What does everyone think of the Bill Lawrence L-290TL?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Deville2Rocket, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Deville2Rocket

    Deville2Rocket Member

    Messages:
    1,112
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    I really like the tonal character of the BL 290 series pickup I bought a few years ago, but I was careless with its installation and it went microphonic. I was new to installing pickups, and don't think it would be fair to lay the blame on BL. It was most probably my fault.

    I never really noticed it until recently. Lately, I've incorporated higher gain tones into my sound, and it'll howl at performance volume if I use the bridge pup. I tried potting the pickup, and followed all the instructions to the letter (leaving it in for over 20 min, shaking the bubbles out, all that), but only got it marginally better. The neck pup is dead quiet. But if I use the two together, either in series or parallel, the guitar howls.

    Anyone have any experience with these vs. another brand in a similar pricerange ($50-60)?
     
  2. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

    Messages:
    6,312
    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    mpls
    What bridge are you using? Traditional or modern?
     
  3. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

    Messages:
    6,280
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Sorry to say that this is a known issue with the BL tele bridge. Mine also howls with medium to hi gain.

    BL recommends (which is his way of saying "it'll howl with anything else but"...) a "non-ferrous" bridge for use with his bridge pickup. Of course he doesn't mention that in the product description.

    So who makes a non ferrous (no iron, steel or nickel plated steel) bridge? I think there's ONE boutique outfit that makes one for like $200.

    I have been a big supporter of BL pickups. I think his L-200 strat pickups are as good or better as any of the other pricier options. I also love the tone of my BL tele. But the bridge pickup squeal is a deal breaker. I will be selling the BL tele set and getting the dimarzio area tele pickups. It just cheaper and easier than an expensive hard to find non-ferrous bridge.
     
  4. Deville2Rocket

    Deville2Rocket Member

    Messages:
    1,112
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    Thanks for the responses, you guys.

    Wow, you're saying my initial hunch about the bridge was correct?

    It's a standard Fender tele MIJ 69 RI bridge. I have anchored it down to the body with additional screws, put electrical tape under it, and a couple of other things that'd make a luthier cringe... but the howl remains.

    Do I need to go through Glendale or Callaham to find a suitable sub, or will Wilkinson suffice? What type of non-ferrous metal should I be looking for?

    Or should I just swap out the pickup?
     
  5. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

    Messages:
    6,280
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ
    The wilkinson is nickel plated steel I believe - no good.

    You want solid stainless steel or Brass and possibly aluminum. Glendale offers a SS bridge for $125. Apparently the non-ferrous bridge will alter the tone somewhat.

    IMO its just easier and cheaper to get quality noiseless pickups that don't squeal with a steel bridge plate. The Dimarzios are known to have no squeal issues, they sound good and are almost as cheap as the BL's.
     
  6. orogeny

    orogeny Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,237
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Yardville, NJ
    some of you know i play a lot of music with fr8_trane. let me tell you. . . . i am also a huge fan of the strat pickups. i got them for my numba two strat. they are the best i've heard since my stock mij strat pickups that are over 20 years old. the tele issue has been quite the bear. the neck pickup is great. the bridge pickup basically shouldn't be made. . . . unless it comes with a new bridge (and there's really no telling if that will work. . . nothing else has). it is NOT noticable all the time. . . . just when you turn up!!!!!!!!!! . . . which can be quite often. . . peace y'all. for the record, AFAIC. . . . this is their only swingandamiss on a product.
     
  7. Deville2Rocket

    Deville2Rocket Member

    Messages:
    1,112
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    OK, well at least I didn't screw up the pickup.
    I can't tell you how disappointed I was. I potted it myself following all the steps, and was so proud of myself. I put the pup back in, and SQUEAL! Gah!!!

    I emailed Dale at Glendale a few months ago (prior to the potting episode), and he responded right away. I asked about my problem, and he recommended potting the pup before I spent the dough on one of his bridges. THAT's customer service. He sold me right there. It certainly isn't the cheapest option, but those bridges look freakin' sweet. Me Likey!
     

Share This Page