As a guitar builder, I've had the unique opportunity to try ALL kinds of pickups. I've used most of what's on the shelf as well as original vintage pickups that fetch $3000+ a set! Some of the old pickups had something hard to describe, but missing from modern pickups. They were lively, raw; gutsy, with soul that just sounded 'vintage'. I set out to break the rules on what 'couldn't be done', I began the quest to create something I was finally happy with. A huge part of the difference had to do with winding techniques and patterns. An equally large factor was the quality of the components (flatwork/bobbin construction, mag wire, and the magnets themselves). I took several samples of early Pre-CBS wire (From real deal vintage Fender pickups) and spent a LOT of time listening to and testing AlNiCo Magnets carefully sorting through suppliers until I found the best and most orignal and ALIVE sounding magnets. Finding these magnets was HUGE and what I consider a breakthrough in tone. The right parts, the right techniques are what make my guitars special... or as I like to call it... the Secret Recipe for my Guitars!
Total 60's Strat (as seen in Vintage Guitar Magazine)Staggered AlNiCo 5 Magnets | Formvar Magnet Wire | Cloth Covered Leads | Forbon Bobbins | $298 When Available
This is my classic Strat set. If you're looking for huge vintage bluesy tones that cut through the mix yet smooth as butter with sweet silky highs these are it. They're made to nail the original tones from the vintage Strats we grew up hearing. Think of the dripping vintage tone from Hendrix' Hey Joe. There's something that was sort of etched into our brains and ears as we've listened to music over the years. There's a sound that we attribute to a Stratocaster that tells us, NOW that's a Strat. Just like when we hear a REAL Hammond B3 organ through a Leslie. We know, "That's the Sound!". There's nothing that compares to it. There's a sound etched into our brain by recordings that had "The sound". When we don't hear it, we wonder why and it seems like something is missing. These pickups were made with that in mind. I want guitar players and even the un-educated listener to hear them and say, "That's the Sound".
Characteristic of these pickups is a
raw, gutsy, and vintage sound with a hint of almost tube rectifier
compression that comes back at you after you hit a chord. The sound is
very complex with good
dynamics and amazing clarity. They break up GREAT!
Here is one of my favorite recordings of these pickups graciously sent in by Tyler Grund: YouTube video
Rockin '54/Session Player's Strat Set
Staggered AlNiCo Magnets | Formvar Wire | Cloth Covered Leads | Forbon Bobbins | $298 When Available
This set is based on the first two years of Strat pickups from Fender production. These pickups are EASY on the ears and super creamy overdriven. The shorter 'G' magnet (than the later 50's - 60's stagger) yields a VERY smooth tone that is great for light to medium overdriven sounds. These are my 'session players' Strat pickup. They have an ultra ear pleasing tone that is sweet at any volume.
Rocketfire '69 Set for StratStaggered AlNiCo 5 Magnets | Vintage Plain Enamel Magnet Wire | Cloth Covered Leads | Forbon Gray Bottom Bobbins | $298 When Available
An excellent description and feedback from Dani of the Experience Hendrix
Tour on this set (these were his idea). Thank you Dani for the
inspiration! Here is what he had to say about his 'experience' ! His
description hit the nail on the head!
"I have to tell you that the Gypsy Set is
amazingly sweet. It's just the tone I was looking for. In comparison to
the Total 60s set, they are a bit dryer sounding, just like the CBS late
strat pickups. The Total 60s have more sparkle and chime, so now I have
the best of both worlds. B-)"
'52 Butterscotch Blond's for Tele
Staggered AlNiCo Magnets | Formvar Wire | Cloth Covered Leads | Forbon Bobbins | $239 When Available
As used in Leo's first REAL electric, the Broadcaster; later to be renamed Telecaster. Beautifully balanced
and always smooth. These overdrive amazingly
for rock; with plenty of twang for country and rockabilly. Classic Page
tones? Yes! Classic Keith? Yes!
You'll find this set sounds very
much like the real thing, but affordable and with fresh new
construction. Have you ever had a great vintage guitar that cut out
once in a while? Ever wonder if your day is coming and they might just
give up the ghost all together? With pickup coils that are 60 years
old, you don't have to wonder, you can count on it happening. Want
fresh new pickups with an old sound? These do that thing; do it well,
and with many years of reliability that you can count on.
Audio Clip's and SamplesHere's one of my Total 60's Strat set - Quick little lo-fi recording through a USA Crate V5212VFX I happened to have in the room. Sort of an old pearl jam vintage strat drive sound to it. Didn't plan it that way... that's just what I thought after it went onto the tape.
Here are 3 Nice clips of my Total 60's Strat set in a Jeff Beck Stratocaster. Recorded by Canadian Session Player Cam MacInnes. Great player and thanks! Also thanks to Gord Basa who did the actual audio recording. Middle (my favorite pickup and beautiful clip Cam!!!), Bridge, Neck. This was recorded through a Clark Piedmont (Tweed Bassman replica). Notice the lively almost acoustic properties of the middle pickup.
Thanks to Matt Mawhir of Florida for these samples of ALL 5 positions both CLEAN and DIRTY. Great playing Matt!
Bridge and Middle
Middle and Neck
Bridge and Middle
Middle and Neck
Thanks to Tyler Grund of brrrrr cold Minnesota for these next samples.
Total 60's through an Arc Furnace pedal
YouTube VIDEO!! of Grund doing the SRV thing!
All pickups are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Love the tone or send them back for a refund of the purchase price.