Some changes are coming from Lawing Musical Products, the makers of Zexcoil® pickups.
We started this company about 7 years ago, after a preceding 2 or 3 years of development, to market our unique line of one-coil-per-string, hum-canceling pickups. We founded our company on a few underlying principles:
- A commitment to providing great products for the best price we could,
- A commitment to domestic supply and manufacturing, and
- A commitment to establishing a viable, independent and growing company that would help sustain us, as well as employ others, at a living wage.
We’ve learned a lot in these 10 years or so, both about the musical instrument business and about how to build great pickups. What we’re about to do now is borne out of both of those learnings.
We’ve come to realize that our relatively complicated pickup design is too expensive to produce, to the point that we can’t achieve all of our goals under the current paradigm. We needed to make some significant changes to how we produce these pickups to really become viable. What we’ve done is redesign the Zexcoil pickup to make it as inexpensive as we can. We’ve done this by eliminating redundant parts, commonizing parts where we could and streamlining the process required to build a pickup. As a result of this effort we have a less expensive pickup that retains the Core Zexcoil design, and because it’s inherently more efficient, sounds at least as good and in many ways better than our Legacy models. The only significant practical difference between our new Z-Series™ and Legacy™ Zexcoils is that the Z Series pickups are potted in their covers. This makes the Z-Series covers non-removable, while the Legacy pickups have interchangeable covers.
After much thought, we’ve also decided to continue with our direct internet business model. This allows us to cut out all of the middle men and give our customers the best possible price on these pickups. While we know that our superior performance can and always has commanded a premium, that’s not what this is about. It’s not about making as much money as possible. It’s about making enough money to be viable and sharing the benefits of our efficiencies with the end user as much as we possibly can.
So here’s what’s happening. Our model line and pricing structure will change significantly. We will be introducing the new Z Series pickups with the full range of analogs to our current Legacy models, and at the same time expanding our output range into the lower end of the scale, with new models that are closer to vintage pickup specifications than we have ever been.
Our Z-Core™ 5 family of pickups will be priced at $79.99. That’s 20% lower than any pickup we’ve offered to the general public before. The Z-Core product line represents pickups designed by us and assembled at our US partner factory, the same factory where our coils have always been wound. The initial Z-Core offerings will include our most popular voicings, with analogs to the Legacy SV5 and SV5O, and some new lower wind AlNiCo 5 voiced pickups that are closer to vintage single coil specs than anything we’ve ever made. These new lower wind sets are also designed for the same 250 kΩ controls that most conventional single coil equipped guitars use.
We will have a range of Custom Shop options based on the new Z-Series platform (including new Tele bridge pickups), with voicings analogous to our Legacy models, priced from $89.99 – 109.99. These Custom Shop models will include our 2, Fat 5, Convertible, Juicy and Throaty voicings. Custom Shop models will be built by us, and our handful of local builders, by hand. As demand warrants, we plan to migrate as many Z Series models as we can from the Custom Shop to the lower priced Z-Core line. Design and performance of Z-Series Custom Shop and Z-Core pickups are identical, the only difference being the economies of scale at which they are manufactured.
We will be offering a range of sets featuring 3 Z-Core 5s starting at only $225, and multiple options for mixed Z-Core/Custom Shop sets below $250. We also have Custom Shop Tele bridge/Z Core (Strat) neck sets starting at just $170.
We will continue to offer our Legacy product line through the Custom Shop, although the prices will be adjusted to reflect the realities of the costs involved in producing these pickups. We’ve designed the Z Series product line to cover all of the same bases as our Legacy pickups and there are Z Series analogs of just about every Legacy model. All of the new pickups incorporate the design concepts and philosophy of our Legacy products, in fact we believe that they represent the most advanced evolution of our approach to pickup design. The Z Series pickups are just a more efficient and streamlined version of the same great one-coil-per-string hum cancelling idea we’ve always had.
We will be raising the prices of our Legacy models to $129.99 with the full release of the Z-Core and Custom Shop Z-Series lines. We are targeting August 1, 2017 for the full release, and we will take orders for the Legacy models at the current prices up to that date.