Stephans Design Pickups

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by sashjo, Aug 22, 2005.


  1. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    i just wanted to throw out some thoughts on Dave Stephans pickups.
    recently Saul Koll built a custom tele for me. (kollguitars.com)
    it's a beautiful instrument. you can see it at this thread
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=95340&perpage=15&pagenumber=2

    i had Saul put what Dave Stephans calls his Ice-House Supercaster pickup in my bridge. what an amazing sounding pickup.
    loads of tele teeth and grind and all this really beautiful chime on the top end.
    they pick up the sound of my guitar wood really well. i also couldn't believe the low end thump i was getting out of my amp with the Ice-House Supercaster. all the classic tele snap and twang but with a big bodied vibe. perfect to my ears. listen to his clips. you might as well be playing your beat up 50's or 60's fender.

    his pickups start off deep in the vintage sound. i could nail albert collins, keith richards, country pickin, jingle jangle, killin overdrive sounds, it's all there.
    the cool thing about Dave Stephans is he also isn't hung up or shall we say held back by the idea of breaking some of the classic rules. using different materials, magnet variations/wire variations/different plates etc. he takes his pickups a little further than the trad thing. i've played a lot of new custom pickups that are being produced these days. Lollar, Harmonic Design, Fralin's. This is like the golden age for the electric guitar. anyway, all those guys build great stuff. really great stuff. Stephans Designs pickups are right up there with the best of them.
    he'll wind your pickup to suit your needs, he's got all kinds of ideas, some not so orthodox. i just love how musical this Supercaster sounds.

    i also installed one of his Mojo Strat models in the middle position. it sounds great. i went for a kind of nashville tele but with a whammy and a couple of other mods. the Mojo"s are big, bright and don't ever sound harsh. together with the Supercaster it's tone for days.

    i love these pickups. it's a small company. everything is done by hand. to my ears there's no doubt that if you're looking for one of the best fender strat or tele tones check this dude out. my guitar makes me happy every time i pick it up.
    he also builds all kinds of P- 90, Humbucker, and archtop guitar pickups. he is one of the guys. check him out.

    http://www.sdpickups.com/
     
  2. Bonedance

    Bonedance Member

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    Nice review! I agree 100% about Dave and his pickups. Great guy...great product. His Kay Bars are wonderful pickups. Everything he winds are good. Nice geetar by the way!
     
  3. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    bonedance,

    what's do the kaybar's sound like? are they pretty "airy" or "open"? (meaning a little bit closer to fender) or are they more midrange aka the classic p-90 feel?
    thanks
    jc
     
  4. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    i'm glad i found another fan of dave's pickups. his stuff needs to heard to be believed. i'm trying to spread the word. he deserves it.
    thanks dude
    jc
     
  5. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    If I was his marketing consultant I'd .. change his Pick ups names / Website name .. because SD Pick ups well I don't know .. I eh tend to think of SD ...
     
  6. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    there is that slight confusion with those other guys.
     
  7. fatback

    fatback Member

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    lost in the fog...
    How noisy are they?
     
  8. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    they are remarkably quiet for single coils, especially in comparison to others i've played.
    i don't no exactly why.
    one of the sound men i work with commented on how little noise the guitar was making on stage.
    in the single coil world some noise can't be avoided. but then there's that sound we love.
     
  9. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    I was reading Stephans website and he made an interesting statement.
    Impedance doesn't have to correlate to how powerful/hot a pick up is.
    I wonder .. what the impedance is on your pick ups and if perhaps using less windings can help create less noise?
     
  10. Bonedance

    Bonedance Member

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    Like a great old P-90, but much more detailed, open and quiet! Like Lollars wonderful P-90's, these are very responsive to the guitars volume and tone knob. They are pretty hot, but still ahve a lot of clarity.
     

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