Hamel Broadcaster/Tall Neck vs. GVCG Lollar Staggered Poles

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by JKoeth, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    So I recently purchased a new set of Hamel Pickups (Broadcaster Bridge w/ Tall Neck) and a set of GVCG/Lollars (A3 Staggered Poles).
    Here are some initial impressions:

    The Hamels are amazing and magical to me. The sparkle and singing quality is astounding. They are so 3D and alive. It's almost as if a condenser mic had been placed inside the guitar. Being flatpoles, they are not as strong (maybe slightly scooped under) in the mids but still sound pretty even, warm and jangley. They seem to have less output than the Lollars and Fralins. There is great nuance and subtlety in these pickups. The cleans sound fantastic. They are also slightly microphonic and squeal a bit with high gain from pedals and fuzzes. I've played for a week or two with these in my 52 Reissue.

    The GVCG/Lollars are thicker in the mids of course and are higher in output. They are very in your face and have a more even frequency response across the strings but with very slightly accentuated D and especially G strings. They are very powerful and kill with pedals and gain. The strong empasis in the mids make them great rock and roll pickups. I put them in my Tele today so this is a very fresh response.
    I kept the same set of strings on the guitar for each comparison. These pickups could not be more different.

    Some have noted that the GVCG Lollars sound older which to me translates to thicker mids and bass with less sparkle. Others have said that the Hamels sound newer to their ears which to me translates to more high end zing.

    Both are excellent and have their specific purposes. I feel that the Hamel's excel in clean to mild tones where the GVCG/Lollars excel at drive tones. I can only keep one set and the jury is still out. Although, I must admit that I am leaning toward the Hamels. My only concern is that I really like to crank and use pedals sometimes. We'll see...
     
  2. ToneKing

    ToneKing Member

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    I haven't had the priveledge of trying the Lollar GVCG pu's, but I do have the Hamel's that you have. I think they do an excellent job of copping the early ZZTOP type of tones, and they kill at doing that jangly crunchy rythym tone. Very dynamic and responsive. I love ttone of the tall neck running thru an overdriven Marshall w/a slide.
    The Lollar special that I have, although good, is not in the same league. But, than it isn't wired for vintage tone. Jason is a great pu builder. imo
     
  3. artandink

    artandink Member

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    Nice Review.

    I think it is good that they sound different from each other. They're both great Pup builders and it's good to have wide pallete of tones available, and done right.
     
  4. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Thanks for the review, veru interesting comparison.

    How is the neck pup on the Lollar/GVCG?
     
  5. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Supporting Member

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    I'll jump in here and answer that - KILLER !!! I actually had both of the sets in question here , too. Had them both installed in an ASH / RW neck tele - a VERY nice 70s tele that is one of the best teles I've owned ( I've owned over 30 ). As soon as I got the GVCG / Lollars it was simply GAME OVER

    The Hamels are very nice too , but as mentioned , not quite as cool as the GVCGs when gain is applied. I ,myself, even prefer the GVCG Lollars for clean because they sound "older"to me - thicker, SLIGHTLY darker, but still very open and 3D

    I seem to have tried EVERYTHING ( Fralin, Stuarts, Lollars,Kinman,Duncan, Antiquity, Voodoo,Rio Grande, Duff ,Rolph.... ) and they all can be pretty great in various instruments

    That said, if $250 is in the budget - I'd always go for the GVCG / Lollars FIRST from now on:AOK
     
  6. Cobra

    Cobra Supporting Member

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    I've been trying to get the Hamel's since thanksgiving, but no luck, so I'm kinda losing interest. I've tried Fralins, Lollars, CS Nocasters, Bill Lawrence, & others. I'm using Lollar Specials now, which I like alot, but I think I'll give the GVCG/Lollar's a try, since you can get them.

    With any guitar, it's pretty important to match the pickups to the sonic qualities of the rest of the guitar, but it seems particularly critical with Tele's.
     
  7. billybob77036

    billybob77036 Member

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    Dibs on the Hamals if you decide to sell them!! :D

    From what I understand they are really trying to catch 2 different fender eras. The Hamals are the early early early blackgaurds, while the GVCG are from the mid 60's. Is this true?

    Cobra, have you heard the 2324 wraps? It is coming down to Hamal's, or those, but I'm leaning toward the 2324's since they seem to have better turn around time, and havn't gone missing for 3 months as of yet. :)
     
  8. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    in a word...breathtaking...in many words...articulate clear and smooth when you play soft and when hit it hard it can get bitey and nasty...its the first chrome or NS capped tele neck pu that I've had that doesn't sound muddy...

    I have the GVCG/Lollars in an alderbody maple boat necked tele and while they can rock on the bridge pickup I don't consider them rock-only pu's...far from it as the cleans are gorgeous...they are very touch sensitive and hittin it hard brings out a really aggresive/bitey side to these pu's but play softer and they are very smooth with a really sweet top end...these pus are just soooo alive...

    I also get 3 really distinct tonalities out of the different pu positions...they can also do jazz on the neck or Motown with the in-between positions...and although they sound great with od mine also have tons of sparkle and chime not too mention the biggest articulate piano-like bass end that I have ever heard in any set of pu's...I really wouldn't call these dark sounding pu's as there is plenty of high end in them...it's just of the very sweet kind and comes on more as you play harder...they share some tonal characteristics with Fender Nocasters although they just have a lot more of everything...especially complexity...going on and are just a lot bigger and 3D sounding ...at least in my guitar thats how I would call it...

    these pus are also slightly microphonic as I can hear switching noise when going to the bridge pu but they don't squeal in the least...

    one thing I have also noticed is that pu height adjustments really have a big impact on the final outcome...maybe more-so then other pickups I have had...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  9. Cobra

    Cobra Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I've exchanged a few emails with Don Mare regarding the 2324 wraps, but right now he only does rewinds, & I have nothing to rewind at this time. The clips sound fantastic, but I think I'll have to wait until he offers new pickups, which shouldn't be all that long. My plan is to try out several Tele pickups for my Esquire project, & other Tele's I have, until I find the best matches for each. I've had great luck with Lollar Specials, so the Al 3 Staggers shouldn't be that far of a stretch. I also have a Stephens Design Ice House lead to try, & I might take the plunge & get a set of the WCR Broadcasters too. I'd love to try the Hamels too, but if you can't get them, I'm not gonna worry about it. There's too many other good winds available for me to obcess over them.
    I had a 2000 CS Nocaster for a few years, & the pickups in that tele were some of the best I've ever heard, especially the neck. I finally bought a Lentz "T", & couldn't afford to keep them both at the time, so the Nocaster went bye bye to Italy. Those Nocaster pickups still haunt me... Not sorry I kept the Lentz though.
     
  10. Cobra

    Cobra Supporting Member

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    Well... I took the plunge & ordered a set of un-aged Al3 GVCG/Lollars direct from Jason, & I'm looking forward to checking them over. Plus, I'm still working with Don Mare regarding his rewinds, the 2324 wraps, among others. The Hamels are on the back burner for me until they become available. I'd still like to try the WCR Broadcaster set, & Fred Stuart's Blackguards, but it might be awhile before I can do it.
     
  11. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I've talked to Don Mare via email about the 2324 and he seems like a great guy. I've been a big Roy fan for over 30 years but am a little hesitant about the microphonics issue. I've also talked to Callaham about their bridge. They say it helps to cut down on microphonic feedback.

    The pups I have to send him are Fender "Original Series."

    What do you guys think? I've just been using Tele, cord, amp for the past few months but I don't know if it's permanent.

    Thanks,

    Greg
     
  12. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    I think this is great. I was using my G&L ASAT into fuzz then slapback delay into rambler set on tweed today and was gettting some great OD/heavy od/slightly gritty tones with the fuzz (using vol to control fuzz) Awesome considering my usual setup....

    I just got some lollar alnico 3's too. They come preaged. Good mojo. (looks like there is some cat hair and dirt on mine :dude ) Have yet to build the guitar they will be going in, but from what everyone says it should be awesome with these pickups!!
     

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