Dear Bill and Becky, I recently bought and installed a set of 280's
for a MIM Strat as I was not pleased with the stock pickups at all
I just want to tell you that this $300 plack of wood sounds like a
guitar worth four time the price! I'm totally amazed at the tones
I can coax out of this guitar. You guys are the best. Rock On!!!!!!!
Hi Becky, Re: our chat earlier today. I just put the paypal payment
through for the L90s for my daughter, Lena, who will be leaving
for Canada in early May. As a going away present, I was going to
put a pair of L600s in her guitar last night, but when she heard
the old L90XL in one of my guitars, she said that the L90 had
the sound that she loves. So I said, I'd ring you to see if it was
possible to get a pair of L90s quickly so that I can install them
before she leaves. Thank you, Becky, for accommodating our tight
schedule! I had already told her that the L90s were legendary
and had not been made since the 70s and that many guitarists
from that era had recorded using them. None of that seemed to
impress her. But when she heard them last night, she was
amazed ( -: I mentioned that they should be cream colored, but
I forgot to confirm with you that they would be splittable. She
already has series/parallel wiring in her guitar and splittable
L90s would be perfect replacements.
Your description of the L90s as a cross between a P90 and a
humbucker makes a lot of sense to me. I had described it to
friends as a P90-ish sounding humbucker. I only own the one
old L90XL that I recently bought 2nd hand (it's a bit dirty and
rusty - even after a good cleaning), but it is hands down my
favorite bridge pickup. Somehow Bill has designed a pickup
capable of warmth and clarity, with a lot of headroom, capable
of great snarl and creamy distortion, very sensitive to pinch
harmonics, sounds beautiful clean and with any amount of gain,
too. It's simply perfect!
For years I have been considering trying some BL pickups in my
Newburgh Steinberger GM5 (S/H). The stock EMGs sound
immaculate in it, and I really love their clarity, but they are a bit
too hot for my taste. So, finally, I have decided to replace them
with BLs, and I'm considering an L500 4.8H (which I have) for the
bridge and an L45 for the neck (slanted). I think that this
combination of pickups will remain faithful to the concept of
Steinberger tone, which is full range clarity and power, but with
a bit less heat than the EMGs. Does my selection make sense to
you, Becky? If so, can you tell me when those new L45s will be
available? Unless, you think the L45 would not suit this guitar
and concept, I would buy one as soon as they become available!!!
As usual, it was a pleasure to chat with you today, Becky.
Thanks to you and Bill for making me sound excellent, even if
my playing isn't quite in that category yet ( -;
All the best, Marc
Thanks! BTW your word of mouth advertising does work. I
approached an electronics technician I work with about installing
some new Fender pickups, and he heartily recommended you guys
Hi Bill & Becky, After explaining to Becky the sort of tones I was
after she recommended the L-280TN and L-290TL for my G&L
ASAT. I want to tell you guys, these are great pickups. The
L-290TL has all the twang and definition you could ask for, yet
the low end is solid and it's not at all harsh on top. Works great
with OD pedals too. The L-280TN sounds somewhat Strat-like to
me, a little scooped with plenty of chime and jangle. Nice low
end, never muddy. What a versatile guitar I have now. And it's
noiseless. Amazing. Thanks to you, Becky, for your
recommendations and professional service, and kudos to you,
Bill, for designing and building some very fine pickups right here
in the U.S.A. for a very reasonable price. Sincerely, Dave
Hi, I just finished installing the pickup that you sent me and I am
very much pleased with the way that it sounds. I've never played
any guitar in my life that had a neck pickup that sounds as good
as the one that I just put in my guitar, ever! Now that I have the
complete set (bridge and neck L500XL), it has the fullest sound
I've ever heard. Absolutely incredible. The pickups sound great
both clean or with gain. If I ever need any pickups for another
guitar, I won't hesitate to order more from you. Thanks for taking
the time to built these wonderful sounding pieces of equipment.
Becky, I received the pickups on Tuesday and they are fantastic.
I installed them last night. The L-200 are absolutely dead quiet
unbelievable. The L-90 sounds fantastic, nice crunch, distorts well. I cannot comprehend how you guys do it. The price I paid for 3 pickups is close to some on the larger manufacturers one pickup price. Once again thank you very much.
Becky, FYI, I went back to the original Esquire wiring with the
290 TLE and I can't keep my hands off of this guitar! The
noiseless pickup is wild! I can turn my rig all the way up, and not
hear any noise at all until I stroke the strings (not that I do that).
The pickup is beautiful! It is so clear and pretty when played clean
and it feeds a dirty sound from my amp just as well. Again,
words can't express how happy I am with this pickup as well as
the Keystones for Telecasters. Steve
Dear Becky I hope you are well. I just wanted you to confirm my
order for 3 L-280S pick ups. I left my order via website & paid via
Paypal $168.50 including shipping cost to Japan. Please confirm
my order. PS: I just received L290TL-E, 280TN & 290TL. Thank
you so much! It sounds amazing. Clear & Fat & Warm. Thank
you for outstanding pick ups! So Now, I wanted to have
replacement pick ups for my stratcaster! Many Thanks Best, H.K.
Dear Bill and Becky-- Thanks for advising me to go with 280s in
the neck and middle and a 290 in the bridge for my 2007 USA
Hwy 1 Stratocaster.
As we discussed, I play mostly blues and blues-rock, and I was
looking for something that maintained classic Strat "cluck/quack"
and single-coil clarity, while having enough power to push a gritty
tone. I was using an older Seymour Duncan JB mini-humbucker
strat pickup in the bridge, and the stock single coils in the neck
and middle. I am extremely pleased with the tone of these
pickups-- I just dropped them straight in and they sound terrific!
The single-coil hum is gone, which was a real problem in our
practice studio, where there are lots of flourescent lights and
crummy power going into my vintage tube amp, making hum
problems much worse.
And the tone is really, really awesome. The 290 has just as much
rock and roll bite-- for things like Allman Brothers and ZZ Top--
as the Duncan did, but with a much nicer tone-more depth and
color. The Duncan by comparison sounds really flat-- as an
analogy, think of the difference in richness of tone between AM
and FM radio. All of the pickups have enough power to push
m Keeley O/D pedal and vintage tube amp, and they are really
responsive to the volume knob. I just set up my amp and pedal,
and then control everything from the volume knob and pickup
switch-- going from quiet and clean to hot Stevie Ray Vaughn,
Clapton, Hendrix, and Allman Bros, just by diming the volume
knob and selecting various pickup combinations.
The pickups are all balanced, too-- it's not like the 290 is
dramatically different from the 280s. I was worried that I might
be erring on the side of too clean and quiet with these pickups,
but they are just right-- I get all the tones I want, from clean
and quiet to classic rock/blues lead tones.
The pickups are not too "ice-picky", and they respond very well to
tone knob adjustments, still maintaining a rich character. I find
that I often have the tone on the bridge pickup at about 8 or 7
instead of dimed. The pickups also look extremely well-produced--
very clean housings, neat wires, perfect color-- very high quality
control. They fit exactly into the stock Strat pickguard-- no filing
needed, but also no slop at all. Of course, I am sure that
pickguards are not built to such exacting tolerances,
so I was probably just lucky. But these pickups really look and
feel like they were constructed very carefully and precisely, with
noticeable cosmetic improvements from the 280s that I bought
from you maybe 4 years ago for a Fender Mustang that I have
since sold. I was giving up on this guitar, relying more on my Tele
(Barden-equipped) and stock Gibson Les Paul for gigs-- but now
that I have these pickups in I am loving this Strat!!
Last, the one nickel/two nickel pickup height adjustment was a
good place to start, but I found that the best tone for me was
obtained by raising all pickups just a little bit closer to the strings,
and by having the pickups all just a little further away from the
4,5,6, strings and a touch closer to the 1,2,3 strings-- for better
amplitude balance and response across the strings. Of course,
that's all a matter of personal taste and would also vary with
string gauges, etc. I would recommend that everyone start by
using your one-nickel/two-nickel rule of thumb, and then fine
adjust the height from there using their ears as a guide. That's
how I did it. And of course, your pricing is extremely fair! Thanks
a million, Bill and Becky!
I just wanted to tell you again how happy i am with the L-200TN
and L-290 bridge pickups. The L-200 is the first and only
telecaster neck pickup I have tried that i can play alone w/out it
sounding muddy. Which isn't saying too much because i had only
tried fender low ends. But, really, I rave about it, everyone I let
try it compliments you guys. now, if only they would pot their
money where their mouths are. The first words out of one of my
riends mouth was how straty it sounds; now he's always asking
me to bring it over. Oh, and by the way, I figured out the reason
I had to take my compressor out of the chain for the L-200 to not
distort turned out to be a not the greatest soldering job on the
volume ground and very dirty Pots on the amp. Needless to say,
I'm looking for another guitar to upgrade to your pickups.
Hummm, I have an old Yamaha P bass. You'll be hearing
from me, I'm sure. You guys are such a class act...
Best Wishes, George
Becky, installation went smooth and the guitar is up and running.
( L-200T set) They sound gorgeous! Thanks for the excellent
product and service. My wife was laughing when she heard me
request an autographed picture of you rather than Bill.
Happy Birthday to Bill! Regards, Cliff
Hello Bill & Becky, I just had an L-500 & an L-500XL installed in
my Epiphone Shreaton and they sound incredible. An amazing
improvement in tone. It's like getting a new & better guitar.
Thanks for your knowledge. Keep up the good work Danny
Bill, & Becky, Hello, just wanted to let you know that I believe
I have finally found the right pickups for my Les Paul Studio that
I use for slide. The L 90's are sounding pretty darn good it that
guitar. However I may want to brighten the neck pickup just a
little bit. The guitar currently has 250K pots in all positions.
What pot value is Bill recommending for the L 90's? Also what
pot value is recommended for the new L 45S pickups?