A Different Kind of Pickup Company
The mission of Tone Specific Pickups is to solve real world tone problems by making the best pickups possible that are voiced with certain tones in mind.
Priced in the middle of the ever expanding boutique pickup market, we strive to make pickups as good or better than pickups that sell for twice as much. We also wanted to offer solutions for issues we had with the industry.
Addressing Issues with Boutique Pickups
There are many "boutique" winders these days. In our opinion a few of these guys are really great winders. We've tried most of the big names and a few really stand out in terms of tone. The problem is that those pickups are pretty expensive and require waits of several months up to several years.
We set out to make pickups on par with these high-end pickups for about half the cost.
Putting the "Boutique" back in Boutique
The lack of high-end quality control in this industry is all too obvious. DOA's and sloppy workmanship is all too common these days.
Early on our founder was committed to winding every pickup and touching every aspect of the business and build process. That approach worked for awhile but with rapid growth it became an unattainable goal. He has since committed himself to running the overall business and handling 100% of the QC. Nothing ships until he has personally performed several tests including a sound test.
Our process of making pickups is pretty slow and detail oriented. Great tone from pickups starts with great materials and ends with expert and well-though craftsmanship. Our average winder can only make between 30-50 sets per month. Many of our competitors would laugh at such a small number. That's fine with us, our focus is on quality.
Addressing Confusing Demos
We noticed a lot of the pickup winders out there have been using video demos for their products. Our problem with this is that so much goes into the final tone, the player, the room, the mic, etc. Trying to compare pickups that are played by different players with different set ups is nearly impossible.
Our solution is to have a single player compare each of our pickups against each other. We've actually had a few players do this for us. With Tone Specific you can you see how each pickups to compares when played by the same guy. There is no more better way to decide which pickup is best for you.
Addressing Confusing Specs
This is a hot button issue but if you speak to most pickup winders they will tell you specs do not tell the the entire story of how a pickup will sound. A lot of professional musicians have the same opinion from years of chasing tone.
Not everyone agrees with these opinions. Some people believe the readings from a multimeter is the most important indicator of tone.
We do not disclose specs because we do not want to confuse the issue. We clearly describe the tone of each pickup as well as the vintage pickup that inspired each set. We take it step further to have the same player demo all of our pickups.
Addressing the Glut of Options
All of the winders can make for a confusing marketplace. Then throw in the fact that some pickup manufacturers make loads of different designs and now you really have cluster.
In our opinion, vintage style pickups are king and there are only a few important era's for Strats, Tele's & P.A.F. Style pickups. To us it seems that offering more than a handful of options for each design is overkill and only makes it harder for guitarists to find their tone.
We've identified the era's and made slight tweaks to vintage designs in an effort to deliver pickups that nail certain tones and work well with vintage and modern gear.
Addressing Difficult Decisions
Buying a set of pickups is an investment of time and money. We take your tonal journey very seriously and want to make it as easy as possible to for you to find the right set of pickups for you.
This approach drives every part of our business from how we designed our pickups, to what we named them, to how we present them to the customer.
Logical Names - Logical Designs - Logical Choices
Coming up with product names isn't easy. You see gear named after all kinds of interesting things. When it comes to pickups, we've found that many people are chasing certain tones. We've also found that pickups from certain era's might by more bluesy, twangy, jazzy or punchy than others.
A great man once said, you should name your company after what you do, we took that advice and that's we call ourselves Tone Specific Pickups. We make pickups that nail certain tones.
It's easy to overthink things and we have done a fair amount of that during our design process. The truth is most of the heavy lifting had already been done for us. Why over-invent when the answer is right in front of us.
We've identified the era's of each style of pickups that are most Bluesy, Jazzy, Twangy or Punchy and we used that as a starting point. Then we optimized these vintage designs for maximum tone.
Innovating an Industry
Our designs are unique but we stand on the shoulders of many giants that came before us. We've tried our best to make a product that combines the wisdom of the vintage designs along with more modern practicability like RWRP and fatter sounding bridges.
Not one of our contributions to this evolving industry is "genius" or "groundbreaking". We've set out to make a great product that stands out in the marketplace and provides great value when compared to other products in the same price range. Our approach was designed to make the task of chasing tones and selecting the right pickups easier, logical and more accurate.
This type of approach challenges some long held beliefs of certain individuals in this industry. This has led to a bit of a backlash regarding our products. It's understandable and we realize that not everyone will love what we are doing especially if it challenges their beliefs or their business.
The important thing to us is the 100% satisfaction of our customers. The response of our customers has been great and this alone is what we live for. There is nothing better than when a customer sends us a thank you e-mail. Thanks so much for the opportunity to accompany you on your musical path.