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  1. #1
    YYZ Cygnus X1's Avatar
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    Default Unobtanioum Dave Stephens Pickup

    I hinted at this so I'll let it out here.

    Dave Stephens, a highly talented and now much sought after pickup maker (OK, no one here has ever heard of him...) and I made a deal.
    One of my amps for I said "whatever you have kicking around in the parts drawer".
    In other words, his prototypes he didn't quite get to market or didn't follow up on.

    I mentioned I wanted a shredder, and he threw two in the mix, one exceptional, the other just awesome.

    Ignore the usual lack of talent...I don't worry, nor should you...but here is one he called the "High Wind".
    I put in my Jackson MIJ DKMGT in place of an older J90C...which am I am used to, and like.

    So I need to hear your opinions.
    Amp is my own Cyg-30...look it up.
    Pickup is at bridge full on, the only adjustment you hear is a little noodling with the tone controls on the amp halfway through.

    What he, and I want to know...is this pickup worth pursuing?
    I would have to give back this pup so he could reverse engineer his own work (he has notes, but not good enough).

    The clip:

    http://www.soundclick.com/player/sin...ongID=10535520

  2. #2

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    I dunno if it was the mix or what Cyg....but, it seemed a little mid/mid-low honky to me. -Lou

  3. #3
    YYZ Cygnus X1's Avatar
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    Thanks Lou.

    Keep the opinions coming!

  4. #4

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    sounds pretty nice to me. its tough to judge on the "...is this pickup worth pursuing?" question,
    unless i had clips side by side of the different pickups.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I think it's got a Jake E. Lee/Badlands feel to it.
    I like the breakup, chords ring clear, sound good to me.
    It's not your job to be as confused as Nigel....

  6. #6

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    Not knowing the amp personally, the pickup does at least perform its basic function. Tonal aspects are as much from the amp and mic used as the pickup and the guitar it's in, as well as whose fingers are doing the walking.

    And there you have the classic conundrum on boutique anything - "is this worth pursuing? will it sell?"

    It's subjective, and it has to be a labor of love-before-profit. If you're going into business to make money, forget it. Go into business to do something you enjoy doing (other than making money).

    Now, that said, I think the pickup sounds good in that clip. Will it sound like ass through my setup? Who knows. And with so many people pinching pennies these days, who has the extra cash to spend pickup shopping when they have these "signature sounds" to go with?

    If he does a VanHalen-1 pickup that nails the Eruption tone - he can join the crowd of other people who make one. If he does a hot humbucking P90, he can join the few others who do. If he can get one to Tony Iommi and Tony digs it, he stands a chance of recognition, if Tony ever mentions he uses whatsisname's pickups.

    IMO the best approach will be to network and get the product into the guitars of people who play them and who are interested in why his pickups are better than what's already available.
    I want to depart this world the same way I arrived; screaming and covered in someone else's blood

    The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

    My Blog: http://newcenstein.com

  7. #7
    YYZ Cygnus X1's Avatar
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    Great comments.
    Not sure if Stephens is making any money...like a lot of amp builders he's working
    in his area of passion.
    He is building an excellent reputation based on his PAF, P90's, and others.

    Keep the comments coming, some valuable info here!
    Thanks.

  8. #8

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    i am with newc on the whole "not know ing the amp" thing. that would make a BIG difference to me. if i knew the gain structure and EQ settings and how saturated the was during the recording of the clip, along with speaker(s), mic, etc.

    having stated all of that, i will say i like what i perceived as a "throaty" nature to the sound of the pickup. i like mids, especially lower mids, to give me the "girth" in my tone. sounds like this pickup would have that.

    is it worth pursuing? maybe. i would possibly buy one based upon price. the economy is tough and bringing out new, possibly expensive, handmade stuff could be risky....
    GEAR:

    some guitars...WITH STRINGS!!!! most of them have those sticks like on guitar hero....AWESOME!!!!

    some amps...they have some glowing bottle like things in them...i think my amps do that modelling thing....COOL, huh?!?!?!

    and finally....

    i have those little plastic "chips" used to hit the strings...WHOA!!!!

  9. #9
    JCF (I have no life)Member hippietim's Avatar
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    Sounds interesting. As others have said, too many variables to say what is working here. The whole sound you've got going is pretty good. When are you going to bring one of your amps up here?
    I want REAL change. I want dead bodies littering the capitol.

    - Newc

  10. #10
    YYZ Cygnus X1's Avatar
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    Thanks markd and Tim.
    From my experience the pickup is clear without being too bright (twang).
    Lou's observation of "honky" is me putting too much pressure on the pick, but
    that pickup can do "honky" if someone is looking for it (PAF guys like that feature).

    I think all of you fairly nailed what I'm hearing.
    Good job!
    Not sure if D Stephens can really pump some out...I'd have to ask.
    He has a 9 month backlog making his other pickups, his PAF's, Jimmy Page, single coils
    and the rest.

    Tim, I appreciate all the help, comments, and kicks in the butt to keep going on my
    little toaster.
    Every time I build one it sells, now at the point where people are pre-ordering.
    But I won't take down payments or anything of the sort until an amp is built.
    (I don't like the business model of 99% of amp/guitar/pickup builders).
    Never a problem getting rid of them so any marketing plan is pretty far off.

    I wouldn't "go into business" unless forced to!


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