Jump to content
bloke_zero

UK made P pickups?

Recommended Posts

Kent Armstrong pick ups are very good in my humble opinion. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried a few UK pickup folks.

To the names already mentioned I'll add Bloodstone Guitarworks.  Ordered a couple pickups from them,very impressed.

Last one was out of the ordinary, 51 split single overwound to 29.9k. David was brilliant, fired all sorts of options regarding wire gauge/magnet size,finish etc.

Twas a tad over my head 😁Told Dave to do as he saw fit,4 days later my monster single arrived 👍

 

http://www.bloodstoneguitarworks.com/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Son of Kent Armstrong,  Aaron, who lives in the UK  ,  is also an excellent pickup builder.

I've  got a pair of his Aria Pro ll  SB900's  built to original spec in my SB900.

Plus a custom Aaron  job fitted into a bass that Andy built

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, stewblack said:

Kent Armstrong pick ups are very good in my humble opinion. 

Not a UK builder though  AFAIK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, fleabag said:

Not a UK builder though  AFAIK

Yes, I was kind of thinking of instead of the boutiquey US makers if there were people in the UK making stuff - it seems like in the US the home builder is pretty well served with custom bodies, necks, pickups etc, (I'm thinking Wamoth, USACG etc.) but it's a bit thinner in the UK.  The pickup market well served though it seems!  Thanks for all the suggestions!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, fleabag said:

Not a UK builder though  AFAIK

Aaron took over from Kent in the UK and some people (maybe those of us who are a bit older) still refer to Aaron’s pickups as KAs. I know I do. 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/06/2020 at 12:17, NancyJohnson said:

Just going back to the OP, to this day I'm still fascinated with the music community drive to try different pickups. 

I've got six basses at the moment...these range from a 1978 Aria P-Bass copy (which has a Delano pickup in it), through to a £5K custom build Mike Lull; I've maintained that I've never really had any issue dialling in my desired tone with any of my basses.  OK, granted there's this hybrid Geddy Lee/Jean-Jacques Burnel tone thing going on, but equally if I needed to go 60s ponk or 80s SWR I could easily dial up an approximation of of that from my amp, considering any nuances would be lost in the mix.

I still don't get it!

I think there's probably a bit of a difference between the pickups on an entry level Harley Benton and something Boutique. Probably when you get past semi decent the differences are marginal. But then the same is true with bass guitars... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is also Ghost Pickups which are made by an acquaintance of mine in the north east (i think there are a few other BCers who know him too),he makes mostly to order but has definitely made bass pickups before

https://www.facebook.com/ghostguitarpickups/

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

I think there's probably a bit of a difference between the pickups on an entry level Harley Benton and something Boutique. Probably when you get past semi decent the differences are marginal. But then the same is true with bass guitars... 

Not that I've noticed, at least as far as 51 style single coils are concerned.

 

I tried 7 different singles and recorded clips,one of them was £8 from ebay. Asked folks to guess which clip was the £8 Chinese built.

Votes were even across all 7.

 

I'll take the Roswell over the Duncan 1/4 lb'er every time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, kodiakblair said:

Not that I've noticed, at least as far as 51 style single coils are concerned.

 

I tried 7 different singles and recorded clips,one of them was £8 from ebay. Asked folks to guess which clip was the £8 Chinese built.

Votes were even across all 7.

 

I'll take the Roswell over the Duncan 1/4 lb'er every time.

but this is the bit I don't understand... if you make a cake in a factory in china, and make a cake with the same ingredients in a artisan pickup winder in Brooklyn .... where does the difference come in? 

I get that a bass is a bit different, there is some difference in wood and how it can be harvested and dried, and there are bits in bass production where someone spending an hour doing a task will give a better result than a factory spending 10 min, but with pickups I'm never sure. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, LukeFRC said:

but with pickups I'm never sure. 

Well, fair enough - but fun to find out.

I was reading about Ernie Ball taking over the MM factory and standardising things like the pickup winds - the Leo Fender factory had some ladies with a jury rigged tension winder making the pickups and the variation was great as well as quality - some were quiet, some had uneven frequncy output, some were better.  EB standardised on what they felt to be the best, and  - and set up the new machines accordingly.  Is hand wound different from machine wound?

So wind, wire type can have an effect.  Magnets type can clearly have an effect - no one is saying a bongo sounds like a pre-cbs precision even without a preamp. It is the interaction of all these things that make it an art - I'm interested in hearing a pickup made by someone who is interested in this stuff.  I agree I may be fetishising something that I may find makes no difference, but in my mind I'm trying to bring together a set of things into a bass that really sings, so...

I have a rickenbaker lapsteel that my dad bought - has a handwound pickup from 1939 - it's very hard to say, when you hear it straight into a soundcard that it isn't something special.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

but this is the bit I don't understand... if you make a cake in a factory in china, and make a cake with the same ingredients in a artisan pickup winder in Brooklyn .... where does the difference come in? 

One uses advertising and a canny bit of marketing,the other just goes to work . 

I've saw "Hand wound Simulation" in sales blurb. Thank you Cary for that inventive term for machine wound 🤣

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, bloke_zero said:

I was reading about Ernie Ball taking over the MM factory and standardising things like the pickup winds - the Leo Fender factory had some ladies with a jury rigged tension winder making the pickups and the variation was great as well as quality - some were quiet, some had uneven frequncy output, some were better.  EB standardised on what they felt to be the best, and  - and set up the new machines accordingly.  Is hand wound different from machine wound?

Well Ernie Ball would say that wouldn't he! The same factory managed to keep making G&L pickups which are quite well renowned (esp the early ones!) 

I guess with something like Nordstand, he's done all the R&D and tried lots of things, and genuinely makes really nice sounding pickups. I think they have some kind of mechanised scatter wound so it's similar to a hand wound pickup? 
I would really interested to compare a boutique pickup, a cheap pickup and a homemade one, all with the same ingredients,  and see how different they are 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, kodiakblair said:

One uses advertising and a canny bit of marketing,the other just goes to work . 

I've saw "Hand wound Simulation" in sales blurb. Thank you Cary for that inventive term for machine wound 🤣

I think it's a machine that deliberately doesn't wind perfectly ... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 4000 said:

Aaron took over from Kent in the UK and some people (maybe those of us who are a bit older) still refer to Aaron’s pickups as KAs. I know I do. 😉

Yup,  he come over with his dad at some point back in the day,  dad went home and Aaron stayed.  I definately dont call Aaron's pickups  KA's.  Even more so because i've spoken to Aaron, i doubt  he would be impressed if i talked to him about his KA pickups  :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

I think it's a machine that deliberately doesn't wind perfectly ... 

It's just a bit of code,easy replicated on any machine.

 

Variable pitch,variable tension nothing magical.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

Well Ernie Ball would say that wouldn't he! The same factory managed to keep making G&L pickups which are quite well renowned (esp the early ones!) 

Fair point! I'm not a big fan of the MFD though - too steely sounding for me.  I wasn't meaning to say that the pre EB MM wasn't good - just that the variation of wind made an impact on the sound - I've played pre EB stingrays that were up there for me.

 

12 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

I guess with something like Nordstand, he's done all the R&D and tried lots of things

I have a Nordstrand MM and really like how it sounds - I'd buy one of his P pickups but - to come full circle - I thought why not see what the UK has to offer?

Edited by bloke_zero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ghost Pickups are here in the UK in sunny Whitley Bay, Wilf is a good bloke and will wind you anything you like.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, bloke_zero said:

Fair point! I'm not a big fan of the MFD though - too steely sounding for me.  I wasn't meaning to say that the pre EB MM wasn't good - just that the variation of wind made an impact on the sound - I've played pre EB stingrays that were up there for me.

 

I have a Nordstrand MM and really like how it sounds - I'd buy one of his P pickups but - to come full circle - I thought why not see what the UK has to offer?

It’s a good thread

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bare Knuckle

Bulldog

Gemini

Creamery

Irongear

House of Tone

Oil City

There are more...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s them. I installed some PAF style humbackers in an ES335 for a customer. They are the best pickups I’ve ever heard. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, nash said:

That’s them. I installed some PAF style humbackers in an ES335 for a customer. They are the best pickups I’ve ever heard. 

Cool - yes - maybe it's time to call them up and talk pickups. Their 70's p-pickup reads like almost exactly what I want.  I guess they get so many great instruments through there they can stop and analyse the good ones!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...