Surprised there isn’t more discussion about Virgil Arlo pickups on TGP.

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Tone Specific

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Make no mistake: there is no “he”, because Virgil Arlo does not exist.
To say a that a guy doesn't exist because he uses a trade name or pseudonym is not really accurate but it is an interesting conspiracy theory that helps some people pass the time.

Many artists, musicians, authors and gear makers also use pseudonyms to either add a layer of privacy or because their god-given name is unsatisfactory. The fact that he uses a trade name is common knowledge among his customers and disclosed on his web site.

This conspiracy theory was started on the forums by a competitor & the trolls have had a good time discussing it the over past several years. Everyone here gets a chuckle out of all of the chatter & Mr. Arlo has been mostly oblivious to all of it.

These conspiracy theories have been mostly beneficial & were the #1 driver of new customers prior to Mr. Arlo's retirement back in 2019. It's also driven a lot of traffic our way.

When one these forum threads blow up with fake outrage, normal/objective people passing by on the forums see the posts, go to the website, then to youtube & before you know it the inbox is blowing up with new orders.
 
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Tone Specific

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Again, I have no idea if these Arlo pickups are ghost built.
Mr. Arlo made all of his pickups at a small 15x10 workshop on his property. Towards the end of his career a member of our staff helped with building bobbins, packaging, shipping, testing and other minor tasks.

He retired from building pickups back in late 2019. After he quit making pickups, the prices on the used market really soared.

Starting in early 2021 we reached an agreement to make the Arlo reissue sets using the remaining supply of parts from his shop. We might have about 6 to 12 months worth of supply of parts to build these reissues.

These reissue sets are built using the same techniques & the same parts. They sound identical to the originals. There are slight difference in labeling and packaging to prevent confusion. The new reissues are packed in a smaller box that has a tan label with the Tone Specific logo. Also the "Tone Spec" brand is written on the back of each pickup.

Like many of you, we've been working at home these days. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to serve so many great musicians & we are humbled by the support of the guitarist community. We are in rural area outside of San Diego and everyone out here has a barn or workshop on their property. In these abnormal times, we've been able to put the extra space to good use.

Hopefully we are nearing the end of this horrible pandemic but we hope everyone out there will take good care of themselves until this nasty chapter is behind us. The virus is really spreading here in Southern California and we are grateful to be able to do something we love in the safety of our personal workshops.

Here is a video that shows parts of our pickup building process:

 
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Surfreak

Member
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2,259
To say a that a guy doesn't exist because he uses a trade name or pseudonym is not really accurate but it is an interesting conspiracy theory that helps some people pass the time.

Many artists, musicians, authors and gear makers also use pseudonyms to either add a layer of privacy or because their god-give name is unsatisfactory. The fact that he uses a trade name is common knowledge among his customers and disclosed on his web site.

This conspiracy theory was started on the forums by a competitor & the trolls have had a good time discussing it the over past several years. Everyone here gets a chuckle out of all of the chatter & Mr. Arlo has been mostly oblivious to all of it.

These conspiracy theories have been mostly beneficial & were the #1 driver of new customers prior to Mr. Arlo's retirement back in 2019. It's also driven a lot of traffic our way.

When one these forum threads blow up with fake outrage, normal/objective people passing by on the forums see the posts, go to the website, then to youtube & before you know it the inbox is blowing up with new orders.
I am not outraged by your business model, and I am not a conspiracy theorist. I simply stated that Mr Virgil Arlo does not exist. You have confirmed this, by stating that it is a pseudonym used by "someone".
 

COYS

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Make no mistake: there is no “he”, because Virgil Arlo does not exist.

I do not know where the pickups sold under the VA and TS brands are made and by whom.

Their meaningless advertising, shady occasional posts in many threads which invariably end up getting locked, non-existent company information, all give zero legitimacy to their business model.
It does beg the question of why the threads get locked. Do they user their vendor status to lean on TGP to squelch questions about the provenance of what they are selling and the shill marketing techniques?
 

shallbe

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Artists have used stage names for a long time. Real pick up winders are not artists and don’t use fake names. They just don’t.

Even the most revered boutique pickup people are known by their name and location. Like Ron Ellis, Lindy Fralin, Jason Lollar, Don Mare, JM Rolph, etc.

Only two times has the mystery man made expensive pickups with no specs from an undisclosed location. Virgil Arlo and NOW Tone Specific. Coincidence? I think not.

Suddenly, Tone Specific now has Virgils secret parts and recipes for pickups (don’t ask) and Tone Specific will now be making VA sets. Wow! Who could have imagined that?

The marketing is very interesting. I truly don’t think English is easy. Used to have lots of typos, very consistently. They have cleaned that up. Now, when they write what they consider to be good copy, they copy and paste it everywhere, verbatim. They love giveaways with lots of shill posters. In this thread is their Virgil Arlo shilling copy word for word out of the Business and Retailers forum. Down to the barn in the back of CA and the stress of COVID.

It does not matter what the pickups sound like. This is a scam that smells like a wah wah full of Vertex.

Hmmm. No person. No address. No phone number. No specs.

Great! Where do I send my money???? Nope.
 

Golem

Silver Supporting Member
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It's amazing that there are sets of pickups out there that cost more than Duncan Zephyr. The pickups wound with silver and which are cryogenically treated.
I think we don't hear about them much because even on TGP most of us aren't going to spend that much money on a set of pickups. And when someone offers sets at those kind of prices, we're going to be extremely skeptical.
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
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11,726
Here is an example of what I'm talking about from Tone Specific marketing.

Builders and Retailers Forum

Thread Title: New Pickup Sets for Telecasters


Wednesday at 8:02 AM

Virgil Arlo 1952 Tele Pickups are the secret weapon of many professional guitarists. They swear by them & most would agree that the Virgil Arlo 1952's are the best Telecaster pickups ever made. Any time one of these pros adds a new or vintage guitar to their stable of working instruments, this is the first upgrade they perform. Its pretty well known among session players, touring guitarists & recording engineers that these amazing pickups are instruments themselves & take any guitar to the next level.

If you consider yourself to be a serious guitarist or a serious connoisseur of tone, then these pickups are an absolute must. Any decent guitarist knows the circuitry of your amplifier actually starts in your guitar, precisely at the location of your pickups. Anything less than the best only subtracts from the overall dynamics, response and quality of your tone.

The winder known as "Virgil Arlo" has been responsible for crafting pickups that are considered by many to be superior to vintage pickups. They are an irreplaceable part of so many elite musicians signal chain. When Mr. Arlo retired from winding pickups back in 2019, it left a huge void in the industry. Prices for used sets of his Tele skyrocketed to almost $2,000.


Thread Title: New Pickup Sets for Strat

Tuesday at 4:34 PM

Virgil Arlo 1954 Strat Replacement Pickups are the secret weapon of many professional guitarists. They swear by them & most would agree that the Virgil Arlo 1954's are the best Stratocaster Replacement pickups ever made. Any time one of these pros adds a new or vintage guitar to their stable of working instruments, this is the first upgrade they perform. Its pretty well known among session players, touring guitarists & recording engineers that these amazing pickups are instruments themselves & take any guitar to the next level.

If you consider yourself to be a serious guitarist or a serious connoisseur of tone, then these pickups are an absolute must. Any decent guitarist knows the circuitry of your amplifier actually starts in your guitar, precisely at the location of your pickups. Anything less than the best only subtracts from the overall dynamics, response and quality of your tone.

The winder known as "Virgil Arlo" has been responsible for crafting pickups that are considered by many to be superior to vintage pickups. They are an irreplaceable part of so many elite musicians signal chain. When Mr. Arlo retired from winding pickups back in 2019, it left a huge void in the industry. Prices for used sets of his Strat skyrocketed over $2,000.



You would think, for pickups SO special and expensive, they could come up with separate and informative descriptions for each type pickup. BTW, this happens all the time with Tone Specific threads in the Builders and Retailers Forum. One message, cut and paste in different threads for separate pickups. Just change the title.

Just in case you missed the "information" in each description:

secret weapon of many professional guitarists
best Stratocaster Replacement pickups ever made
best Telecaster Replacement pickups ever made
this is the first upgrade they perform
serious guitarist or a serious connoisseur of tone, then these pickups are an absolute must
crafting pickups that are considered by many to be superior to vintage pickups


The feeling I get is I have no secret weapon and I'm never going to be serious.
 

COYS

Member
Messages
5,758
Even the most revered boutique pickup people are known by their name and location. Like Ron Ellis, Lindy Fralin, Jason Lollar, Don Mare, JM Rolph, etc.

...smells like a wah wah full of Vertex.
Right. They have a physical location that a person can visit and see. You can in many cases call and talk to those very people whose names are on the pickups. You could show up there and see pickups being made. Flatwork being cut. Etc. They could show you video of the shop and whole production process. These would be easy things to chronicle.

A video containing short, stock shots of a winding machine and a nameless/faceless pair of hands does not demonstrate anything. Why would a winder want to hide their face and conceal their identity? Why the shill marketing? Why the cageyness about whether TS and "Virgil Arlo" were the same outfit in the past or whether "he" was even a real person? If this isn't a Vertex situation, I mean.
 

xmd5a

Member
Messages
2,422
It's amazing that there are sets of pickups out there that cost more than Duncan Zephyr. The pickups wound with silver and which are cryogenically treated.
I think we don't hear about them much because even on TGP most of us aren't going to spend that much money on a set of pickups. And when someone offers sets at those kind of prices, we're going to be extremely skeptical.
Someone at SD knew we were a gullible lot, but took it a cryo treatment too far.
 
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