Virgil Arlo/Tone Specific//who’s really makin them??

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im pretty much sick of the bait & switch-name-games-who’s -who / of these two pickup brand. Is there any difference between these 2 strat pickup brand& who in the H*ll is making them??
 

chipss36

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I find is facanating so many are going nuts about who is, what is, VA .....and TS.
Do you do the same with Gibson and epiphone?
Or fender and squire?

Why do you care exactly?

The level of bashing VA is silly.
Have you ever used the pick ups?

VA pickups are simply outstanding, I only care what comes out of the speakers.

Yep they cost a bunch, and it is a wait to get them, just like tom Holmes are.

I run VA in both my L.P. and my strat, both will stay...
And I have a drawer full of very nice pickups to choose from.
 

Gookiecrunch

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I find is facanating so many are going nuts about who is, what is, VA .....and TS.
Do you do the same with Gibson and epiphone?
Or fender and squire?

Why do you care exactly?

The level of bashing VA is silly.
Have you ever used the pick ups?

VA pickups are simply outstanding, I only care what comes out of the speakers.

Yep they cost a bunch, and it is a wait to get them, just like tom Holmes are.

I run VA in both my L.P. and my strat, both will stay...
And I have a drawer full of very nice pickups to choose from.
In all fairness.. xotic had a live Facebook thing going last night.... I asked Allen Hinds (who was the guest) about the arlos....

Tone specific are made by "arlo" they're a cheaper version and Allen said he didnt like them. They wanted to make a custom set for Allen and he didnt like the ones they made for them. He said he could never tell if arlo was a real person or not and was always referred to as "mr arlo" my thoughts before were tone specific were under the tutelage of "mr arlo"... cheaper parts blah blah. But a different company... now I'm not so sure.

I have 2 sets of the arlo strat pickups. I love the response and tone..ish... I want more punch though. So my search may continue depending if my new speaker delivers that punch for me or not.

I love the pickups but I also haven't tried a whole lot of builders so very little to compare to. (Played plenty of fender pickups though)
 

D-$

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The Arlo’s are simply amazing pickups. I tried just about everything in my Maple Neck Strat and these were far and away the most complex soundin of the bunch. Really sweet and articulate and dynamic with the max amount of punch expected from a Strat pup.

I also got the Tone Specific 59 Blues pups in my rosewood neck strat. They replaced the Ron Ellis 50/60 set. They are great for blues and are great with rosewood neck. They sound different than the Arlo’s but equally as good, the Tone Specific pickup have a little more in the mids and maybe a little more bite.

Not sure why everyone gets distracted by who made who, if it sounds good then it is good. Pickups from both these guys are the best I tried. I got a drawer full of expensive pickups from other winders that came up short.

It’s interesting that a lot of the negativity on other forums about Tone Specific and Virgil Arlo come from their competitors or guys that have never tried them. They did a good job of creating some fake outrage.

If you can’t beat’em, then all you can do is bash them.
 

Craig Thomas

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...I have 2 sets of the arlo strat pickups. I love the response and tone..ish... I want more punch though...
Try some thicker strings before swapping speakers. Thicker strings will give you more punch. Use roundwound nickle strings you won’t be adding very much if any additional string tension when you increase one gauge size. Strings is the easiest mod. DR Blues is a good roundwound nickle set.

Raising the pickups is another idea. This might give more punch and attack. I have the Arlo Strat’s and I’m always amazed at the dynamic range, when I play soft its really full sounding and when a dig in there is plenty of punch and bite without any hint being shrill. The range you get by moving your volume and one knobs is unlike anything else, they are the best pickups I’ve tried. I had the Ron Ellis 59 strat pickups before. The were pretty good but I’m not looking back.

If all else fails try a punchier speaker & if that don’t work maybe you need a humbucker in your Strat.
 

Gookiecrunch

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Try some thicker strings before swapping speakers. Thicker strings will give you more punch. Use roundwound nickle strings you won’t be adding very much if any additional string tension when you increase one gauge size. Strings is the easiest mod. DR Blues is a good roundwound nickle set.

Raising the pickups is another idea. This might give more punch and attack. I have the Arlo Strat’s and I’m always amazed at the dynamic range, when I play soft its really full sounding and when a dig in there is plenty of punch and bite without any hint being shrill. The range you get by moving your volume and one knobs is unlike anything else, they are the best pickups I’ve tried. I had the Ron Ellis 59 strat pickups before. The were pretty good but I’m not looking back.

If all else fails try a punchier speaker & if that don’t work maybe you need a humbucker in your Strat.
Actually I have some 11's 9n the way from curt mangan, and one other thing has made a big improvement... I had ordered a callaham bridge block and saddles long ago...read this and that blah blah these are the best blah blah... well turns out I like the bridge plate and the block... but the saddles... those were way too bright and actually caused most of the plinkiness when I struck the higher strings hard. They thinned out the tone too much. So I put the American standard saddles on the callaham bridge and block. The tone filled out and the plinkiness reduced quite a bit! Now I have highwood saddles on order. (I would order vintage fender saddles but the spacing is too wide for my liking). The highwood saddles sound like they may fill the tone just a bit more but we'll see in a few days.

So the combo of the saddles and new string gauge might work... provided my hands dont suffer too much. (I have arthritis otherwise I'd have switched to 11's a long time ago)
 

Craig Thomas

Member
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...VA pickups are simply outstanding, I only care what comes out of the speakers.

Yep they cost a bunch, and it is a wait to get them, just like tom Holmes are.

I run VA in both my L.P. and my strat, both will stay...
And I have a drawer full of very nice pickups to choose from.
Your experience is probably pretty common, its the reason you see Virgil Arlo & Tone Specific getting bashed. Always the same two or three guys doing the bashing, they search the forums everyday looking for someone talking about VA or TS. Anyone saying good things gets brutally ripped into submission.

I’ve never heard anything better than the Arlo’s & I’ve tried a lot of very good pickups. There probably are not a lot of customers in the high end pickup market so competition is fierce. It looks like a lot of winders advertise on these forums so I guess it shouldn’t be a shock to see the bashing here.

The Arlo bashing on the forums will continue as long as all these pro players keep switching to the VA’s and raving about them on Youtube and Facebook.
 

Vic Wilder

Red Circle Guitars - Vic Wilder
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@Gookiecrunch I do not believe Alan Hind said those things unkind things about Tone Specific. It just isn't true that they are using cheaper components because magnets and bobbins and copper wire are all pretty much cheap to buy, and his magnets are very specific, it's the winding experience that matters. Kind of why a single screw for a bone repair costs $12.50 but $5k to insert it. If you've ever tried a set of Tone Specific pickups you'd think differently about your position.
 

Mpcoluv

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Why are you necroing a nearly year old thread? Tone specific/Virgil Arlo’s secrecy lead to lots of negative threads and suspicion
Of scam activity.
 

Gookiecrunch

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@Gookiecrunch I do not believe Alan Hind said those things unkind things about Tone Specific. It just isn't true that they are using cheaper components because magnets and bobbins and copper wire are all pretty much cheap to buy, and his magnets are very specific, it's the winding experience that matters. Kind of why a single screw for a bone repair costs $12.50 but $5k to insert it. If you've ever tried a set of Tone Specific pickups you'd think differently about your position.
Meh go watch the video. I didn't make up his response. I love my arlos and have no need to try the tone specific's. I don't care if arlo makes them or not. Its not my field of work.
 

Vic Wilder

Red Circle Guitars - Vic Wilder
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Meh go watch the video. I didn't make up his response. I love my arlos and have no need to try the tone specific's. I don't care if arlo makes them or not. Its not my field of work.
I now know the context of your post @Gookiecrunch. Apologies. I should have done a little research first.

Tony Pacific from Tone Specific is a truly amazing fellow and really makes some great pickups too. Sorry for the misunderstanding on my part.
 

sickboy79

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I just checked out the website again to see how much they are. I remember them being expensive but, couldn't remember. Tele, Strat, and PAF all say Sold Out. I went and priced them on Reverb and HOLY COW are people marking them up! YIKES!!!
 

Joe Perry

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I just checked out the website again to see how much they are. I remember them being expensive but, couldn't remember. Tele, Strat, and PAF all say Sold Out. I went and priced them on Reverb and HOLY COW are people marking them up! YIKES!!!
Wow, I thought $499 new was a lot, especially with the uncertainty of who makes them but that's more than Ron Ellis' going for used.
 

Vic Wilder

Red Circle Guitars - Vic Wilder
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I
Wow, I thought $499 new was a lot, especially with the uncertainty of who makes them but that's more than Ron Ellis' going for used.
am not sure why people are so worried about who makes them. Maybe Virgil is a guy who likes his privacy. Many great writers write under a pseudonym doesn't mean their work is any less significant.
 

Joe Perry

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I

am not sure why people are so worried about who makes them. Maybe Virgil is a guy who likes his privacy. Many great writers write under a pseudonym doesn't mean their work is any less significant.
Everyone is different but *I*feel when I'm spending my money on a small boutique builder for a speciality item I want to be well informed going in. I work in manufacturing and I put certain values on builders that are upfront about their manufacturing. Wether it's a guitar builder like Suhr or Tuttle that make their own necks and bodies or pickup makers like Throbak. They are transparent with what they do.

I've had several early Nash's when you could order direct. He was always upfront with using aftermarket parts and I was fine with that at their price point early on. Now that they have dealers, at 2k I'll pick a Suhr Pro all day.

With the VA pickups everything is vague. If he is a real person making them, myself and others want to know for sure before plunking down $500. We don't want to find out after the fact that it's some guy who imports them from overseas, like a Tonerider pickup, and slaps a sticker on them. I don't care how great they are. That is not worth $500 to me.

I haven't investigated like some have here with ip addresses and such but the red flag for me was them popping up as ads on Youtube.
 

Gookiecrunch

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Everyone is different but *I*feel when I'm spending my money on a small boutique builder for a speciality item I want to be well informed going in. I work in manufacturing and I put certain values on builders that are upfront about their manufacturing. Wether it's a guitar builder like Suhr or Tuttle that make their own necks and bodies or pickup makers like Throbak. They are transparent with what they do.

I've had several early Nash's when you could order direct. He was always upfront with using aftermarket parts and I was fine with that at their price point early on. Now that they have dealers, at 2k I'll pick a Suhr Pro all day.

With the VA pickups everything is vague. If he is a real person making them, myself and others want to know for sure before plunking down $500. We don't want to find out after the fact that it's some guy who imports them from overseas, like a Tonerider pickup, and slaps a sticker on them. I don't care how great they are. That is not worth $500 to me.

I haven't investigated like some have here with ip addresses and such but the red flag for me was them popping up as ads on Youtube.
You all should check out my customer service story about these pickups... i don't care if arlo is a real person or not.. with customer service like this how can you go wrong. They want anyone who gets them to be incredibly satisfied with what they received. Barre none. (See what i did there haha) what other pickup or gear maker would do that? Sometimes the $ towards a product pays for much more than said product. Easily one of the best gear purchases i've ever made!!
 

Joe Perry

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You all should check out my customer service story about these pickups... i don't care if arlo is a real person or not.. with customer service like this how can you go wrong. They want anyone who gets them to be incredibly satisfied with what they received. Barre none. (See what i did there haha) what other pickup or gear maker would do that? Sometimes the $ towards a product pays for much more than said product. Easily one of the best gear purchases i've ever made!!
Is there a thread here? Link? I couldn't find it.
 

Vic Wilder

Red Circle Guitars - Vic Wilder
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I can personally attest that Virgil Arlo Pickups are made here in the USA by a very private man who has sold thousands over the years to very very happy customers. There are lots of videos out there and huge artists who swear by them.
 
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