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Old 05-11-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
Metalmaker
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Green Boutique Pickups, show 'em proud!

So there are multiple boutique pickup brands that make pups that, more often than not, blow seymour duncan and dimarzio out of the water

this is normally due to the way they are made. i.e. They're made with higher quality material, handmade by experts, etc.

I made this thread to inform those who want info about these great companies, and the work they're doing, as well as for owners of these products to claim their badassery here while they speak about their pups

I will also mention some of the different brands i know of, the pups they offer, and what each is good at or like, with the help from any owners occasionally

hopefully this will inform people and be a way for people to take pride in their gear

a few rules
1. feel free to brag, but try not to go overboard, this is for informational purposes, like submitting a review
2. If you have any pups, did have any, or have otherwise dealt with any boutique pickup manufacturer, please do include details, knowing that some product from some company sometime sucked, doesn't really help
3. when you say what you have, try to describe the product compared to some other product, like the pups that were stock



THE COMPANIES (TO BE EDITED AS NEEDED)

Bare Knuckle Pickups
Rock Monkey Guitars
Motor City Pickups
WCR Pickups
Iron Gear Pickups
Lindy Fralin Pickups
Lollar Pickups
Rio Grande Pickups
Zhangbucker Pickups
Bill Lawerence Pickups
BG Pups
Manlius Pickups
Bulldog Pickups



OTHER RESOURCES:
info on how pickups work: http://buildyourguitar.com/resources/lemme/
Rio Grande Pups specs: http://www.riograndepickups.com/specs.htm

if anyone knows of a website that shows different tones etc from different magnets, post and i will add
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thanks for making an old dude feel like his advice is actually taken into consideration

Last edited by Metalmaker : 05-11-2010 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:05 PM   #2
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Due to the massive amount of products overall, I will not go into grand detail about the pickups from each maker, but will instead post other information about pickups, etc.


From Tim Mills at Bare Knuckle Pickups:

"Magnets do add to the character of a pickup although it must be
understood that a magnet doesn't have a sound on it's own, it
contributes by the way it accentuates certain frequencies as current is
produced in the coil windings.
*Alnico II *is the softest and generally has a smooth bass and treble
although this is more pronounced the hotter the windings get.
*Alnico III* is very transparent, low output and clean,sounds great for
rounded fat jazz applications-typical of '50s tone.
*Alnico IV *is probably the best vintage tone IMHO(for humbuckers) and
along with II and III was used in the earliest PAFs-this is a fact and
not myth as we've had them analysed and a collegue of mine has also seen
original Gibson purchase orders that clearly state AIV bar stock being
purchased.The tone of AIV is balanced and extremely organic, it produces
the most authentic vintage tone and sits better in slightly hotter
vintage winds than AII which tends to get very soft in the bass and
highs if used incorrectly.
Finally *Alnico V* is the hottest producing more highs and lows, great
for rock applications or where power and cut are important.
Different companies use different grades for personal reasons, we use
all of the applicable Alnico grades to suit the correct design, both to
be historically correct but more importantly to have the best sound.
Changing magnets in a humbucker can give dramatic results, you soon find
the ones that really don't sit right and others that are head and
shoulders better.Obviously you can't swap out single coil magnets as
they're integral to the coil form.
I've personally spent a lot of time voicing all the BKP range with the
correct magnets but I do tweak and swap sometimes on consultation with a
customer with a specific requirement
."

Also from Tim:
On any given wire gauge the higher the DC resistance the lower the
resonant peak - so a higher DC resistance coil will produce a darker
tone than a lower DC resistance coil of the same wire.


From Rock Monkey Web site:

Ceramic magnets: Higher highs and more lows than any alnico magnet, tends to also have higher output, so very suitable for hard rock or metal

Neodymium magnets: The highest output of all. Even "low output are hot by alinco standards, and they have even more highs and lows tending to sound very open and wide. Very modern sounding, not good for a "vintage" sound

Wires: Enamel= more vintage classic sound, while more modern wire= wetter, less airy tone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbilicious
thanks for making an old dude feel like his advice is actually taken into consideration

Last edited by Metalmaker : 05-17-2010 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:10 PM   #3
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Rio Grande is a cool boutique pickup maker, don't know much about them though, this is a good thread if people post, will provide lots of information. I would love some reviews of different Bare Knuckles for different styles, like which one to get that could range from light rock to Metal, etc.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:19 PM   #4
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I use a bareknuckle nailbomb in the bridge of my schecter blackjack. Packs much power =)
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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I love BKP's, everything in the link in my sig is recorded with some.
I've tried:
Yardbirds, my favorite tele pickup, just sound wonderful for everything.
Piledrivers, not as good as the yardbirds for the bridge, but the neck pickup was wonderful for cleans, truly amazing glassy cleans.
Mississippi Queen (bridge), again, fantastic pickup. The P90 sounds great for clean, hard rock & fuzz. I get a mean ass rock tone with this in my hofner going into the Matamp
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:37 PM   #7
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I have a Vintage Vibes Guitars HS-90, a humbucker sized P-90, in the neck of my axe and it sounds wonderful. Round, chimy cleans and smooth, buttery driven sounds. Pete, the owner of the company, is a great guy and his customer support is top-notch.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:40 PM   #8
AcousticMirror
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Ben why didn't you like the pile driver bridge?
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticMirror
Ben why didn't you like the pile driver bridge?


I think it's because it was a little too tight for my tastes. It's been so long since I used it I'm not really sure anymore, just know it wasn't for me.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:45 PM   #10
AcousticMirror
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ah kk. I'm getting one this week. Hope I like it.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticMirror
ah kk. I'm getting one this week. Hope I like it.


To go in what?

Also, how did you like the Rebel Yells? I'm trying to pick up an SG and I'm looking for something to throw in there.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:51 PM   #12
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I like them fine but not hot enough or dark enough for me.
they are still for sale.

The piledrivers are going in my tele. you've seen my tele.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:53 PM   #13
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IronGear are considered "boutique"?
I just bought one for 25 pounds for my planned guitar build. I didn't know they were particularly sought-after.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:57 PM   #14
AcousticMirror
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add bgpickups
manliusguitar.com
and guitarforce.com

here's the spec sheet for riogrande

http://www.riograndepickups.com/specs.htm
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticMirror
I like them fine but not hot enough or dark enough for me.
they are still for sale.

The piledrivers are going in my tele. you've seen my tele.


I thought that's where the Sinner lived?
Or is the Sinner too much output?

TS, add Bulldog pickups, from what I've heard they do good stuff.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:29 PM   #16
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no love for bill lawrence or joe barber?

thems nailbombs. slightly underwound so they are more balanced between the two.

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:32 PM   #17
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I have several Zhangbucker pickups. They are handwound in vintage form by David Plummer in Cali. His website is www.zhangbucker.com. I have his:

p-90's - they are quite nice with a good combination of grit and clarity. Compared to the p-90's that came in my prs, they are much sweeter, with much more note definition.

Humbucker - The one I have is a little unorthodox, but it was custom wound to mate with the p-90's. It's 7.5k A3, and is a great humbucker. It's open and airy with single coilish spank. it is very much good.

tele pups - I have a "Paul Bunyan" high output bridge with a standard output neck. Both are A5. They are just awesome pickups. I typically don't like A5 pickups, as I find them quite bright, but these are hands down the best - the best tele pups i have ever heard (compared to fralin, lollars, duncans, bill lawrence, etc). The neck is smoky and great for blues tones and neck lead lines, and the bridge is like 10.5k of BEEFY tele twang. I mean these pups are stunning.

I'm having him wind me a strat set as we speak. David is a great guy to work with, and he spends time talking with his customers about what sound they have in their head, and he will tweak your pickups after you get them if they weren't quite what you were looking for.

Oh, and did i mention his prices are very competitive and often even cheaper than the massed produced people.

I know this review seems glowing, but his stuff is just that good.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:58 PM   #18
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Cool thread

What would be a good boutique humbucker pup for a nice vintagy, bluesy sound that goes good with light overdrive but heavy fuzz for like stoner rock/metal?
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:59 PM   #19
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nice guitar, driskill or prs?

@Acoustic Mirror
thanks for additions, and if you could, add any info or thoughts on the Bare Knuckles?
also, what pups are they? some are self explanitory, but just to be sure, what all are they, how'd you get them configured etc

@ All posts thus far
thanks so far
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BARE KNUCKLE PUPS RULE!
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbilicious
thanks for making an old dude feel like his advice is actually taken into consideration

Last edited by Metalmaker : 05-11-2010 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:22 PM   #20
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it's a 03 mccarty
my take on these nailbombs
a friend of mine jorge ordered these over the phone, they wound this pair a bit less than most so it's probably not what others really have. this was done to balance them neck/bridge volumewise. these are dark, clear and have great tone when split. anyone notice that as an issue or is he on the bullshit?
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