general Questions:

WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS OF OPERATION?
We are open Monday-Thursday from 10AM-6PM EST and Friday from 10AM-5PM. We’re a small shop, so if you get our answering machine, leave us a message, and we will call you back ASAP.

WHERE DO YOU SHIP?
When you purchase online, we ship worldwide. Continental U.S. shipping is $16, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska is $35, and International Shipping is $50.

WHEN WILL MY ORDER SHIP?
We make our pickups to order, one at a time, by hand in our Richmond, VA shop. Typically, for our retail customers, orders ship in 3 to 5 business days. For P-90 and humbucker pickups, it can take a little longer. One thing is for sure: we take great pride in providing a quality product at an affordable price, so we want to make sure it’s right and get it to you as fast as we possibly can.

DO YOU REWIND / REPAIR PICKUPS?
We do! Please take a look at our Rewinds and Repairs page for further information.

WHAT IF I DON’T SEE THE OPTIONS THAT I WANT?
If you don’t see what you want on the product page as an option (i.e., left-handed), there is a section for notes when you check out. Just add any special requests or options in that section. If we have questions, we will give you a call. You are always welcome to call us with special requests as well!

HOW DO I PICK A MODEL?
Once you have decided on a type of pickup, (Strat, Tele, Humbucker), think about how much power you want, and whether you need hum-canceling or single coil.

More power comes from more turns of wire on any model and gives you more midrange and fewer highs. Using less wire gives a more open, airy sound. More wire will provide you with a dirtier, darker tone. There are many video links and sound clips on the website to help you compare models.

HOW DO I TELL WHICH PICKUP IS WHICH?
We label all of our pickups with a sticker on the leads. Strat® sets have leads cut to length, and our bridge pickups have higher ohm readings than other positions.

WHAT METHODS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
If ordering on our website, we accept all major Credit Cards and PayPal.
If ordering over the phone, we accept PayPal® (Instructions Below) and Check. We don’t take credit cards over the phone.

HOW DO I PAY WITH PAYPAL®?
To pay with PayPal, follow the following instructions below:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account
  2. Click “Send” to send money
  3. Choose “Pay for Goods and Services”
  4. Send the invoice total to “[email protected]” and use the reference to either reference your name, or Invoice #.

Technical questions:

DO OHM READINGS EQUATE TO OUTPUT?
Ohm readings are just a measure of DC resistance and are not the only factor in determining the volume or tone of a pickup. The output of a pickup is more closely determined by the number of turns of wire, type of the magnetic field and other construction techniques which can vary between models. Think of it like baking a cake; if you change or omit one ingredient, it’s unlikely it will taste the same. Great, now we want a cake!

WHAT IS “OUT OF PHASE”?
The overall phase of a pickup is the combination of coil direction and magnet polarity. When the pickups are out of phase, some of the midrange is canceled, making the pickups sound weak and hollow. If you purchase pickups as a set, this won’t happen but if you are mixing pickups, it can. When mixing pickups from different vintages or manufacturers, get multi-conductor leads. An ohm meter and a steel object can be useful in determining overall polarity. Read our article on polarity here.

HOW DO YOU ORIENT THE PICKUP?
We pre-stagger the magnets so that the D string is the tallest, lead coming out on the treble side.

WHAT IS MAGNET STAGGER?
Magnet stagger refers to differing lengths of magnets that are used to make the pickup skeleton, or “Bobbin.” The stagger of a pickup is used to mimic the curvature of your fretboard for balanced volume across all strings. For example, Strat pickups have a taller D string and G string, and a lower B string. This Stagger compensates for the amount of steel per string, string heights and fretboard radius.

WHAT DOES “RADIUS” MEAN?
The term “Radius” is mostly involved with the curvature of your guitar’s fingerboard. Measuring your radius is not done from Neck to Bridge, but from Low E string to High E string (i.e., for guitars). Vintage guitars have more of a curve in their fingerboard, leading to lower radius numbers (7-1/4″). As guitars progressed, more modern guitars have a medium radius, or 9-11″. Most Fender American Standard® guitars have a Medium Radius. Flatter fingerboards have a higher number radius, like 12-14″. This would feel more “flat” in a player’s hands, as opposed to “round” like more vintage guitars. Fingerboard radius and pickups need to be in sync and optimized to give you the evenest sound and volume across all strings.

Note: If your guitar has a “Compound Radius,” that means your fingerboard gets flatter when you move past the 12th fret. You can expect a very Flat radius in the upper register and should purchase flat radius pickups to compliment it.

WHAT IS “HUM-CANCELLING”?
Single-coils often pick up magnetic interference causing a “hum.” Hum-cancelling is when two coils are wound in opposite directions and have opposite magnet polarity. An example of this is our reverse wound middle pickup in Strat® sets, or any two coil pickups.

WHAT DOES OVERWINDING A PICKUP DO?
Our “Stock” outputs are our pickups wound to our specifications where we think they “should be.” Adding more turns to the pickup, in general, makes the pickup slightly louder, with decreased highs and increased mids. Some may describe this combination as “thicker” or “fatter.” Underwinding a pickup does the opposite: the pickup will be clear, with a “scooped” midrange.

WHAT VALUE POT SHOULD I USE WITH MY PICKUPS?
In general, Fender used 250K pots and Gibson 500K. We recommend these values unless you want a brighter or darker sound. Raising the value will brighten the tone while lowering it will darken it. There is a 300k pot available when you want something in-between. The right potentiometer is the one that sounds the best to you. Read our article on Pots here.

HOW DO I ADJUST MY PICKUP HEIGHTS?
ALNICO rods pull on the strings more than other designs; for this reason, they may need to be farther away. We suggest that you bar the strings at the highest fret on the guitar and adjust the pickups 1/16th down from the strings. If you hear a false harmonic or overtone on any string lower the pickup until it goes away. At this point, it is all by ear. Check out the video on our Workbench page for more information.

IM GETTING SQUEALING/MICROPHONICS FROM THE GUITAR. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Most microphonics are caused by metal parts vibrating. We pot all of our new pickups in wax. On a Telecaster, it can be the steel bridge, or on a Strat, the baseplate that vibrates. Waxing the pickups can help.

WHAT DOES A BLENDER POT DO?
A Blender Pot will fade in the neck pickup to the bridge position and bridge pickup to the neck position. It can be used to get all of the sounds one may achieve from having two volume pots. With a Blender Pot, you can also make Telecaster-type tones with a Stratocaster, by getting Neck & Bridge together.

WHAT VALUE CAPACITOR SHOULD I USE FOR TONE?
The main caps used were .1mfd .05 and .02. We recommend that you experiment to see what suits your tastes. A Stronger cap (.1 mfd ) will do more and start rolling off highs at a lower frequency, a lower value cap (.0015 mfd ) will do less and start rolling off highs at a higher frequency. I use the cap on my guitars to make the treble strings sound thicker when soloing, I like the .0015 and call it a magic cap because it makes a Fender sound a little more like a Gibson.

8 Comments

  1. There is an option for String spacing on the product page of some pickups.
    That list only shows Fender and Gibson. It’d be much easier for customers to have a chart of known guitars and their respective string spacing, in order to more easily choose the right one for the job.

    I’m looking for the string spacing for a humbucker in a PRS S2 custom 22, semi-hollow guitar. Think you could help me there?

    1. Hey Jakob,

      I understand what you’re saying. The issue is that there are so many guitar models out there, with different bridge types, etc. The real remedy to this is to check your own string spacing. Here’s an article showing how to do it – it only takes about 1 minute!

      Tyler

  2. Hi. I have a Fender 72 Thinline Telecaster and I want to replace the stock bridge pickup with your P90 humbucker size. Any special wiring instructions I should know about? Or is it the same as wiring a single-coil bridge pickup, as explained in your wiring diagram?
    Thank you!
    Aaron

    1. Hey Aaron,

      It’s the same wiring as a single coil bridge pickup, just make sure you get 2-Conductor Lead. This will allow you to reverse the phase. If your neck pickup is a Single Coil as well, it would help to have the magnetic direction, so you have hum-cancelling in position 2. Check this article out: What’s The Deal With Pickup Polarity?

  3. Hi

    I have recently purchased a les paul with uncovered Pure PAF pickups in, I would like to cover them, would I have to have them potted before putting on the covers in order to reduce microphonic feedback?
    Kind regards

    1. Hey there,

      You might not need to pot the pickups themselves, but you should pot the insides of the covers, just to be safe. You can then use a hairdryer or heat gun to melt the wax and bond the cover to the pickup.

      Tyler

  4. Hello, I love in Oregon, but my billing address is in MN. On your website it wats “no available payment methods in your state”. What does this mean? Thanks.

    1. Hey Ben,

      We had a weird glitch on our website today that has since been fixed. If you don’t mind, please try it again.

      If something strange still persists, please email me at [email protected]. Thanks!

      Tyler

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