Guitar hardware firm DiMarzio has unveiled a triple threat of new Filter’Tron-inspired pickups as it looks to bridge the gap between vintage tone chasers and modern guitar playing. With NAMM 2024 right around the corner, it’s dished out the details of three new humbucker sets: the New’Tron, PAF’Tron, and Super Distor’Tron.
First introduced at NAMM ’57 in Chicago, Filter’Tron pickups became synonymous with the warm tones of Gretsch guitars, with the pickups exclusive to Gretsch hollow bodies. They’ve been relied upon by the likes of Chet Atkins, George Harrison, Neil Young, Steven Stills, Malcolm Young, Pete Townshend, and Brian Setzer for some iconic tones.
These pickups briefly fell out of favor as heavier, sustain-craving guitar playing came to the fore, but as the vintage tone market continues to expand, DiMarzio is bringing its take on the legendary pickups to the table. Here’s everything you need to know.
The New’Tron is a modern take on the Filter’Tron and a direct-size replacement. Its top-end response is dynamic without being overly bright, offering a balanced presence and twang.
According to DiMarzio, its midrange provides a “unique growl and bite, especially when used with digital modeling amps and distortion,” while the low end is primed for a tight, punchy tone.
Filter’Tron pickups were praised for their versatility, aptly handling country fingerstyle picking, the ’60s, and classic rock in addition to jangly indie and powerful pop playing. With the New’Tron, DiMarzio endeavors to mimic that versatility whilst making its pairing with modern amps a fruitful one.
The PAF’Tron packs DiMarzio’s signature PAF formula in a Filter’Tron housing. Designed to provide a balance between the two, the bridge pickup offers a louder output than the neck.
Together, they provide a soft magnetic field and sweet tone equilibrium between warmth and clarity. DiMarzio believes this will allow players to “spend more time playing guitar and less time tweaking your tone.”
Finally, the Super Distor’Tron packs DiMarzio’s signature Super Distortion pickup –the game-changing replacement pickup designed to kick your tube amp into overdrive – into a Gretsch-esque Filter’Tron package. It promises to deliver that same high-output sound via a stealthily disguised enclosure.
As DiMarzio asks, “If ’80s hair metal on a Gretsch Country Gentleman is your thing, who are we to stop you?” Well, quite.
The bridge units for the New’Tron and PAF’Tron cost $149.99, with the necks priced at $156.99. Meanwhile, the singular Super Distor’Tron humbucker comes in at $149.99.