Bill Lawrence or Bill Lawrence USA???

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by zach5150, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    What do you guys think about Bill Lawrence vs Bill Lawrence USA pickups? I just posted in another forum giving a thumbs up for some BL L280's/L290's, and I mentioned in the thread how he should make sure he purchases them from Bill and Becky at www.billlawrence.com and to steer away from the www.billlawrenceusa.com website....then, i got to thinking-I wonder who everybody else generally agrees is the "real" BL company?
    If you are not aware of the difference between these two companies, each website tells their own version but a quick summary is that two guys went into business w/ each other in '65, had business troubles, one guy screwed the other (each side believes THEY are the ones who got the shaft), and now it's 2 companies. the "usa" company retained all the rights to the name etc....but, the other guy who is in business w/ his wife (Bill and Becky) IS Bill Lawrence.(although he was born wili stich, or something like that....i think he changed his name legally when they started the company in '65)
    I'm not really sure....reading both "sides" gets tiresome, but I was just curious what you guys thought......

    Would the "real" Bill Lawrence please stand up? (that's an Eminem joke for those of you who dont listen to any rap :D )
     
  2. Barefoot

    Barefoot Senior Member

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    There were some NOS Bill Lawrence pups on ebay. I emailed Bill and Becky to make sure the pups were legit.
     
  3. haml

    haml Member

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  4. guitarmook

    guitarmook Member

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    I have pickups from each... like them all... would recommend pickups from either company.
     
  5. Aussie_Battler

    Aussie_Battler Member

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  6. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    Hard to say...I know these are NOT the ones that Bill Lawrence is producing today, but I dont know enough history to know how "authentic" those might be....somebody else will probably jump in though....
     
  7. GTRJoe

    GTRJoe Supporting Member

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  8. Aussie_Battler

    Aussie_Battler Member

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    I pulled the trigger on one. Hopefully its the real thing. Whatever it is it still will be an improvement on the stock Jackson pickups. Sorry about the hijack of this thread
     
  9. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Bill and Becky are the real deal. Period.
     
  10. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Even though Bill and Becky are the real deal .. I had a Bill Lawrence Tele made by the "other" Bill Lawrence (usa) group and it was just killer with Major MOJO. I just felt a little taken aback when the real Bill Lawrence jumped on me saying I was misusing his name when I listed the Tele that I just got rid of it with a bad taste in my mouth. I still miss that Tele... :(
     
  11. CAFeathers

    CAFeathers Member

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  12. CAFeathers

    CAFeathers Member

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    +1,000,000,000

    I have met Bill and Becky and they are 2 of the nicest people I have ever met.
     
  13. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    Yes, this is the real deal!! Bill is a modern genius that has been ripped off more times than about anybody I can remember. Lawrence pickups are often dismissed because they are relatively inexpensive, this is silly. Bill and Becky sell direct and are as square as they get.

    The L-280-S set is a real kick in the head. These pickups are wide open with frequency response and punch. They process well, and if you like Kinmans, I think these are even better and soooo much cheaper. Totally silent, and as hot as you raise them to the strings.

    The L-200-S set has got some kind of bias towards being very quackey and "stratty", scooped in the mids. These do sound great (and again, silent), and are so attractive for a workhorse instrument. Chords ring with clarity.

    Check the prices on these--insane value. What a great American company!!!
     
  14. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    Those Ebay pickups are real. All the ones produced in the old Tennessee factory are real. Most of the notorious L500s have thin blades. However, because people started recognizing the good ones by the thick blades, the ex-partner started using thick blades on some, supposedly at the request of Washburn. Ironically, Washburn had bought from BOTH companies, but in smaller quantities from Bill the man...probably for the artists.

    Despite Washburn using the BL-USA brand pickups on their Nuno-sig guitars, Nuno's message board moderators confirm that Nuno does NOT use the BL-USA models and only uses the ones from Bill the person, both the L500L and the L500XL.

    I talked to Dimebag's tech (for 13 years), a local guy, and he says they sought out the real vintage L500Ls and XLs until the 1995 deal with Washburn when they just started using what came on the guitars. Since Washburn was buying from both companies back then... hard to say.
     
  15. Aussie_Battler

    Aussie_Battler Member

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    Cool I feel a lot better, but after reading about Bill and Becky. It's kind of frustrating and sad. Frustrating because it shows you just can't trust anyone, and sad because he seems like a good guy albeit gifted that is continously screwed over because he's a good guy.

    AS soon as the L600's come out he's getting an order from me.
     
  16. michael30

    michael30 Gold Supporting Member

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    This looks like the pickups I had in a Les Paul copy 20 years ago. They sounded great. Not as much distortion as in most humbuckers but still powerful with a lot of high end. Sort of like Telefunken ECC83 tubes compared to RCA's.

    Michael
     
  17. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Silver Supporting Member

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    Similar to the current situation with the phony Bill Lawrence is his past trouble with the OBL name. The ones that were areound in the 80's were great pickups. I have two of the 900(similary to current 500) and they are really great pickups. He was somehow misled by Gibson(gasp!) and they started making those crappy pickups you see on some 90's epiphones. He was under the impression they were going to tool up for, and make the better versions.

    There is a section on his real website that talks about this. Those pickups used to be standard in some Hamers, I think.
     
  18. John Catto

    John Catto Member

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    Err..ummm I guess this sort of depends on what you consider the classic Lawrence pickup. I first saw and started using Lawrence pickups in maybe 1979 which is pretty close to when he first went into production (forgetting stuff like the pickups he designed for Gibson etc.) The pickups made then looked like this (excuse the messy looking Strat pickup, it got painted black at one point)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These are the pickups that the Lawrence name is largely based on. they were used at the time by Joe Perry on almost all his guitars, Nils Lofgren and a bunch of others. To me this is the pickup I think of when I think of Bill Lawrence. The ebay pickups with the rounded chrome surround are from a later period ('84ish?) whin they started to be labeled OBL.

    Now as I can see, the "fake" Bill Lawrence site (which seems to make a lot of noise about the fact that Bill changed his name years ago, I guess in an attempt to discredit him) still make Strat and Tele pickups that "look" like the original ones though who knows whether they're the same. Meanwhile Bill himself no-longer appears to make a similar sealed single-rail pickup though what he makes may or may not be similar sonically.

    Still anyway ;) as far as I'm concerned all the original Bill Lawrence pickups used by those late 70's/early 80's artists had THIN rails not thick. I do still really like those early Lawrence pickups, the humbuckers have a wide, full frequency almost hi-fi quality which sounds very powerful when used in high gain setups, the Fender pickups were remarkably single coil sounding for a stacked pickup.
     
  19. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    John Catto, you are partly right because I wasn't clear. Your picture shows a L90 and either an L220 or L250. I was intending to refer only to the L500 series. Yes, there were thin blades on some of the other models.

    Now to slightly complicate, there might have been real L500s made by Bill with thin blades in the 1983-1984 era right before he had the business "legally" taken out from under him.

    When he left, you could tell that the ex-partner wasn't even familiar with the proper names of the pickups, because they started calling them XL500s for a while.
     
  20. Barefoot

    Barefoot Senior Member

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