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I decided to address a little more directly most musicians' concerns about buying custom hand-made pickups: value versus pricing. Why would a guitar player pay over $200 for a set of Strat pickups, for example, when he can buy a namebrand product at most music stores for about $70 less?

You need to look at it from a more realistic perspective. How many sets of aftermarket brand pickups have you already
bought trying to nail your tone? Like most guitar players, you probably have a box of pickups in a dusty drawer somewhere. Add up the money you spent on those pickups and you are already in the hole more than a good set of hand-wound, hand-built pickups cost. Those pickups gathering dust were wound by the hundreds on a machine that can never give you the tone that a hand-made pickup will. Those pickups were made for one thing...profit. The cost to make these types of pickups is under $5, big profits are made without much attention to good tone.

A set of my hand made pickups are something you only buy once. You get your tone "nailed" for you by a pickup tone specialist. I don’t wind scores of pickups and pull them off the shelf for you like a lot of small companies do. I wind each set for one guitar player only–you. And after an in-depth consultation with you to make sure I know exactly what you are trying to achieve with your guitar and amp setup.

Great pickups can only be made by someone with experience, someone who goes out every week and plays his own work and has professional musicians use his work so he can listen from the audience also. Great pickups are only made by making alot of mistakes and then eventually coming to a true understanding and knowledge with which to make a pickup that is exceptional and a joy to play. The art of tone is a science, and an art. You must have experience in both to exel. My payoff is your joy of playing when your guitar sounds great. I love getting those emails and many of them you can read in my reviews or on Harmony Central.

My pickups come from experience and the use of several tehcnical instruments I use to see what is happening in each coil. I don't use DC resistance as anything but a rough guide, for tone shaping it is pretty much useless information. A good LCR meter and spectrum analyzers are much more useful. I had to learn most of this myself as there is little published information on this and there aren’t that many pickup makers who really know a lot about it or will share the knowledge that makes good pickups and money for them. I do have some pickup maker friends who are't so shallow and we help each other with knowledge and referrals if there's something that fits one of us better than the other. (See my links section for that.) None of us pickup makers know eveything. Some of the big 3 guys will claim they do but you should see some of shoddy stuff they sell that us small pickup craftsmen have to try to repair. I made alot of experimental pickups, and still do, to find out what works in the real world; alot of accepted pickup knowledge you find on the internet are actually "myths" passed down for years with little basis in fact. I don't pretend to know everthing and I learn something new almost every day, I've made discoveries I've never seen used or heard of before, its all a ton of fun, but very hard work.

I never list my pickup’s DC resistance readings to avoid people trying to copy my work. A pickup doesn’t sound like its “Ohms” anway, I’m sorry to blow that myth but its true. I can make you a 16 Ohm pickup that will be so screechingly bright it would shock you. 16 ohms is supposed to be heavy and dark, but if you know how to manipulate coils through many factors that go into a pickup’s structure, you can design most anything you would want and the readings don’t tell the story, but the TONE does. I always shoot for optimal tone, but I also make my pickups for tube amps and my goal is great sound and enough PUSH to make a tube amp sound its best and to give you a tone orgasm. So some of my pickups would be considered “overwound” which is another misleading concept. Most early 50's Fender pickups today are considered overwound, there is really no such thing. Some of my pickups would also be considered "underwound" whatever that means, I just shoot for the "sweet spot" where frequency response and output are balanced and make you want to play and play.

My pickups are a true VALUE, dollar for dollar, you will get a set of pickups that should blow you away, or you send them back for a second try, or exchange. You get pickups that are tailored to what YOU want to hear from your guitar, not a set of pre-made pickups off the shelf with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. You get a set of pickups that are DESIGNED not just mindless copies of someone else’s or some vintage formula that sometimes works and mostly doesn’t. You tell me what you want and I bend over backwards to give it to you. I sure as hell do not want ANYONE anywhere on some stage playing a set of my pickups who isn’t blown away by them.

I have over 90% of my customers return for more pickups after their first order, if that tells you anything. If I can't make what you need I will refer you to other pickup makers who can.


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