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Old October 3rd, 2012, 10:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bill Lawrence Black Label pickups

I have these pups in my tele and have for around 4 years. I have liked them for a while but lately I have been playing in venues with better sound and can hear what I really sound like. I think these pickups have a very frail and brittle sound. TO all who are wondering I play an ac30cc2. I just ordered the neck pickup from a 52 hod rod tele (SD mini humbucker) and am very excited to hear it. Have you installed the pickups yet?


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Old October 3rd, 2012, 04:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A couple of minor points need clarification here:

1. Bill Lawrence (and the actual person, not the unauthorized guy using his name) originated the "Black Label" brand for his single-coils about thirty years ago -- so it's possible to buy *old* Black Label pickups that are very good. Just avoid any such pickups that weren't made back in the day.

2. Bill's close friendship with Roy Buchanan is well-known, IIRC the pickups Bill made for Roy were not the stock Black Label models, but were customized for the piercing Tele tone Roy preferred.

3. The basic tone (*not* design!) model for today's Keystone Singles isn't the Black Label, which IIRC had steel pole pieces charged by bar magnets, but an exceptional old Fender pickup given to Bill by Dan Smith during Bill's long consultancy with FMIC. Bill calls that pickup "The Super '63."
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 04:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ej, that Super '63 is a Tele pickup? Reason I mention, and to differentiate the Keystones and the L280's, is that the Keystone Tele's have a low inductance neck pickup, and the L280 Tele set has a higher more Strat like inductance and tone, if I recall correctly. The L290TL in the set is even higher inductance than the L280TL for the reduced high end that customers preferred. Another point regarding the L280's is that the design has been refined since the early models, which had a sharper bite. Not sure about the L280TL, although it may be the same pickup, but my 2006 L280SL can cover many things from a full and sparkling Roland JC sound, to a bold lap steel-like Fender Twin tone, to a screaming Hendrix, metal, or punk lead Marshal sound.
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