TV Jones Brian Setzer Signature Pickup Set Reviewed

August 17, 2015
 
 

 

Long recognized as the leading maker of contemporary Gretsch-style replacement pickups, TV Jones has added a new flavor of vintage Filter’Tron to his lineup: the Brian Setzer Signature Set. A variation on the popular Classic model, the Setzer uses a custom design Tom Jones concocted to give the rockabilly star’s newer 6120s the same thick, meaty, yet twangy tone as his legendary original ’59 Chet Atkins Hollowbody. Long story short, Setzer loved ’em, and a Signature set was born.
They still follow the general Filter’Tron formula, but the Setzers, unlike the Classics, have mismatched windings in each of their two coils for a little more bite and clarity (much as does a vintage Gibson PAF humbucker), plus slightly more powerful coils, and a custom pole alloy for a bolder attack. Tested in a semi-hollow Thorn Artisan Limited (a rather Duo Jet-like guitar) through a custom JTM45-style amp, I found the Setzers provided an extremely appealing rendition of that clear yet growling and slightly compressed tone that makes a good Filter’Tron such fun to play. In the neck position the Setzer offered more midrange muscle than the Classic that was original to the guitar (something you might not want if you’re chasing optimum clear and clean from that position), with a lusciously thick tone, while the bridge had more meat and edge, and, to my ears, a more vintage-leaning character than a Classic, though not as much midrange thump as a Classic Plus. All in all, they’re a great sounding set for the edgier, snarlier side of rockabilly, yet superbly versatile too. —Dave Hunter

Price: $145 each
Magnet: Alnico
DC resistance (ohms): 4.5k neck, 6.3k bridge
Covers: chrome supplied (nickel and gold also available)
Lead Wire: shielded two-conductor (with two further wires of four-conductor configuration tucked beneath heat-shrink tubing)
Kudos: An authentic rendition of the vintage Filter’Tron with more bite, edge and complexity than TV Jones’s Classics
Concerns: None.

For more information visit tvjones.com

Check out this video demo:
 
 
 
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