More than a few customers have told us that a good guitar with a great pickup is better than a great guitar with a good pickup. Well, it’s true, and not just because we make great pickups. Navigate to our P-90 Hx section and listen to Steve Housden play his Vintage (brand) Gold Top. It's a cheap Chinese guitar with Wilkinson noiseless P-90's but our pickups transformed it into a fabulous sounding instrument that Steve uses on stage and in the studio.
To help understand this principle let’s take things to extremes. Imagine a great guitar fitted with a pickup made by a 12 year old kid for a high school project, it’s been made from scrounged bits n pieces and copper wire stripped from an old electric motor. The thing will make a sound for sure, that's the easy part. But I can tell you it’s not going to sound good, it’s gonna sound bland and uninteresting. It’s not gonna inspire the player to bring out his best inspired performance.
Now imagine the greatest, best pickup money can buy, naturally you’d expect a big difference in sonic performance wouldn’t you, and you’d be right. So from that simple analogy we can see there is a gradient in sonic performance between the best and the worst pickup. The great majority of available pickups fall into the middle of the gradient, pretty good and does the job but not outstanding or dazzling.
Considering the previous deductions it’s common sense that a dazzling pickup in the upper part of the gradient will make a mediocre guitar and even a great guitar sound better. In our many years working with guitars and pickups we have observed that to be true.
A dazzling guitar with lackluster pickups - under-whelming
Dazzling pickups on a good guitar - breathtaking
The question is, what are the most outstanding, the most dazzling pickups? We know the answer …. do you? Remember that pickups are the conduits of artistic expression and they are extremely important and not all pickup are created equal … a precious few are more equal than others. Even some Kinman's are more equal than other Kinman's ;)