Pickups

Epiphone Tone Spectrum p/u’s

1

Just curious if there was any love out there for the old 50's Epi Tone Spectrum (New York) pickup. For jazz a few people like 'em but lots say they aren't meaty enough and too bright. I got hold of one a while ago and have it wired up to a pot and taped at the moment to an archtop. I think it sounds great in the bridge position....tons of twang...great for rockabilly. Anyone else with any experiences with them?

3

Yeah I think so too! Not a lot of love on that forum though.

I saw a post from Curtis Novak on instagram the other day saying his new Epi Tone Spectrum pickups were nearly ready for release so he clearly thinks there's a market for them out there. I wonder if his will be wound hotter or if he made them like the orignals...horizontal magnet and all.

My assessment of the old one I have (it has a black surround and pole pieces) is that its very clear sounding with more of a fender thing going on that a dynasonic...less mids. Really cool though and great with fuzz...although taped to an archtop that creates all kinds of chaos!

4

This is it. The guitar is a 51 Epi Emperor...a real mongrel. It was a varitone electric model...so it would’ve originally had 3 of these pickups on it. It was re-topped by the previous owner...not sure how long ago but had some nice checking to the lacquer...(spruce top I think) to make it an acoustic archtop. It came with an early 60s dearmond rhythm chief 1000 model pickup which I sold. I’ve played it acoustic mainly but had a chance to get a tone spectrum and wanted to hear what it sounded like.

5

It seems to me, the Tone Spectrums, being wound weak, would have been ideal at getting more of the ACOUSTIC sound out of an archtop that a pickup like the Charlie Christian would, as that pickup definitely has it's own character it adds to the sound.... it sounds like an electric archtop, whereas the Tone spectrum demos I've heard sound more like an acoustic archtop.

The first time I heard these pickups was actually on Ray Benson's Guitar Lesson DVD.

Here's a Tone Spectrum in a 1954 Epi Zephyr.

6

Yeah i think you are right about that acoustic quality the Tone Spectrums can have...particularly in the neck position. Like I said mine is lovely and twangy positioned where it is. It might be partly because it's wired straight to a pot and then the jack so no tone control or switch to go through.

7

This clip has a good approximation of the twang i'm talking about but I find mine is brighter still.

Link

8

Just been having so much fun playing my Epi today...I just love this pickup for rockabilly! Anyone else a fan?

9

What strings would be used on these Tone Spectrum equipped Epis? Is there a modern equivalent?

10

Ok perhaps I need to find a pre-Gibson Epiphone fan forum for this one

11

I've tried flats but in the bridge position I like pure nickle roundwounds. I guess flats would have been pretty commonly used on these back in the day I reckon. Not really any modern equivalent to the Tone Spectrum equipped Epis.

Closest thing would probably be the recently released John Lee Hooker Epi...but it has mini-humbuckers

http://www.epiphone.com/New...

12

This clip has a good approximation of the twang i'm talking about but I find mine is brighter still.

Link

– tabletop

That's a great sound; much preferred it in comparison to the samples further upthread (not that Ray Benson's any kind of slouch). Would love to hear yours!

13

That's a great sound; much preferred it in comparison to the samples further upthread (not that Ray Benson's any kind of slouch). Would love to hear yours!

– Lacking Talent

I'll have to try and make a demo...never done it before!


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