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Why don't pickup manufacturers clearly label their pickups with brand and model?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Dismalhead, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe so they can throw any pickup in any guitar when the correct version runs out

    Given the initials and marking on the other bits I agree it is odd. Should be a basic thing to put a qc sticker on it even
     
  2. chiefline

    chiefline Tele-Holic

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    If it's the player not the guitar how come my tele sounds different than my strat?
     
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  3. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Tele-Meister

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    This is the main reason I stopped swapping pickups. I feel like I can get more tonal variation from the knobs on my guitar, pedal, & amp.

    As long as there's no squeeling at the volumes I play, I'm good.
     
  4. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Some pickups are limited. I like overwound stuff and if I got a great body/neck/etc I would consider changing pickups

    I was gifted an affinity tele and am about to put some muddy waters pickups in it when they arrive from the US
     
  5. LooseJack

    LooseJack Tele-Meister

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    Some do, sometimes.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. LooseJack

    LooseJack Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. LooseJack

    LooseJack Tele-Meister

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    But then

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Let me understand this: You had (presumably) Fralin pickups installed around 2004-2005, and you waited until you sold it (when ?) to verify that they were in fact Fralin pickups to assure that what you sold to the buyer was accurately represented ? I applaude your honesty, but why didn't you settle any doubt about this at the time of installation ?
     
  9. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    For a company like Fender, labeling pickups is almost an insult, if you think about it. They want to give the impression that they have installed the perfect pickups already. There should be no need to change them, no need to care about what they're called internally at Fender. It's just supposed to be a part of the guitar. They were never specifically intended to be modular, they just happen to be, thanks to the fact that the whole guitar is simple. Compare simple passive pickups to EMG equipped guitars, for example, then it's not quite so easy to throw in new pickups.

    Most all the aftermarket pickup makers do label their pickups. When all you make and sell is pickups, you have to be able to tell your products apart. And that's conducive to their own interests; you are to believe that the stock pickups are lacking and you need their Inferno Blues pickups to fix it. In the old days, Duncan and DiMarzio would just label their pickups with a designation and a sticker, like "SH-38T" or something ugly like that. Modern boutiques have upped the game by engraving an actual model name into the flat work of the pickup, or hand writing it in, for extra authenticity. Lollar does both.

    Another reason the whole guitar makers don't label their pickups is because they're jut not as passionate about pickups in general. They see it as an electrical component, like the input jack or the selector switch. In the old days, pickup were crudely wound with winding machines that didn't even have counters attached. They just wound them until they looked full. They decided between AlNiCo 2, 3 and 5 based on what was cheap and available. They tried for AlNiCo 5 if it was cheap enough, but settled for the older formulations if it wasn't. They didn't necessarily think AlNiCo 5 was better sounding, it's that AlNiCo 5 is a superior magnet by industrial standards.

    The idea of having a specifically constructed pickup is a more recent concept. If you look at the popular aftermarket pickups in the 70's through the 90's, if they weren't designed to be direct stock replacements, they had a singular purpose of making it easier to overdrive tube amps, marketed mostly to metal heads, and nowadays we think of those as being too hot for a good clean tone, such as the Super Distortion or the JB. Thanks to newer amp designs and the power of the Internet, aftermarket pickups made these days are made with a precision that lets them always land in a particular spot that both makes for good clean and decent overdrive tones. For Strats that's 6.0k, for Tele's it's about 7.3k, and for PAFs it's between 7.5k and 8.5k. The boutiques owe Fender and Gibson a debt of gratitude for caring so little about pickup design. They wouldn't have a market otherwise.
     
  10. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I'm with the OP. I wish they would label them. When I swap or install pickups, I'm often so excited to plug in and hear how they sound, that I neglect to write anything down. A year later, I have zero clue what pups are in what guitar.
     
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  11. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Word.
     
  12. Area51

    Area51 Tele-Holic

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    I think they do that so you can print a label that matches whatever used pickup is selling for an over inflated cost on ebay and earn a little extra money.

    Seriously, this did happen to me. Fortunately, the seller took it back and claimed to return it to where he bought it from.

    What's an "insult" is when a company gets their reputation tarnished because a cheesy stick on label falls off or someone takes it off and mislables it then the next person down the line thinks they got a crap pickup. It doesn't matter if it's Fender, DMZ, or SD.
     
  13. vid1900

    vid1900 Tele-Meister

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    It's so when you buy a used guitar, you are never sure what the pickups are.

    Then you can replace them, again...hoping for some magical mojo.
     
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  14. Badspike

    Badspike TDPRI Member

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    Well that's along period of time between installation and selling the guitar(about 12-13 years). I was the one who purchased the Fralins from a dealer and had my tech install them. I don't think it was anything other than verifying, as the seller, that the product description was totally accurate. Totally trusted my tech at the time but stranger things have happened. The guitar sold and I know the buyer got what he paid for and it took me all of 5 minutes to make the verification.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  15. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

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    A year later, I have zero clue what pups are in what guitar.

    Therein lies the magic of the 'modding' market. :confused:
     
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  16. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's what's in the back of my mind as to the reason for this practice (lack of practice?). Mark them clearly and people won't replace them because they know what they are. I'm sure some percentage of pickups are swapped just because people imagine them to be inferior.

    A while back I traded my Korean Sheraton for a MIM Cabronita at GC. I told them explicitly what the pickups were in the Sheraton - DiMarzio PAF Pro neck and Norton bridge. The guy who took the trade couldn't have cared less, and the information was not passed on to the next guy.
     
  17. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

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    The guys I buy from do. I don't know whay the mass producing guys cant do it.

    Terrible picture but it says "Green Onions"

    047.JPG

    upload_2017-4-12_14-42-47.png
     
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  18. Just Dropped In

    Just Dropped In Tele-Meister

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    It's pretty cool that SD p/ups have an initial for the person winding. I have an old set of SD pickups in my '80s Tele partscaster (c. 1986 Broadcaster STL-1b and STR-1 neck). Next time I have it apart, I'm going to check to see who wound them. Thanks for posting the link.
     
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  19. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    Because those who can play can tell by what their ears till them.
     
  20. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    Perhaps alt.net needs a new subgroup:

    alt.nerd.obsessive.guitars

    [​IMG]
     
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