My Trip to SoulsbyVille - WCR Pickups

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by V-Picks, Jul 15, 2006.


  1. V-Picks

    V-Picks Member

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    Hey all, Vinni here.

    Gabriel and I took a trek up to Soulsbyville yesterday to see Jim W. We arrived early in the afternoon and stayed until early evening. All I really have to say about this is, if you have never had the chance to meet these folks and spend a little time with them, then you are loosing out! They are quality people. I didn't want to leave when we did. I could have stayed for a couple more hours easily. Thank you Jim and Carol for making us feel so welcome!

    Please let me preface this story also by saying that I was not expecting to be dumfounded and impressed like I was. I knew Jim's product was going to be good because he would have not gotten thus far if they weren't. I was not expecting, however, to be blown away to the point of buying the product on the spot! I usually like to go home after seeing a product and mull it over in my mind if I really need it or not and think about the sound I heard and how I would use it. I usually can talk myself out of a product if it is not what I really need. I was not in control of my destiny with this product after spending a couple of hours playing! I simply had to have some! They were part of me already! Gabriel felt the same way. BTW, I should tell you that Gabriel plays in a Latin rock band called Malo. He plays with Jorge Santana. Gabriel is where we all want to be. A rock star. He very much deserves this title because he is the BEST guitar player I have been around and I know some darn good players! He and his wife are good friends with Mrs V and I. I consider it a priviledge to be around this man. We are like peas and carrots and have been inspeparable since we met.

    Well, now to the pickups. Jim had about 8 quality guitars hanging on the wall in his sound room. Les Paul, ES335, Strat, Explorer, etc. Each had a different combination or set of pickups on it. We took up Gabriel's Roland Cube 30 because we are very familiar with the sound. We were ready to get down and dirty with some A/B comparissons. And that we did. We each took turns playing the same guitar. Then Jim brought us in a bass guitar. One would play the bass and the other one the lead. Then we would switch. This was a great way to see how the pickups really reacted and sounded in a real situation. I don't know about you but I have been fooled too many times in a music store with how things seem to sound, only to get the the product home and then not like it. I have to say, we put this product to the test as best as we could.

    I can honestly say, I would be happy with ANY of these pickups I heard. I played the Goodwoods, Darkbursts, Shredders, Iron Man and even the single coil strat model. They all had a great attack. All were a very big, full tone yet with such a clarity! Not muddy at all. Each one also sustained as long as I would ever want. Even the Strat! Then the ultimate test for me is to put the amp on a heavy distortion setting and play a very low, full chord. Does the sound ring out true and can you hear all the notes, or is is just a big fat ball of mud? Well, you already know the answer, Jim's pickups were as articulate as a Londoner speaking the Queen's English! We could literally hear EVERY note in the big chord! Such a clarity!

    Now, I do not consider myself a shredder in any way. I DO however like a lot of gain and sustain. I do not like it to be grindy or gravely sounding. In other words, if you could see my sound, I would want it to look like grains of baby powder instead of pea gravel or even beach sand. I prefer to NOT hear any amount of distortion. I just want tone, sustain and bite without the ugliness. Well, let me tell you, Jim's pickups delivered just this!

    After playing for about 2 hours, I finally took out my 92 custom24 PRS that I do love dearly. It is my workhorse. It is equiped with Dragon Is. I have gone thru many sets of Seymour Duncans only to go back to the Dragons. I plugged it in and played it after hearing the other pickups and YUCK! Mushy, garbled, dark, unexciting tone! Tha's all I have to say about that. Then came the A/B test for quite some time. I wanted to see just exactly what I liked about the WCRs so much. Here's what it is, you can hear the guitar itself better. You don't just hear the electronics coloring or dictating the sound. You hear your particular piece of wood resonating like it sounds when you put your ear on the guitar body when playing. Have you ever done this? That is what these pickups sound like. The individual notes across the fretboard and from string to string is also very even and uniform. Including the Strat pickups.

    As hard as it was for me to decide, I ended up with a set of Shredders. I don't sound like a shredder with them though! That is the funny part! I even set them up clean and played some country chicken picken on them. They performed very well and the clean tone is awesome! The only reason I chose the Shredders over the Darkbursts was because the high end was not as bright. Not a big difference but some difference. I don't like things too bright and brittle. BTW, the WCRs have a very nice, creamy, singing high end like a saxaphone. I hooked them up late last night and WOW! That's all I have to say about that! The mid was also very impressive on the Shredder. The bottome end seemd to be the same on all of the WCRs. Nice and fat and big and yet did not make my speaker sound flabby at all, in any amp setting and we played on about 4 different setting all day with each pickup.

    Gabriel plans on putting a set of Iron Mans in his PRS and a set of single coils on his Strat. My management is going after Gibson for a couple of touring guitars for me and they will go strait to Jim for some (adjustments) before they even come here. I am sold on this product! I have not seen a better pickup. I met up with a giant much bigger than I expected! To wrap up this story I want to say that Gibson pickups have always been my favorite ones. This is not the case anylonger. Jim has blown Gibson, Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio way out of the water. So, if you want a $50 or a $100 sound, buy their product. If you want to sound better than you thought possible, buy Jim and Carol's product! That is the bottom line. Period.........

    Thank you Jim and Carol for your hospitality. And thank you for a great product that I plan on using exclusively now.

    Cheers to you all. Do good things.

    Vinni Smith
     
  2. Thwap

    Thwap Member

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    Great story Vinni, I'm sold on WCR's. I've got Goodwoods in my Les Pauls, and I can't imagine ever looking for any other pickups. Great product, class company, they've really gotten it right.
     
  3. V-Picks

    V-Picks Member

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    I'm sold too! I'm sold out!

    Brother John Dean is coming over this afternoon and bringing his Filmore equipped guitar. I can't wait!

    vinni
     
  4. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    i have one of the first sets of fillmores that jim ever made...killer pickups in every way!!!

    i didnt think jim was making the SR's anymore...maybe jim makes exceptions....
     
  5. V-Picks

    V-Picks Member

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    I've got a buddy bringing over and old set of Filmores on a guitar as we speak! Can't wait to hear them.
     
  6. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Please report on the Filmore set. Those were my favorite tone in all of the samples. I really didn't think I needed any new pups... until I heard that clip.
     
  7. V-Picks

    V-Picks Member

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    I was absolutely knocked out by the Filmore Neck Pickup. Awesome.
     
  8. EscalonJon

    EscalonJon Member

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    Vin,

    I didn't appeciate you trying to pry the neck pup outta my LP...

    I think Jim and his wife are right, you need Darkbursts in da Santana. Oh and the zebras on my 335 are (from the neck to the bridge) creme/black, creme/black. I think I told you creme/black, black/creme like the Santana.

    It was cool talking to Jim this afternoon. A real class dude, and really knows his s*#^ about pickups and tone.
     
  9. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    JIm and Carol are great folks. I met them at the Dallas Guitar Show. JIm "repaired" a Goodwood that I had purchased second hand (really he just gave me a new pickup) . The he refused to take any sort of renumeration.
     
  10. V-Picks

    V-Picks Member

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    That is some customer service isn't it?

    v
     
  11. V-Picks

    V-Picks Member

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    I've got a Zendrive coming that should be here soon. I can't wait to hear these pickups thru that pedal!!!!!!!!!

    vinni
     
  12. Fuzzdawg

    Fuzzdawg Member

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    dude, i absoutely can not believe this message! WCR pickups is located in Soulsbyville?!?!?! OMG! dude, i live in modesto, and have driven to Soulsbyville at least a dozen times. i might have driven right past his place and not known it!

    since i am on a hunt for pickups i will go there and try some out, if he'll let me!
     

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