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Everything posted by JGravelin

  1. This sucks. I met him and we pal'd up when I was running around with Alejandro Escovedo. He was a good guy, a real lover of music, and a class act of a human being. Friends are peeling off. My own Dad died a couple weeks ago too. Yes, this is inevitable for all of us but I hate it and it makes me really sad. Take care of yourselves out there. ♥
  2. I've had my hands on the same ones as any of the rest of us have, have also built pickups for them too, and for those I think $650 is about right. I look forward to trying these specific new ones! $1700? No. I predict $800 once the dust settles. Looks great though and if certain improvements are made, yeah maybe more.
  3. I've eyeballing these MIJ ones as well so I'm here for the review 100% I too do not have a thing for white instruments but with this, hey just stripe it out with black electrical tape go for it!
  4. TLDR: any Fralin, Lollar, or Wolfetone of similar spec on the used market will get you almost there. If they are not A3, you can swap. Not all A3 are created equal. If you need the right A3, I've got those and will help. Long answer: Those Florance '59 A3s are hard to find and I did a deep dive on your behalf to scrounge one up with no joy. A set or two, yes but single neck pickups ..nope. Keep an eye out and I'd bet one will show up eventually. I'll stay on it too and will get in touch if I find one. Beyond that, per PFs specs it's 7.9k. Considering the +/- there, and knowing his build quality as I do having converted output leads and covers on a few for folks, as a starting point, a similar resistance-rated pickup made by any of the reputable makers will be 100% in the ballpark. Swapping magnets is easy stuff and you and i have worked together enough times for me to feel confident that you would have no problem doing this work. I can say with full experience and authority there that a Fralin, Lollar, or Wolfetone first - Duncan second, and DiMarzio lastly - with a similar resistance and build spec will be so very close. If you can find one with A3, great! If not, I know you could swap the mag successfully. Finally, and it's important for me to say this because not many consider it; magnets of the same grade from different manufacturers DO NOT sound the same. PF sourced his via a specific USA manufacturer, one of the 2 companies who've been supplying these to both guitar manufacturers, the pickup community, and in an industrial capacity for years and years. There are not only obvious audible differences but also electronically measurable differences in how they affect the "whole" of the pickups performance. Mojotone and PLT source their mags from China and for some builds/winds, they are fucking amazing! But they aren't what PF used and they don't sound the same as their USA counterparts. Nor do the two USA sound the same. Herein, and across all parts, lies the "big trick" of pickup making. I am here to assist.
  5. No modifications required. Heart meds and back pills will also fit.
  6. I do have proper boxes and packaging that I use for other purposes; private branding for guitar shops as an example. For my own customers, I've chosen not to because it pushes the cost up and an increase with shipping also. The lacquered wooden box with custom-fit foam inserts, a sticker, color-code chart, some candies is going to cost you an extra $40. Is that what musicians really feel that they need? No. I should include a small wooden "weed box" though. That's a good idea!
  7. Diablo, this is so kind of you. I didn't expect an advertise on the HFC but sure, let's go! The one pickup that is available is a double-slug 'Goose with very mild scuffing on the treble side, neck-facing coil: so minor really, like if you changed strings 2 or 3 times. With double-slugs, a 51mm - 54mm string spacing is covered with 52.5mm being dead center. Alnico 5, around 14k, and DiMarz color codes on the output leads. I told Diablo $75 + shipping ($11.00 in the USA), so $86.00 total. The proper Mongoose scuffy with double screw poles, I'm keeping that. Sorry! It's going into a cool Kramer Baretta I own as a permanent install for my own shred enjoyment. 😋 More details: The double-slugs of specific steel grade used in this pickup impart lows that are solid and together, a bit of a boost in the upper midrange frequency bite that sounds very Fender-y clean, and with a great cut and clarity with overdrive/distortion saturation, and a natural un-hyped treble. Polite cleans, angry, pissed off, and aggressive under gain. I'm not perfect and sometimes manufacturing mistakes like this happen. All coils are tested at 3 different points throughout the wind and assembly and this is electronically sound and high-functioning, which is the most important part. I can't sell it as New however, so... thanks to Diablo, here we are. [email protected]
  8. There might be more to the story, depending on who you believe: https://music-electronics-forum.com/forum/instrumentation/pickup-makers/4693-peter-green-neck-pickup
  9. Should be a 4-conductor, yes. Slammers found in 2 hb equipped guitars were almost always 2-conductor + ground. In a Chap however, again - should be 4c.
  10. The "preferred choice" is really a matter of personal preference toward what you want to hear from your switched positions. The following diagram seems to be what you're asking for: https://guitarelectronics.com/wdu-hss5l11-02/ * If the neck single coil is NOT wound rw/rp, ie: wound and polarized exactly the same as the the middle, it can be combined with the "full" bridge humbucker as well as a hb slug coil split for a hum-cancelling combination. You could also combine the single with the hb screw coil, but it won't be hum-cancelling. * As I know that your neck pickup is rw/rp to the middle, you can split the bridge screw coil and combine with the neck for a Telecaster-esque pair using a 5-way Superswitch and the diagram provided above as well as the typical hb slug coil + middle hum-cancelling combination. * With the addition of a mini-switch to the neck pickup wiring above, one could also isolate the middle pickup in the 4th switched position as well as the hb bridge screw coil in pos 3. I hope this is helpful. Perhaps others will chime in with more possibilities.
  11. P90 is OOP with the neck hb. For any single coil and hb to play nice together, the single must be wound in the same direction and have the same magnetic polarity facing the stings as the hb coil that is grounded (screw coil, south up.). I would first check the string-facing magnetic field of the P90. It's it's S up, then you're in good shape. If not, flip the magnets. Then, since you mentioned your P90 having 3-cond output leads: I'm assuming one of those is the true ground, the other 2 are coil "start" and coil "finish". Try swapping the start and finish and see if that does the trick. The solution will lie in one or the other or both together. Finally, check both the bridge and neck vol pots and make sure that your soldered hots aren't accidentally touching the middle lug.
  12. All day, any day, in all sizes: TB, EMG and Barts in 4 and 5 string sizing, standard HB size, Mini/Firebird size, closed or open-center P90 and Jazzmaster too! These can also be fit into both Mudbucker/EBO types, as well as done up as Goldfoil. I'm sitting on nearly 1000 custom-cut magnets appropriate across all these styles, all parts are in stock or I fabricate in-house. Options are endless with TB types. Ready when you are Mike!
  13. Shield the insides of covers and run a wire to your cavity shield for maximum effect. Works so good.
  14. Damn it. Drooling over here at these hot pieces!
  15. I've collected a couple of old Maas-Rowe church organ amplifers from the mid 50s that I've held onto as well as Wurlitzer jukebox power sections over the years with big plans and dreams for conversions. One of the Maas-Rowes specifically: HUGE old iron transformers, hand-wired point to point internally, 6L6-based, published 65w output spec, and with a funky "Glowing Eye" panel facing tube that I have no idea about but looks badass when powered up. Love these old modded monsters. Toanz!
  16. Bass version that retrofits 5 screw traditional Fender please. 😉
  17. Bubba, here's a killer old Spoon track. One that I was in the audience for on that specific night. They were awesome of course, and still are. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC48x9F8WFA
  18. Not that often really, but I have explained it that way previously. Just wait until you hear the Charlies Angels analogy I've got cue'd up for Strat pickups!
  19. With any guitar featuring a 3-way switch, the middle position deserves just as much attention and consideration as each of the pickups gets on its own, yes, absolutely, without a doubt. All three options need to sound related to the one that comes before and/or after, the frequency response tailored and fine-tuned to provide a cohesive tonal experience that makes sense to the ears from one switched position to the next. An analogy I use often when describing Sets of pickups is relating each pickup in a guitar as part of a 50's greaser street gang. The all have slicked back hair, pipeleg "skinny" jeans, tshirts, leather jackets, boots...all grew up on the same block... yet each member has something distinctly and uniquely their own. One guy has a white tshirt, the other black. One has boots with cuban heels, the other without. Each serves a purpose that serves a shared end-result. Different yes, but a cohesive unit that works together. --- Shark! While the coils in the bridge position are asymmetrical, I won't be pushing it to the extreme that I start introducing identifiable and commonly associated single-coil tones into things. That said, one can tune the upper midrange and treble response as well as the bass response greatly by offsetting the amount of wire on each coil, varying the turns per layer, tightening/loosening the tension on the wire, mixing/matching the grades of steel used for the metal parts, and more. And more. For me, it's about a very specific balance. And for the sake of clarity I must state that "chicken pickin'" is a technique and not a tone. It's great to know that you feel the same way as I with chambered bodies and yeah, the bridge position especially needs and does benefit in having a bit more kung fu fighting power. That special "Hi-karate", if you will. (hi Ted!) ----- Wouldn't it be really f'ing awesome if in the wide open setting on the bridge, there was enough sparkle, chime, and clarity in the upper registers that a guy/gal could play in that way and have it come off as sounding legit? And then maybe you roll the tone control back a hair and dirty things up and suddenly Surrender sounds just perfect and Those that are About To Rock are Saluting You? And a hair more on the tone and you're totally Unchained, and turning the volume control down slightly leaves no doubt that indeed the Boys Are Back In Town? My reference points, my standards in what I'm shooting for with the bridge. When a person hops back to the bridge position, it's to make an authoritive and musicial statement. And this is exactly why taking a little extra special care with the bridge pickup is important to me because in making that statement it'd be nice to be able to cover as much ground as musicially possible, yes? As CMatthes said, Mike and I are indeed considering every possible tiny little dang thing. You guys are in for a real treat and rest assured that I will be holding up my end of the bargain in that. In the meantime, stay kool and keep 'er between the ditches! Oh, and sorry in advance for any typos - I'm shooting from the hip over here. -J
  20. Great question, Soli'd! I saw your post a few days ago and wanted to address it because I figure that if you're wondering, then others might be too and...well, it's a completely valid question that deserves a reply. Cmatthes speaks the truth: Mike and I have had a number of discussions about the pickups and the purpose they'll serve in The Ultimates. There's absolutely no doubt that chambered mahogany with a maple cap sounds and responds a bit different than an instrument made of solid mahogany. To a degree, the effects of a chambered 'hog body with a maple cap are predictable: a slight roll off in the low fundamental, a more open midrange responsiveness, and extra "air" and harmonic content to the notes with the high end. This has been my experience with chambered instruments anyway. With a solid mahogany bodied instrument one can expect solid lows, midrange frequencies forward, and slightly subdued and sweet sounding highs comparatively speaking. As was previously stated, the proto guitar is a test-bed but there are tonal characteristics that will remain constant due in large part to Mike's excellent neck joint. So how do I do it? I use my knowledge of tonewoods and guitar construction that I've amassed over the years working in guitar shops and repairing instruments as well as the stuff I soaked up from hanging out in my Fathers shop as a kid (my Dad is a luthier)- but most importantly, I use these large unsightly ears of mine and listen critically. I spent much time playing and listening to the proto guitar acoustically and still do because to me, the starting point for any well-made pickup is to magnify the natural sound of the instrument without much coloration, with respect to the positioning of said pickup. That's the baseline. From there, it's small tweaks to the design: increasing/decreasing the turns-per-layer, tension on the wire, number of turns, magnet choice, metal choices for slugs and screws and keeper bars, etc. until the desired result is acheived. There are other considerations in creating a matched, balanced set because not only do the neck and bridge have to sound killer on their own, they also have to sound great in the middle switched position with both on. Because of this, there's a certain range in which two humbuckers will sound "good" when combined together. Taking it too far out of that range equals an unbalanced sound, which is unacceptable. What I'm doing with this set is creating something versatile and toneful: pickups designed to work together and compliment each other, as well as kick ass on their own: slightly lower output in the neck position with an A4 magnet (clear and articulate, a nice singing bell-tone quality ala late-50's Gib with no low-mid bloat), and the bridge (A5 magnet) leans a little more to the "time to rock!" side of things like a good overwound PAF style, but still has enough sparkle and chime in there to be able to chicken-pick and cut it on a country gig. I'm still not quite satisfied with the bridge pickup actually, but it's very very very close. I'm a bit OCD and any of my friends will tell you that I'm a perfectionist - the words "good enough" don't really exist in my world: it's gotta be spot-on. Also, I know you guys will tear me to shreds if the pickups are lackluster so obviously I won't be putting myself in that position! The neck is in the 7.5k range, the bridge will land in the mid to upper 8's. Still working on thebridge pickup as I mentioned previously, but that's about what you can expect. Hope that clears things up and provides some insight into my process. Thanks for reading!
  21. The specific color I've chosen is called Creamatorius Hamerium. It's Batman approved!
  22. Is there an option to like the likes? Y'all are so cool. Really. A couple of brief addendums and thoughts, if you don't mind: Paragraph 4: Someone that tries to "reinvent the wheel" can be interpreted in both a positive and negative light. One could say "what's the point of starting from scratch and doing whats already been done? Nice job dumbass, you just wasted your time.". The other would say "Hey, there's always the possibility that you can make the wheel better! Try it!". After much thought as to how I was going to approach this project, I chose to not go with what was easy - rather, I opted to start at the beginning and build (rebuild?) to suit the instrument using all the modern resources and advancements available to me. I have the prototype so there's no excuse not to and honestly, anything less would be half-assing it. Mikes trying to Win The Game. He won't unless I do. If I do, he does. And at the end of it, YOU do. We all do. Yes. To expound further: The way a builder crafts the instrument, the subtle nuances of the technique as it applies to wood choices andneck construction ( 2-piece scarf joints vs. one piece vs. center-cut 2-piece vs. multi-lams) and the way the neck is connected to the body along with the hardware choices and mass of said hardware are a huge part of what defines core resonance and tone of an instrument. Having this prototype in my possession gives me a tremendous advantage in really dialing things in. I will say though that no two instruments resonate and sound alike. I'll say that again and again and again. The best I or anyone in my position can do is to find the zone in which the winding and the metals and the magnets work in concert with each other to best suit what has been presented by the luthier. I can tell you that Mike has chosen some prime mahogany. The hardware is top-notch. And most importantly, the neck joint technique: Best. Ever. I've played the proto extensively unplugged and listened and FELT it for over a month - equal vibration and resonance in the hand between the body and neck with full-frequency response. I'm taking into account the effect of a maple cap but honestly, that is just but one small aspect of the "big picture" in regards to how a guitar is going to sound. I've played, heard, and know the difference between a '53 LP Jr and a '59 LP burst. The woods make a difference, but there's other things at work there too. I'll save my thoughts on potentiometer values, capacitor values, weight and mass of hardware, pick material, pick angle/playing style, and the "it's all in the hands" stuff for another post. Paragraph 6: The mention of Unobtainium. When Ted first told me about this uber-special set of mythical pickups that contained this mysticial metal, it really lit me up. I mean, yeah!! F-word! Unobtainium!!! I'm totally down with it. I like the metaphor that exists in the word Unobtainium. Did you know that the composition of the human body contains the materials in the form of trace elements to make most of what a guitar pickup is? It's true. I suspect that if you ate Hot Pockets for a year, you could manage the plastic for the HB bobbins too. All humor aside, being that I was a philosophy major in college it kinda got me to pondering Unobtainium as it applies to the human condition and I've come to the conclusion that it's actually a real thing! What people call the "X factor" or "Mojo" or "Secret Sauce" ...that's what Unobtainium is. We all have it. It's what makes Mikes guitars so special. It's the energy that we all impart on something when we're doing what we love, for the right reasons. Unobtainium. I've got an unlimited source and won't build pickups without it. Ok. That's it! I'm glad to be here, but really should get back to work. Be well and rock on.
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