BZM
Beaming over my new gear purchase grinning smiley (read this, guitarists!)
November 27, 2012 06:36PM
[tonevaultguitars.net]

Just bought myself one of the "Rude!" bridge humbuckers... came out to about $206 after tax (!). These guys are a new brand... but as their site says, they have decades of experience - including Dave Carpenter being involved.

A little backstory, Dave is the guy who worked for Gibson who was responsbile for some of their greatest custom runs... like the Stinger series '59 Pauls and his own signature hand-picked run of custom '59 bursts. He happens to live just a couple of blocks away from me, which I was unaware of until just recently... and he owns hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gear, and all of the original guitars. He has an original '56 strat, several orignial '59 Les Pauls, an original Fender Broadcaster... you name it, he's got it. He is the mad scientist genius of tone (especially of the vintage variety).

These guys have special tools no one else has and diagnostic capabilities even beyond what the big guys at Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan have. It's like working with the secret guitar Illuminati. He insisted that the stock electronics in my SG weren't "worse", they were just "different", and I liked that; he was completely cognizant of the subjective nature of tone and of personal preference. He happened to have a special Les Paul that you could swap pickups in and out of, so I got to try all of the TVT pickups.. and wow.

The Other Woman is the greatest PAF tone I've ever heard. $250 per pickup though. As close as it gets to the real thing without spending $200,000 on a real '59. Soft and dreamy... and even gets that vowel-y "ooh" sound out of the BRIDGE PICKUP! Yes that's right... neck pick like tone out of the BRIDGE... never before have I experienced that.

The Jangletron literally can make your guitar sing and jangle like a Ric or a Strat... planning on getting one for the neck ASAP. Cuts through brightly even with a mahogany bodied guitar.

And of course, the RUDE!. I bought this one because when you roll off the volume just a bit, it sounds almost identical to the other TVT pickups... but it has that extra little boost at the top for soloing or whatever. It's like having a Tubescreamer built into your guitar or something. And it makes my reggae skank sound tighter and more musical than ever before. According to Dave, it's great for metal too... since no matter how fast you play, you can't overload the pickup or confuse it... it has the tightest bass and mid response of any pickup I've ever played.

The Rude! is replacing my EMG 81, which has been good to me since my earlier metal days... but this pickup makes the EMG 81 cry and hide under the blankets. Not only does it have more gain than the 81, but the clean tone is infinitely superior/more versatile (with the great tone and volume control possibilities), each note of a chord has equal volume and cuts through. The active EMG just has that shitty "I just plugged straight into the board and bypassed any and all tone" sound, even when plugged into a nice amp.

I would normally never, ever buy something that's worth a third of the total worth of my axe (my Gibson SG was $600 used)... but after hearing Dave wax poetic (no pun intended) about the higher frequencies and resonance and the mechanics of magnetism, I was absolutely washed away by his staggering level of knowledge and expertise and also by his humble demeanor. Dude stayed a half hour after the music store was closed and probably made his wife impatient just to bend over backwards to help an unknown reggae guitarist like myself try to find the perfect tone. Pretty sure these guys are new enough to the point where I'm getting one of the very first prototypes (as their website is still under construction)... but keep your eyes open.

These are probably going to be considered the holy grail of pickups in 40 years.
Re: Beaming over my new gear purchase grinning smiley (read this, guitarists!)
November 27, 2012 06:45PM
That is awesome BZM! I have no musical talents so a lot of that goes over my head but I can pick up on your genuine excitement and sheer enjoyment and that I do understand!!! Hope that guitar is a blessing for you and your band!
Re: Beaming over my new gear purchase grinning smiley (read this, guitarists!)
November 28, 2012 09:19PM
Those pickups sound like they're pretty awesome. I want that Other Woman. The Rude one's gonna be nice on your SG. Would like to try that setup sometime. Never really played an SG.

Thanks for the link.

Guitarists are interesting, how it's all about the eternal quest for better tone. Not all musicians have that subtle sense and it's quite beneficial in appreciation of music.

New sounds are so inspirational.
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