Which elements make a great guitar pickup?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Kmaz, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. songtalk

    songtalk Member

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    I was joining the chorus of you, not targeting you. Sorry that was probably dumb to quote you and then rebut someone else. :blush:
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  2. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    I did indulge him in a PM.

    In no way have I ever said anything bad about Bill. His legacy is his work and designs. IMO Becky is the one tarnishing his reputation and legacy. If she truly believes BL USA pickups are made in China, she should contact the Federal Trade Commission, or U.S Customs to report the fraud. Here's the link, be my guest:
    https://eallegations.cbp.gov/Home/Index2
    Be warned, though, that false reporting is a crime.
     
  3. songtalk

    songtalk Member

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    I don't think Becky is smearing them in any way other than explaining what happened historically to people.

    I don't think a business that did shady things and still uses a dead genius's name needs protection. They need to fix their wrong doings and change that name to "eli wacjman pickups: based on bill lawrence design from 30 years ago" and see how well he fairs being honest. He might do fine! And he'd be doing it gracefully!

    The mom and pop business that is carrying on in the way the artist originally intended has my support.

    As for the made in China thing, Becky didn't say that but I have read it elsewhere. It is sort of beside the point though. Plenty of good stuff comes out of China.
     
  4. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    The more I learn about them the more complex they seem to be.
    Making one that works from existing parts is easy, but the design and manipulation the various factors to hit a planned performance target and knowing the how and whys of the pups operation in that context is deep stuff.

    And I still contend that there is nothing that you can do to a (existing) guitar that changes its sound more than a pup change.
     
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  5. Dave Weir

    Dave Weir Gold Supporting Member

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    The way I read this, Wajcman applied to copy right the name Bill Lawrence. In the filing, he claimed "Bill Lawrence" was not a real person's name. USPTO rejected the application, because Bill Lawrence is a real person, well known in the industry, and the use of that name could confuse people. So I guess I can't copyright the name Ron Kirn. Dang




    [​IMG]


    The trademark application identified below was abandoned because Applicant's letter of express abandonment was received on Jan 14, 2009.


    SERIAL NUMBER: 76594437
    MARK: BILL LAWRENCE
    OWNER: Wajcman, Jzchak N.

    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn76594437&docId=SUL20070824155924#docIndex=10&page=1
     
  6. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    So... what would you call it when Becky posts to her Facebook that BL USA's pickups are "Crap made in China"?


    She absolutely DID say that. She's the reason people think it's true.
     
  7. duaneflowers

    duaneflowers Member

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    Don't forget the Uo... Unobtanium... ;)
     
  8. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    Willi Lorenz Stich pickups are the best!

    Leo Fender wasnt allowed to use his name either...and thats not even a fake stage name!
     
  9. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    What Becky actually said, and what the intended "message" was to be, could be a simple case of misinterpretation.. Unless the source has been contacted and interviewed, all "you" have is conjecture. This is the problem with "news" today. Reporters just read something, take it as "gospel" and go with the story, gone are the days of sourcing, verifying, and reverifying... to be certain . . you don't want to commit a foible similar to that of Dan Rather...remember him?

    I often say one thing, and find it interpreted as something quite different.

    So without knowing the whole story, the use of the word "lie" is a bit strong... it IS entirely possible that Wajcman's parts ARE manufactured in China or the raw materials sourced therefrom and assembled in the US... happens every day...with a broad range of products... That alone does NOT make Wajcman a creep or someone a jerk for exposing that. It's simply the way things happen today. And there can be a lot of room for misunderstanding and/or inaccuracies in reporting either... specially by amateur reporters.

    If the contention is between something Becky said vs that Wajcman said.. I'll give any benefit of the doubt to Becky any day unless proved completely and thoroughly to the contrary. That's not gonna happen in a Forum...

    If I find a Chinese switch in my 6000.00 Audio Research Corp Preamp.. made in, as they claim, Plymouth Minnesota, are they less than forthright? Should they supply a parts list with the origin of each and every part, then further expand it to declare the origin of the raw materials used to make that part? How absurd do ya wanna get?

    I do recall Bill going on about pup makers using magnets made in China, then the makers showing quaint photos of the pickups being made in the USA and claiming such.. Consider, The most oft used Formvar coated copper is manufactured in Germany.. supposedly, but it's entirely possible Elektrisola has it made in Asia or some other country, somewhere...

    And for those that just thought, "Well Germany, German engineering, ya know.." well as a BMW driver for the past 40 years, I'd tend to agree, but the simple truth is, China is capable of some remarkable engineering too ... Global Market/Economy. etc.. ya know.. Ya cannot put a satellite in orbit with the quality of tools ya bought at Harbor Freight...

    I would be surprised if the raw Forbon, or other substrates used for the bobbins, actually originated in the US.. but if some guy has a Laser CNC and is cranking out the bobbins located in Boise, is he dishonest for stating they are Made in the USA if the forbon was pressed in Beijing? How 'bout the Paraffin? think that's being made by Berkshire/Hathaway Paraffin Works LLC, located in Warren Buffett's Garage? It's probably coming from some skanky pot in Ensenada.

    The reality is Heavy industrial manufacturing IS and has been moving to Asia for decades. We simply no longer know where the parts used to make whatever we buy originated... and a sticker saying "Made in USA" quite simply can mean many things relating to creating the doo-dad in question...

    But the real question is, what's the purpose of your contention? Has Becky Harmed you in some way? If you don't like her, based on your interpretation of anything she may have written, that says far more about you than her... Nothing said is going to change the stunning sonic qualities of her pickups... even if she WAS a royally nasty piece of work,, the pickups are stunning. But even if she WAS that piece of work... that aura is completely occluded by the machinations of Wajcman. That guy IS a piece of work.. Simple truth is, and a point I have argued extensively, If "you" prefer the sounds of BL USA pups overt that of Wilde pickups, then the previous is the obvious choice for you... go get ya a set..

    People get me wrong every day.. it would be easy to hate 'em... I do not... I simply recognize, they do not know me, they have no idea if I was chuckling, or pissed as I wrote something, and since they do not have access to the full context, the probability, the intelligent probability, is they just misunderstood me... Jeez.. I've been guilty of the same... even above in this very thread...

    rk
     
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  10. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Member

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    Agree, and I'll add/clarify a few things to "underappreciated": Polepiece length, alloy; type of insulation used on the wire. You'd be effing amazed what differences those things make, but everyone has a boner for DCR readings.

    To the OP's question: That it sounds good in the guitar you put it in. Period. A pickup that sounds like the voice of god in one guitar can sound like the voice of dog's rear end in another, you have to match the pickup to the guitar.
     
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  11. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    I saw the post with my very own eyes. As I stated in my PM, I regret not doing a screenshot. It clearly stated as a fact that BL USA pickups were made in china and that the shipping document proved it. The fact that the post was pulled down tells me that it might not have been true, or legally prudent to leave up. If you're such good friends, call her and ask, "did you post on Facebook that the BL USA pickups were made in China and shipped here? Did you post a picture of a shipping document and claim it was proof of that?"

    There are guidelines for what can be labeled "Made in USA". I would expect most magnets to be made offshore. You can absolutely have all your components made offshore but then your label must read "assembled in the USA". I'll say it again, If Becky knows the BL USA pickups are in violation of US FEDERAL law, the link to report that is in my post above. You would think that she would be practically salivating at the chance to put the hurt on BL USA that way.

    It makes my life more difficult anytime there is misinformation in the marketplace.
    She's "muddied the waters", so to speak, to the point where there is a great deal of consumer confusion about the companies and their products. As you have seen in this thread, we can't have a simple fact based conversation about the respective maker's products without people calling me a troll and escalating it to what you've seen.

    Answer this: Just when exactly did the Bill Lawrence XL500 turn into "crap"?

    Was it in 1984? Earlier? Later? There is no shortage of Bill and Becky cult followers who definitively call them "crap" if it was made by BL USA EVEN if Bill was possibly the one that wound it!. You've seen it in this thread. Was Bill's original design always crap? Did it magically turn to crap when Bill walked out of the building the last time in the early 80s. ...or did they turn to "crap" when Becky started throwing shade?
    That was my original point in this thread. It's the same damn pickup it has always been. Either look at it as a great design made by a legend, or not. The fact that Bill wanted to make that design again tells me that it was a great pickup.

    I have several sets both vintage and new. They are fine sounding pickups that solve certain problems. (where else are you going to find an affordable humbucking 8 string steel guitar pickup?)
    I do have a Wilde XL500 that was dead on arrival. No idea how it sounds.
     
  12. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    Man, sorry... Life must be hell....
     
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  13. xmd5a

    xmd5a Member

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    How does the pole piece do that, exactly?
     
  14. xmd5a

    xmd5a Member

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    I hazard that if it weren't for the relative fame of "Bill Lawrence", or Lace's endorsement from Clapton, Fender and others who featured the Lace Sensors, "Bill Lawrence" and Don Lace's crazy, non-vintage correct designs might never have been accepted by the guitar community.
     
  15. bismark

    bismark Member

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    I would add in a little Mo and a tinge of Jo for that indescribable properties some people called juju.
     
  16. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    How many times did you have to explain the differences between old formula nitro lacquer, modern lacquer, and polyurethane to misinformed customers before you decided you needed to write an explanation on your website? Your whole "Details" section is a manifesto that attempts to answer several misconceptions held by many players about guitar construction.
     
  17. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Member

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    My understanding from people who've been in the industry a long time was that Bill Lawrence was a company name, and later someone associated changed his name to Bill Lawrence. Like if Donald Fagen changed his name to Steely Dan.
     
  18. xmd5a

    xmd5a Member

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    His real name was Willi Lorenz Stich, apparently.
     
  19. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    He went by the name Bill Lawrence by the early 60's, before he started making pickups.
     
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  20. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    Plenty... however that is to clarify the difference and counter the lack of full disclosure by the manufacturers using “new stuff” and eluding that it’s the same as the “old stuff”..

    That’s not a subjective call.. it IS either the original formulations or it’s not….

    regarding the pickups.. You don’t know the full battery of circumstances surrounding anything regarding where pickups or the parts making up the pickups were made..

    You have presented one item, out of contest and declare it as definitive evidence of your contention.

    In any responsible new gathering organization the editor would tell ya, “Get a second valid source, then verify it.”

    In a court room, the defense would object, and be upheld…

    Further you don’t know the full content of what Becky may, or may not have in her possession documenting your contention…

    all you apparently have is one exhibit… and no “cross examination…”

    Now you could ask, why doesn’t Becky join the fray…. you can bet she’s aware of the dialogue..

    Reason.. You have you mind made up… no amount of anything will sway you from that fixation… so why even try. She doesn’t need a defense, her reputation makes it unnecessary..

    Any presentation will be met with a counter, in an argumentative fashion.

    So…, lets agree to disagree… you can refuse to use Becky’s’ pickups and I’ll agree to continue to do so…

    Was it Churchill that said something to the effect, “One of the talents defining a skilled conversationalist, is knowing when to bow out.”?


    rk
     

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