UK-made Filtertron questions.

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TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
Hi all,

I am thinking of putting together a single-pickup Cabronita style build. The neck will be a one-piece Warmoth roasted maple with stainless frets, with their 10-16" compound radius. The body will be homemade from old pine.

I think I want a slightly overwound pickup. I don't play completely clean at all... mostly light - med crunch. Rhythm in a rock band with another guitarist. Always rehearsals or live, hence slightly hotter than the typical 5K bridge, to give more mids. I still want the dynamics and typical twang. Definition in the lower strings - not muddy.

Fender 52-53mm spacing with a very flat radius (18" ish) by the time it gets to the bridge.

Has anyone had experience with Creamery Black Cats, MojoTrons or CowTRons?

Questions:

Is there much tonal difference between TV Jones-sized pickups and full humbucker versions?

The Supertron blade style ones are supposed to be more balanced and slightly warmer. Are there any downsides? I would need to check with the builders whether the blades have a radius. They seem more popular in the neck position, not sure why....

Is there anything I am overlooking? Any advice/recommendations welcome!

Cheers
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Comments

  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 8559
    I was the guy who originally asked Oil City to build the CowTrons, and still use one of the original prototypes Ash sent me. 

    I had another one, but a friend of mine liked it so much he 'stole' it for his ash bodied telecaster build, where it sounds utterly fantastic. 

    Low string definition is critical to me, and these excel at it, truly brilliant pickups. 

    As far as the other details are concerned, contact Oil City, they can pretty much do whatever you want. 
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1620
    I don't know about the tonal difference but Alegree on here has made me a humbucker size filtertron to my spec for a telecaster project and he has wound it to go with the bridge single coil.


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  • JohnPerryJohnPerry Frets: 1298
    I have some TV Jones Powertrons in a Cabronita and some overwound humbucker-sized Mojotrons in a Reverend. Both sound fantastic and very similar to me

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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1388
    Cowtrons are Dynasonic style single coils. For Filtertrons, the coils being close together is critical to the tone.  Many HB style Filtertrons have coils placed with regular spacing, which results in a more PAF like tone.  Lollertrons being my prime example, they are nice, but not typically Filtertron like. 

    If if you want Filtertrons, but proper Filtertrons. TV Jones or Gretsch HS. I even love the Blacktop Filtertrons, they sound excellent with gain when dialled in ‘just so’. 


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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3379
    Check out Mojo's Mojo-tron range - lots of options.

    Looks like he's swamped again at the moment, but it'll give you a feel for what Marc makes.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • BillKatBillKat Frets: 1093

     Fletcher Pickups is another UK alternative, demo here. Got two guitars with these. He's also got a set halfway between the trad and classic+ type DCR now.
    Despite the low DCR the trad winds have decent output because of the big fat mag. The 8k-ish winds are great though in the bridge especially, more meat more mids but can still do the chimey thing.

    I like Blacktops too, tighter bass, nice with drive. Modern ones are alnico despite what you often read, the old ones might've been ceramic but the re-made versions aren't.


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  • DodgeDodge Frets: 322
    edited May 18
    I've got TV Jones, Oil City Cowtrons and I've had Mojo 'Trons in the past (all HB sized).  All are excellent.

    If I was buying again, I'd stick with Oil City or Mojo, purely on price alone.  Oil City are a smidge more bright than the TV Jones.  When I had the TV Jones and Mojo at the same time, there wasn't a huge difference between them, but they were in different guitars.

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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 699
    Mojo are as good as tv jones in my experience and cheaper to purchase in the uk. Interested to try a set of fletchers at some point in the not too distant future for another point of comparison, as they come well recommended.
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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
    Thanks for all your comments.

    I am confident that Mojo, Creamery and Oil City will all produce an equally-excellent product.

    Any more thoughts on HB vs vintage sizing? Or blades vs polepieces?

    Thanks.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9081

    I have 3 variants from mojo ready to wire up - but obviously I can't comment on how they sound just yet

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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
    Flethcher is an option I wasn't aware of. He's cheap!

    Looks like the Gretsch-sized ones only come in 51mm spacing for the bridge. A bit narrower than my 53mm hardtail bridge spacing. Not sure if that would make much difference.
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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
    WezV said:

    I have 3 variants from mojo ready to wire up - but obviously I can't comment on how they sound just yet

    Very interested to hear your thoughts comparing the blades vs polepieces! What spec are these?

    Actually, two questions. What's the string spacing on the classic version? (E to E, centre of polepieces)

    Do the blades have a radius on top? Or are they flat?
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9081
    the polepiece spacingon the neck pickup is about 48mm/1.9"

    The blade has a radius on top - adds a bit of height to the pickup

    I have not actually checked the specs as i didn't order these.... not sure if its the 4k versions or 8k
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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
    Thanks! Your thoughts on sounds would be very welcome once they're in.
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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
    WezV said:

    I have 3 variants from mojo ready to wire up - but obviously I can't comment on how they sound just yet

    Did you ever install these? Any thoughts on poles vs blades?

    Cheers
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1388
    This is not a great video, but it'll give you an idea of the tonal differences between a filtertron and a supertron.  Powertron thrown in for measure.



    I had a guitar with Mojo Filterfoils, absolutely loved them.  

    In my opinion, I prefer Supertrons in the neck, and Filtertrons in the bridge or neck. Supertrons are smoother and slightly jazzy, Filtertrons are punchy and sparkly/chimey.    All are SUPER sensitive to pickup height adjustment.
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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
    TheMarlin said:
    This is not a great video, but it'll give you an idea of the tonal differences between a filtertron and a supertron.  Powertron thrown in for measure.

    In my opinion, I prefer Supertrons in the neck, and Filtertrons in the bridge or neck. Supertrons are smoother and slightly jazzy, Filtertrons are punchy and sparkly/chimey.    All are SUPER sensitive to pickup height adjustment.

    Haha, Guns and Guitars. Only in America!

    I agree, based on that video the Classic and Powertrons both sounded livelier than the Supers in the bridge.

    Thanks for that - helpful!
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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
    BillKat said:

     Fletcher Pickups is another UK alternative, demo here. Got two guitars with these. He's also got a set halfway between the trad and classic+ type DCR now.
    Despite the low DCR the trad winds have decent output because of the big fat mag. The 8k-ish winds are great though in the bridge especially, more meat more mids but can still do the chimey thing.

    I like Blacktops too, tighter bass, nice with drive. Modern ones are alnico despite what you often read, the old ones might've been ceramic but the re-made versions aren't.


    Those sound really good. Which of the 3 versions are they? It's hard to find much info on Fletcher, and the prices are MUCH cheaper than others which (stupidly?) causes me to doubt a bit. Any comments on quality etc. very welcome. I wonder if he uses correct 1/4" magnets.

    Thanks.
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  • chris78chris78 Frets: 214
    I don’t know much about them, but McNelly got a great write up in G&B
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  • BillKatBillKat Frets: 1093

    The Fletchers I have are trad and the Classic plus 8k-ish equivs, they do have the right mags, I've had covers off. He's not so well known but mine are as good as the TVJs I've had. They have the similar smoothness vs the Gretsch ones which are a little more raw I guess, not that that's a bad thing just a different thing.

    The price thing, I know what you mean plus he doesn't have the name/brand thing going on and the forum rep of Mojo & Oil City and Creamery, but TBH I think once you're into hand-wounds almost anything is good and likely better than factory. At this point it's morey about differences in flavour imho. There are other great pickups for notalot like Pribora, Jess Loureiro. But yes I felt uncertain as well, they were even cheaper when I got my first ones.


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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1620
    Have now installed my humbucker sized filtertron made by Alegree on here, I really like it sounds awesome in my new telecaster.
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  • TheGuitarWeaselTheGuitarWeasel Frets: 3671
    TheMarlin said:
    Cowtrons are Dynasonic style single coils. For Filtertrons, the coils being close together is critical to the tone.  Many HB style Filtertrons have coils placed with regular spacing, which results in a more PAF like tone.  Lollertrons being my prime example, they are nice, but not typically Filtertron like. 

    If if you want Filtertrons, but proper Filtertrons. TV Jones or Gretsch HS. I even love the Blacktop Filtertrons, they sound excellent with gain when dialled in ‘just so’. 


    Not correct actually: my Sun-Trons are Dynasonic style, my Cow-Trons are Filtertron style. The bobbins and spacing used in my Gretsch style Cow-Trons are exactly the same as a normal Gretsch Filtertron, and there is 1.5mm difference with my Humbucker version (these use the correct profile curved top covers as fitted to Lollars). 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2930
    Lots of nice options here, but only Mojo seem to do the pat number cover which looks original. Jess Ls seem good value though.
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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
    Lots of nice options here, but only Mojo seem to do the pat number cover which looks original. Jess Ls seem good value though.

    I don't see any Tron-style pickups on the Jess L website.

    Yes, this thread has been useful in uncovering a number of more reasonable hand-wired pickups. I am probably going to go with Fletcher, but I'm sure I'd be happy with any of the aforementioned brands!
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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 35
    TJT1979 said:
    Lots of nice options here, but only Mojo seem to do the pat number cover which looks original. Jess Ls seem good value though.

    I don't see any Tron-style pickups on the Jess L website

    Apologies - for anyone looking they are only in HB-size and are on the Telecaster page (!!).
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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 699
    TJT1979 said:
    TJT1979 said:
    Lots of nice options here, but only Mojo seem to do the pat number cover which looks original. Jess Ls seem good value though.

    I don't see any Tron-style pickups on the Jess L website

    Apologies - for anyone looking they are only in HB-size and are on the Telecaster page (!!).
    Funny, he definitely used to do some. Probably worth keeping an eye on or dropping him an email.

    For what it’s worth OP, I think you’ll be pleased with the fletchers, he winds a good pickup.
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