Bill Lawrence Microcoils Analysis

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Antigua Tele, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

    May 25, 2010
    North Alabama
    I love my L45/TL48 combo. Easily the most versatile pickups ever. Yes they can be bright but with them the tone control becomes extremely usable throughout its range. Zero hum, cause they are humbuckers. Yet my tele still sounds like a tele. Also extremely transparent and uncolored. The construction and materials inherent to the tone of the guitar really come thru. They are very effect friendly. Great clarity between strings with distortion. Honestly they work for any genre.
  2. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    I put the Microcoils into the 12 string Strat and it really delivers, you don't usually come across a Strat pickup that sounds both bright and loud at the same time. The 12 string puts out a signal that is dense with harmonic beating, which seems to get lost with typical Strat pickups. It sounds very jangly now, like a Rickenbacker 12 string.

    I'm tempted to get another Microcoil set just for a regular 6 string Strat, but another pickup that comes in terms of brightness is the Burns Tri-Sonics , and I considered them for this guitar, but I don't think the silver on black would have worked in this guitar.

    artzeal, CFFF and Nickadermis like this.
  3. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

    May 28, 2008
    if you are tempted, try the neodymium ;)
    jamieorc likes this.
  4. artzeal

    artzeal TDPRI Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    Well, that 12 string looks like a great home for the Alnico Microcoil set: I may give that a go in my Fender 12 String: which I've been content to leave alone thus far - and I've been very hesitant to mess with success (As it has a couple of great settings stock, and I’m leary of of working on 12 strings as I'd tried 20 or more pickups in a Dean 12 string before I found something that worked to my satisfaction.)

    I have both Alnico and Neodymium Microcoil Strat sets, and preferred to keep the Neodymiums in an alder bodied Strat with pots that are in the 280-300k range and the Dan Armstrong mod where Tone 2 is a no load pot wired to blend in the bridge pickup. What I particularly like about the Neodymium micro coils is the tonal versatility: Seems like there’s more detail of the wood resonance at low gain, and there’s tight clarity with high gain (also true of the alnico set) beyond what I can get from a more conventional Fender or 3rd party vintage styled sets.

    The Alnico Micro coils strike me as a middle ground - a step toward being a hifi version of the traditional Fender pickups from the pure form of the Neodymium design.

    The Neodymiums allow nuanced tweaking with the screw heights - raising the wound strings to get a more P90 sound, and lower for a little fatter tone from the plains - as you would with the adjustable coil on a humbucker. A player looking for the classic Strat vocabulary on tap with a flick of the switch and the exact quack from the 2 and 4 positions is not likely to be satisfied with the Neodymiums: but I love that they go places beyond where a Strat can usually go. (Plus I have a Strat with an A2/A5 set for the strictly conventional)

    As an additional observation; the clarity and focus of either of the micro coils really holds together with a lot of effects and gain. Noticeably more dimensional with time-based effects in a stereo field, for example. Its worth attending to the tone circuit (.027uf for my taste) - I'm getting more use out of the tone pot than I ever thought possible.

    These are just ballpark provisional assessments based on my practice of installing new pickup sets in a test pickguard and making DI test recordings of the same basic riffs. I’ve compiled a little library over the years: which I can later compare by running through modeling plugins, look at EQ plots, etc: So my basis of evaluation, though not empirically substantial, is at least not based on the vapor of sound memory. Hopefully these comments will be helpful to those who haven’t had a chance to play with either or both of the microcoils.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    Derek Kiernan likes this.
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