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Donlis Pickups... These guys are listening to our feedback.

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by awasson, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    53
    Nov 18, 2010
    Vancouver
    Just an FYI to check these guys out if you're hunting for pickups.

    So sometime in the last year I followed a bunch of discussions about pickups that sound great and don't bust the bank. Inevitably I was directed to the Donlis Musical Instruments company storefront on AliExpress. I bought a bunch of pickups for not a lot of money (on three separate occasions) and was happy with each one.

    At one point I bought a set of covered A5 humbuckers, which are great but they have brass chromed covers and nickel silver would interfere less. When I asked Donlis if they had some, nickel silver covers that would fit the pickups, they said yes (just not in the catalogue) and sure enough I got a set of covers. They are now a regularly stocked item: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pr...PAF-lp-guitar-pickups/204043_32664908753.html

    Now, it seems they've gone a step further and have more options in their covered humbuckers. They have options for nickel silver baseplate and nickel silver covers and the prices are still well below what we are used to for the level of quality we've been seeing: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/LP-pickups/204043_260314318.html

    I just happened to visit their storefront this evening while looking for other things and saw these so I haven't auditioned these new nickel silver covered pickups but I do have a set of their A5 covered and set of A2 uncovered humbuckers; I am more than happy with them.
     

  2. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    182
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    Some of you may remember I bought two humbucker sets without covers and a tele set from them. Delighted with them all. Donlis are very professional and pleasant to deal with too.

    Care to share some quick observations of the A2 vs A5?

    Edit: Oh and thank you for the heads up regarding these options :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017

  3. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    I've been trying to find a reason to change out the Strat set I bought and so far have failed.
     
    CFFF likes this.

  4. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    182
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    Know how you feel. With my tele set I measured the height settings of my old Tokai pups and installed the Donlis' accordingly. My immediate impression was 'you gotta be kidding me . . .' and it still is. Would feel the same if I paid much more.

    I am tempted to buy one of those sub 100 dollar strat copies we see everywhere and a set of Donlis pickups to see how that works out.
     
    Felino likes this.

  5. Felino

    Felino Tele-Meister

    348
    Apr 28, 2016
    Belgrade
    I bought P90 set and humbuckers without covers (zebra) from Donlis but I haven't instaled them yet.

    Since I have MIJ Tokai tele (Breezysound TTE-50), would you mind sharing your experience about how Donlis fits into Tokai, are any other changes needed in order to put Donlis inside? That is, if you have the same model.

    Not that I have any complaint about Tokai, I think it's more than great, I'm just tempted to try some other pickups with it, but I'm not feeling comfortable with any change that would make guitar looks bad in case I revert it.

    I did the same with Squier Bullet strat and Pribora pickups, and I might say that I'm absolutely delighted. I am about to try the same with Donlis.
     

  6. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    182
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    I don't have any information about the model number (nothing on the guitar) but it is a mid 80s MIJ. Mine has a direct to the body screw fitting for the neck pickup - no height adjustment on the pickguard. The pickups went in the same way as the old ones came out. There was no need to make structural alterations to the guitar at all. I just took my height measurements with a digital caliper beforehand and wired them up. The difference between the original pups and the Donlis set is staggering. However, I later discovered that the Tokai bridge pickup does not yield a DC reading . . . it still worked and sounds as loud as it should but . . . maybe there is a short in the coil or something . . . I am no expert. Either way for me the Donlis' are a major improvement.

    More info relating to my experience below.

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/a-doub...and-costs-only-25.666998/page-18#post-7414160

    I have tried a Bullet Strat before. A serviceable guitar for sure :)
     
    Felino likes this.

  7. Felino

    Felino Tele-Meister

    348
    Apr 28, 2016
    Belgrade
    Thank you very much, @CFFF!
    I will try Donlis tele pickups. My MIJ Tokai is NOS, I bought it at March 2017, it's probably made about 2008, it has the same finesse about neck pickup, no height adjustment on the pickguard, and no model number on it.
     

  8. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    Nickel silver baseplates were my request when I ordered two pairs of A2 uncovered zebra Pickups.
     

  9. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    Thanks for the heads up. I ordered their nickel silver base plate and cover set.

    Note that the cover is far more important than the base plate. I conducted a test and found that there was less than 0.5dB difference at resonance http://guitarnuts2.proboards.com/thread/7861/humbucker-base-plates-eddy-currents between brass, aluminum and nickel silver base plates. They're effectively identical. That being said, nickel silver looks better to my eye, and I appreciate knowing it's there, all the same.
     
    bender66, awasson and Felino like this.

  10. archetype

    archetype More tone than talent Ad Free + Supporter

    682
    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    This coming week I’m putting a set of Donlis A5s in one of my Squier Bullet Strats and will report on it.
     
    awasson and Felino like this.

  11. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    53
    Nov 18, 2010
    Vancouver
    I've got the A5's in my AS100 (semi hollow) and the A2's in my AR100 (solid mahogany/maple carved cap) so they are night and day guitars and I can't really compare them with any objectivity towards the pickups. I think the A2 set may be more musical if that's helpful. Maybe a less scooped output? Definitely more musical and pleasing to my ears than the ultra hot Super Distortion and uncovered Super58 they replaced. They're both great sets and such a bargain.
     

  12. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    182
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    Thank you for that. I appreciate we can't really compare them easily when they are in two totally different guitars.
     

  13. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    69
    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    I got a set of P94's .They are very good pickups .
     
    Felino likes this.

  14. mroll

    mroll TDPRI Member

    20
    Apr 7, 2008
    Laguna Woods, CA
    Looks like the nickel silver covers are gone now and the humbuckers only have the nickel silver baseplate.
     

  15. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    mroll, awasson and Felino like this.

  16. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    I wish the big guys would read this forum. WE are their market.
    In our city, Adelaide, a very good and high end store now opens on Sundays as the main market/ consumers are our average age- in the 50s+.
    If the bigger value marketers were listening they'd trim manufacturing costs and non- necessary features and sell more units. JMHO
     

  17. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Holic

    747
    Apr 20, 2014
    Ontario
    The difference in frequency response between a brass and nickel silver baseplate is extremely small, fractional decibels. The eddy current effects of materials in the pickup diminish rapidly with distance from the dynamic string field. There is no tonal penalty for using brass baseplates, everything else being equal.
     

  18. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    53
    Nov 18, 2010
    Vancouver
    They're just out of stock on the covers. They'll have more in soon I expect.

    Here's what they look like on a circa 1981 Ibanez Super 58 that came to me uncovered.

    IMG_3662.jpg
     
    bender66 likes this.

  19. archetype

    archetype More tone than talent Ad Free + Supporter

    682
    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    Ok, the install is postponed for Guitar Madness to replace or refund the pickup set due to an unusual quality issue.

    The pickup covers themselves fit the pickguard just fine, but... The coils seem to be wound very full, then taped heavily and wax potted. The pickups are so fat that they flex the covers outward to the point where the covers will only go halfway through the pickguard. I'm not going to risk breaking the coil wire disassembling potted pickups.
     

  20. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    53
    Nov 18, 2010
    Vancouver
    That’s bad news. Which (model number) A5’s did you get? I got a set of DL51 (chrome cover), last year and the coils are nice and tight, without any odd bulging. I also picked up a set of the double cream coloured ones in A2 (no covers) and they are also nice and tight.

    As a side note, my favourite humbucker pickup of all time is a Seymour Duncan “Sreamin Demon” and it’s coils are bulky and lopsided but it sparkles and has a beautiful full bodied tone. Quite opposite to what the name would have you think. I have a nickel cover for it but it won’t fit around the coils very easily without some reforming the cover.

    Best of luck getting that resolved quickly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017

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