TVJ Ray Butts Frequency Response? Or: How Are the Mids?

BohemianLikeMe

Synchromatic
Apr 18, 2020
673
Prague, CZ
So I'm gearing up to pull the trigger on a pair of TVJ Ray Butts Fideli'trons and I have a simple question-- do the Ray Butts have less mids than the TVJ Classics? I can't really seem to find any information about the Ray Butts' frequency responses online, and anecdotally people seem to be all over the map regarding them-- some say they have more mids, some say less mids, some say less mids but only in certain frequencies, etc. Is there a good resource or a previous thread someone can point me to on this?

Since I've started gigging again with a 1967 BF Fender Pro Reverb instead of a 1965 Selmer TnB, I'm struggling a bit to get the TVJ Classics to where I want them to be-- the more scooped EQ on the blackface Fender can sound a bit thin if it's not wound up or I'm not putting some mids back in the signal with an EQ or external pre.

So, are the Ray Butts going to help or hinder this? :D
 
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BohemianLikeMe

Synchromatic
Apr 18, 2020
673
Prague, CZ
I don't know but I would expect less mids than Classics and even less mids than HS FTs. Maybe the Setzers will be better suited? This is all hearsay, no direct knowledge.
I haven't played the Setzers in my 6120 personally, but I tried a few of the hotrods and I didn't really care for them-- I feel like they really benefit from running into a SS preamp like a Mystery Brain or a RE-201. I'm also going to spend sometime this weekend and tweak the pickup height, pole-piece height, and change back to roundwounds to see if that helps.

Might as well rule out the cheap/free fixes before I drop 360 EUR on new pickups.
 
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LA Miles

Country Gent
Dec 6, 2012
1,785
UPSTATE NY
Any more opinions from Ray Butts users? @calebaaron666, for instance?
Well I've had a pile of Gretsch' with different config's and if I had to pick one set of PUP's it would be Ray Butts. But by the time you factor in YOUR amp/speakers/tubes, pick, strings, pedals etc.,. etc. what do I know :) Scooped, mids, cut through the mix... I dunno, I just know the overall sound I like.

And if I had to keep one Gretsch it would be my 6129-89VS with Classic/Classic plus combo so just ignore anything I've said lol. In any event have fun
 

calebaaron666

Friend of Fred
Aug 15, 2018
6,949
Auburn, Maine
It’s been a while since I’ve played classics, but I would say the Butts have less pronounced mids. Much less than a classic plus, which I found to me extra middy.
Or better, it might be more accurate to say that the Butts have a very even and pleasant EQ. Tighter bass and very sparkly treble. I don’t find them to be too middy at all. They sound killer dirty and growl real good, but I used them for a clean tone yesterday and I was beside myself! Sounded amazing! I oughta do that more often!

Since your looking to buy them, you may have already watched this, but I found this demo to be a very accurate presentation. I can’t play anyhing like this dude, but mine sound like this. Even though this guitar is trestle braced and mine has a tonepost.
 

BohemianLikeMe

Synchromatic
Apr 18, 2020
673
Prague, CZ
It’s been a while since I’ve played classics, but I would say the Butts have less pronounced mids. Much less than a classic plus, which I found to me extra middy.
Or better, it might be more accurate to say that the Butts have a very even and pleasant EQ. Tighter bass and very sparkly treble. I don’t find them to be too middy at all. They sound killer dirty and growl real good, but I used them for a clean tone yesterday and I was beside myself! Sounded amazing! I oughta do that more often!

Since your looking to buy them, you may have already watched this, but I found this demo to be a very accurate presentation. I can’t play anyhing like this dude, but mine sound like this. Even though this guitar is trestle braced and mine has a tonepost.

Thanks Caleb. I'm just a little worried that they're going to make the dread BF Fender thinness worse. I forgot how picky these early CBS amps can be sometimes. They sound great cooking away on a stage at like 5 or 6, but if you're running them at 2 or 3, they sound kinda weird.

Then again, if they sound generally better than the TV Classics or Classic+ overall then I have ways of working around the usual BF issue (speaker swaps, pulling V1 in the preamp, EQing, or pedals).

Also I just noticed that he's running into a Vibrolux, so it's a reasonable approximation of my setup.
 
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calebaaron666

Friend of Fred
Aug 15, 2018
6,949
Auburn, Maine
Thanks Caleb. I'm just a little worried that they're going to make the dread BF Fender thinness worse. I forgot how picky these early CBS amps can be sometimes. They sound great cooking away on a stage at like 5 or 6, but if you're running them at 2 or 3, they sound kinda weird.

Then again, if they sound generally better than the TV Classics or Classic+ overall then I have ways of working around the usual BF issue (speaker swaps, pulling V1 in the preamp, EQing, or pedals).

Also I just noticed that he's running into a Vibrolux, so it's a reasonable approximation of my setup.
I usually have my Nocturne Mystery Brain preamp ahead of my amp, but yesterday I was playing the Butts thru a deluxe reverb, volume around 2, with just my AD9 for a little echo. Sounded fantastic.
 

Berington

Gretschie
Jan 6, 2014
108
Los Angeles
I haven't played the Setzers in my 6120 personally, but I tried a few of the hotrods and I didn't really care for them-- I feel like they really benefit from running into a SS preamp like a Mystery Brain or a RE-201. I'm also going to spend sometime this weekend and tweak the pickup height, pole-piece height, and change back to roundwounds to see if that helps.

Might as well rule out the cheap/free fixes before I drop 360 EUR on new pickups.
Not sure about the pickups, to be honest, but round-wounds will ALWAYS help brighten your mids and highs. Flats are really meant for jazz players who want a smokier, more subdued sound.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,693
Petaluma
I haven't played the Setzers in my 6120 personally, but I tried a few of the hotrods and I didn't really care for them-- I feel like they really benefit from running into a SS preamp like a Mystery Brain or a RE-201. I'm also going to spend sometime this weekend and tweak the pickup height, pole-piece height, and change back to roundwounds to see if that helps.

Might as well rule out the cheap/free fixes before I drop 360 EUR on new pickups.
First, not all setzer guitars have Setzer pickups. Second, did you try setzer pickups with your amp?
 

dspellman

Gretschie
Jul 4, 2020
312
Los Angeles
So I'm gearing up to pull the trigger on a pair of TVJ Ray Butts Fideli'trons and I have a simple question-- do the Ray Butts have less mids than the TVJ Classics? I can't really seem to find any information about the Ray Butts' frequency responses online, and anecdotally people seem to be all over the map regarding them-- some say they have more mids, some say less mids, some say less mids but only in certain frequencies, etc. Is there a good resource or a previous thread someone can point me to on this?
You're going to get more anecdotes here.

Have you considered emailing TV Jones directly? I had a question about the Classic Plus a few months ago and received a prompt and insightful answer that helped me make my purchasing decision. Why not go directly to the source?
 

BohemianLikeMe

Synchromatic
Apr 18, 2020
673
Prague, CZ
First, not all setzer guitars have Setzer pickups. Second, did you try setzer pickups with your amp?

These were pretty recent Setzer hotrods (2020ish?), so I assume they had them. And sadly, I haven't had the chance of trying them through my Pro Reverb. I'd like to avoid the constant pickup swapping that some players do though.
 

BohemianLikeMe

Synchromatic
Apr 18, 2020
673
Prague, CZ
You're going to get more anecdotes here.

Have you considered emailing TV Jones directly? I had a question about the Classic Plus a few months ago and received a prompt and insightful answer that helped me make my purchasing decision. Why not go directly to the source?
You know, that's a good idea. I'll drop him a line, I'm not getting paid until next week anyway (the joys of the academic world), so it's not like I have to buy them today.
 

Gstreamliner

Electromatic
Jul 21, 2014
21
boise
Thanks Caleb. I'm just a little worried that they're going to make the dread BF Fender thinness worse. I forgot how picky these early CBS amps can be sometimes. They sound great cooking away on a stage at like 5 or 6, but if you're running them at 2 or 3, they sound kinda weird.

Then again, if they sound generally better than the TV Classics or Classic+ overall then I have ways of working around the usual BF issue (speaker swaps, pulling V1 in the preamp, EQing, or pedals).

Also I just noticed that he's running into a Vibrolux, so it's a reasonable approximation of my setup.
Great amp but not best choice for midrange.They are so scooped in mids.I had a blackface Pro and finally sold it as it really didn't work well with any of my Gretsch guitars.
I don't think any particular filtertron iteration will replace the lost mids.Everything sounded like Huey Lewis' Power Of Love.NOT the sound I was after.
That's what Vox tube amps can do.Lots of midrange.Fender piggy backs with closed back cabinets will get you there.Tweeds also.
I never could make that blackface Pro work well with Gretsch.
They didn't compliment each other at all.
 
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BohemianLikeMe

Synchromatic
Apr 18, 2020
673
Prague, CZ
Strokes and folks and all, but having owned a narrow panel AC50 and an AC4, I will never ever own a Vox again. :D I just can't get a good sound out of them, let alone a sound that I jive with.

For me, this particular Pro doesn't have as bad of a midscoop that the BF Fenders seem to have (at least judging by my old BF Bassman), and the tremolo and reverb are absolutely superb and they're both effects that I use pretty heavily. So I can deal with a little EQ scoop. I'd absolutely trade it for a brownface, blonde, or tweed Fender, but I'm pretty sure they didn't make export versions of those.
 


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