What's the difference between Vintage and Black Arts series?
Vintage Series are humbuckers modeled after lower wind PAF style pickups. We use vintage correct parts for a vintage correct tone. Black Arts Series are for all of you metalheads, djenters and punk rockers. If you love to crank your amp and use a pedalboard full of distortion pedals, then the Black Arts series is here for you.
What spacing do I need?
If you are using a Gibson style guitar that has Tune-o-Matic style bridge, or similar, you will need standard (49.2mm) spacing. If your guitar uses a tremolo similar to Floyd Rose, or Tele style bridges, 53mm will be your best option. We also offer a hybrid spacing, meaning that your bridge pickup will be 53mm and the neck will remain Standard to accomodate for the string travel along the guitar. The best way to check is to print out our spacing guide and measure your current spacing.
What wire do I want?
We offer 2 types of pickup wire: vintage single conductor and 4-conductor . If you want a vintage correct set, then you will want the single conductor wire, it is exactly what Gibson used in their first humbuckers. If you don't care about being vintage correct, we strongly recommend chosing the 4-conductor wire for an ability to tap your coils. Even if you are not planning on tapping your coils, it's still good to have in case you change your mind or decide to sell the guitar.
Which leg length do I need?
Long leg baseplates are vintage correct and fit in most LP and SG bodies. However, if you have a non Gibson guitar, the pickup cavities may not be routed deep enough to fit vintage style legs. If you are unsure about the leg length required for your guitar, stay on the safe side and go with short leg option.
Why is my DCR different from the website description or the warranty card?
Don't worry, magnet wire is highly sensitive to temperature changes and may need some time to settle. Another reason for the different numbers is because even though we're winding pickups as precise as possible, there's always a margin. If you get slightly different numbers, it will not affect the tone.
Just placed my order, how long do I have to wait?
Every pickup is made to order, so it does take time for us to fully assemble the product. Typical wait time is 6-14 days, but could take longer depending on the weekly workload. Due to the many pickup options we offer, our small shop simply cannot keep a full stock of premade pickups. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
Can you make a Neodymium pickup for me?
Sorry, but currently we only deal with AlNiCo and ceramic magnets.
Are your pickups vintage correct?
Yes, as vintage correct as they can be. We use reproduction PAF parts including the 42AWG plain enamel and formwar magnet wire, butyrate 49.2mm bobbins, maple spacers, rough sand cast AlNiCo magnets and correct metal alloys used for screws and slugs. Single coils are made using forbon and dipped in shellac before winding just like Fender did back in the day.
Do you wax pot your pickups?
Yes, we do pot all of our Black Arts series and single coil pickups, however the Vintage series are unpotted. Leaving the pickups unpotted retains certain vintage sparkle that is absolutely necessary to achieve the perfect PAF tone. if you wish to wax pot your vintage series humbuckers, just shoot us an email after placing an order.
How high should I set my pickup?
Pickup height, or the distance between the pickup and the strings, should be set by you and only you. The height changes your tone dramatically which is why we want you to find the perfect tone for yourself. Good rule of thumb to follow is to set the pickup as low as possible, turn the amp volume up to slightly above bedroom level and adjust each screw half a turn while playing in between the adjustments. Make sure that your neck position has more space between the pickup and the strings than the bridge to ensure that you have a balanced tone. It may sound like a very time consuming task, but the end result will be rewarding, we promise.
Should I adjust my screw polepieces?
If the pickup height is adjusted to your liking and you like the tone, then leave it alone. However, if you feel like certain strings sound louder that the others you can lower those screws slightly, or vice versa. Once again, don't overdo it, a little bit goes a long way. Make small adjustments while testing the tone in between.
Can you engrave my name/logo on the covers?
Yup, just send us a message to find out more.
What shaft length do I need?
This is probably our most commonly asked question; basically if you have A Gibson Les Paul, you would need long shaft pots. There are a few exceptions, like the historic reissue models and Les Pauls made before 1977. Epiphone guitars and other manufacturers use short shaft pots. We strongly advise to take one of the pots out and measure the threaded part, long shaft would measure 3/4" in length and short shaft would come out to 3/8".
What is the difference betwen modern vs. 50's style wiring?
The two wiring styles interact differently with the tone pots. The tone control in the 50's style goes after the volume, which results in a brighter, clear tone. On the opposite hand, modern wiring tone has the signal going through the tone circuit before the volume, which could result in a darker tone. When all of the knobs are on 100%, both circuits sound exactly the same, the differences only start affecting the tone when you roll down the volume.
Do I need the Treble Bleed Circuit?
The variable treble bleed is a very handy mod that you could benefit from if you tend to use your volume knobs to clean up your overdrive channel. Typically, a treble bleed mod consists of a resistor and a capacitor, but there are so many values to chose from, that it could get overwhelming choosing the right one. The addition of a trim pot can help you make a simple adjustment to find the sweet pot of how much high end you want introduced when you roll down the volume.
I have an odd guitar, can you make me a harness?
We do make harnesses for unusual, or one of a kind guitars. You'll need to send us as many details and information as possible about the instrument, including taking pictures of the electronics cavity and taking measurements between the knobs and switches.
Can you make this crazy wiring with a thousand different options?
This is where things get tough. We can provide you with advanced wiring options, however there are limits and sometimes it is simply impossible to do with the available switching configuration of your guitar. If you have a solid, well-researched idea, send us a message and we'll see if it's doable.
Which soldering iron should I use?
Think of a soldering iron as an investment. If you're already doing modifications, chances are you'll have some other projects in the future. Don't buy knock off brands, Hakko and Weller are quality brands that we successfully use at our shop. Another important part is the wattage, you'll need at least 40 watts of power to heat the pot enough to solder the grounds to it. If your iron doesn't have enough power, you will spend a long time trying to heat up the pot, which may damage the internal carbon strip by overheating it. Make sure you solder in a well ventilated room and cover the back of your guitar to avoid accidental burn damage to the finish.