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I got the Hamel Broadcaster set today !!!

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Danocaster, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. tjalla

    tjalla Friend of Leo's

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    Edited...

    I re-read your ebay listing more carefully - geez, if I didn't already have the Stuarts I'd be keen.

    I hope someone here at the TDPRI wins it, and can give a report on what they think.

    Trev
     
  2. petebradt

    petebradt Former Member

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    Hey wait a minute, *I'll* buy any unwanted Hamels too.

    BIDDING WAR!
     
  3. tellypicker

    tellypicker Tele-Meister

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    Hey Mark...

    Just a bit of clarification for me personally. Best is way too subjective a word. I haven't heard all the pickups, and your idea of a test like that is a great one. Even after such a test however, I'd be hard pressed to want to change what I have. I absolutely love both the Standard and the new Broadcaster. They are a bit different from each other, and I couldn't tell you which one I like better, it's a moot point with me. Each one performs it's function beautifully in each of my Teles. I ain't a gonna be sellin' either...
    :D :D :D :D :D
     
  4. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I didnt realize when I was posting Danocaster had his Broadcaster pup on Ebay seems like he used it 1/2 hr removed it and put his old pickups back in?

    So if you liked your 60's sd antiquity II's staggard pickups better why did you make the Broadcasters seem like the best thing since sliced bread? This is confusing?

    Maybe its just me but if I waited for 7 months for pickups I would give them a longer test?

    SO you liked the Duncan Ant II's better? I was thinking about those myself do they twang and distort when you push them?
     
  5. Danocaster

    Danocaster Tele-Holic

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    OK...well it's hard to explain

    I've been tweaking my #1 for years. In the bridge I have specially wound Antiquity that is SIGNIFICANTLY better than 4 other antiquities I've bought since ( for other teles ). It's just PERFECT in this guitar. So MOMENTS before I put the Hamels in , I measured them closely so I could get back there if I didnt like the Hamels as much ( thinkin to myself " Self..these Hamels are gonna have to be DAMN good to warrant changing the guitar )

    When I first installed them, I was knocked out by the seemingly INCREASED CLARITY, etc..they seemed extra harmonic or something. Now, what I INITIALLY ordered was a 60s stagger pole Hamel. But when Ron offered me the Broadcaster ( referencing Jimmy Pagey ) - I took them - to finally just get the HAMELS !! Ron knew I was wanting staggered - I told him - thats not what was available. Ron was very nice about this all - just FYI

    After 48 hours of tweaking - running it thru different amps w/ different gain levels - I found that although SOME THINGS I thought sounded MUCH "clearer" - my Antquity sounded "older" and more "smeared" in a way I like. Also - my ears likes the "imbalance" of the stagger poles

    All this to say, If I didnt have THIS particular antiquity I wouldnt be parting w/ the Hamel. I have bought MANY Ants. and have "liked" them - sometimes ALOT - but never like this particular pickup

    I know the pickup VERY well and have done 2 years worth of shows and countless sessions w/ the #1 the way it is and have chosen to leave it that way. Even my wife - who has a great set of ears and if often the voice of reason for me - said "They are BOTH terrific - they are just different. You cant really compare. It depends on what you PLAY"

    I thought about keeping it for a Greenwich that is coming hopefully next month - but its a '62 replica and will have a staggered in it. This wouldnt be correct for that either

    Frankly - many of my gear friends arent all that surprised by all this. When I got the OCD - it was "greatest pedal EVER" - a week later (if that) it was on Ebay ( cause it didnt "play well with others ).. This is par for the course - for me

    AWESOME pickup - for a 50s replica ( which is what they DESIGNED it for !! ) but not for my #1
     
  6. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for the great info and explaination now I understand.

    I was gonna use a 60's Staggard type pup in my Esquire was deciding betweet a Florance Rolph and Ant II.

    Thanks I think you helped me make up my mind quicker.
     
  7. Danocaster

    Danocaster Tele-Holic

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    Mark - just FYI

    I cant speak high ENOUGH of Jim Rolph. He rewound a '67 tele bridge that came out UNbelievable - better than before it went bad

    I also just got back an original vintage PAF that he rewound one coil on - and it's indistinguishable from before. PERFECT

    He also does very realistic "aging" - both cosmetic and degaussing the magnets
     
  8. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ant II

    Dan,

    So do you know what makes this particular Ant II unique? Did you have it wound custom, or was it a chance find? Do you know if the wind is the standard 6.4k these are spec'ed at?

    I don't have any experience with the Hamels, all I've tried are a few Fenders and Duncans, and I've never tried an Antiquity. Most of what I've tried are AlNiCo 5, with the exception of one Duncan AlNiCo 2 Pro and one Fender AlNiCo 3 OV (and that's an 8k+ oddity). But so far I am quite fond of the lowly Fender Classic Series staggerpole AlNiCo 5 which is wound to 6.4k, and incidentally this is the same rated wind on the Ant II.
     
  9. Danocaster

    Danocaster Tele-Holic

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    yeah -

    it was a CUSTOM wind

    stagger pole - lightly potted - wound to 7.8 - Alnico 5
     
  10. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Friend of Leo's

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    I agree 100% here...until I can go to a website and order a set of the famous Hamel's, I'll just love my Voodoo / OC Duff set...since I'm not going on any lists for anything.
     
  11. mike_levitt

    mike_levitt Tele-Meister

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    Is Skepticism allowed here?

    While I'm not saying anything bad about Alan's pickups.... when I read this I totally smelled a rat!!:

    ""Yes, the Hamel Broadcaster pickup is now available. Alan and I
    worked on the project with Nacho regarding his 'The Blackguard Book',
    Nacho sent us a number of sets of pickups out of his early Esquire's,
    Broadcaster's, Nocaster's and Tele's. ""

    I wonder why Nacho would break the solder joints on his priceless guitars to let these guys play with his pickups. Maybe they were already out of the guitars??? Maybe Nacho can clarify?

    ""Alan and I took them apart and
    analyzed every fine detail of how they were made and how they
    differed from one to the other.""

    Let's be honest here. There's nothing to take apart. Maybe he could pull the cover off the neck pickup - but even that would take the chance of ruining it. Or take the baseplate off the bridge pickup. Any further disassembly of a Fender pickup would likely destroy it - period. The bobbins and magnets provide the support for winding the coil - and any "disassembly" is going to destoy the coil... So why claim that you did this? Unless you were willing to destroy the pickups in the process...

    ""Alan and I took them apart and
    analyzed every fine detail of how they were made and how they
    differed from one to the other. After we completed the disassembly
    and documentation, I took the bobbin/magnet assemblies in to work and
    ran a materials analysis on them. I have access to materials
    spectrometers, so using an Electron Microscope and a Ion Beam
    Spectrometer, I was able to look into Leo's history? These
    instruments are absolute and 'don't lie', so the results finally put
    to rest the speculation of what old Leo used in the early days at
    Fender. Nacho has the results posted in his book... pretty cool!! ""

    So here it's claimed that the bobbin/magnet assemblies were analyzed on a Electron Microscope and Ion Beam Spectrometer...

    I guess that means that they cut the coil wire off? Or took the bobbin apart?

    Maybe Nacho can pipe in, but to allow somebody to do this to your priceless pickups is completely insane in my view....

    And what would you learn from this analysis? Everybody knows what Leo made these pickups from - common materials that could be bought cheaply and were readily available. 42 & 43 Formvar wire. Alnico magnets. Forbon bobbins. Wound by hand...

    No magic or mystery there.... And there has never been any speculation as to the materials he used...

    What I see here is a sales pitch, trying to convince us "tone freaks" that Hamel has got secret info that the other pickup winders don't have. Kind of a 'rocket science" pitch to get some more money out of us!!!

    I don't buy it at all.

    I want to be clear that I am NOT bashing Hamel pickups. While I don't have a set of his new ones, I do have a few from his custom shop era, and they are excellent.

    While I am sure that he is making great pickups, what offends me is the "magical, mystical, secret" tone of his marketing attempts.

    There are plenty of pickup winders who gladly share information, and make an honest product for an honest price, and tell you exactly what they are using as materials and how they are doing it. I'm not going to mention any names, as I don't want to get them involved in an argument they didn't ask for... but a certain book that one of them wrote is like the bible of pickup winding - and launched the careers of many of the boutique guys that are winding successfully now.

    I just think this is a big hype, and I prefer not to be hyped!!!

    On the other hand, I think that Alan & Ron are doing an excellent marketing job and that many people will buy their pickups based on the excellent word of mouth they are generating. And I am sure that the pickups are great.

    I just don't think it's necessary to use a bunch of mumbo jumbo to sell a product which is so good - and I am baffled by all of it!!!

    Mike
     
  12. Sunburst Island

    Sunburst Island Tele-Holic

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    Mike,

    :rolleyes: , I smell no rat. I just smell skeptism.

    Brian
     
  13. mike_levitt

    mike_levitt Tele-Meister

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    The aroma of formvar...

    You know what I mean - the pickups are obviously great, so why all the mysterious stuff??

    I would love to hear from Nacho on this, and find out really what went on with his pickups, though!

    Does anybody have the Blackguard book handy to reference the section on the pickups??

    Mike
     
  14. Bill  Hullett

    Bill Hullett Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Hi Mike....

    Both Nacho and Ron are friends of mine ( Nacho owns my old Nocaster) and while I don't pretend to know the exact details of the experiments that they went through...I can assure you that it was done and "some" of that info will be in the blackguard book....Rons research to my knowledge, has never been done before, because no one has had the access to the machinery that they used in the evaluation...(at least to this point in time no one was willing to spend the money that it would have taken to research).....The advantage that Ron had in this instance is that He happens to work with this machinery @ his dayjob

    I don't think that Rons comments are ones of "hype" ..We talked on the phone and he shared his excitment of these discoveries with me....

    Will this new breed of Hamel beat his old ones??? I don't know, But I can't wait until I put a set in and try em!!!!!!
    ;)

    Bill Hullett
     
  15. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Re: Hi Mike....

    Bill, sorry but I couldn't resist this:

    Wait and Hamel don't usually sit in the same sentence too well. :lol:

    On a more serious note, I'd love to hear from Nacho on this one too. Did he REALLY let GENUINE, working Broadcaster and/or Esquire pick ups to be butchered for the sake of experimentation?

    Nacho my friend. Please give us some more detail on this.

    :D Peter
     
  16. mike_levitt

    mike_levitt Tele-Meister

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    Re: Hi Mike....

    Bill,

    Totally respectfully...

    I am grateful of the efforts of these guys to get as much data on these pickups as possible.. In fact I just ordered the book to get the data!

    But I can't imagine what you could find out about a pickup by butchering it and putting the parts under an electron microscope.

    Fender used common, easily available, and cheap stuff to make his pickups - and it's well documented already.

    So even if Ron had put the stuff through a battery of tests, it would only prove what we already know!!!

    Like I said - everybody knows that Hamel makes great pickups. And he doesn't need the hype to sell as many as he can make....

    The only conclusion I can come to is that he's trying to justify charging a LOT more money than all of the other pickup winders do!!!

    If he were to say "I'm charging twice as much as everybody because I am the best winder in the world" that would be different than saying "I'm charging twice as much because my pickups have the same UNOBTAINUM that Leo used - and only I have the electron microscope to prove it!"

    To say that your the best, and charging the most is honest! To say that you have a magic ingredient that only you know about creates a few doubts, and opens you up to this kind of inquiry!

    I think that the truth here might just be that Alan and Ron are just very enthusiastic about their work, and this is their way of telling us. I would just hate to see what has happened in the Les Paul world (hype hype hype!!!) happen over here in tele land.

    And I would love to hear from Nacho and find out what really happened to his pickups!!!!

    Mike
     
  17. Kingpin

    Kingpin Friend of Leo's

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    Re: Hi Mike....

    I find that quite puzzling too - perhaps he pulled the pickups out of guitars with previously broken solder joints. Still, Nacho was taking an extraordinary risk to allow those pickups to be dissected and analyzed, even though Alan Hamel would undoubtedly be on the "short list" of people capable of such a delicate procedure.

    Another puzzling thing is the huge praise Dano heaped on this Hamel Broadcaster, followed by Ebay. That reaffirms the value of waiting a couple of weeks before posting a review of a new product. I think Mr. Hamel makes fantastic pickups (I have a Std. Hamel bridge), but I share Mike Levitt's skepticism that there is any secret sauce involved in pickup making. By using appropriate materials and years of winding experience, guys like Jason Lollar, Fred Stuart, OC Duff, etc. are all capable of winding great vintage-sounding pickups too. Eventually it comes down to a choice of what flavor you like.

    my .02
     
  18. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here is the part I dont understand.

    Ron Ellis who is a great guy who I respect was the 1st person here to recommend the A&F pickups that were made by Alan Hamel and Fred Stuart.

    He claimed they were the most accurate old sounding pickups you could buy and sounded just like a Blackguard set. Back then I think they were $300 for a set.

    Soon after that Alan and Fred parted business practices for a reason thats unknown.

    Soon after that Ron started helping Alan he posted messages on the TDP saying Alans pickups were as close to the original sound of the old Blackguards as you can get.

    SO what happened to the Fred Stuart Blackguards did they all of a sudden become the worst sounding pickups that deserve no reviews or comments?
     
  19. sabby

    sabby Tele-Meister

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    They don't stir passions: testimonials meet no anger to which no defenses are aired. This thread appeared two days after the current thread and got one reply. A good review and an agreement {yawn}.

    Now someone say they want a set but can't get 'em. Let others tell them they have no idea what they're missing. Have a third complain that it's all hype. Have a forth just get his set and realize their great and express his satisfaction. Now a grieved party writes complaining about how long they'be been waiting and [Famous Player] got his so he know's he's being shoved down a list and it's unjust. Now someone insists that no pickup is worth booteek prices. .... ..... ........ .................
     
  20. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

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    Assuming that what Ron claimed is true (Hamels are as close to blackguard as possible), that doesn't necessarily mean he's saying Freds are anything less. Freds could be just as close. I've never played Fred's, but I bet both Alan's and Fred's standard flatpole blackguard pickups are virtually identical.

    As far as Ron's claims of special sauce, I believe that their scientific analysis probably yielded some new information about Broadcaster pickups only, that they used some different material or process, and that new info. is what they used to make the new Broadcaster set. If they did find new things, they don't have any obligation to share those findings with anybody (except Nacho) , thats what competitive advantage is all about in business. Competitor's can go and rent their own electron microscope, and do their homework too, if they are so curious.
     
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