FAQ

I saw a demo on you tube from Texas blues alley and am very intrigued.  What set would you recommend for blues to give me that killer Hendrix, Stevie, Mayer  sound that I am searching for?  Thank you so much for your time. 

Maybe a Texas Blues Set: Stratty, but a little fatter in the bridge and rounder in the middle.  Match it up with our controls kit 1A and wire the no load tone pot to neck and middle.


I play freelance in Nashville and some of my regular work includes a 70's band, an 80's band, a Journey tribute, and various country/variety, pop, disco... You get the picture. Versatility is paramount, but I lean hard on the bridge-single thing, and I'm willing to live with a "good enough" humbucker sound there in favor of a great single coil sound. Maybe a Convertible in the bridge instead? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I'd do the Convertible in the bridge for what you're talking about. I've been playing a C/SV5/SV5O set for my Floyd tribute. The split on the bridge is great for vintage/modern Gilmour tones. In positions 1&2. You want kit 8 or 8A. The 250 no load tone on the bridge comes in really handy for balancing the loading of the two C modes. Run it at 10 for the series mode, and just kick it in so the pot engages for the split mode. The no load on the neck/middle is also useful, I think. Those pickups can stand to be lightly loaded.


I def want a juicy bucker for the bridge pup as I play heavier prog rock and on all my guitars i use the bridge for the high gain stuff. The others i want to be single-coils since I really love strat cleans ... i don't want to give up too much nice strat® clean sound esp in position 4 but when i flip to the bridge i want some madness and output. So help me on whether the vintage or fat SC pups for the neck/middle are a better bet.

It sounds like you want SV5s in the Neck and middle and a Juicy in the bridge. The SV5 is the strattiest of our stuff and will give you the nice open cleans. This set balances well. You should also go for the Split Juicy so you’ll have that option. I’d recommend going 500 k all around for this set, and you’ll need a push pot to actuate the split. I’d also consider doing a blend (and master tone), the neck/bridge combo on this set is pretty sweet.


My guitar is a G&L Legacy ... I want the ability to run it normal single coil for typical Strat like tones and a switch that makes it sound like a humbucker with more output than the single coil. If it helps any I don’t play super high gain metal. Mostly modern country, classic 70’s 80’s rock and current pop. As you may know the Legacy’s wiring is a bit different using a 250k, 500k and 1meg pot. I plan on modding it to a typical Strat set so I’m open to whatever value pots I may need to get.

I think the Juicy Bucker is what you want. It's designed to sound like a humbucker, but the split mode is a very nice (and quiet) single coil tone.  It sounds best with 500k pots, but it still sounds pretty good with 250k (there are videos on our YouTube site). If you're going to mate it with conventional singles you could: 1) just go 250k 2) use a resistor to make the singles "see" 250k with a 500k volume pot 3) use a super switch to have more control on when the resistor is in the circuit You'll also need a dpdt switch (or push/pull or push/push pot) to actuate the split.


I really like the sound of P90s. I HATE hum. Consequently, your Zexcoil P/Us interest me. So, what do you recommend? The neck pickups on Teles have some of characteristics I am seeking. Would you recommend a Tele neck single coil, a "fattened" single coil or your promised P90s?

I would say the Fat Single or maybe even the Throaty Bucker. The Throaty is kind of a hybrid bucker/single voice. It's really rich but not muddy. The Fat Singles are fattened up and saturated single coil tones. People invoke P90's in respect to them, especially with increasing gain. The SV5+ has some of the Fat Single character as well, but dialed back a bit and more Stratty. We have no plans to do a Tele neck version either at this time. Strat® and Tele® bridge sized for now, only.


What set that would most closely represent a true strat tone without all of the noise and harshness associated with single coil pups?

I think the set you want would be the Vintage Single Set. That set features an AlNiCo 5 tone in the neck, AlNiCo 2 in the middle and a slightly fatter (but still very stratty) tone in the bridge.


I was leaning towards the Vintage Single 5 in the neck and Vintage Single 2 for the middle however I do enjoy the tone Anthony Stauffer at Stevie Snacks gets (Love Hendrix and SRV tone) with the SV5O in the neck.

I was surprised when Anthony had it in the neck, but it sounds pretty good. It's the same design as the SV5, just with about 7% more turns, so higher output and a shade darker. The SV5O/SV2 neck/middle combo seems to work pretty well. Two SV5Os with a full size humbucker would probably work pretty well, too. Or even just substitute SV5 for 5O in the above, too, really. I guess I would say if your goal is the pristine, crystalline cleans and hollow quack, stay with the SV5. If you want it a little beefier, the 5O gives you a bit more output and oomph and the SV2 is a bit rounder than the 5. I'd go with 500 k controls all around. We recommend 500 k, even for our Vintage models.


Are they similar (or identical) to any of your single coil variants? Is there a volume drop when switching from the humbucker? Maybe an easier question would be how close to the vintage set is the signature set in single coil mode?

W/respect to the Juicy Bucker, this pickup was designed to get a PAF tone. In standard mode, we wire our pickups with all six coils in series. I'd say if the single coil tone is your most important target, go with one of the Vintage models. The Juicy is a great humbucker tone, and a good/usable single coil tone. The split basically just cuts the R and H down to 1/4 of what it is in series mode, by wiring the coils in two parallel pairs of three, rather than 6 in series. The resonance goes up proportionally. The Juicy in split mode is lower than our Vintage models in H in absolute terms. The output is lower than the series mode, but the apparent volume drop is not as much as you might think. Again, a very usable tone, quiet, and a nice bonus coupled with the humbucker one in series. We also split the Throaty as a standard offering.  Check out the NAMM playlist on our YouTube page. That red Strat in the FUCHS booth had an SV5/SV2/Juicy set, also with a Neck/Bridge blend. If you can only bring one guitar, that's the guitar to bring!


I'm intrigued by your Juicy bucker ... However I have no clue how the push/pull pot system works - would that be applied to the bottom Tone Pot? Or does it matter which pot is used? Would you recommend a 500k for that option? If so, how would that alter the tone of the 4 & 5 positions when the bucker is in single coil mode? I'm thinking SV5O / SV2 / JB-SS (N/M/B).

The Juicy is a great PAF tone and a good single coil tone. It's designed to be a humbucker voicing and the "split" tone (it's actually a parallel wiring) is a nice bonus. If you're priority in the bridge is a single coil tone, I'd say go with one of the Vintage models, but if you like the idea of the humbucker tone there, the Juicy is very nice. You still get great quack with bridge/middle and in fact two different flavors of it with the split option. I recommend 500 k pots for all of our pickups, but they can work OK with 250. You do need a DPDT switch to actuate the split, but you can put it wherever you want. The push/push or push/pull pots are really just a pot combined with a switch, but they function independently (so for instance you could put the bridge split on the switch part of the push/push that is serving as the neck tone pot).


I’d like to know if a strat blender mod will work with your vintage set.

Yes it will. I especially like it with a humbucker somewhere in the mix, but it does nice things in a Vintage Set, too. If you're going to go with 3 of our Vintage pickups, I'd do 500 k audio taper for the volume and master tone and a 250 k no load for the blend. There's also a trick where you can wire so that the blender only works when either the neck or bridge is selected. I like this option sometimes as it gives you a position where you know what you're going to get. Too many switching options can get confusing, especially live on stage!


I'm interested in buying the signature set. Is it possible to install the sig set with silent split and use one micro switch to split both pups at the same time? I dont mind having 2 switches vs push pull pots.

You can split both pickups at the same time with an S1 switch, which is basically a 4PDT. You need a DPDT switch dedicated to each pickup, though. I've been liking push/push pots lately. I definitely recommend a blend, the neck/bridge combo is one of my favorite tones in that set.


Can I wire the juicy Bucker like the normal Juicy B without the silent split? I'm planning on wiring it like a normal bucker [in series/2-conductor] for now, but I want to have that option if I decide to change my mind.

Yes you can. Just tie red and green together. White and black to hot and ground (reversible for compatibility with other pickup’s polarity).


In your experience, what wire gives the best results? Since I'm wiring up a new pickguard, I will be selecting all new wiring.

I haven't gotten that far into the weeds with wire type, but I have done a little bit with solid versus stranded. Lately I've been using tefzel jacketed 19/34 22 awg stranded wire. It's Mil-Spec MIL-W-22759/16-22. The biggest effect I've seen so far is in 4 conductor cable capacitance from different vendors. I went to a different source a while back and the measurements looked like a different pickup. This stuff was 4 x 28 awg stranded with a foil shield and bare drain. I'm not sure what the strand details are on this stuff, but I think the biggest effect here is probably the jacket composition and contribution to capacitance. The 22 awg tefzel I use for hookup wire has a lower dielectric constant than PVC. It's not as easy to work with (marginally harder to strip), but not too bad. For real short lengths, you have to grab it with a pair of pliers.


Explain the Bucker Wiring

The current preferred wiring for the 4 conductor pickups: I recommend not connecting the drain wire (bare wire connected to cable shield) when wiring the pickups (just tape it off to the cable in case you do need it for noise control - or if you want to darken the tone a bit). It adds a ton of capacitance and sucks tone. It is not needed as a ground and I don't hear any difference in buzz without it. 


I've seen on different pages where the Juicy and Throaty buckers are sold with 250ks and on the Signature Set, they're sold with 500ks for vol and tone; any reason for the difference? I was interested in purchasing a Signature Set.

All of our pickups work best with 500 k pots. We offer 250 k for compatibility with conventional singles, and our pickups sound great with them, but the higher value pots really let them "breathe" properly. For the Signature Set I recommend 2 500 k pots (master volume and master tone) and a 250 k no load blend. To enable the split, we have 2 push/pulls or 2 push/push. I like the push/push for ease of actuation.


What is the total height of your pickups and are they all the same height?

The overall height of all of the Strat pickups is 0.890" max. Some of them are slightly shorter than that. The Tele bridge pickups are a little shorter as well, more like 0.86". They fit in standard routes. Sometimes you have to get pretty efficient with the wiring but they do fit.


Are the pickups compatible for lefties?

We can do lefties by special order. Our design is directional so the "stagger" must be reversed. Usually 7-10 day turn around as we make them up special. No extra charge.


I'm looking for a new set of pick-ups for my Tele. Looking for low output, as i like to drive the amp so my sound stays clean.

The TV5 is the most open tonally, and also the lowest output Tele bridge pickup we make. We don't have a Tele-sized neck pickup. If you have a vintage route, you may have to shave off a little bit of wood, and you would also likely need a new pickguard. We offer our Strat pickups for Tele neck applications. The SV5 is the clearest, lowest output in the Strat line. If you choose not to go with one of our Strat pickups in the neck, our pickups are very compatible with other conventional and noiseless pickups.


I am looking for a telecaster bridge pickup capable of capturing a steel guitar sound ... like a pedal steel. What do you recommend?

Maybe the T-Bucker in split mode? With this pickup you'd also have the full-on Bucker mode (later in the clip). Or maybe the TV5, but I think you'd want a little bit of gain on a low(er) output pup to mimic those tones, I think you can see how they might get into that territory.


I have a '94 fender foto flame telecaster ... Heard some sound clips of your juicy bucker and I'm very interested in it. I love having a smoking hot pup in that spot [bridge]. What do you think? Would the juicy bucker work?

The T-Bucker is the Tele bridge version of the Juicy. If you're set-up for Strat sized the Juicy would work too.


What is the total height of your pickups and are they all the same height?

The overall height of all of the Strat pickups is 0.890" max. Some of them are slightly shorter than that. The Tele bridge pickups are a little shorter as well, more like 0.86". They fit in standard routes. Sometimes you have to get pretty efficient with the wiring but they do fit.