INTERVIEW: Thomas V Jones of TV Jones, Inc

TV Jones, Inc was formed 1993 by guitarist and luthier Thomas V. Jones in Whittier, California. Now based out of Poulsbo, Washington, the company is known for their brilliant recreations of classic Gretsch Filter’Tron pickups in the form of the TV Classic, as well as more modern variations on the theme, like the TV Classic Plus, Magna’Tron, Power’Tron, Power’Tron Plus (developed with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top) and Super’Tron. They do plenty more too: for the full range check out TVjones.com

How di

d you get started? Did you follow the classic ‘accidentally destroy a lot of cheap guitars as a kid’ route, or more traditional luthiery?

As a kid I took my guitars apart out of curiosity. Later on I did many repairs and even attempted to build a double neck electric guitar (6 string and mandolin). Around 1990 I decided to become more serious about guitar repair and construction, so I got a job at a violin shop called The World of Strings in Long Beach, California. I worked in the guitar department for almost three years, and learned to repair and construct stringed instruments based on orchestral instruments. So I got started as a luthier.

What is it about the FilterTron tone that is so magic for you?

The growl, clarity in the bass, and compression –– it is magical.

I imagine you must have disassembled, analysed and reassembled quite a few vintage pickups over the years – what have you learned from this process? Was there as much variation between FilterTrons as there was between classic-era PAFs?

I learned that it’s not just the coils, or coils that make a great pickup, but the combination of superior materials that make a great pickup. Most vintage pickups were made with high quality materials –– that’s all there was. We choose to have our components and materials made in the USA –– the birthplace of the electric guitar pickup.

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NAMM 2012: Fender Custom Shop goodies

Hands down, one of the best things about NAMM is seeing all the sweet Fender Custom Shop stuff in one room.

How about this: Jaguar with select Alder body, Oval C-shaped neck, 7.25″ fretboard radius, vintage frets, Vintage ’62 Jaguar pickups, binding and block inlays. MSRP $9,700.

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ZZ Top tribute album with Mastodon, Coheed, Duff and more!

Now this is cool – a star-studded tribute album to the mighty ZZ Top. And check out that list of artists – Mastodon, Duff McKagan, Coheed & Cambria, Wolfmother, Filter and more. Awesome.

PRESS RELEASE

AN ECLECTIC COLLECTION OF MAJOR ARTISTS PAY HOMAGE TO ZZ TOP ON NEW ALBUM OUT OCTOBER 11

The music and legacy of ZZ TOP – “That Little ol’ Band from Texas,” that has been part of the world’s musical landscape for over 40 years – will be celebrated with the October 11th release of A TRIBUTE FROM FRIENDS.

The album, to be released by Show Dog-Universal Music, features 11 classicZZ Top songs interpreted by top-flight artists working in a broad range of musical genres.  All of the album’s tracks have been newly recorded, specifically for the project. These include Filter’s performance of “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” Grace Potter & The Nocturnals’ take on “Tush,” as well asWyclef Jean’s “Rough Boy,” “Legs” from Nickelback and Wolfmother’s interpretation of “Cheap Sunglasses.”

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