I started out my career as a navy electrician in the early 80's where I spent some time in the motor and transformer rewind shop. From there I moved on to repairing and installing electrical/electronic systems. The navy is where I had learned most of my electrical theory and vacuum tubeology. Moving ahead, in the early 90's while running a tube amp repair/restoration shop, which is still in operation, here in Pennsylvania, I really started to take notice on how crappy new guitars sounded compared to their vintage counterparts. Even through old tube amps it was hard to get a really good sound from newer guitars. I've been fortunate to be able to own some vintage guitars and amps. In the late 90's I had a frankenstrat that needed some pickups so I tried a few different big company brands and was not happy with the results of these pickups. So, in an attempt to get the tone I was looking for I purchased a set of boutique hand wound pickups which were better than the other pickups that i had tried, but still not quite right. That's when my quest for the ultimate vintage pickup tone started.
Me at Bethel New York. Home of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Over my left shoulder you will see a gravel bed, that's where the stage was located. This trip is what inspired me to create my JH tribute pickup set.
Here at ECP, Electric City Pickups, we spare no expense in the materials used to produce our pickups. From the American made hand beveled alnico magnets to the expensive plain enamel, and heavy formvar magnet wire we use, our main goal is to faithfully reproduce the tone of the pickups of yesteryear as close as possible with the materials made today. In order for us to provide you with true vintage tone we do not offer the bells and whistles that a lot of the other pickup builders do. Such as reverse wound pickups for hum canceling, as on strat style pickup sets.
It only cancels hum in the 2 and 4 positions and in my opinion sound too compressed and nasilly. It does not cancel hum in the 1, 3, and 5 positions. The use of different grade alnico magnets than what was originally used. This changes the magnet strength, thus changing the frequency response of the pickup. We do not wind pickups hotter than an electrical substation unless a particular model calls for it. All of these "bells and whistles" take you further away from the true vintage tone that we're seeking and that is why we do not offer them. All ECP guitar pickups are made by hand the same way they were made during the golden age of guitar pickups.