The Difference - Amazing Tone
When comparing our pickups to other pickups, the great players hear the difference right away. It seems the better the player, the more excited they get after hearing our pickups in their guitar.
This is why you rarely see a used set of our pickups for sale on an auction site. This is the same reason so many pro's equipped all of their guitars with our pickups. Many of these guys even ditch their vintage pickups in favor of our pickups.
Sound is something you hear. Tone is something you feel. This knowledge drives everything we do. If you realize this, then you've arrived & you'll be blown away by our work. Marty5150 explains this phenomenon in the video below.
Demand for our pickups from Pro Players & Luthiers/Builders is enough to sustain us as a company. In an effort to reduce stress we've considered only taking orders from Pro's & Luthiers but a big part of the joy of comes from sharing great tone with the next wave of Pro's & other appreciative tone seekers from all around the globe.
A lot of companies offer more models than you can imagine. We think it is counter-productive to have more than handful of different flavors for each type of pickup. At some point some of the models are going to start sounding the same. Our pickup designs all sound different and are voiced in a way to help solve real-world musical problems.
If you are trying to sell a million sets of pickups a year, then it probably makes sense to have dozens models. Our focus is on making musical pickups that will agree with your musical vision for many years to come.
Some players have an idea of what their guitar needs to sound it’s best, others need a little help in deciding. To help you make an informed decision we’ve posted video’s that show the different models pickups being played by the same guitarist using one amp. This will help you hear the differences between the models.
Tonal Perfection is the Goal.
If you are like most Guitarists, then your Pickup Drawer is probably full. This is due to many failed attempts over the years to nail your desired tone. At some point in time, you probably came to the uneasy realization that “Close enough would have to be good enough”. Not having the perfect pickups for your style can be extremely frustrating. This frustration can limit your ability to create the tones and the music you’ve been hearing in your head.
Here at Tone Specific Guitar Pickups we feel your pain. We too have spent much of our lives chasing tones. In our quest for perfect tone our Pickup Drawers filled up too. Many of our friends had the same issue too. Fed up with over-hyped guitar pickups, we decided to take matters into our own hands.
The Art of Tone Perfected
We took the time to learn and master the art of hand-winding fantastic guitar pickups. This included working with top Professional Guitarists along with legendary luthiers, pickup winders and amp builders. To get it just right we had to really understand each part of the chain of tone and how each part interacted with the other parts. Taking this extra step enabled us to create pickups that sound great with vintage tube amps, modern tube amps, pedals, solid state amps, digital devices and even software.
During the learning process, we dumped our pickup drawers and started to reverse-engineering everything. There were some original vintage electric guitar pickups from the 50’s and 60’s as well as dozens of sets from the most prolific boutique winders. We learned the secrets of the stellar vintage guitar pickups and how to replicate them down to every tonal detail and nuance.
Tone over Hype.
During our research, the boutique pickups for the most part fell way short of the hype. Fearful of repeating the same mistakes of other winders, we took the time to find out why some of those pickups were so lifeless. There are few boutique winders doing some very special work, but what we've found is most of the big names are just wrapping wire around magnets as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Better Than Vintage?
That's what our customers are saying. It humbling but that was always the goal. Being just average was never a consideration. Our challenge was to build a line of incredible sounding Hand wound Electric Guitar Pickups made right here in the USA. These Hand Wound Guitar Pickups would at least need to have tone on par with the best guitar pickups ever made from the vintage era with enhanced dynamic and modern reliability. Now that’s a noble idea! An idea that sounds great on paper, but how do you get there? The answers were found in our study of the original vintage pickups from the 50’s & 60’s. Contrary to popular belief, not all of the Vintage Guitar Pickups were great, but there were a few very special examples. We dissected these special pickups and unlocked their secrets. We put this knowledge to use in every set we make.
After we identified what made certain guitar pickups great, we had to figure out how to replicate this greatness. It was a very difficult process that took years to master. Sometimes it seemed like a road without an end. Our conviction never softened and we continued to push forward. After we figured out how to make guitar pickups tonally equal to the best pickups vintage pickups, our work still wasn’t finished…
Now the guitar pickups had to be dialed to nail Specific Tones. Some of the tonal answers were easy because of the special designs we uncovered in our study of vintage pickups. Most tonal solutions were quite elusive and required a serious amount of trial and error. In the end, with the help of our friends and Beta testers, we got there!
Now every Guitarist can experience the joy of having vintage voiced pickups tailored for their preferred tonal style without paying crazy prices for inconsistent vintage pickups. Unlike the rest of the herd of boutique winders that just wrap wire around a bobbin to achieve a certain Ohm reading, we've taken painstaking path to tonal perfection. We welcome you to join us on this path. If you are thinking about tone……….Think Tone Specific!
You Have to Hear It to Believe it
The love for our pickups by Professional Guitarists has been well documented. Until you hear and feel these pickups for yourself, you'll never really understand why serious guitarists use our pickups in all of their main guitars.
The amount of dynamic range you can cover just by moving your guitars volume knob or by hitting the strings hard or softly is amazing. This is what separates our pickups from all others. It's a real game changer for serious tone connoisseurs and pro guitarists.
If you want to really understand the dynamic range & harmonic content of our pickups, you need to take a moment to listen to the video's below.
Unlock Dynamic Tone w/ Your Picking Hand
Clean to Dirty w/ Your Guitars Volume Knob
Retain Clarity & Add Warmth When Rolling Back Tone Knob.
Misconceptions About Specs
Internet Chat Rooms are full of amateurs that rant about topics they don't understand. One of their favorite topics to discuss is guitar pickups. These folks spend hours upon hours discussing magnets and Ohm readings of pickups as if they were an appropriate indicator of tone. This is a ridiculous line of thinking. Just imagine if people assumed the wattage and speaker size of an amp where the only indicators of final tone. Obviously there is more to it but some people with way too much free time like to pretend to be experts because they know how to turn on a multimeter.
If you are serious about tone, you'd be wise not to fall victim to this amateur way of thinking.
Serious Tone Chasers and Professional guitars know that the most important aspects of guitar tone are the voicing, the dynamics, the harmonic content. Most pickups made these days are stiff, lack dynamics & harmonic content. Lackluster tone may work for guys that judge tone with their multimeter, but for real musicians that use their ears, nothing but the best will do. This is where we come in...
We've spared no expense in making the most dynamic and touch-sensitive pickups ever made. We've voiced them a few different ways to match playing styles and/or balance out the inherent tone of your guitar. We also created the "Deluxe" series which covers just about any style & will work great with just about any wood combination. This is the series that most pros use for their #1 guitar.
Life as a Professional Guitarist is filled with ups and downs. All gigs and tours end eventually, this reality makes every performance an audition. Top Pros know this & this is why they suffer over every detail.
You've spent a lifetime finding the right instrument, don't come up short with stock or average sounding pickups. Top Pros realize that an amplifiers circuitry actually starts in your guitar, precisely at the location of your pickups. Anything less than the best in your guitar will make your tone less than it should be.
From Nashville to LA, Austin to NYC, Brazil to Japan top touring Pros load up all of their main gigging guitars with Tone Specific Pickups. After hearing these pickups, you'll feel the same. Just take a listen.....
LIVE ON STAGE
In this era of technology, everyone seems to have a home recording studio. As a result, the session scene has never been more competitive. If you want to make it these days, then you need to make every note count. Top Session Players understand this & choose Tone Specific to equip all of their main studio guitars.
Your next session date might be in a real studio. The producer might ask you to just bring your guitar, when you show up they might have you plug into a modeler or computer rig. If you show up with average pickups, you might not get a second chance. Our pickups are optimized to work well with vintage style amps as well as modern modeling digital devices. This is why serious session guitarists use Tone Specific Pickups.
Pro Guitarists & Luthiers have a few things in common. They both work in very competitive fields & the both want their instruments to sound as good as possible.
Luthiers spend years perfecting their craft & many hours testing various hardware and components to get the best out of their instruments. We are honored that so many top luthiers and guitar builders choose to use Tone Specific Pickups. Stephen Marchione discusses his approach to crafting some of the worlds finest guitars in the video below.
BUILDING A MASTERPIECE - STEPHEN MARCHIONE