- Design Process
- After you order contact us to tell us which styles you would like.
Our pickups are Handwound one at a time. Using several unique processes and the finest modern materials available, we are able to create Vintage Sounding Pickups. We slightly tweak the voicing of these Vintage Style Pickups to nail a desired tone.
All of our pickups are equipped with Alnico Magnets. We use different types of magnets for the various styles. For some designs we use more than one type of magnet. We have a special process that makes these modern Alnico's sound very vintage. During beta testing, many of the top Pro's we work with could not tell the difference between their vintage pickups and our freshly-wound gems.
All of our pickups are made with coated magnet Wire that are of Vintage Specs. The style of pickup and desired tone will dictate which type of wire is used.
All of our pickups are potted to avoid unwanted feedback or the hated squeal. We use several different vintage based potting methods. The style of pickup and desired tone will dictate which type of potting materials and potting methods we use. Some pickups that really need to breathe are very lightly potted, while other in other pickups we employ different methods to help achieve certain tone and functionalities.
Bobbins, Covers & Other Materials
We use vintage style bobbins and metal cover materials as well as other materials. Vintage pickups sound great for a reason and we try to recreate our pickups to be as historically correct as possible. We have made various improvements in an effort to eliminate the dreaded pickup failure assoiciated with the pickups from the vintage era.
We don't disclose Ohm reading for several reasons. The most important reason is that an Ohm reading will tell you very little about the tone of the pickup. The tone of a pickup is partially determined by the collective materials along with the various techniques employed by the builder of the pickup.
The other reason we don't disclose Ohm reading is due to the fact that over time, and even from batch to batch, the composition of materials can slightly change. We buy large quantities of everything but when we open a new batch of anything, we have to go back to the drawing board. The tweaks are typically very minor. The important thing is the tone stays the same as the result of our constant attention to tone. Any pickup winder that has rigid specs on a pickup design is very likely to make pickups that sound different from one another even though they have the same name and basic measured specs. We go the extra mile to ensure the tone of our pickups is consistent from batch to batch and year to year.
The Difference - Amazing Tone
When comparing our pickup 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.
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 handwinding fantastic guitar pickups. This included working with top Professional Guitarists along with legendary pickup winders and legendary 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 those pickups can cost $500-$600 or even more. That’s a little expensive. Especially if you aspire to have a stable of toneful guitars.
Our challenge was to build a more affordable line of incredible sounding Handwound Electric Guitar Pickups made right here in the USA. These Hand Wound Guitar Pickups would at least need to be on par with the best guitar pickups ever made and dialed in to a Specific Tone. 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 breaking the bank. 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!