunchiness, get the expensive TV Jones pickups.
But if you are running low on budget yet want the best of Gretsch’s twangy tone then go for the set of Filtertrons.
Again, many guitarists look for specific mounts in their pickups. If you are one of them then surely TV Jones pickups would be a great choice.
Then again if you want a higher DC Resistant feature, TV Jones Classic Plus pickups are always in service. They have 7.61k DCR.
Now, if you want an easy adjustment of pickups for your Gretsch guitar, then obviously Filtertron will fit right in there.
Question: What is the main difference between TV Jones vs humbucker?
Answer: TV Jones pickups are more like Filtertrons. On the other hand, Filtertrons are a cross between single coil and humbuckers. However, they are not entirely considered humbuckers. Humbuckers offer higher output compared to TV Jones. Humbuckers sound more like PAF with a little more definition in the neck.
Question: TV Jones vs P90, what are the differences?
Answer: Well to compare TV Jones with any Gibson P90s, TV Jones certainly wins. TV Jones Classic and Classic Plus deliver tones with the fullest and biggest sounds. Yet, the tone is also a bit P90ish.
With the TV Jones, it can never go wrong. They offer everything a bit more whether it is the roundness or clarity of the sound. So, TV Jones is all the way.
Question: Do TV Jones Pickups hum?
Answer: TV Jones pickups are not entirely noiseless. To maintain the integrity of the tone, the manufacturers do not allow the single-coil pickups to be noiseless. Therefore, their middle position buck and hum. However, you can combat the hum or lessen it by following some tricks.
On a final note, you should experiment with your guitar which one would fit the best between TV Jones and Filtertron. It is all up to your music genre, needs, and your guitar type.
By reading this article on TV Jones vs Filtertron, hopefully, now you know which pickup is best for what purposes. If you are a fan of double-coil, magnetic-featured devices, then humbuckers are your option. TV Jones pickups are more like replicas but Gretsch themselves play the pickups for their expensive lines.
So, in their professional series, you will see them playing guitars with TV Jones. Therefore, know your needs, and limits, and then pursue your passion for pickups.