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.
Sound is something you hear. Tone is something you feel. This is understood true greats in music & this knowledge drives everything we do. If you see the world the same way we do, then you'll be blown away. Marty5150 explains this phenomenon in the video below.
We've dialed in perfect tones across our entire line of pickups.
Guitar too bright? Get the Jazz Set.
Guitar too dark? Get the Twang Set.
Want more dynamics? Get a Blues Set.
Want a more immediate or punchy tone? Get the Punch Set
Have a great guitar, but want to make it better? Get the Deluxe Set.
We strive to make pickups as good or better than vintage pickups for fraction of the cost. It's a lofty goal but why get up in the morning if you're not going to strive for greatness?
Addressing Misconceptions About Tone
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.
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
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.
We are not really competing with these so called "boutique" winders. Our customers tell us that vintage pickups are the most comparable to our pickups. Based on how many pro's are ditching their vintage pickups for our pickups, it seems we are comparing favorably.
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. Most of them use full automated processes so of course they can churn out more. 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.
No single idea or concept we've applied to our crafty is genius or groundbreaking. We've set out to make a great product that stands out in the marketplace and provides the top-flight performance that professional guitarists rely upon. 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 from competitors and their online army of defamation trolls. It's understandable and we realize that not everyone will love what we are doing especially if it challenges their beliefs or threatens the longevity of 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.
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.