Frequently Asked Questions: 

1. What's the difference between Rocketfire and the S.R.G. line?

Great question. Rocketfire Guitars are made fully in house (necks and bodies). With the S.R.G. line, all of the parts (pickups, hardware, etc) are the same, but the necks are brought in. Before you say... 'hey what's up with that!' Remember, most manufacturers and small company luthiers do not make anything in house. Furthermore, be wary of those that do claim to make things from scratch.  Any shop tours online? No pictures? Usually that means it didn't happen.  With that said, we honestly divulge and proudly say that the S.R.G. necks are made by a highly tooled/highly skilled shop to Rocketfire Specs (i.e. to be indistinguishable in neck carve to the Rocketfire necks).

2. Who makes your pickups?

We do! It's our goal to break the rules and do what some say can't be done.

  • Raw guts with vintage punch and soul? Check!!
  • Sounds alive like a real vintage guitar? Check!!

Previously this is something you've only heard from vintage guitars into vintage amps with the original speakers that have been played loud and abused for 40-50 years. We found the materials needed (yes, each manufacturer's take on AlNiCo magnets, wire, and parts make a huge difference) and ultimately the wind pattern that would create this sound. It was a thrill to genuinely know that we had something to offer that would push the limits. We're proud to bring to life guitars and pickups that are made from scratch using vintage repro materials and designs and all made... right here!! Thank God for life, ideas, and the ability and inspiration to do this. Thank YOU! for your feedback and for using our products!

3. Why don't you sell pickups sets only anymore?

As of late 2014 they're back!!!!   (In limited quantities)   Email for availability or to place an order.

4. What pickup heights do you recommend for the Total 60's Strat set?

With a 1/64ths inch ruler (this is a 6" long stainless ruler that can be found at most hardware stores for a few dollars) measure from the top of each pickup's outer E magnet to the bottom of it's matching string. There should be 8/64" distance from the outer E magnet tops to their respective open string bottoms on all pickups. NOTE: Be sure to measure from the magnet top (NOT the pickup cover). Next, I bring the bass side of the neck and middle pickups approx 2 to 3 - 64ths further from the strings and approx 2 - 64ths closer on the bridge pickup bass side. Then very slightly tweak by ear until everything sounds balanced. For the 2 and 4 positions, more quack means slightly more volume from the pickup closer to the bridge (i.e. neck/middle position, more quack means the middle needs to be closer to the strings OR the neck further). There is such a thing as too close, where the magnet pull starts grabbing the strings causing warbling type artificial harmonics in the wound bass side strings. The measurements I gave should avoid this, but if you're hearing it, you'll need to back away a 64th or two. Note that the neck and middle positions have more string pull - so watch these two especially. You can also adjust the pickups too far from the strings. This produces a low volume weak sound that lacks guts and punch. Stick to the numbers I provided and you'll be in the ballpark.

5. What magnets do you use?

If it's a Strat, it's AlNiCo 5 (across the board-read the next paragraph if you want to know why). If it's a Tele, it's usually AlNiCo 5. If it's a Humbucker or P90, it's usually AlNiCo 2 in the bridge for a classic warm fuzzy sound or AlNiCo5 if high gain will be used or more punch is needed. A2 or A5 can be used for neck. I prefer the definition of A5 in the neck position.

All our Strat pickups have A5 magnets and here's why... A3's tend to lack the punch a Strat needs. A good A5 Strat pickup should always be sweet/never harsh; yet with PLENTY of guts and punch. We've done some experiments and included a panel of trusted customer ears a few years back and we all reached the same conclusion with Rocketfire Strat pickups. We also sent out degaussed magnet pickups and found that fully charged fresh A5 sounds the best. This is just Rocketfire pickups we're talking about, not another manufacturer's. Results may vary with other makes and models. There's good deal of time and research into what we use as defaults here. If it's not the best we can make, we don't want the Rocketfire name on it.

6. What's the ohm reading on ______ pickup?

Common question. First, please don't prejudge before hearing, based on DC resistance readings you may think ideal or compared to some other manufacturer's ohm reading. These are tested sweet spots; tuned (yes they are tuned) to our pickups/parts/wind patterns. This is what we know consistently produces a good set of pickups. This is what we've heard back from customers time and again with great reviews.

  • If it's a Strat set (default specs), it's 5.6-5.8k on the neck and middle pickup and 6.3-6.5 k approx on the bridge.
  • If it's a Tele set, expect 7.5k approx on neck and 8.5k approx on bridge.
  • If it's a P-Bass pickup, expect around 11k for both coils in series
  • If it's a Humbucker, expect around 8k on both neck and middle

7. What strings ship on your guitars?

I use 10-46 set custom made (in USA) for Rocketfire. These are a Nickel set and sound tremendous! The cost is $3.85 per set with a 6 or more set minimum order (plus $7 USA shipping)

8. What's covered by your warranty?

Necks*, Bodies, Pickups, Electronics, and Hardware are all covered under the warranty for a period of 3 years from the date of purchase to the original owner. Normal wear/user damage are not covered and will be judged at manufacturer discretion. Cases or Gigbags are not covered under warranty.  Adjustments/setups (i.e. seasonal truss rod adjustments) are not covered under warranty. 

*Figured necks are not covered under the warranty.

9. Is anyone famous using Rocketfire?

Yes! Mostly L.A. guys who've made the sounds that have become hits. They've produced, played, recorded and written Grammy Award winning artists like Celine Dion, Aerosmith, Elton Jon, Deftones, Jars of Clay, Santana, Keith Urban, Alanis Morissette, Bon Jovi. The list could go on. I'm sure I've missed some. I'm equally as appreciative of the talented players who aren't in the limelight or haven't been recognized yet. I'm thankful to each and everyone who's made music with things I've built over the years. Thank you!