Bill has done what I thought impossible:
topped the L280S! The L280S is a great, versatile pickup for a variety
of styles, with a super-smooth response, but when I installed the
L200S, Oh Boy! Pure vintage rock & roll when played clean! They
immediately made me want rock around with Ollie Vee! Turn it up
and they long to go to sweet home Alabama and to cry & sing with
the Sultans of Swing. Dial up a slightly darker tone, switch to
the neck pickup (with a little of the middle pickup blended in via
the blend knob in Bill's Hendrix Strat Mod), and the traffic lights
turn blue while the wind cries Mary. Stick the middle pickup through
a phaser into a smoky, purring Marshall and they can take a long
time crossing the bridge of sighs with all the wonderful sustain
they pick up and transmit to the amp! Absolutely BRILLIANT! :^)
If there was a Nobel Prize for Guitar Tone,
Bill'd have my vote!
Dale V. Z.
Dear Becky, Bill and all at Wilde,
As I discussed over the phone with Becky
the day before yesterday, I'm writing you to share my experiences
and thoughts about your pickups, ands also regarding the current
market situation here in Sweden. I would say that the biggest strength
with your pickups (so far I have used the L500XL and the L500R),
is their incredible versatility. I have never before or after being
introduced to your pickups with the K500 model that was given to
me when I bought a used guitar several years back played or heard
a pickup this broad in its tonal range. Most pickups from established,
good brands, can sound just fine and good for one specific style,
but then can never span across genres like yours can. This is most
likely the reason why manufacturers such as Dimarzio and Duncan
have such a large variety of pickups, to suit all sounds. But with
you pickups, I have never felt a need for anything else, then span
across Blues, jazz, metal, rock, fusion, and whatever I trow at
these pickups, they deliver. The tone of your pickups is another
strength they possess. Your pickups have such an amazingly crystal-clear
bottom end, so what ever I play, its never gets muddy, But rather
packs a clean bluesy punch at all times. As for the mids, I find
them very well balanced, and in the upper register, thus preventing
the annoying indistinctness that many “metal” scooped pickups generate.
The highs are amazing too, then never wail or scream, but rather
it’s like comparing a metal singer with Pavarotti. Then just sing
with unparalleled strength and claritygiving amazing sustain and
controlled feedback when I want it.
Since first starting to use your pickups,
I have found that my playing has evolved a lot. I have found myself
crossing genres much more effortlessly with your pickups, and this
has put a mark on my playing. I feel much broader in my playing
today then just a few years back. And although the pickups (or instrument)
in itself doesn’t enable me to do this, it has strongly motivated
me to search for new tones and genres. In short, simply picking
up a good instrument with your pickups in them makes me a better
player. Historically, I have often found myself struggling against
the instrument, and struggling with the sound I play with, but now,
I am propelled by it, driven by it and I am always motivated to
play whenever I plug-in. For this I feel I owe you a great thanks,
you helped make a better player, and I would the first to testify
that your pickups are truly unique and unlike anything else on the
market, by far!! I am not alone in feeling this way either.
Throughout the last 2 years or so, I have
encouraged many of my friends and students to try your pickups out,
and have even ordered for them as well, and let me tell you… EVERY
single one of them are as awestruck as I am. Their playing styles
range from jazz fusion to hardcore death metal, but they are ALL
equally satisfied with their sound. This, if anything is evidence
of a versatile product.
With that said, I want to mention the current
situation here in Sweden. The awareness of your product here are
next to zero unfortunately. In the 80’s (when I discuss your pickups
with the older generation) they were fairly well known, but mostly
only for blues, and metal players. With the current generation,
its unfortunately not this way at all. This is caused mainly by
the sales of the "Bill Lawrence USA" pickups here in Sweden.
People think (and believe me, this is in 9 out of 10 cases) that
YOUR pickups are the same as theirs, they believe its the same company.
These pickups have given you a very bad reputation as well, since
they are far, far inferior to your products. They sound very thin
and weak, they feedback a lot, and they can only play the metal
style even half well, but then again, so can most pickups with that
amount of distortion and scooped mids. There is no tone, and as
soon as you roll back on distortion or go clean, it’s a mess. They
truly sound like some second rate yard sale pickups. Because of
this, once people have tried their pickups that are available here
in Sweden and been disappointed, not only will they think that YOUR
pickups are crap as well, whenever they hear the name Bill Lawrence
pickups mentioned. But, even worse then this, they will spread this
opinion along to their friends, in chat communities and so forth,
thus undermining your entire potential market segment here in Sweden.
I am a member of many such chat communities,
I do a lot of clinics, and my video are downloaded throughout the
internet in the thousands ( 18.000 downloads on my last clinic video
alone just from one server, so the total count with file sharing
programs will be significantly higher than that). This gives me
the opportunity to talk about this problem, and try to raise peoples
awareness regarding the difference between your pickups and the
knock-off pickups. Whenever there is a question about recommending
pickups, or especially when people ask about BL pickups, I make
an effort to lay out the truth for them. It might not be much in
the bigger sense, but its something. And when the word spreads,
more people will be aware of this, and that will help. I will also
mention this in a segment in my upcoming instructional video, that
should be able to reach at least 100.000 people here in Sweden ,
since it will be quite unique, and I will launch it for free for
all Swedish guitarists.
I hope I haven’t ranted on for too long
in this letter, but I am the kind of person that expresses my thought
in essays rather then in single statements. I want to thank you
once again for doing what I consider to be the most versatile and
best sounding pickups in the world, and I also want to wish you
luck in your ongoing legal processes. You will win, because you
deserve to, and because YOU are the original, and ANY musician or
guitarist worth the name, will NOT be fooled by the knock-offs once
they have tried the originals.
Thank you and I wish you all the best. Never
give up!!! All the best.
Dear Becky, Bill and everyone at Bill Lawrence,
It took about two months after receiving
your pickups before they could finally be set in place. Thank you
so much! Not original, but very sincere. You are a group of really
special people: you make amazing pickups, provide super-friendly
customer service and ship stuff perfectly on time -- I wish I had
100 guitars that needed pickup replacement only to have a good excuse
to keep in touch with you :) (Well, having 100 guitars is kinda
You transformed the voice of my yellow Jackson
altogether, a whole metamorphosis from a bug to a butterfly as it
were. I was so surprised when I first plugged it in after your pickups
( L-500R and L-500XL) were mounted. The tone has dramatically improved:
warm, round, powerful, alive. With a dirty set you can use the volume
know to shape the sound and go from a gentle crunch all the way
"up to 11". I love using the same distorted sound and then play
with the volume to achieve different flavors while playing a tune.
Your advice about opting for the L500R on the neck proved to be
just what the doctor ordered: gorgeous. With this pickup and a clean
set I can even fake being a jazzer! :) And yesterday I received
your complimentary post-order card: what a nice thought! You should
come over here to Holland sometime and give the locals a couple
of lectures about customer care, an aspect of life that is almost
unknown here. I am spreading the voice about your pickups as often
as I can.
Unfortunately, there are so many guitar
players here in Amsterdam who only know the big names/mass producers,
and have no idea what they're missing out on by not trying out your
products. So far I am noticing that the sound of my guitar with
your pickups is much better than all the words of praise I could
possibly utter -- Thanks again and please don't change a bit!
Bill and Becky,
Thank you so much Becky for the 500L recommendation
for the neck position after I told you I wanted to series/single/parallel
both pickups on my SG. Before I had maybe three usable sounds from
the guitar but now WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!. Not only does the 500L
sing with infinite sustain, it gives me great jazz tones which my
amp set on clean. The 500XL......wow...... the responsiveness is
just amazing. I've never experienced so much difference in tone
by how hard I attack the strings. With a massive gain setting, I
can go from almost clean by fingerpicking to over the top distortion
without changing settings on the amp. The two month wait was well
worth it! Thanks,
I just wanted to drop a line to thank you
for putting up with my impatiance in waiting for your fine product.
Fact of the matter is, if I had known how great these pickups sound
( J-45 set) , I don't know if I could have stood the wait. I have
NEVER heard or played ANY pickups that sound or respond like yours
do ! I have played Bass since I was 11 years old(35 years), and
I have played everything from Epiphones to Warwicks. There is nothing
out there that I have listened to that comes close. It is simply
the most responsive and true sounding pickup made. I have named
them High Definition pickups. The thing is, they are just as great
for the sound they don't make. No hum, no buzz. WOW. I'm sorry if
I'm rambling, but I have never been so impressed with any music
equipment. I am proud to play "The Masters" pickups 150+ dates a
year, and as long as they are available, and I'm able, I will always
You all keep up the great work, and thanks
for such a great product !
I was able to install the 710's this last
Sunday and have since got to put them through their paces both live
and in the studio. These are wonderful units and I really can't
believe I've waited so long. I did a little EQ tweaking as well
as goofing with the PU and string spacing and am completely loving
what I'm getting. The extremely low noise is another whole thing
and I'm looking forward to how that is going to change my playing.
With the single coil pickups, I always was aware of the noise sneaking
up on me and I would accordingly back off at that point. Not having
to backoff is so new and so cool that all I can say is that it represents
new found freedom.
Thank you for being patient with my impatience
and congratulations on a really fine product.
I recieved the Pickups (in good condition)
about a month ago, but it took a while before I could put them in
my guitar and experiment with them. So I'm sorry that my reaction
is a bit late. I put them in my backup guitar, a cheap 70 dollar
strat. modell from Korea. On my guitars, a Fender stratocaster with
Lace gold/gold/silver and this cheap backup I only have/use a volume
pot (250K) so I had to experiment with a parrallel resistance to
ge the most beautiful sound. I ended with a res. of 150 K so the
total load for the elements is about 100K. For me this give me the
best sound with this guitar. It is indeed very important to experiment
whith this, because it makes a lot of difference in tone. Other
bodywood will need another resistance I think. Then I experiment
with the pickup hight. I ended with the pickups halfway the pickupquard
and the strings. This done it was time for compare my Fender with
Lace and the BL280/280/290 guitar. I've done this on my computer
straight in the soundcard, with my very fine sounding Pod (Line6)
on a P.A. ampl. and straight in my Vox and Fender amps. I'm 53 years
old, so I know a bit how a Strat has to sound (i.m.o.), H.B. Marvin,
J.Hendrix, M. Knopfler in his earlystrat day's, S.R.V. and so on.
In every situation the cheap korean stratclone with your pickups
sounded way out better than my Fender with Lacepickups. The Fender/Lace
sounded as if the amp was covered with a blanket. Sustain is much
better. You also can see that on the computer as you look at the
waveform. The "in between" sounds are excact how they have to sound.
The enveloppe of the waveform is just the good one. Good attack
and than quick release and long sustain. The bass response of the
280 is very good, almost sounding to me like a piano. The middle
and hight's are very bell cristall clear. Overall tonal balance
is impressive. The response on the way of picking the strings is
excellent. The 290 at the bridge is very good and can sound very
mean but not earpearcing like normal bridge elements. I like these
pickups much better than the Texas Specialls, which I had before
the Lacepickups. I still have a sample of these on my computer.
The Texas Special sounded very harsh to me and didn't cut through
the mix of a band at all. And as bonus NO HUMM HUMM, even in front
of my computer! Excellent! This means no hum anymore on stage due
the stagelight's electronics etc!! So far I'm very very satisfied
with the pickups. The only thing I didn't try yet is playing with
my band. The lace elements cuts really good through the mix with
much pressure and I'm curious if the 280/290 do the same. If they
do I have to rebuild my Fenderstrat and through away the Lace and
order some new pickups at your very fine Fam. Factory.
So please thell your husband he did a wonderfull
job to develope these pickups and your whole family to make those
beautiful products. I'm very grateful that I got these pickups from
Hi Bill, Becky & Shannon,
Got the L-298SL yesterday (thanks for getting
it here quicker than I expected) and put it in one of my favorite
strats today. Well, all I can say is that it does exactly what I
hoped it would and even more. I got that big, clear bottom that
I was looking for along with just the right amount of top end without
ever being harsh. Fantastic pickup! It pushes just hard enough (great
with distortion) for what I need and integrates beautifully with
my L-280's too. This guitar is definitely complete now.
(It started with this e-mail:)
Hi - A couple of months
ago I called and talked to Becky about tele pickups. I had specifically
asked if a regular tele pickup cover would fit, and she said "yes."Because
I was going for the classic look, as well as getting a good tone,
I ordered the pickups BECAUSE Becky said the tele neck cover would
fit. Well . . . they don't. I have a tele that I wanted to retain
its classic look but now can't. I'm really disappointed that, for
whatever reason, I was told they would fit. And I'm also disappointed
that Bill (again, for whatever reason) thinks it's necessary NOT
to make the neck pu a standard size. If you aren't going to make
it the correct size, at least make a cover for it for those of us
who want to keep the vintage look. Not everyone likes the no cover
look. I don't. So now I have to get rid of the neck pu and find
one that has a cover. I wish I was told a cover doesn't fit BEFORE
I purchased the pu's.
( I answered with this reply:)
You can send the pickup back to me and I'll
reimburse you. I think that there was a misunderstanding. The pickups
we make could never be used with the cover because one of the features
of the L-280TN is that it is the same size as the cover. This means
we can make a pickup larger than the ones that fits inside the cover
and therefore, we can offer a Tele neck pickup replacement that
has a fuller, richer sound than standard Tele neck pickups which
use a cover. Some people like that feature and others don't. Like
Bill says, he prefers tone over look. But we understand
there are many people on the market who are very conservative and
want the traditional Tele neck cover look on their guitar. So, please
just return the pickup asap and I'll reimburse you. Our address
is: Bill Lawrence Design 1785 Pomona Road Unit D Corona, CA 92880
( And the winner's are.....our customer, the L-280TN and his
Hi Becky - First
of all, I apologize for being . . . irritated about the tele neck
pickup cover.I did want the traditional look (and I do). However,
after seeing it installed and the TONE . . . well, I shut my mouth.
Tone wins over looks. Yeah, it would have been nice to have the
cover. But I don't want to give up this tone. So forgive me for
being irritated. Tone wins. :-)
Dear BILL AND becky,
After calling all local and regional music
stores and outlets, I finally remembered the name Bill Lawrence.
I purchased two of his pickups in 1979, so when I saw the name,
I went to his site. After puchasing 2 L500R's and a L280TN for my
Fender Telecaster, I found them to be unbelievably smooth sounding
and the best I have ever played. Had a technical problem, and called
you, and ended up speaking with Bill. After a long interesting and
rewarding conversation on various topics, I found that he was a
storehouse of history, expertise, and knowledge, as well as being
a fascinating person. He solved my problem, and the time I spent
with him was most rewarding. Anyone in this day and age that will
take time like he did with me is extraordinary. PS:HIS PICKUPS ARE
KILLER and I would recommend them to everyone who takes their music
Thanks so very much, Bill.
Dear Becky and Bill,
A few months ago, I bought two of your L280S
pickups for a 1963 Fender Duo-Sonic which I have. Today, for the
first time (because the guitar has been in another state!), I got
to try the guitar with the new pickups, into a nice loud Fender
tube amp. So I plugged the guitar in and started playing and my
immediate reaction was "WOW!" The pickups are amazing. The have
the most gorgeous punch and sparkle of any pickups in any of my
guitar (I have a lot). Also, I didn't realize how much juice they've
got! These single coils are actually louder than the high-gain humbuckers
in my favorite Gibson SG. They also distort beautifully to get the
most amazing lead tone from single coils I have ever got so far
(They surpass my G&L's magnetic field single coil pickups for this).
All in all, they are excellent pickups and I could not be happier
with the quality and great service you all provided!!
Thanks so much for making my vintage Fender
sing like it should.
PS - I'm soon going to buy a set of the L280's for a strat, even
though I don't have a strat to put them in yet! I know I'll want
to slap them in as soon as I get a really nice strat :-)
Last week I used those L-490s you built for
me on a recording and gig. They sound great and are exactly what
I had in mind. In the next day or so I'll order another pair.
All the best,
Installed my new Strat pickups today and
I'm delighted. ( L-280S)They sound fabulous. It's like having a
new guitar. I've owned my strat for five years and this is the first
time I am able to use individual pickups; the noise from the factory
pickups always made it impossible. Just wish I had know sooner.
A very satisfied customer
Just to let you know that I got the new pickups
( L-450's)and installed them this weekend. ( into an L6S) They sound
great. I couldn't use the pickup rings because the old pickups had
a three screw height adjustment and a correspondingly larger cutout,
but the old rings worked out fine. I enjoy the guitar much more
Bill and Becky,
Just wanted to let you know that the Tele
pu's I received from you, L-280TN/L-290TL, sound amazing! They truly
capture all that the guitar can give which is just great because
you can just tailor the sound to your liking with amp settings and/or
picking techniques. Very versatile! ... Now granted I installed
them into a MIM Fender Tele and I don't have a vintage Tele or Fralin
or Kinman pu's to compare them to but hey I don't need them cause
I got the sound I wanted thanks to you. Now I need some recommendations
for pu's for my Ibanez AM73 which is a small bodied 335 type guitar.
I'm looking at the 450's and the 490's. The stock pu's are somewhat
muddy and just don't have that clarity of a single coil that I like.
I play mostly blues and love some of the tones that Robben Ford
gets from his Robben Ford Model Fender and Gold Top Les Paul w/P90's.
Can you mix the two, that is a 450N and a 490L? ... if so what would
the middle pos. sound like? ... I'll probably be calling you soon.
By the way your cable and connectors are just great also!
Best of health to all of you and thanks again,
Dear Becky, Bill, and Shannon,
I received the pickups last week and they
made their live debut tonight. These are the best Tele pickups I
have ever heard, maybe just the best pickups in general. ( L-280TN/L-290TL)
Wide open, great dynamic range, sensitive, responsive to volume
and tone controls, lovely high end, all the twang you want, and
a mean growl if you need it. I could go on and on. The icing, of
course, is the absolute silence that comes with them in a shielded
guitar. They were so worth the wait. I have a couple guitars with
P-90s and I'm hearing that you'll be coming out with a noiseless
P-90 in the future? Count me in.
A very, very satisfied new customer,
Well after the month wait, I finally got
them!! I was shocked to see the package laying on my counter, and
ripped the strings off my guitar and installed the pickups in 30
minutes. WOW! I was impressed with artificial harmonics I could
get out of the L500XL!! The more I turned my amp up the greater
it sounded. I could totally NAIL the Cowboys From Hell palm mute
crunch, and all the notes come out nicely when I blast the amp,
I can can hear everything i play! And the L500R is awesome for sweeping
and is nice for chording and the blues! It really is a clean sounding
neck pup not overally bassy, but it still sounds like a neck pup!
I'll be playing some church songs with this pickup on the May 22nd
and the rehearsals are sounding great! So then I cut the cables,
very thin, flexible, and they sound awesome! They totally cleaned
up the sound on my clean channel, it wasn't so muddy! My friend
bought the other 25 ft of the cable and I called him up and he said
out of nowhere, "Dude, these cables make my amp sound so much better!"
So I am going to keep my business with you, I'm glad I took the
risk and sold the ......
Hi,This is leonard at Paschini custom guitars.
I just finished two guitars and used Bill 's and your L450 -- sure
sound good thanks. I only use Bill's pickups on all the guitars
I make. Why spend all my time building and not use the best pickups
on the market. Thanks again.
Leonard Paschini Custom Guitars
Stay in good health and enjoy!
Becky I've got the pickups ( L-500's) a few
days ago and yesterday I had the opportunity to test them after
installing. And I must say they are incredible!!!! These are the
best pickups that I've heard, and they are what I was looking for
for long time. Thank you very much...... -- Best Regards,
Hi. Well, I installed your L-280TN in the
neck of my Telecaster and was extremely pleased with the result
and left my opinion for some of my fellow Muddy Waters owners on
the Fender Forum: http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html?db=&topic_number=338188&offset=539
And this leads me to the next step, putting
one of your marvels in my bridge. I’m not quite sure if I sure if
I should be ordering the
L-290TL or the L-290TL-E? I’ll try calling you tomorrow (Monday
April 18, 2005) and talk to you about it. But if the bridge pickup
is anything like the neck, I couldn’t go wrong with either.
Looking forward to talking.
I've had my 280's just a little shy of two
months.I did a review on Harmony Central.com after having them just
a week.It is said that to truely give a fair review you should have
the item awhile.I now agree with that.everything I said in my review
which was all positive I still stand behind but after having the
280's this long I can say they are great.I wanted a noiseless strat
sound. I got that and so much more.I have a Squier that has regular
single coils and a AXL Deluxe Player that has the 280's. I can get
the Axl to sound like a strat and more the wide range of sounds
are very impressive I can't get the Squier to do that .My friend
and bass player at my church is also impressed.There are other noiseless
strat pickups. I've read reviews and heard soundbites but no other
noiseless or for that matter regular single coil pickup can cover
as much sonic ground as I hear from my 280's- THE SWISS ARMY
Knife of GuitarPickups.
Stephen G. Sr
Bill n’ Becky, Great web site! I have been
playing guitar/ music for over thirty years, and “Pickupology” was
very informative and enlightening. The pickup height adjustment
guide using a nickel or two is the simplest and best way I have
seen. Your debunking of commercial pickup web site language was
classically comical! I also love your philosophy on business. If
we could just get corporate America to think that way, but then
we’d lose our edge!
I have now adjusted all my guitars, humbuckers
and single coils alike. What a difference.
Thanks, Roben P.… Rock on!
When I called you on Monday, I had only
played the L-490 through a small solid state practice amp by myself
& was very impressed w/ this pickup. So impressed, that I ordered
another one! Last night, I practiced with my band w/ my regular
full setup (tube amp; effects etc.) & was utterly blown away. The
output was crystal clear, no noise at all. I was able to hear rmyself
through the mix without having to increase my volume like usual.
It was as if I sounded like a better guitar player. I cannot stress
enough how happy I am with this pick-up. Please pass this message
along to Bill & thank him for me.
I've just fitted the L280S pickups that you
sent me. Superb! Have you ever thought of selling the Hendrix mod
kit? I've finally got the capacitors, but it struck me that you
could sell the mod. kit with the pickups. Also, Do you have recommended
heights for the pickups from the strings?
Thanks Harry ( UK)
can add the capacitors with the pickups, just please be sure to
mention it when you order! Also, here Bill's very famous nickel
method for pickup height adjustment found on our website in Pickupology
The distance between pickup and string is a very important factor
for output and sound. As a general rule for a starting point: For
the bridge pickup - put a nickel on top of the pickup under the
high E string and play the highest note on that string. Adjust the
height on that side of the pickup till the string touches the nickel.
Repeat the same with the low E string, but use two nickels on top
of each other. If this gives you too much output, you can reduce
the height slightly. Don't forget that twice the distance will reduce
the output by about 60%, and the sound will lose some lows. NOW,
you can adjust the neck pickup to match the output of the bridge
pickup. For the sound test, use stage volume.
course, our international customers may even request a couple of
nickels with their order too!
Hello Becky:This is Stu S. in Anchorage Alaska.I
was wondering if you have any XR-16 wide mount for a Carter 10 string
pedal steel guitar pickups in stock,and if you do how much is it
including shipping"First class USPS"
.I took this picture at the Namm
show in 2001in Anaheim,I thought that you might like
it.I knew Bill a little bit when I was a fat little 15 year old
growing up in New York.Bill used to have his shop downstairs at
Dan Armstrong's in Greenwich Village.
P.S Thanks for sharing that great shot of
Today I received my latest Wilde-Package
:-) I already dropped the L-490 into my Les Paul Classic and am
VERY pleased with the result (I must confess, I didn't expect anything
else ;-)) I'm, looking forward to watching the DVD and improving
some other guitars of mine. Thank for your work!
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence,
I would like to thank you for the pickup
I recieved. It is a L500-XL humbucker. This is simply the best sounding
pickup I have ever heard. Install was a breeze. The clarity and
definition are what struck me immediately. Then I noticed it was
completely noise free. With my old pickup, it hums when I sit in
front of my CRT monitor. All my guitars do this and are all outfitted
with aftermarket pickups. After using the L500 XL for the past few
days to record with and just jam on it is now my favorite pickup
ever. It was entirely worth the wait. I will not take anymore of
your time. Please keep doing what you are doing.
I ordered your pickups for my telecaster
and have been so pleased that I now want to order your pickups for
my strat. I have a G&L Legacy that gives great sound with the stock
pickups but produce a bit of noise. I would like to order two single
coil pickups for the neck and middle that are a fair version of
vintage sounding pickups, good quack and clean sound (Think Hendrix
Wind Cries Mary) HOWEVER for the bridge pickup I want the hottest
you've got, I use the bridge only for heavy distortion times but
I want to maintian the look of a single coil so am opting out of
a bridge humbucker in the strat. Can you please let me know which
pickups you would suggest and then I will call with my credit card
number. Oh, I also need these in Cream color not white.... Thanks!
Dear Becky and Bill:
I had my 280 s's installed in my strat and
they are awesome!!! My tone control works per notch on the tone
control now. I am not sure that they set them correctly however
as I think that they were thinking they were more like regular strat
pickups. I think I read where you can set them fairly close to the
strings. Can I do that myself, is that the screws right next to
the pick-ups or should I have the repairman do it for me since I
just paid for the work. Thanks so much, I feel like I have done
business with anAmerican legend.
Wow. Thank you all very much. What a change
from the stock pickups. Every thing about the tone and clarity is
true! I feel like I have a new pair of guitars. ( L-450FN and L-490GL)
I will give you a ring next week to get the ordering details for
a strat the needs some help. Thanks again for the hard work and
great product at a great price.
I just wanted to drop a note to tell you
that the 495 and 490 pickups I put in my SG have added sparkle and
depth to it’s tone I didn’t know was possible. They were worth every
minute I had to wait for delivery.
Thank you so much,
Hi Becky, I purchased the cable over a year
ago and it's outlasted all the fancy stuff I had before it. Thank
Bill (and yourself) please!
Two questions: What is the gauge of the
cable? What would be the shipping charge to 77584? I think it was
Dear Bill and Becky, Holy crap!!! I just
got my pickups today, and I spent the evening installing them. I
AM IN LOVE WITH MY GUITAR AGAIN!!!!! The sound is so alive, and
expressive... I've never heard my guitar sound this way. Thank you
guys so much for the time and care that went into this. I could
not be happier. There is just such a sense of aliveness in the sound
on these pickups... it's like the difference between playing a keyboard
and playing a piano. I connect so much more with my guitar's sound
now. Thank you, Becky, for your on-target recommendation for the
pickup configuration, and thank you, Bill, for the care and hard
work that you do to make your pickups worth people taking the time
to recommend them to their friends. If your know who Oscar Muro
is, you can thank him for turning me on to you guys. I'll be sure
to send you a link to my band's website when I get a track recorded
that features my new guitar sound! Take care, and keep up the good
I first met bill in ny. in the early 70s.
He turned me on to piezo tweeters.We then met at some trade shows.
I think in canada. Then in summer of 82, I stopped by your shop
on sunset. I was building a guitar from parts I got at charvel from
grover jackson. I had some pick ups that I got from guitars r us
( howie hubberman) you traded those duncans and gave me a 500 and
500xl you said tell me how you like em when I finally built the
guitar. I called but you had closed so I would like to tell you
thanks. They are great and still sing. I'm thinking maybe I should
get some strat pickups for my fenders.Whats good and hot,quiet and
retains the strat tone? What are those samarium noiseless all about?
Hey there Becky. I'm sorry I didnt get back
to you. I had to go out of town on short notice for work, and I
have been swamped ever since.
I did adjust the pickup like you suggested,
and I have to say that it is the sweetest sounding pickup I have
ever played. I had been using a Dimarzio X2N for years and years
and up until trying out the L500XL, it had been my favorite. I cant
believe how quiet this pickup is and how responsive it is to different
picking styles. You can pick harder or softer and get a totally
different sound. I can get an extreme metal type sound but roll
off the volume a bit and get a creamy classic rock sound. I've never
played through a pickup that nails a ZZ top sound as well as a Pantera
sound! I will be ordering more pickups in the future for sure. I
wish I had tried this pickup sooner! You have a good one and like
I said I will be ordering more pickups as soon as I get back from
Iraq. In addition to a top notch product, your customer service
is the best I've seen and I've seen a lot!
Becky, I just wanted to let you and Bill
know that I love the new low impedance cable. I've used George L
cables for years and still think they're a fine product, but Bill's
cable raises the bar - especially with regard to highs. I couldn't
be more pleased.
Dear Becky, Bill and Shannon, Many Thanks
! Your pickups arrived 2 weeks ago, and they sound better than I
supposed to. I can wholeheartedly say : this is the Sound I was
waiting for my Telecaster. ( L-280TN/L-290TLThanks again !
Dear Becky and Bill Lawence,
I just wanted to thank you for the great
Pickups and your fast sending of the second pair. Now I just installed
them on my first self build guitar and I was wondering how they
would sound (in comparison with the test setup). The first time
I played them I have to say that the pickups sound so great and
I´m delighted with the very powerfull and greatly balanced sound.
The pickups do perfecly fit this guitar (I wasn´t sure cause it´s
the first self made...). Although the body is made of a (special
kind of) mahagony, the guitar develops a very balanced, brilliant
and fine bright sound. I´m not a good player but at least the guitar
is great now :)
Thanks a lot for your support and with best
regards from germany,
(Augsburg - Germany)
Finally a snapshot (Some Details: Self made
Mahagony - Body Rockinger-Neck (Maple/Rosewood) Schaller Floyd-Rose
Tremolo w. locking nut L500L (w. single coil split via push/pull-poti)
L500R 3-W Toggle S. Master Volume and Tone)
PS: Please excuse my english, sometimes
I don´t find the right words
Hi Bill, Becky and Shannon,
I just wanted to write a quick note to say
thanks for all the help and the great pick-ups. I have been soldering
wires all week. It is just amazing all that I have learned just
absorbing bits and pieces of the information contained in Bill writing
and on the forums. The wiring diagrams are just great and wow....
with Bills pick ups you get a whole new love for the actual wood
tones and sustain of the natural instrument. I have found In this
age of amp modeling, high over drive and mega watt amps you tend
to lose track of how much of the true tone comes from the piece
of wood you hold in you hands. Bills pick ups remind you of this
fact and truly let the insturment shine. The clearness, articulation
I am getting at all levels of over drive, metal or clean are wonderful.
No tones stepping on each other, every note of every chord rings
clear as a bell, even at the farthest edges of metal mayhem. And
the clean tone on my Strat set up are wonderful, everything from
Stevie Ray, Jimi or Eric Johnson. These pick-ups are everything
and more then I could imagine, I can see how they truly add to and
become an integral part of any great Players signature sound.
Thanx again, and already planning my next
I just found your site & I am really glad
I did. You have cleared up sooo many issues in just one viewing
of your site. I have used your products for many years & I'm putting
together a new strat type ax so I thought I'd see what's out there.
Let me also say that it was nice to see your whole family involved
in your biz. Very cool & very comforting to know you are that down
Peace to you & some day I hope to meet you.
Hi Becky, I received the pickup last Thursday
and installed it that night. I have to say I'm ecstatic with the
difference in tone the new L-500XL gave my aging Washburn N4. At
lower volumes, the guitar rings like bells, and cranked it simply
Thanks a ton!
Hello becky and bill :-) I connected my pickups
on the guitar ,it is a real pleasure of playing with! Very very
good pickups!!!!!! You have magic hands! At least two of my friends
will order yours microphones! I joined a photo. And there it is
a link so that you can put a head on my name: http://bodybuilding.forumactif.com/ftopic340_Alexandre_AUGUGLIARO.htm
In this moment the site is in disturbance but that will quickly
Thank you :-)
Dear Becky, Just to inform you that I received
my parcel and everything is OK. PUs sounds fantastic and thank you
for very good service.
Davor ( Russia)
Becky and Bill ; The L-490's are incredible
the tone and response is awesome . I haven't been so excited about
playing in a long time . The first cord I played blew me away it
is so nice to be able to get the a guitar to respond the way it
should . Becky I want to thank you for all your help and patience
you have given me on the phone. The same day my 490's were in my
ax I ordered a set of L-280-S pups I can't wait to start working
with them . Again thank you for making me feeling like a friend
. I am looking forward to talking to the both of you in the near
future . Have a Happy Holiday and may GOD bless your whole family
Scottie from P.A.
Just wanted to thank you for the very personal
service. I installed my pickups last night, 280 neck and middle,
290 bridge, and they are fantastic. I thought that they'd be good,
but it was such a dramatic difference from the stock G&L pickups!
Hey Bill & Becky,
Thanks so much for the great product. The P Bass pick up was received
earlier than expected, and installed with out problems. I wired
it so I can run either series or parallel with the flip of a switch.
The sound is phenomenal! I am running the 115 Ga bass boomers and
the sound is clear and awesome. The folks at church like it also.
Another added bonus is that the parallel position is similar to
the J pick up, so now I have both the J and P sounds at the flip
of the switch. Just as importantly, now the position of the pick
up is not skewed as with the bridge pick up modes. It made so much
difference that i modified my bass and filled in the bridge hole
on my pj bass and now run only your P pick up. Once again thanks
for a great product that is American made and a great value. If
this letter can be of help to anyone then please feel free to pass
D. J., Buttermilk KS. (just south of Coldwater
Dear Becky and Bill,
Thank you so much for sending me the 490s.
They are undoubtedly the best sounding pickups I have heard. Articulate,
sustaining and defined! I received them much earlier than anticipated
and I truly appreciate it! They sound great with the 500K pots in
the Agile swamp ash Les Paul copy. No problems with excessive treble
at all. This guitar sounds so much better than my old Gold top.
The response to my picking and playing dynamics is excellent. Thanks
again for your quality product. I will look to you and Bill in the
future for my pickup needs.
Bill and Becky, I recieved the L500land I
am very impressed with this pickup.It has a tone unlike any other
pickup I have tried.It does everything well --harmonics, gain sounds,cleans
up nicely, sounds great tapped. It just has a clearer type of vibe
but still sounds great as a distortion pickup.It reminds me of a
quality hifi speaker that doesn`t color certain frequency`s very
natural and pure sounding.
Anyway thank you for a great pickup.
BECKY & BILL My order of 3 pickups arrived
safely today. The wiring diagrams that you supplied are genius!
Thanks so much!
Bill & Becky, Just droping a line to say
hello to my favorite pickup makers. I've been offline forever it
seems & we've moved to Brookhaven. Saving up some cash for another
500XL...so hopefully ya'll will be getting a check soon.
Hi Becky, Sorry, I was at a dodgy interent
cafe on a tour in France. Wasn't sure if that email worked or not!
I arrived home Monday to my wonderful delivery of new pickups. They
sound fab! Just wanted to say thank you very much for your great
service and help. Iwill definitely use you guys in the future and
be recommending Bill Lawrence pickups to anyone and everyone Ican.
Take care and thanks again.
Dear Becky and Bill Lawence,
I just wanted to thank you for the great Pickups and your fast
sending of the second pair. Now I just installed them on my first
self build guitar and I was wondering how they would sound (in comparison
with the test setup). The first time I played them I have to say
that the pickups sound so great and I´m delighted with the very
powerfull and greatly balanced sound. The pickups do perfecly fit
this guitar (I wasn´t sure cause it´s the first self made...). Although
the body is made of a (special kind of) mahagony, the guitar develops
a very balanced, brilliant and fine bright sound. I´m not a good
player but at least the guitar is great now :)
Thanks a lot for your support and with best
regards from germany,
Christian (Augsburg - Germany)
Finally a snapshot
(Some Details: Self made Mahagony - Body Rockinger-Neck (Maple/Rosewood)
Schaller Floyd-Rose Tremolo w. locking nut L500L (w. single coil
split via push/pull-poti) L500R 3-W Toggle S. Master Volume and
Dear Becky, Bill and Shannon,
Many Thanks ! Your pickups arrived 2 weeks
ago, and they sound better than I supposed to. I can wholeheartedly
say : this is the Sound I was waiting for my Telecaster. ( L-280TN/L-290TL)
Thanks again !
Sincerely, Michel C.
My name is Terry Bates (aka: Jammer). I'm
a non-profit (heh) banjo player and big fan of your humbucker pickups.
I choose your brand after reading a couple guitar electronics books
in my early pursuit of "heavy metal banjo" in the mid 1990s. I just
wanted to pass the word that I have used a set of Bill Lawrence
humbuckers (rails) in my Gibson RB250 5-string banjo for many years
to produce a hard rock sound from it for years. I hope you dont
mind me pluging your pickups for use in banjos, as I did here (message
. Please let me know if you rather I not steer banjo pickers your
direction and I will gladly remove any reference to you. It's just
that players often ask me what hardware I used to get "heavy metal
so much that I figured I should clear it with you before linking
to your site. I have only linked to your site once, so far- in the
single message thread above at the world's largest banjo player's
website - banjohangout.org. Thank you for your time, and if you
ever want a Heavy Metal Banjo player's testimonial of your guitar
pickups I would be happy to share a favorable experience.
I enjoyed reading your site. Good information.
Hi Becky and Bill.
I wanted to drop a line and tell you about my new 280 strat pickups.
Also need to ask a couple of questions as well. Please read the
following: I have played many different guitars and found one in
particular that I loved at the time. I played a 1993 Paul Reed Smith
Custom 24 that sounded incredible. I was a studio musician and continued
with that type of guitar for 4 years straight. I had another guitar
friend of mine who had a real 1962 strat that people said was one
of the best they had ever played and heard, he forced that guitar
into my hands and I liked it with a few exceptions, one of which
were the pickups and the noise that seemed to give me a headache.
At that point I thought single coil pickups were all noisy, I liked
the tone, hated the noise. So I decided against the Strat and stuck
with what I knew, the Paul Reed Smith. A couple years later, a friend
of mine discovered and heard great things about Bill & Becky Lawrence.
He gave me their website I called and talked with both Bill and
Becky on several occasions. They were both incredibly informative
and cordial to me. Becky told me to try the 280 neck and Middle
with the 290 in the bridge. I did, after piecing together a solid
Alder Warmoth body and Maple/Rosewood neck, all top notch pieces
of wood. I put these pickups in and the rest is history. Unbelieveable,
no noise and the tone will drop you to your knees! For anyone who
is thinking about other pickups, I have tried them all in many different
Strats that I have played through the years. Everybody I knew were
playing strats with every pickup and wiring possiblity in them.
They were all convinced they had the be all end all of Strats. Guess
what, I have it now and they all agree thanks to Bill and Becky
Lawrence. I felt compelled to write this letter to the people that
were on the fence on what pickup they would like to go with, I was
on the fence and looked at many others, but I can tell you, these
pickups blew me away. Its not like I wasn't playing a great guitar
with great pickups, its not like I haven't seen almost all the other
options, this guitar will drop you no matter if the sound is crystal
clear or distorted. Stop cruising through the internet and reading
every word written on the competion like me then trying 200 different
combinations, just place your order with Bill and Becky, and I can
honestly say, if you don't absolutely love them, they are in the
wrong instrument! Side Note: Are the prices and timeframes still
Thanks again Bill and Becky, thanks for
the help and producing more than an excellent product. I will be
building yet another masterpiece with your pickups in it very very
soon. Look for another order from me. I am sure I will call and
say HI! Post this letter, I needed to hear something like my story
when I was looking! It will help!
Thanks, Jay R.
Hi Bill and Becky,
I already mentioned awhile back how great
the 450s with Q-filter sound in my Heritage 535, now I'm writing
to tell you that I finally finished building my custom Telecaster
equipped with 280TN/290TL setup. It's a special guitar in part because
of the 1pc quartersawn maple neck and 1pc Swamp Ash body giving
it great resonance, but more so because it has a colored french
polished finish. I've attached a picture so you could get an idea
of how it came out. The net effect of the design with your pickups
is a noiseless guitar with a lot of character and great clarity
while still maintaining that classic Telecaster flavor. Thanks again
for your work.
Hi Becky, Received the cable/plug package.
I am lovin' these things! Makes my Strat sound like it has a really
good quality preamp installed. I've always had problems turning
down the volume control due to the fact that I'm left-handed and
wire the pot backwards. I don't know if right-handed folks have
the problem to the degree that I do or not, but I lose an awful
lot of high end when I turn down despite the cap I have installed
to treat the problem. With your cables I'm now able to use the middle
range of the volume control that was off limits before. KUDOS! Oh,
I got a discussion started at Ampage about your cables. It started
out about George L's - that was before I discovered your cables.
Here's the link in case you want to check it out. It's called 'Who
makes the best guitar cable'. http://www.firebottle.com/fireforum/fireBB.cgi?cfg=misc&forum=open&enter=go
Thanks for making my rig sound better.
Dear Bill, I want to tell you that meeting
you and of course your wife at the FWCG was the high point of my
experience. The day that we spoke, first for long hours outside
the University Union(on subjects of impedence, capitance and resistance)
was so educational I wish I had studied electonics and physics from
you. Second the evening we were able to speak for a few brief mionutes
about other more serious social and political topics, during the
intermission ofthe Pat Martino-Les Paul concert were even more informing
and uplifting. You sir, are a true intellect and thinker. I consider
meeting you to be one opf the greatest honours of my life. I hope
that one day we will be able to continue and discet these topics
in even greater detail. You distinguish yourself in a world of undistinguishable
men, and while I will continue to allow you the luxury of being
human there certainly are subjects that I would consider you to
be not only the ultimate authority but albeit the only living authority.
I wish you great success in your venutres and hope that our paths
cross again one day. I will have a few pictures of you posted on
my website (www.visionguitars.com). I thank you for your time and
brilliance, if you ever again think of taking an apprentice I would
gladly volunteer for such an opportunity.
Your Friend Jay Norman
Bill, and all.
late in getting this "thank you" note to you. Thanks for the order!
As usual, the pickups are great. I've been messing with electric
guitars since 1965. I now have the sound I want. The guitars sound
the way I want and that cannot be stressed enough. I am fitting
all my own instruments with Bill's pickups and expect them all to
sound great. What is "great"? "Great" is no added "color", noise,
etc. Clean, clear, and dynamic. Soft when I want it, powerful when
I want it. True story. Thanks! My customers are now convinced. More
orders are definitely in the future.
I received my pickups intact ( L-280S)and
put them on my Strat and... could not believe my years. This guitar
never sounded so good. All those opinions on the Internet about
your pups are true, and I must say
it's worth waiting. This is my favorite guitar from now on.
Thank you very much and all the best.
The pickups (L-280S set) arrived, and I had
them installed. I just want to say that they are best-sounding Strat
pickups I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I've owned
quite a few Strats over the years, including a couple of '63 L series
which sounded wonderful - these pickups of Bills however are their
equal in tone and of course they're quieter! I have another guitar
- the pickups are nice but not in the same class as Bill's.
I'll be doing quite a high profile short
reunion tour of the UK, Europe and the US in October with a band
I used to play with and I'll certainly be telling people about these
Here's more information about Neil http://www.neilclark.com
and his band http://www.lloydcole.com
Just want you to know that everything I was
expecting to get on my new guitar after installing the 280TN and
280TL plus the Q filter its what i have now and I'm very happy.
My guitar sounds real nice,sweet and strong --gives me just what
a guitar player needs to play in a very confidence way. Nice clean
sound , nice distortion ,excellent respond -- in a few words JUST
Thanks to you and Bill.
Becky & Bill,
I can't thank you enough for getting my
L-280'S delivered to me in time to play at my daughters wedding.
They are everything I hoped they would be. They are extremely musical
and bell-like in tonality and I can great distortion sounds without
the 60 cycle. I will be using my Strat a lot more in recording situations
now that I don't have to noisegate and compress the heck out my
guitar. I wish you and Bill all the success that you both deserve.
I'll be ordering a set of Tele pickups as soon I pay off the bulk
of this wedding.
Thanks again, Donn montoya _______________________________________________________________________________________________
Hi Bill and Becky,
Well, I installed my L280s pickups (neck and middle) and my L290s
(bridge) in my american standard strat. I am blown away by these
pickups! It has transformed my guitar from an average sounding buzzing
strat into a noiseless tone monster! All of the classic strat tones
are there but with more clarity and power and none of the 60-cycle
hum. These pickups are very well balanced and can do anything that
I want them to - from clean, to blues, to full overdrive. Wonderful
sustain and harmonics too. They're just amazing, and the lack of
noise will help me tremendously with my recordings.
Thank you for making such a superior product
that's affordable for the working musician.
Tom W. Musician/Studio Engineer
Dear Mr. Lawrence,
I just installed my new L-280TN and L-280TL into my custom built,
alder body, maple neck, Telecaster. Sweet Mother of GOD! These pickups
are amazing! The tone and balance are incredible. I'm a guitar teacher/working
musician. I play everything because I have to. These pickups will
do anything! From vintage 50's to spank'in country to scorched earth
metal. From sparkly cleans to chunky Rocky Road dirt. And they do
them all with beautiful character like nothing I've ever heard before!
Everyone from sound guys in the dirty bars to my students to my
fellow teachers were totally impressed! You could easily (...EASILY!)
charge three times as much and I would have bought them without
giving it a second blink, something I continue to do every time
I play/record. Brilliant!! You are a genius!
A completely satisfied customer.God Bless
you, your wife, your children and your entire working staff,
I ordered a P-46 pickup from you. I got it
back in July. Right after that, my band (www.deacondark.com) starting
getting gigs and my pickup upgrade project was put on the back burner.
Well, today I finally pulled it out and put it in my fretless P
that I have been wanting to upgrade this whole time. Basically,
this bass is a mixture of MIM Jazz fretless neck with a MIM Standard
Precision bass. Most of the hardware had been upgraded and now the
electronics are as well. All I can say is, "WOW!" I was expecting
better sound (why else would I get a replacement pickup), but I
was not, in any way, prepared for the jump in quality (or output
signal) that your pickup would provide. The sound is just absolutely
wonderful. Thank you for making such a great pickup.
Take care, Glenn "SmittyG"
I just wanted to let
you know I received my pups(280S) and I think they are some of the
best sounding single coils I have ever heard. I truly appreciate
all your hard work and dedication to quality.
So. Here's what happened
today. I got my Ibanez RS-335 back last night, after having the
Bill Lawrence L500-XL installed. It's about 7:30 in the morning
and I fire up the Triple Rec, plug in the RMC-3 and the Vibe, and
warm up a bit at low volume. Fingers are stiff and sloppy--hey it's
early!--and the guitar sounds brighter and tighter to be sure. Harmonics
are sounding tasty. Digits are warming up.
So I drop into Channel Three on the Mesa,
punch up the volume, and go for it. Holy Shitstorm Hellfire. Sounded
great. Blew the stock Ibanez V-2's out of the water (which I expected)
and just SLAYED the Duncan Invader I have in an identical guitar.
Much tighter, much more alive, I guess is a better term. So I'm
sanrling along and just leanin on the Teese. Oh man what a blast.
I'll wager my neighbor was furious, but hell, who cares. He surely
does not know the Opiate of Tone. I decide to bark out some riffs,
test the thud capabilities, I guess you could say. I use 11-52 strings,
regular tuning, but tuned down one whole step. My God, it's was
like having your brain scooped out by a spatula, whipped in a bowl,
and poured back in. Great, clean, goodtime fun. I look at the clock,
and I was just tranced for a half hour. Trying to bounce out of
work eary tonight to get a little more noodling in before my brain
shuts off for the day.
Great product, sounds magnificent. If you
play heavy stuff, or have a friend who does, I'd suggest this snarl
of magnets and wires to anyone looking for a change. Going to look
into his Strat setups. Replace the stacked Duncan Vintage pup's
I have in there now, perhaps. Anyway, worth the wait. Glad I made
(Found on alt.guitar)
Becky and Bill-
Why discontinue the 250's? They are great
pickups and solidly go head to head against all the other "wannabes"
of your quality. Please, bring them back... And a tele set up as
well. I've got an upcomming tele that I would love to deck out with
a 250 tele set and rail on my friends Tele with his Bardens. Joe
makes a solid pickup... but for $125.00 a pop, they aren't that
My Heritage H-150 with your set of L-500s
(R and XL) is very happy with your pickups. My friends are always
impressed with the tone of the pickups, and the fact that they can
drive down the wha pedal and do a pinched harmonic that can break
glass if you push it right. Yet back off and lay down some T-Bone
Walker by backing of the volume on the guitar. Also nice to know
that the tone knob actually does something besides make a pickup
sound "woofy" or asthmatic.
Bring back the 250's!
Dear Becky; I recently had the good fortune
to buy a mexican strat that had been outfitted with Bill Lawrence
pickups with the "Hendrix mod" three-position selector. I am knocked
out by how noiseless AND toneful they are! Absolutely the nicest
pickups I have ever owned. I plan to order some of your pickups
for my tele as soon as I can. Thanks,
To the Honorable Lawrence
Family.....I am totally amazed at the sound of my L-280 set with
the Jimi Hendrix wiring (w/ vol. mod.). Along with the reverse headstock
and bridge pickup, THE sound was there. All of a sudden, I was a
better guitar player. The tonal variety is astounding, and the pickups
are smoother and more articulate than my EMG-ZWs. Everything else
now sounds a little mushy. You have spoiled me. I want to thank
you for all your assistance, too. I have learned so much, and realize
it would take 5 years of college, just on capacitors and resistors,
to dent the ignorance. To me life IS learning, and you've really
brought life to me. My dream guitar is now a reality. I'll send
pictures when I can.
i'd just like to say thankyou out loud for your amazing pickups.WOW.I
put an L500xl in an old custom made strat, and i wired it with a
3 way switch for series/parralel/single coil modes, and it slays
any other guitar for tone, versatility and looks. The dirty sound
is so powerful, but it's the clean tone that really makes me want
to weep;it's almost like a hi-fi sound. I never thought a pickup
that sounded so good dirty could also cut it clean-lrt alone a high
output humbucker. When I saw the price of your pickups, I was also
Once again THANKYOU and Bill Lawrence pickups
will now be installed as a standard for customers!
How are you guys adjusting to your new place?
I need to order two pickups. I need an L-500XL in Zebra (black and
cream bridge) and an L-500C in Zebra as well (black and cream neck).
These will be going in the same guitar. I need cream colored pickup
rings for both pickups. Should I be calling you with this order
instead? I'll still pay through paypal. Let me know if you need
me to call or if I can just go into paypal and pay there.
I have to say that since I have started
building guitars (about a year ago), I have used Bill's pickups
exclusively unless the client wants something else specific. I cannot
tell you how impressed I am with these pickups. As good as the pickups
are, I appreciate the service and personal attention that you provide.
You guys are a true inspiration to someone trying to get a small
business off the ground.
Dear Bill & Becky
Thanks to your pickups a 1990's Peavey tele-clone
has now become the telecaster of my dreams. This guitar was always
felt good in my hands, but it didn't sound nearly as good as it
felt. The pickups were weak and microphonic. In short, when I plugged
it in and turned up the gain on my amp, the guitar sounded like
a cheap acoustic over a PA system.Naturally, this took a lot of
the fun out of playing it. Fortunately, this is no longer true.
After the pickup transplant, it's now the first guitar I reach for.
I find that by playing around with the guitar controls and the amp,
I can get or come very close to any sound I can want. I never realized
how versatile this guitar could be. It was also an honor to spoken
to both of you. I think I learned more about pickups and sound amplication
in a telephone conversation with Bill, than in six years of guitar
playing. While I can't pretend that I have any idea of how to build
or design a pickup, I appreciate the fact that your products are
scientifically designed rather than based on myths and old wives'
Sincerely M.S.New York City
PS: I had the work done at Alex Music on 48th St . The shop owner,
Alex, had a lot of great things to say about you. After hearing
the difference that these pickups made in my guitar, I'm saying
a lot of nice things about you guys too.
Becky: I am writing
to thank you for your recent excellent customer service in making
the repair to my strat pickguard. You were great to work with on
the phone. I really appreciated your help. Thanks again. Jim
Just needed to thank Bill for all the info
and insights on your web-page. I've never been a "gear-head" or
much into the tech side of git-fiddles.... just have to play them!
Putting one (trying to) back together now & kinda' got caught-up
in all the hoopla of what to use. Reading Bill's account of explaining
his single pickup equipt guitar put the "light" back on in my noggin'.
His chain theory/ view is refreshing and accurate. I've just realized
there is more than one way for the player to be the weakest link!
No more screwdrivers & pliers for me...... only picks.
Gittin' My Fiddle,
I emailed you last month, but
never received a reply; I seemed to be having email difficulties
for a couple of days after sending, and I know from your discussion
board that you also had problems. I also appreciate how busy you
I'd like to order a pair of
J-45 pickups for my Jazz bass (standard Fender 4-string sizing).
I'm based in the UK, so I thought I'd better check with you how
much the shipping will be before Paypal-ing the order in. By my
calculations, the total cost will be $124.50, unless the shipping
costs have changed since my last order. This will be my second set
of J-45s; I bought a set from you earlier this year, and they are
now installed in my Warmoth/Moses home-build Jazz bass. They sound
really amazing, and it's made me realise that the pickups in my
other Jazz bass don't do it justice at all. I hope to hear from
you soon (although I understand how busy you must be.
Just wanted you to know I just
tried out my new BL 290TLE in my 62 RI Tele. A friend sold me the
pickup about a month ago and last weekend I got to try it out. I
was skeptical about the pickup since I have been a Harmonic Design
Vintage Plus user for years (in all my Teles), but decided to try
something new & quiet. I played at a large weekend gig using my
Tele with the 290TLE and I would have to say that this is one great
sounding pickup. Not only was the 290TLE quiet, but it cut through
the mix and had a nice Tele tone with some body to it. I am so impressed
with the pickup that I may replace my other Tele pickups with BL
Thanks for a great product.
I read on the web site that
you guys are super busy with the move to the new facilities, but
just wanted to resend this email... hope all is going well and you
are getting caught up. I just had my Nashville Tele wired up, and
the sound is amazing! Very smooth twang, and I am very pleased.
One question - the pickup cover on the middle pickup, which is an
L-280M, is a little darker than my pickguard, like it is antique
white as opposed to white. No big deal, but I was just thinking,
since the guitar is black, it might look better if the cover was
black. How much would it cost to get one black L-280M cover? Also,
for some reason the luthier that installed them lost one of the
Tele bridge mounting screws and used a flat-head screw instead.
Could I also purchase one Tele bridge pickup mounting screw? Thanks
in advance for your help.
I love the sound of my guitar!
Thanks for the 290TL/280TN pups,
they sound great. The guy who cut the nut for my parts tele--Danny
Ott--exclaimed "Billy Lawrence always has made a good pickup--always
a great value!". (He played my guitar a bit befoe I picked it up,
and again for me when I showed up!) They are dead quiet and have
plenty of twang. I don't know how you guys do it for what you charge.
Again, much thanks. D.R.
a testimonial unlike all the others I read on your site. I just
recently (within 6 months) purchased a Wilde guitar from a shop
in Colorado Springs, CO. I had no idea what the guitar was, just
that I loved the sound and the feel of her. After taking her home,
trying a variety of amps, processors, digital and analog recordings
and the like, I decided she ranked easily with any of the other
fine old vintage instruments I use. I still had no idea what a "Wilde"
guitar was, but since made in the USA couldn't be all bad. And damn,
that tone! And no noise. And the wood, the obvious craftsmanship,
and did I mention the tone?! I finally availed myself of the 'net
(since I pay stupid amounts of money for full access, might as well
use it,eh?), advice from a friend who deals vintage instruments,
and began to realize what I had gotten my hands on for the price
of a 'fair quality' instrument. "Premium guitar? No way! For that
price? No way! YES way!" And so she holds a place in my collection
and in my heart. And frequently on stage! And in the studio! Her
serial number is 97 A 0020; any info you could send about this lovely
flame-topped showstopper would be greatly appreciated.
I hope you remember me. I lived in Bethlehem PA and you built some
pickups for me. You may remember that I picked them up on my way
to Lancaster where my gig was. I installed them that night, after
the gig, and used them for the rest of the weekend.
I was just checking out your
website and see that you've followed me to California! I can't believe
it! We are in the Bay Area, so a bit farther than before. Next time
I'm in LA visiting friends, I'll have to see you. I recommend your
pickups to everyone I meet (that cares) and have a link to you on
my website. I couldn't be more happy. They are amazing.
Best regards, Brandon
Well, well - long time ......
Anyway - better late than never. I recieved the pu`s (L-280S) without
any shippingdelays... and I put them in my guitar very quickly afterwards
to try them out, - and they where great. (This was with the stock
pots/switch and wiring.) The improvement of the sound was significant.
But, to cut a long story shot: I don`t belive too much in my own
skills in soldering, and nor do I know much about electronics, but
I do know what good sound is to me. And I had this idea, that if
I optimized all the electronics on guitar (Mex Strat) alongside
the new pu`s, I might improve the overall soundquality futher more.
So I bought new quality pots/caps/resistors/wire/5-way-switch, shielded
the cavity (shieldingpaint) and the pickguard(foil). Then I called
in a friend of mine, who knows - at least I think so - anything
about soldering and electronics, to do the job right. We, - actually
my friend, I just made the coffee, - made this modification two
weeks ago. As I said before, the guitar sounded really great with
the stock electronics and the BL-pu`s. But I tell you, - now: WOW!!!
In my opinion your pu`s do deserve complimentary quality pots/switches/wiring.
This has lifted the sound to even higher levels. It`s hard to describe
sound in exact words, - especially in my english, - and in the end
it has a lot to do with personal taste. So I won`t bother you with
that. One thing I can put exact words on though: My guitar has never
before been so dynamic and responsive to play. It simply reacts
to everything I do... Finally,- I almost forgot: The noise, - or
the lack of. Before changing the stock-electronics (but with your
pu`s in) there was a little/some noise. This, I guess, may say more
about the stock-electronics (or my soldering) than your pu`s. After
the complete modification, the guitar only produces what it`s supposed
to - nice guitartones. My noise-test: Guitar plugged into amp, guitar-volume
zero, amp-volume max: I hear the noise from the amp. Then guitar-volume
turned to max and switching between the 3 pu`s: NO noise at all
Well, Becky and Bill, thank you for making a high-end product with
a low-end pricetag. I`ll be back for more pu`s someday...
The very best,
I wish you the best in your
move. I'm still just continualy amazed at the tone and the SILENCE
of my pickups (NOS L-500n and , made for me, L-500xl). Everyone
who plays my axe cannot belive what comes out of my Heritage (LP
type). Still trying to comvince them to dump their old and get some
new for $100.00. Give or take. What also kills them is the LOOK
of the blades, with the chrome trim, on the pickup as well... kinda
looks racy on a black body... like a properly trimed Porshe or a
Mercedes coupe. Photographs of the chrome, you should include in
your little site. If you wish, I'll photograph some styly photos
of my axe with your pickups... just to make sure people have a proper
perspective of the look. If you like my shots, I can do more...
we can work out a trade. I beleve in your product and happily stand
by you guys. Always willing to what I can for TRUE artisans. Something
that Bill is... a pickup artist. But in the way of relation to a
Love to you all at Wilde Products
Becky, I got the 2 L-500XL pups
Check out the sweet sweet sound of my Bill Lawrence L280-s Noiseless
Air-Gap Pickups. You have my permission to use this little piece
for any purpose. It says a great deal about the quality of your
product. (The Finest Single Coil Pickup Ever Made). I could go on
and on in print but............. you should just hear 'em Every
note has a life of it's own! Guitar - U.S.A. Fender Standard Strat.
Neck & Middle Pickups- Guitar played fingerstyle. ala Jeff Beck/Mark
Knopfler. Amp- 1973 Marshall JMP Super Lead 100 Watt Head.
Hello Becky and Bill-
Been meaning to let you know
for quite some time how much I love my Bill Lawrence pickups (L-280TN
and L-280TL). I bought them direct from you about two years ago
(or longer?) for my beat-but-sweet '67 Telecaster. Their sound always
brings a smile to my face, way better than the stock pickups (and
any other Tele-style pickups I've ever heard including the ones
on my expensive Tom Anderson Hollow-T classic which I rarely play).
I'm not known as a guitar player, but I have made a couple of animated
feature films ("The Nightmare Before Christmas", "James and the
Giant Peach") and work with all sorts of musicians and composers.
I know great sound when I hear it and those pickups of yours are
My apologies for taking so long in thanking you. Best wishes and
Becky & Bill,
Congrats on the relocation and sorry to hear of the fire. Glad your
still in business. I just got around to installing the L-500XL ,
L-500R and Q filter, in a Westbury solid body. They sound incredible!
And the tones I get with the Q-filter make my wife (Drummer) want
to jam all the time. ;) thanks. Here are a couple of shots of the
Westbury. As you can tell I'm a long time fan of your fine work.
Thanks for the Tone.
Hi Becky, Just wanted to say
thanks! I've just installed my new pickups (L-500R, L-280SM, L-500L,
Q-filter) in my homemade strat and they sound *incredible*. This
is the third guitar I've upgraded to BL pickups and I'm still amazed
every time I hear the results for the first time. Just when I think
I like the sound of a guitar you go and make it sound even better
:-) I'm happy to say that I will always choose Bill Lawrence pickups-
they're like no other.
Thanks to you and Bill for
Hi Bill and Becky-
Finally got my new 280s installed in my American Deluxe Strat!.
It was a bit of an adventure in aftermarket parts (never buy a cheap
pickguard is one of the lessons learned). I replaced the stock *Vintage
Noiseless* pickups and I am really enjoying the new found responsiveness
of my guitar. I wired the 280s with the standard Strat wiring diagram
you enclosed with the stock values recommended. This is where I
would appreciate some advice. Right now I get a little more treble
roll-off than I prefer when turning down the guitar volume. I know
increasing the cap value increases the amount of treble retained,
but I don't really know what role the resistor plays and if I should
increase or decrease this value. I have seen various treble bleed
circuits, some using a cap/resistor in series, and various values,
but I would appreciate any advice on fine tuning. I should qualify
this by saying I am experimenting with using the current slight
treble roll-off as a *feature*, by brightening my amp and using
the slight treble increase from 5-7 up to full as a little *treble
boost* for solos, etc. I have used aftermarket pickups in the past
in other guitars, but I always kept the stock circuitry so this
has been a lesson in the role the other components (pots, caps,
etc.) play in the overall sound. The 280s have been a huge improvement
in the sound and feel of my guitar, and I look forward to really
dialing them in.
Bill and Becky,
Just got my L280/290 set in my G&L Legacy and was able to stretch
out today on my newly modified MESA Subway Blues, Fulldrive 2 in
front. I hooked everything up in the local music store where the
work was done. The sounds coming from the guitar and amp drew rave
reviews from my friends and onlookers alike. Everyone wanted to
know the secret to my tone I must say I've never been more pleased
and excited with my guitar tone than right now. Thanks so much for
creating a quality product and a reasonable price. These pickups
are just awesome.
How are you doing? I hope all is well.
I think I got the pickup (
L-710's) distance adjusted properly, at least judging from the reaction
of the band and audience Saturday night I would say they are adjusted
properly. That job was a wedding, and I never got a chance to 'stretch
out'. I knew I liked what I was hearing but I didn't get to really
work the guitar real hard. Sunday however, I went to a club and
jammed with some guys who gave me some room and I ( and everyone
else) was just thrilled with the sound I was getting. What a sound!
Now I don't want to play my other Emmons anymore. When I got the
Emmons it was exactly opposite, I didn't want to play the EMCI.
My next problem is going to be when my students show up. I let some
of the students play one of my guitars (normally the EMCI) and I
would play the Emmons because the Emmons is little harder to play.
I may be rethinking that arrangement now.
Again, they are performing
beyond my wildest expectations. I am completely satisfied with the
sound of my EMCI now.
Becky~~~Becky~~~i feel like
a dog with 3 tails~i've installed them(L-280TN/L-280TL) on my 99'
'52 reissue~i can't beleive the sound of this tele'~it's everything
~~i've always searched for these tones.~~when i plugged my guitar
in~~well~well~~~now i know~~ don't i ?...this is THAT~~~~~~theeeeeeeeeeeeee
sound THANKYOU BILL if ever i meet ''Rick Fass'' he's getting a
kiss' a bear~hug and a LAARGE beer !!
Becky~~Bill, i'm thrilled to bits ~to me you've designed the perfect
pickups !!! what more can be said ? many thanks....cheers......John
Got my cream colored L-450 on Saturday. I have it installed in my
Ibanez Pat Metheny archtop already. It sounds great. Thank you
very much. Now the guitar looks AND sounds terrific. It produces
creamy smooth tones out of a creamy pick up.
Don't stop swinging,
My isp doesn't give me much
time so here it is:
These tele pickups ( L-280TN/L-290TL)
were so balanced, I had to come back the next day to check my ears.
Absolutely every note on my 21 fret guitar had exactly the same
volume! Ithought my guitar was trash - a tele without sustain,whats
the point. After a good setup by a pro($120-with pickup installation)
-exactly following bills diagram - this guitar has all the sustain
Icould ask for at any volume level. I had tweaked my amps knobs
every which way with my old pickups, there is no comparison.
I will be praying for the Lawrences to prosper and for anyone looking
to improve their tone to purchase a set of these pickups. If Bill
ever makes a seven string humbucker, I am first in line to buy it,
no questions asked.
Got my pickups Monday night
and will be installing soon. Quick question, my Strat has gold hardware,
do you know where I good get some pup height adjustment screws (to
mate with your pups) in gold to match??? I will definitely be posting
my thoughts when I get time to install and A/B.
Thanks so much for the personal touch that you and Bill put into
all that you do. It has made the whole experience that much more
pleasureable. I love the hand drawn wiring mod diagrams and (following
a quick photo-copy for a working set) I framed them and put them
in my office. Please let me know if you have any ideas on the screws.
Becky, thanks for looking into
the gold screws for me. I'll keep searching on my end as well. One
quick question, do you recommend using the shielding tape even with
the 280s/290s? I did the installation on my kitchen table one night
last week and since I like the switching options that the Super
Strat offers I just did a simple swap out rather than modifiying
anything. All went well and no burns ( that won't heal anyway).
I love the pup's. The 280's are sweet,clear and now my tone control
acutally does something other than act like a tone "on/off" knob.
The 290 is just what I have been looking for in the bridge. Just
that extra "punch" that really makes it usuable for what I do. I
played around with height adjustments, and I think I have them dialed
in now. The pup's have made a good guitar a great one IMHO. The
personal touch that you and Bill put into the whole experience was
wonderfully refreshing and I cannot say enough about how much I
appreciate it. I have told the story to everyone who comes in my
office and says "hey, what are those?" (the framed hand drawn wiring
diagrams") and post regularly on the FDP ("beatlefan") with others
discussing the outstanding value and service you offer. When it's
time for me to upgrade another guitar I will most definately be
back! Until then I am really going to enjoy these. Thanks again.
The custom bridge pickup ( black open coil L-280S ) that Bill Lawrence
made for my big-neck Strat is in the guitar, and I've had three
rehearsals with the guitar now. Because of the big neck and the
bridge spacing, Bill used a Telecaster basis for the pickup (a little
wider pole spacing) and custom hand-wound the pickup himself. Now,
the Lawrence bridge pickup and the strings on the Strat match up,
and the tone and output is there. I use a `74 Marshall Super Lead
half stack (two EL34's pulled) and a Barber Electronics Tone Pump
overdrive pedal (older style). The Lawrence philosophy is to use
the amp for the output and to let the Lawrence pickup deliver the
tone - and that it does! I adjusted the Lawrence pickup as per the
Lawrence web site recommendations and e-mail from Becky Lawrence
(thanks Becky), and then lowered the pickup just a tad to find the
sweet spot. After adjusting the Lawrence pickup, I then adjusted
the middle and neck Fender `62 reissue pickups.
Bill and Becky Lawrence make
noiseless pickups, and it is very apparent when the pickup is used
with other brand pickups. The Lawrence pickup is quiet. How do I
like the Lawrence pickup so far? The Lawrence pickup in my Strat
will now require me to get two more Lawrence pickups for the Strat
- compared to the Fender single coils, the Lawrence is at least
several steps above `em. Just regarding tone - the Lawrence pickup
is in another, better league. And for me, tone is the name of the
game. I tend to hit the Super Lead with a lot of gain from the Tone
Pump and play with a potential for a pretty big room volume, controlling
things with my guitar volume and tone controls. The Lawrence pickup
cleans up very nicely as the guitar volume is dropped. Bring the
guitar volume up, and the Lawrence bridge pickup on my Strat has
a beautiful singing quality - now I know what guys talk about when
they compare the guitar tone to a violin. Great tone without the
ice-pick quality; the whole note structure is very balanced and
impressive - and it sings. The pickup is impressive at low room
volume, but in my mind, where it really shines is with more room
volume. I've been having a blast playing this guitar. And at volume,
there are some great variations in tone and sound with this Lawrence
bridge pickup and rolling off the guitar tone control some (non-traditional
tone control set-up for my Strat; middle tone control drops a little
treble off, bottom tone control drops more, and all pickups are
wired to the tone controls). From low room volume with the guitar
volume rolled off, to 'loud'....the Lawrence custom bridge pickup
in this Strat rocks. Flat out rocks.
You guys can't know how much fun this guitar is again - after having
a non-responsive pickup in the bridge position that had incorrect
pole spacing for the guitar that resulted in low, anemic output
for the high "E" string - the guitar really sounds good now. And
what did Bill and Becky charge me for a custom job? $60.00 - one
of the best musical deals for tone and value I've gotten in years!
What do they charge for a regular L-280? $40.00 each. The website
for Bill and Becky Lawrence is: www.billlawrence.com . Lots of info
on their site - I'd recommend checking it out.
I would like to point out (as
any of the regular alt.guitar.amps newsgroup readers will know)
that I'm not affiliated with the Lawrence folks, nor do I reap any
financial benefit by posting this review. I paid for the pickup
just like you would do. And I encourage a lot of you guys who haven't
had the pleasure of dealing with Bill and Becky to do so - a small,
family business where tone is what walks and talks. Some of the
AGA readers will not know me from the next guy, but the regulars
will recognize that I'm pretty wound up (pun intended) with the
way my Strat now sounds. Bill and Becky Lawrence have got my business
in the future. The band that I play in, "The Relics," plays a mix
of 60's to 90's rock `n blues, covers and some originals. Our band
is fairly loud on stage and we all use dynamics to add punch or
to walk the tune softer. I intend to gig out with this Strat now
- previously with the anemic Fender pickup, I didn't want to play
the guitar much. Although I will not give up on my fav Les Paul,
this Strat now sounds very good and will make a good alternative
to my Paul. The Lawrence bridge pickup now makes me want to play
this guitar...and that's good!
Thanks to Bill and Becky Lawrence for a really good guitar pickup,
and thanks to Rich Koerner (www.timeelect.com ) and "Mikey" (recruiterman)for
a heads-up to the Lawrence folks. I'm 50 years young; been playing
for around 38 years now, and this Lawrence Strat bridge pickup is
one of the best-sounding pickups I've ever heard. It won't be my
last Lawrence pickup.
Walk in Beauty,
Becky and Bill,
After having replaced my strat pickups with the L 280s about three
months ago, I have to say they are the best strat pickup I have
played to date. The L 280s are the PERFECT strat pickup, they have
everything I was looking for. Fullness, Richness, Perfect Balance,
Very Smooth, no more Stratitus :o), Sustain--I can literally go
on for quite a while. My favorite quality is how the pickup seems
to open up at higher volumes. Especially through my tube amps. Other
strat pickups I have played in the past seem to get compressed and
to shrill under higher volumes.
When I first installed the pickup
I noticed a difference but you don't realize how much of a difference
these pickups make until you crank them with a tube amp! That is
where the 280s really excell! And in my opinion, thats where a pickup
I do have one question however, I have 8 more strats that I will
be ordering L 280s for. Is there any way I can get the pickup covers
in creme? Most of my strats are older and have that warn vintage
look and I would like to keep them that way if possible. It would
be worth it to me even if I had to pay a little more for the creme
Your Pickups Rock!
Thanks Brian V.
Note: We're getting cream covers
for our noisefree singles and I estimate they'll be ready by the
first of 2003!
Found on Usenet:
I ordered a set of L-280's for
my ASAT a couple of months ago. Bill and Becky were quoting a 4
week wait at the time, and my pup's arrived exactly 4 weeks from
the day that I placed the order. My experience with them was superb,
the pup's are absolute top quality, handmade, definitely worth the
wait. And, at $40.00 each, they're an unbelievable value. It's very
rare in this day and age to have such a satisfying buying experience,
where you get more than what you pay for. They also treat their
customer's very well, again, a rarity today. Mikey
Hi, Becky : }
I installed the J-45 I received and am very pleased. I put all my
observations on the publisher of Bass Player mag's forum:
Feel free to link to this on your site, or put my remarks (attributed
to greenboy) on your site if you feel it appropriate. Tell Bill
I'm very pleased : }
Dear Bill and Becky,
I recently finished building
a guitar for my good friend Kent and was fortunate to have used
one of your L500XL pickups along with the Q filter. This was a single
pickup, semi hollow, black walnut Strat style body with a bird's
eye maple neck. I didn't want to give this guitar to it's owner
once I finished. People who've never heard your pickups were quick
to tell me that the Lawrence humbucker was a good choice for a shred/metal
guitar, but having played and listened to this particular instrument,
I'd have to say their assumption was misguided. I've built guitars
using a broad variety of pickups, with Lindy Fralin, Kinman, Duncan,
Dimarzio, and OEM Gibson all in there at one time or another. Far
be it from me to cast aspersions upon these manufacturers, but in
the future, I'll be recommending that all my customers make Bill
Lawrence pickups their first choice.
First of all, I have never
experienced the kind, friendly, personalised service that Becky
extended to me. And this was just for a single pickup! Secondly,
like many others, I was really tickled by Bill's hand-drawn wiring
diagrams and recommendations for alternate component values. However,
the tone speaks for itself. This guitar was wired with a single
volume and tone pot (500 K ohm) and the volume pot was a push-pull
switch to allow coil tapping. That's all that it needed! I'm certain
that there are many other players and techs who've spent countless
hours in search of those magical cap/resistor values that will provide
the broadest range of sound with a minimum of switches and knobs.
Well, Sir Bill, your Q filter is the answer to those (now) seemingly
wasted hours of experimentation. I was able to get sounds ranging
from Cream era Clapton (think Sunshine of your love) with a muted
treble and chunky, percussive quack, to vintage Page (Supro/Les
Paul) through to the signature Hetfield scooped-overdriven sound
on the Metallica offerings. When I pulled up the volume pot, I was
in the sparkling, seemingly single-coil zone inhabited by the likes
of Blackmore, Beck and latter-day Clapton. All this with just two
knobs and one pickup! And the feedback solos with the extra gain
stage on my amp cranked up were controlled beyond anything I've
ever experienced. Jimi would have loved your pickups!
I'm looking forward to having
enough time to refit my '57 Strat reissue with some of your single-coil
replacements. Lots of copper shielding is already in place, along
with a 4 pole 5 position selector switch. Soon it will be time to
get the right pickups into place. Not much of a challenge guessing
where I'll be going to fill that order!
Thanks once again, and please,
keep doing what you're doing.
The Tube Doctor
Thanks a million for the finest
pick up ( L-710) I have ever owned for my steel guitar. Got it in
the mail to day and dropped it right in my steel and tuned it up.
It sounds beautiful. I am 120% satisfied! It sounds like a new steel
--it unlocked a lot of hidden sound that I never knew was there
and the sustain was amazing!!!!
Thank you once again.
Know you are busy and receive
volumes of email, but I just wanted to say thanks. I just received
a SXL II model lap steel ordered from Ted Smith @ Melobro / Smith
Family Music. This custom instrument has a tone and a voice that
is uncomparable. It is due to both Ted Smith's hand craftmanship
AND the design of the electrical component of the two L-500XL Lawerence
pickups. As well as sending a thanks to Ted, I also want to say
thanks to all at Lawence for your dedication, work and love for
music for those of us who will enjoy the sound from all the custom
Just a short note to say sorry
for not being in touch lately. I have been very busy Stock-Taking,
Playing ( Still in love with my PUs L-280S) pure class. Thanks to
you and Bill once again.
P.S. Just a little bit of info
for you. Our Band "INDEPENDENCE" are currently recording a track
" Money Talks" ( a Frankie Miller previously unreleased track )
for the forthcoming Tribute Album called "Something Old,Something
New,Something Borrowed but most definately Blues. When its completed,
I'll e-mail you a copy for a wee listen.
P.P.S Check out the Frankie Miller web site www.frankie-miller.com
Hope you are both well and I will be keeping in touch.
Yours in Music,
I installed three of your pickups
( L-280SN, L-280SM, L-465L) into my home made strat a few months
ago. I know your very busy, but after playing these pickups for
four months I just got to let you how pleased I am. Bill must be
able to read my mind. These pickups are perfect. I'm exceptionally
pleased with the L465 HB in this guitar. I wanted a bridge PU that
would slightly overdrive an otherwise fairly clean tube amp and
also sound good with higher gain. To me bridge PU's arn't for pristine
clean, thats what neck and middle Pu's are for. However, the 465
cleans up nicely and actually sounds great totally clean in the
bridge w/ just a change in pick attack. Amazing. Not to mention
the tone quality. I never knew this guitar had such a wide pallet
of tone colors in it. The L280's also have phenomenal dynamics.
I was used to higher gain SC's, but now that I have learned to play
them, they have plenty of gain. I need and want the clarity. One
can get so many diffent sounds from these-and they are all good
ones no less. I'm not one to ride the vol control or run a pedal
board so your PU's are just what I was looking for.
Becky & Bill,
I recently purchased 10 pickups from you for use with my newly formed
custom guitar company, CNTarasi Guitars. After I completed the first
prototype that uses the L-500 series ( R in the neck & XL in the
bridge ), I took some time to evaluate it. After playing it for
a while I was not sure if I my ears were playing tricks on me because
the tone and response were incredible. I had to have some others
play it and hear what they had to say. Everyone that played it was
floored by the sound. I would like to think that some of the other
amenities that I have incorporated into the guitar have something
to do with the sound but I know that the pickups are the real heart
of the sound. I'll have you know that I have never, ever wrote a
note to any company praising their product no matter how good it
was. I just had to drop you a line and just say, "WOW".
Owner CNTarasi Guitars
P.S. Your pickups will be going
into all of my guitars form here on out!
I called today to see if I could
catch Bill at work, but nobody answered. Maybe even Bill likes to
take a day off and relax!
Anyway, I just wanted to give
a final report on the pickups (Bill's new Jazzmaster pickups), after
having a chance to play out with them a couple of times. They have
worked out terrific; I'm very pleased. My brother came out for a
visit; he plays in a jazz trio in Portland, Oregon. I tried to steer
him into playing my Guild jazz box, but he only wanted to play the
Jazzmaster. We did a little recording of both for fun, and got a
"woodier" jazz sound out of the jazzmaster than we got out of the
Guild! I can't help thinking that my guitar is now what Leo Fender
wanted the Jazzmaster to be when he designed it.
The other day, when I called with a question, you asked me to let
you know how I like my new L-280 pickups ... and I love talking
about it, so here goes ... I'm going to save myself some typing
... here's a message I just posted on the alt.guitar newsgroup:
My Fender Standard (Mexican) Strat has just received its first set
of upgrades ... my first attempt at doing any significant guitar
upgrades! First of all, I'd like to thank everybody here for your
help over the past few months! This Strat, which I had purchased
new 4-5 years ago, started out black with a white pickguard, and
original pickups. The major upgrade was replacing the stock pickups
with Bill Lawrence L-280s. In addition, I replaced the pickguard
with a Fender White Pearl pickguard. I also installed straplocks
(Schaller). While I was at it, I polished the guitar (first time
I've polished any of my guitars believe it or not; this Strat really
needed it!), oiled the fretboard, etc. The first thing to hit me
was the guitar looked beautiful! My wife even commented on this
before I said anything ... and it's unusal for my wife to
say anything positive about any of my guitars ! Then I loved
the straplocks! But then came the big test ... I played ... I figured
that (much) better pickups would improve the tone. But I really
didn't know just how much the tone of this $300 guitar could be
improved. I quickly heard the answer ... a huge amount!!! I expected
to love the new pickups ... but not as much as I ended loving them!
My other Strat is a Fender American Deluxe Fat Strat ... I love
this guitar & it sounds great; but it has a bridge humbucker. So
I never have had the personal experience of playing a really good
Strat with 3 single coil pickups. I'm not saying the Mexi-Strat
is a really good Strat ... but it has 3 GREAT pickups. People here
have mentioned the "quack" tone of a good Strat, and I never really
knew what this meant. As soon as I started soloing with these new
pickups I said to myself "so that's what the quack sounds like"!.
It just struck me as a quack tone ... and a tone I loved! Soloing
with this guitar became a blast! Then I tried some chords ... this
was the really big shock ... the tone was incredibly rich, full
& beautiful! I never expected to be able to strum a chord on this
guitar & then just sit & listen to how beautiful it sounded ...
but that's what happened! I had made a series of "before" recordings.
So now I made a set of "after" recordings. Comparing the 2 sets
really showed the difference in tone. From listenable, but dull,
tones to great tones! All the great things said in this newsgroup
about Bill Lawrence pickups, at least about the L-280s, are true!
This guitar has changed from a little used backup to a guitar I
want to pick up (no pun intended ) & play! So, what next ...
besides playing my Mexi-Strat, of course ... I had designated this
guitar as my "experimental" guitar, one I wouldn't be afraid to
make mistakes on. I guess that's still true, but now I really like
it, so I'm not so sure ! I want to get the guitar well setup,
in particular to lower the action. So, I'm going to decide whether
to take it into a local pro, highly recommended by some friends,
or to try setting it up myself ... & probably ending up taking it
into the pro to cleanup my mess ! Then when I get some time to
be really frivolous, I'll probably change the wiring, perhaps to
the "Hendrix" setup. So, I guess I should stop writing, so I can
play with my new toy! Thanks again everybody for your invaluable
I want to add ... it was a pleasure
dealing with you on this project. You were incredibly helpful over
the phone, beginning with suggesting these pickups ... and so friendly
and easy to talk with! I've already recommended your pickups to
friends! Thanks for all your help, and for the product! I never
got a chance to speak with Bill. So, please pass on my thanks for
producing such a great product, as well!
Hey Becky and Bill,
I just wanted to let you know
that my Gibson Melodymaker project turned out to be a wonderful
success. The L290S on the bridge and the L280S on the neck sounds
great. I played it out for the first time Saturday night, and I
want to tell you my Les Paul just sat on the sidelines bench warming
the whole night. I never was a single coil man, but I never played
any that were this responsive and sonically complete through out
the frequency range. My sister commented on how sweet and vocal
like my tones were. I am now looking for another old ax to bring
from the dead, and when I find the next, you can bet that your product
will on the parts list .
Thanks for putting up with my
numerous calls to you asking when my two L280S Neck/Middle and L290SL
would arrive. If I could have known how pleased I would be, I'd
would have called twice as much! I spent over a year researching
different pick ups and decided to buy Bill's minutes after discovering
his website. I've had Bill's in my 93 American Deluxe Plus Strat
for about four months. Becky, as you recommended I put the L290
in the bridge.
Having the pickups is an experience
compared to one day having a personal chef prepare all my meals.
I'm saying that I can't imagine going to any other pickup. I'm forever
spoiled. My search is over and I'm completely satisfied all the
time. In my research, I heard sonic evaluations like "has lots of
strat quack", "great twang" or "lots of chimey sweet tones." It
seems one pickup had one but not all. I have it all! I mean I can
adjust my amp, my tone knobs, my pick angle and attack to achieve
an endless variety of tone. Bill's pickups respond to all of these
manipulations. Man did my world of tone open up!
I followed Bill's recommendation
concerning string size and went down from 11's to 9's. I use GHS
Nickel Rockers. They have the tension of a 10 and are really warm
--11's sounded muddy. As Bill says strings dramatically affect tone,
he's right. I wish Bill could make strings for me like he did for
Stevie Ray Vaughn.
One of your happy customers mentioned "pre CBS tone" I think that's
an accurate statement that would apply to any current American Strat
set up with your pickups and the right strings. I think the "pre
CBS tone" disappeared as the Post CBS marketing hype began. Pickups
touted as being "hand-wound", "scatter-wound", "aged" really lacks
credibility. Even if a pick-up were hand wound by real Benedictine
Monks I can't see how that could positively improve performance.
Becky and Bill, thank you for
being honest and providing the result of your finest efforts.
Hi Becky and Bill,
The pickups have arrived. I installed them as soon as I got to the
studio and am very happy with them. I do prefer the sound of the
flat rails on the L-500XL to the curved ones, but I can't really
say they had anything wrong with their sound either.
Anyway, you've restored the
sound to the way I like it on my very finicky Jackson. This particular
guitar has a nice full tone and doesn't get along very well with
too many different pickups. I've tried everything in it and have
always been annoyed with the results, although the acoustic tone
is really beautiful when played unplugged. It has an alder body
and it's fairly deep, which seems to make a difference with alder,
as most are thinner from front to back and don't have as much to
say in regards to what pickup you use in them. In my opinion, the
use of poplar wood has improved the sound of many guitars formally
made of alder, but traditionalists seem to disagree as the signature
mid range peak of an alder body is missing from the poplar bodied
versions. Well, using poplar makes the guitar more amiable to using
different pickups, and it's a rare pickup that sounds bad in a poplar
It appears that Seymour Duncan has come out with a L-500XL imitation,(
a very closely made copy to the Bill Lawrence pickup) and let me
assure you, it was bad sounding in my Soloist. In my desperation
to have a pickup in that guitar whilst I waited for my order, I
put one in it, and a few hours later removed it and just decided
to wait for my pickups to arrive. As far as Duncan's pickups go,
it's typical, but as far as the L-500XL goes, it's a bad imitation.
I am beginning to think that
Mr. Duncan didn't get where he is because of his intelligence and
insight into pickup making, but that's just a thought. All I know
is that he keeps making new models, and he appears to be just mixing
unknowns and just seeing what happens to come up. No science behind
any of his efforts and tinkering. Being that I grew up in a very
highly scientific environment, my mother being a microbiologist
and my father, employed by NASA, Armour Research, Argon, ITTRI,
CASE, Standard Oil, The US Geological Survey, etc., being one of
the world's most foremost research scientists (he cut and studied
the moonstones up for NASA, among the many other things he has done
for the sake of science and it's furthering, we had moon dust everywhere
in the house when I was a little kid LOL! Most of the research he
did was of the Top Secret nature, so I don't know if I can talk
about it, as it is probably still not meant to be known publicly,
but look him up in where ever it is people who do research have
their research cataloged), I was fully versed in most all the scientific
principles and theories at a very early age. I decided to give up
a life of science to play guitar about 21 years ago. And, although
I continued to pursue a career in science for a few more years after
I took up guitar playing, I eventually hit the road and have been
playing and teaching people how to play ever since. I do have some
formal music education, but as for guitar, I am 99.99% entirely
self taught. I studied science myself formally as well,(in addition
to having my father, who also was a professor at the University
of Pittsburgh for a while, teach me what he knew), and was quite
well educated in the various fields related to it (medicine,anatomy,kinesiology,
chemistry, biology, astronomy, physics, aside from being indoctrinated
in metallurgy, ceramics, polymers, composites, and their associated
physics from birth.) So, it's nice to know that Bill is basing his
work upon science and not chance and wive's tales like the rest
of the pickup makers.
What I'm saying is that I truly
appreciate Bill's efforts at building a better guitar pickup and
thank him for it because it has made this finicky, but fine guitar
of mine, happy.
Take care and best wishes,
Got the pups on Monday and
put them in Monday night. Harder that I thought because the 'soldering
gun' would not generate the heat ( lesson learned - just because
a soldering point will deal with wire, doen't mean it is hot enough).
But to the point - even with a less than inspiring job, all the
pups are in and everything is working fine. Everyone probably has
a bit of a different take on your product but here are my initial
1) First impression was that
there was not a big difference - this is a compliment because I
love the Strat sound I was getting in #2 and 4 position and it was
practically the same, except dead quiet. Although all the reviews
tell you that your pups maintain the Strat sound, somehow one thinks
that the stacked pickup will not be able to do it and will sound
'good, but different - wrong, all the Strat tone is there.
2) Position 1 is now usable - the MIM wiring of full treble on the
bridge pup made it unusable for me.
3) The most impressive feature for me is the 'tone control' of the
pups. Others have mentioned it, but hearing is believing. The original
pup's tone control was more an on/off - now there is a variation
in tone from 1 to 10 that you can hear.
Thanks for the product and good
service. I will start saving for the tele now. God Bless you and
Bill ( and America)
I wrote you awhile ago about
some L 280 pickups I bought from a private party. (I was going to
buy them from you guys, but found these and they were brand new,
complete with Bill's hand-drawn wiring diagram.) I had it wired
wrong thanks to a faulty schematic I got somewhere on the Internet.
I rewired things following Bill's diagram - all I can say is WOW!
My guitar is a "Tequilacaster" - Mexican Fender neck w/ aftermarket
body. It sure sounds sweet now. There is virtually no hum whatsoever.
No kidding, I have to sometimes look at the amp to make sure the
light is on!
I'm not a technician, but I do have a good set of ears and know
good tone when I hear it. I would recommend these pickups to anyone
who wants to eliminate the 60 cycle hum, yet retain good tone. I've
checked out the "big guys" and although they make great stuff, I
figure yours to be the best bang for the buck.
Thanks Bill and Becky for providing
an excellent product at a very reasonable price. I will send as
many people your way as I can.
my L-500 XL yesterday and popped it in the very day. My guitar was
an ordinary guitar, no soul, no passion, and no feeling except what
I put into it. Dropping your pickup into it was like a redemption
for that guitar. My Ibanez Ex Series Screams, Laughs, Crys, and
talks now. It sounds beautiful and the quality has improved 10 fold.
Thank you for providing a wonderful product for a great price. My
friend George owns a Bill pickup, he got it quite a while ago, and
every guitar that he drops that into sounds beautiful. He says that
you can take a Bill Lawrence and put it into any guitar and it will
make it sing. What can I say, he's right.
Hi Bill & Becky,
Wishes for a Merry Xmas & Health
& Happiness in 2002!!
Thanks for the great pickups
& advice on putting the 710's in my new Emmons LeGrande 111. I went
into the studio & cut a tribute CD for the families of the terrible
tragedy on Sep. 11. I recorded your beautiful American Anthem instrumentally.
It is my small way of helping with all proceeds going to the Relief
Fund. You can hear it by going to my web page & clicking on tribute,
continue to MP3 file & you will hear the 710's beautiful sound!
Thanks again & all the best!
Awhile ago I bought a set of
280s (with the hotter bridge) and of course loved them, for all
Strat positions. The only way I can explain them is they sound "right"
Bill had mentioned and quickly explained how to do the "Hendrix
mod" where the middle pickup had it's own volume control. I do not
remember exactly what he said at the time and he had mentioned putting
it up on the web page so I figured when I get a chance I'd give
it a try. Out of all the mods I have seen I do not remember any
as he mentioned, and it seem quite simple at the time. Do you think
you can, if you have the time, quicky repeat it to me. I plan on
moving the pickups into another guitar to hear them in it and figured
I do the mod then.
Best wishes and thank you for making a great set of pickups! --
It was quite some time that I received my order, and everything
is perfect. All my strats turned out excellent. I've been so busy
and my pc crashed, but I wanted to thank you for your perfection
once again. I am beyond pleased with the quality of your L-500 xl's.
I have never used a sweeter, yet screamin' pickup. Next time I'm
in Bethlehem I would love to pop in and see the shop.
"Eight Days Gone"
Hi Bill & Becky,
A friend in Arkansas sent me a Strat to which he fitted a set of
your pups. I have to say, these things sound simply beautiful!!
I think it is L280 in neck & mid plus L250 bridge. I've been playing
in bands since 1961 and know the sounds I like - you have redefined
that for me. I just thought you'd like to hear your excellent products
are appreciated in New Zealand also. With luck, after my friends
hear them, you'll pick up some more sales in the antipodes.
Dear Becky and Bill Lawrence,
I recently completed the installation
of a set of L-290S pickups in my 2000 Mexican Standard (Artic White,
Poplar bodied/Maple Neck) Stratocaster. I installed the volume treble
bypass mods and wired as per your standard Strat schematic. After
installation, I was immediately impressed with the sound of this
guitar, which now possesses exciting tonal characteristics, articulation
and clarity of individual notes and chords using your pickups. While
apart, I leveled and polished the frets and adjusted the truss rod,
and now this guitar sounds and plays very nice. The guitar originally
sounded mediocre, at best (awful in the bridge mode actually), but
now sounds very impressive in ALL switch positions, regardless of
whether the amp settings are clean or overdriven. After a week or
so of use with the new pickups, my ears have fortunately recovered
from the "ice-pick-in-your-ears syndrome".
I am in the engineering field
and am admittedly picky, possessing high product, manufacturing
and Q.C. expectations and I am really pleased with all aspects of
your product. Additionally, your customer service is some of the
best I have ever received, having spoken to you and Becky on a few
occasions for answers to questions prior to installation.
Once again, thank you very much, for a quality product, that in
all aspects, has exceeded my personal expectations.
Hey guys - I received the pickups
( L-280S N/M/L) yesterday and put them in today. What a difference
!?!?! I read all the reviews and expected them to be great, but
I had no idea how great they would sound!! You guys really have
something special going on. You should charge double!!
Hey - I'm a freelance webdesigner - if you ever want some help with
a redesign or have questions or whatever - feel free to send me
(Brian, don't be surprised
when I e-mail you with a big "HELP"in the subject line!)
Becky- Would you please tell
Bill that I installed the pickups ( L-280TN/L-280TL) into the Telecaster
I made and I am overwhelmed. I couldn't believe my ears! What a
sound! I am more then happy with the pickups - the great advice.
Consider me - ONE SATISFIED CUSTOMER.
I just finished my first custom built tele. I know that you're a
purist, but I thought I would fill you in. I did combine the pickups
that you sent me ( L-280TN & L-280TL) a couple of months ago
with the Torres Engineering blues switch setup. Playing it straight,
the sound is exceptional. Bravo! With the midrange boost on the
bridge pickup and the tone all the way down, I'm getting extraordinarily
lush, rich sounds that I've never heard coming out of a tele. Even
my tech, who did the setup, was impressively surprised. Thanks for
creating a magnificent set of pickups.
All the best,
Bill and Becky:
Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I love my new
L-290TL. I installed it in a '72 Telecaster Custom Reissue and I
couldn't be happier. It balances beautifully with the Seth Lover
designed Wide Range Humbucker in the neck... now I have the sweet,
warm jazz tone in the neck and a nice and twangy bridge tone...
just what I wanted. And it can also get nasty (which can be a very
Thanks so much for producing such a great product. I think I am
in love with my new bridge pup.
Thanks for the diagram, and I wanted to let you and Bill know that
I installed the 280S - N/M and 290SL on my strat, and I know you
heard this before, but thank you for making an outstanding product.
I really can't believe its the same guitar. By the way, I took my
strat to a guitar tech (David) to do some work on it and mentioned
my new Bill Lawrence pickups, and David commented that he used to
work with Bill many years ago. He said to say hi and to give Bill
his e-mail address.
Hi Becky and Bill,
Just got done installing your new pickups in my '79 strat. ( L-280SN,
L-290SL). Thanks for walking me through the wiring yesterday on
the phone. It was fun
talking with you both.
The pickups sound fantastic! Every position is very dynamic and
no mud! The 290 in the bridge really has some growl to it for rock,
and I've never heard a neck pickup sound this good. My strat sounds
better than it ever has, and what's really amazing is that it's
dead quiet now, even standing under the florescent lights in my
Thanks so much!
Hi Becky and Bill!
The last weeks has been filled with thoughts about of what's gonna
happened to "old world" after the horrible things that happened
in your country. If all people where equipped with Tele's and Strat's
(with Bill Lawrence pu's in them of course) instead of guns and
bombs, what a wonderful world it would be!
Anyway, I have shielded my
Tele with the coppertape you sent me and then put the 280's into
it. What a FANTASTIC sound! Pure tone with no hum! As I now have
the 280's in both my Strat and Tele I'm more than 200% satisfied!
couple of days ago I bought a secondhanded Tele in which I would
like to try a set of the
L-290's. So, you will probably rather soon receive an order from
God bless you!
Hi Bill and Becky,
I received my p'ups ( L-280S) today. They were a breeze to install
(only took about an hour). They really sound fantastic! I have an
American Deluxe Strat that can with the Vintage Noiseless p'ups.
I have never liked those things. It is a shame that Fender would
spoil an otherwise great guitar with them. They are noiseless, but
sound "sterile". Yours are also super quiet, but have that great
Fender sound that I love. Thanks for your dedication to building
such a fine product.
I installed an L-280 (neck&mid)
and a 450 in the bridge of my lonestar strat about 8 months ago..
I'm writing you now, because I never got a chance to after I put
them in. First off, let me say GREAT JOB!!! I love them. When I
initially put them in, my initial impressions were that they were
much more lively and full! The other thing that I noticed is that
it has a much more open sound. The 280's I found had much more tonal
range, and opened up my sound tremendously!
I'm also writing you because
my brother in law just got his set of L-280's last week (based on
my recommendation). He came over my house and we installed them
in a matter of minutes. By the way, he brought over all the packaging
that came with the pickups. It included 2 hand drawn diagrams: 1)
strat diagram and 2) a Hendrix diagram. I couldn't believe it! They
were signed by Bill too! We installed them, and plugged into his
Blues Jr. amp and WOW! Another great set of pickups!
In closing, you have a great
business and a great product with a personal (I'm still in shock
over the hand drawn diagrams!!!). I'll always be a customer of yours!
And I'll tell everyone that I know about Bill Lawrence pickups!
Thanks again, Mark (a.k.a. one happy guitar player!)
It was good talking with you
yesterday. I want to thank you again for taking time on a Sunday
to share your knowledge and answer all my questions. After we spoke
I finished installing the L-290 in the bridge position of my Tele,
as per your instructions, and everything worked perfectly. I can't
adequately describe how thrilled I am with the sound of this pickup.
It is, for me, sonic perfection. The 290 paired with the L-280 I
have in the neck position provides what I feel is the best pickup
combination I have ever heard on any Tele. Thank you, Bill. You
are an absolute master!
My best wishes to you and Becky
for much continued and well-deserved success.
It would be an honor to have
a post of mine added to billlawrence.com! You're more than welcome
to include anything you like of mine on your site. If anything my
description of the pickups (thanks again, by the way!) was overly
understated, if there is such a thing--at the time I posted to TDPI,
I had just thrown them into my tele and hadn't really gotten to
digest their tone. I've had that opportunity in the time since then,
and I have to tell you they really are wonderful! Nice strong output,
no hum, and best of all they are very true to what we all think
of as classic tele tone. In fact I just took my Lawrence-ized tele
to today's lesson (with TDPer J F.) and we were marvelling at how
nice the pickups sounded. The L290TL is especially sweet in that
it doesn't seem to have that 'icepick zone' near the top end of
the tone sweep--it sings with great tele bridge bite, but doesn't
scream in the eardrum-splitting frequency range that tele players
usually roll their tone knob away from anyway with a stock bridge
pickup. Anyway, like I said, I'd be honored to be cited at billlawrence.com.
Thank YOU for liking that post enough to want to include it on your
site. And thanks for making such good pickups!
Becky and Bill--
Thanks so much for making such
a high-quality product! I installed my L280s in the neck and middle
positions the day that they arrived. I then auditioned them in rehersal
that evening, and found the extra clarity startling at first. I
was stunned at how much I had increased the treble in the amp to
try to compensate for the dull sound of the Fender Noiseless pickups
I was formerly using! After a few adjustments to my amp's tone controls,
I had the wonderful sound I always wanted from my Strat. Now it's
full, round and crisp with ZERO hum and noise, even at ridiculous
gain levels required to get liquid sustain and feedback at low volumes.
The L-280s work really well with the L-250 I have in the bridge
position which, by the way, is another FANTASTIC sounding pickup.
The hand-drawn diagram for the
Hendrix Strat Mod was a really nice touch and the phase switch trick
Bill shared with me on the phone has worked our wonderfully! I ended
up using a 100nf cap for it which struck a nice balance between
cancellation and tone. The way I have my guitar wired, the phase
switch is only available in "Tele mode" on the mini toggle
switch I added ( so I can pre-set the Tele mode in or out of phase)
and the out-of-phase Tele sounds I get are to die for!
After a few weeks of playing
a full complement of Bill Lawrence pickups, I can't imagine how
I got by without them all this time!
P.S When are you going to redesign
the old Lipstick tube Danelectro style pickup? I have a Danelectro
reissue that would love to have Bill Lawrence pickups!
Becky-- I got the L290SL in
the mail on Friday, and put it in immediately. Wow, what a great
sounding pickup! It was exactly what I was looking for. It balances
really well with the L280s in the neck and middle position, does
the bridge/middle "clucky" Strat sound really well, and it has a
slightly "hot" (but still clear and biting), midrangey tone with
nice, solid low end when played alone. Thanks! Now, my "problem":
I don't have any more guitars to put L280/L280/L290 sets in....
I guess I'll have to save up for a few more
Thanks a million, you're the best!
You may remember me... I am the customer that kept calling to see
if you guys would make pickups to fit my Gibson Nighthawk. After
sending in measurements that were taken ever so carefully, I was
obviously quite dissappointed to find out that this would not be
possible. But, instead of informing me that this was the case and
sending me on my way, Bill and I had a very in depth discussion
of my situation. He took the time to inform me of the history and
design of the guitar. We spoke at length about several other aftermarket
pickup options available to me. Bill informed me of which options
would be worth pursuing and which options would be a waste of money.
Most impressive was when he took a few minutes to explain that it
wasn't so much the pickups themselves that were the problem, but
rather that the wiring scheme was designed to suit a particular
person's ear (which to a large extent never suited anyone else's).
Bill took the time to explain how to rewire the guitar to maximize
the potential of the instrument.
This weekend I was able to combine
Bill's excellent explanation and my rudimentary soldering ability
to completely transform the character of my instrument! I now have
a guitar that sounds VERY good in 5 positions instead of a guitar
that sounds uninspiring in 10 positions. I really couldn't believe
that such a simple modification performed with spare parts lying
around my house could have such a major and positive impact!
What is most wonderful about this situation is that both you and
Bill understand that despite the fact that you weren't able to make
any money off me from the sale of a pickup... you will be rewarded
ten fold for the time and effort you spent on me. What goes around
truly does come around.
It is very refreshing to see someone who is in business not to make
a buck, but to serve customers. I'd like to take a moment to personally
thank you for helping me to transform my guitar.
BTW: If it isn't to much trouble, can you ask Bill what values he
would recommend for pots and capacitors in this guitar?
I received my 3 L-280's in
White on the 23rd of July. Thank you for all your help and customer
care. I appreciate your time in helping me out with any inquiries
The pickups look wonderful in my Clapton strat - it now looks like
the original 57' Blackie!! - and more importantly they SOUND GREAT!!
I have been thinking about what I would say to you regarding their
sound - and I feel that the best way to describe it is that the
new pickups capture the sound that I have had in my head for a long
and elusive time. Each selection, from neck through to bridge nails
the exact tone that I was looking for - I generally play from the
neck pickup and with the L280 the sound is so pure and smooth that
I was left playing my guitar for about four hours! The in-between
positions are superb and the bridge has real bite - but the most
pleasant surprise is the sound of the middle pickup. Now in 15 years
of playing I have never used the middle pickup on its own - I just
hated the sound. However the L280 mid position is wonderful - there
seems to be a great punch in the tone. For any who are interested
for me these are the best sounding pickups available - noiseless
or not - and that if they have a Clapton strat with the TBX & Mid
Boost feature then these pickups are the only ones to have. Way
better than Kinman, Fender Vintage noiseless or any Duncans I have
My guitar is now complete -
Black Clapton Strat - V neck - TBX & Mid Boost - Vintage tuners
& Bridge & Bill Lawrence L280's. The L280's have the elusive "Air"
in them that only vintage guitars seem to have and the are very
responsive to any change in playing style. All tones can be coaxed
from these - in the true nature of pre - cbs Strats. The sustain
is endless, and you can be BB King one second - tweak the setting
and you have Clapton Nailed - in fact you could Jam with these pickups
on their own & that is no mean feat. They are truly versatile and
to be honest I doubt any pickup could sound better.
John S. -Scotland.
Dear Becky and Bill,
I received my pickups on Friday,
and I installed them Saturday. I am very impressed and immensely
pleased! My guitar is a Warmoth Tele with a semi-hollow, swamp ash
body, (no pickguard) maple/rosewood neck, routed for Strat sized
neck and middle pickups, but with a standard Tele bridge. I built
this instrument 10 years ago and have used various Seymour Duncan,
DiMarzio, and Carvin pickups at different times. Until now, NO pickups
have given me everything (full fidelity AND noise-free operation).
Your L280's have exceeded all my expectations! However, your successful
product has created one unforseen problem for me: I can't seem to
put the instrument down! The tone is addictive! My wife is becoming
very upset with me.
Thank You, again, for creating
such marvelous pickups. I hope you plan on continuing for many years
to come. I intend on referring every player I know to you.
Sincerely, James V.
Hi, My name is Kevin, and I am from Pittsburgh, PA. My wife ordered
me two L280s pickups for my Strat for my birthday this month. I
had them installed on my guitar yesterday. When I played it for
the first time with your pickups, I almost cried because it sounded
so good! They sound amazing with no noise at all. I can't wait to
play my guitar with my band this weekend. The guys in the band are
going to be very impressed with my sound.
I just wanted to say Thank You
for making a wonderful product. I have been telling all my guitar
playing friends about your pickups.
I received your package on Tuesday. First of all, I must say that
I was really surprized about the content - different colored wires
on each pickup for easier wiring, each pickup with a little sticker
for better orientation, each cable cut to the appropriate length,
the cables wired on the bottom of the pickup to this little steel
plate for easier replacement if necessary... These are small but
important details which make installing your pickups much more comfortable...
in fact - as easy as possible. I took high-class pots and wire for
the electronics and used your "Standard Strat wiring schematic"
for installation. The only thing I added was a push-pull pot for
the neck-tone control, so I now have got a "neck-on switch. And
the sounds... I think the previous testimonials hit the point. The
Strat-sounds are "Strat as Strat can", and the combination neck/bridge
pickup (parallel wired) is bell like - as often heard from good
Teles... The dynamic range of these pickups is amazing - from Knopfleresque
sounds to kickin' Hard Rock all is possible with variating the playing
style... Thank you so much for these great pickups and your excellent
customer service! There has to be some money saved, for there are
two other guitars around here which aren't equipped with these pickups
#1. I received my pickups today
( L-280TN, L-280SM, and L-290TL) and installed them and they are
even better than I imagined. It improved the sound of this guitar
100%. When I bend the strings past the pole, it still holds the
note without fading. I don't understand why with such small pole
piecies, but it DOES work! These pickups sound SO CLEAR without
that extreme bite like other pickups. It was hard for me to put
the guitar down after installing these pickups.Thank you and Bill
for helping me end the search for the Perfect pickup for this guitar.
#2. Well, I shielded my guitar
like You said, and it took care of the problem. Even with the dimmer
switches all the way up my guitar is very quiet. I sure love the
sound of these pickups.They are the BEST single coils I have ever
heard and played. It sure gave me more bottom like you said. I can
even turn the bass on my amp down and still have plenty of bottom
end on my top 3 strings. Very well balanced.
Thanks for these Great Pickups!!!
I received the pickups few days
ago. I put them in my guitar, and they play even better than expected.
So, thanks a lot again for your kindness and to Bill for his great
Bill and Becky-- Just wanted
to thank you for the great L-280's. I've had them in my Fender '69
Tele Thinline Reissue for a few months now, and they sound wonderful--
sweet or nasty-- they're both on tap. And they're perfectly quiet,
even next to my computer.
Thanks for providing such a
great product at a great price
I purchased a set of your L-280N/L-280M/L-450A16
a couple of months back for an ash-bodied Strat. I made this purchase
after weeks of web research and a few calls to Bill himself. After
the installation I can only say "WOW". These pickups have a beautiful
tone and are absolutely noise-free. Given the price, it's even more
unbelievable. I am extremely glad that I went along with Bill's
recommendation of the L-450A16 for the bridge. It is a PERFECT match
for the two 280s. I no longer have that worthless bridge position
- and I did not have to put in on overpowering, poor matching humbucker.
I have heard some things about the new L-290s, but do not see them
on the site. If you have a mailing list, please add me to it. If
not, how do I go about getting info. on your products?
Thanks from a satisfied customer,
First, please tell Bill that
I am thrilled with his Strat wiring that utilizes the second tone
control as a blender for the middle pickup (Jimi Hendrix wiring).
I wired my new Fender "hardtail" Strat this way and together with
the L-280's, the results are simply stunning. I did make one change
to his original design. I wired mine with a 3-way switch so that
when the switch is in the middle position the neck and bridge pickups
are on, rather than the middle pickup. This gives me a lovely "Tele-like"
two pickup sound that I find very useful for rhythm and fingerstyle
playing. What I particularly love about the blender control is the
way it functions as a highly effective form of EQ, imparting a beautiful
soft, round sweetness to any of the pickup settings. The combination
of the hardtail Alder body Strat, the L-280's and this wiring arrangement
has resulted in literally the finest electric guitar I have ever
owned. I mean that quite sincerely.
My most heartfelt thanks.
Dear Bill and Becky:
Thanks for your input when I
ordered. You truly knew what you talking about. I did order a 280TL.
Received the item and immediately installed it into my Tele. This
pickup is fabulous; it really is noise free. (I have tried others)
The bottom does not break up and the high end really sings. Thanks
for solving my problem.
This is just to let you know
that I got my L-250HP today. It sounds great! I was looking for
something with a humbucker roundness but still with definition,
and this is it. It's also a nice contrast to the Shadow humbucker
in the bridge position, since that one's just a shade brighter,
but not too much.
Anyway, thanks again for making
such fine equipment available at an affordable price. If I need
pickups again, I'll start with you for sure.
I received your 280's for my
'54 custom shop replica strat, and I have to say they are muchbetter
than the pups that were originally in it. I am so impressed that
this guitar, which I call the 'black CS', has become my number 1
for gigs. I usually use my Les Paul Custom more than any other guitar,
but even the 280's beat the DiMarzio Fred's I have in my Gibson
as far as noise goes. They are by far the best pups I've ever used
(and am an experimenter when it comes to pups and other gear). I
thank Coco Montoya for telling me about your company and I have
to say that, as far as Strats go, your pickups are by far the best...
especially when it comes down to bang for the buck. I especially
like the fact that volume has no effect on tone or noise, which
lends to more versatility. Anyway, I have another custom shop strat
that I consider my #1 which I am getting your pickups in soon (as
soon as I order and they arrive) and am very excited about the outcome.
Thanks for offering a great product at a great price! I recommend
Bill Lawrence pickups for anybody and everybody who is looking of
the elusive tone! I guarantee it!
Hi Becky and Bill,
I'd just thought I'd let you know I received my L500XL and L500C,
and I'm enjoying the tone that I've known for the last 20 years.
The combination you recommended was great! I plan on ordering another
L500C for my Dean(when I get it) and 2 L450s for my Les Pauls to
replace the bogus L500s that came from Stew-Mac.
Thanks for everything :)
Dear Bill and Becky,
I got my pickups last week and immediately installed them, and I
just want to thank both of you with all my heart for what you are
doing. The Tele pickups are simply a marvel. I am inspired to explore
whole new areas of tone and technique, especially more finger-style
jazz and blues playing, because of the marvelous response and "acoustic"
clarity of your pickups. They play and feel like the best single
coils I've used, and the bridge pickup is my absolute favorite ever.
The Strat pickups also sound phenomenal from what I can tell - the
electronics I used aren't the best, so I know that the tone is compromised,
and I am waiting to do the setup as you drew out for me. Thank you
so much for the wiring diagrams. I am going to have a tech wire
the Strat properly soon, and I am confident I will be as in love
with them as much as the Teles.
All my best to you. I know you
receive a lot of praise for your work, and I want to add my enthusiasm
and gratitude to the list.
Blessings to you. G.B
Well, Bill and Becky,
I have another testimonial for your website and it goes like this:
I have a guitar student named Max. He saw and heard what I did to
my Mexican Strat by putting your L280s pickups in it. I called you,
and you sent me a set for his guitar which put I in, and he came
over. He plugged it in, and he could not believe the difference
in his guitar! Once again Bill, I say you are a genius!!! It is
just wonderful how you can take a Strat and crank it up all the
way, using compression, distortion and whatever you want and NO
HUM! The tone is full, with lots of definition, the sparkle, the
real Strat sound is not lost when you really go for it, then when
you stop....silence. We both had our Bill Lawrence equiped Strats
blasting in my living room, and even my neighbor...the eldery man
who lives next door said that whoever weas playing the radio at
my house sounded great!!! hahah!!!
Keep up the great work Bill...bye
for now from one of your biggest fans ever!!!!
Best Regards... L.J.
The pickups ( L-280's) are in my guitar finally, and I really wanted
to compliment you. First off, you and your husband run a wonderful
business. I didn't know much about wiring, and I spoke with you
over the phone and through e-mails and with Bill's wonderful diagrams
it made it all to easy to install the pickups. The sound...well
it's that classic Fender sound that I've been looking for minus
the annoying hum. Therefore, with Bill's help, it's like a match
made in heaven with my "new" guitar.
Bill Lawrence pickups is one of the best kept secrets in pickups.
If it was up to me, though, it would be no secret and soon enough
all my friends will see the marvels of Bill Lawrence pickups and
their great hospitality.
As seen recently on the informative Fender
Discussion Page and posted by "Beauj Mont" who earned
the esteemed title of "Wilde Man of the Month" at Bill
"THE REVIEW": Well, now I have
an opportunity to opine about the Bill Lawrence
L-280S pickups. I've had them installed, a little over a week ago,
into a '62RI Stratocaster. I enjoyed the sounds originating from
the '57/62 pup's, so my quest began with my desire to have the Strat
"tone" without the 60 cycle-hum. So I decided to stick with Fender
and try the Vintage-Noiseless pup's. They were ok!, I mean quiet
and somewhat 'Strat' sounding, but even after the "treble-bypass",
mod I felt that something was missing. I found that 'something'
in the L280 pup's.
I feel I have a very resonant guitar when played acoustically and
these pup's seem to amplify that "acoustic" sound beautifully. All
pup positions feature a "woody" type sound that has a bit of "air"
that adds an expressivess to the string attack and an increased
sensitivity to dynamics. These pickups are very clean and transparent
with a less compressed sound when compared to the VN pup's. The
treble notes 'shimmer' and have a lot of presence even at lower
volumes. I've experienced more tone "control" because of the balance
from pup to pup. When the tone control is dimed, the highs get into
the 'glass' region, but are not brittle or ice pick piercing. These
pup's have a clean tone, and will give more gain than the VN pup's,
but won't get as distorted as the Delta Tone pup's. This just adds
to a smoother/fluid high gain with "singing sustain" (one of the
first things I noticed about these L280's was the sustain at lower
settings). They can be somewhat darker in tone, but that lends itself
to the versatility. I can turn the tone down and get some mellow
"jazz" type tones from the neck and '4' position. Or turn the tone
up and get that familiar "quack" from positions 2 and 4 (and in
my case from the 'mid' pup, too!).
One of the ways I use to distinguish a nice set of pup's is the
sound of the 'mid' pup. I could use this pup position alone, for
a lot of the songs I play. Here the 'bell-tone' sound is very apparent,
and a little bit of tweaking of the tone control will go a long
What more can I say,......when
I got these pickups, I wasn't totally disatisfied with the VN pup's,
nor was I on a quest to try every pickup out there! But, I am GLAD
to say that the BL 280 pup's are some of the BEST (If not THE BEST!).
The "Stratocaster" tone/sound (with NO Hum -- even quieter than
the VN's), the ease of installation (no need to change pots, add
resistors, or use a treble-bypass), the versatility of sounds--more
tone "control", the Price$, Bill's expertise and Becky's customer
service, leave little else to be desired!
:o) Beauj !!
I installed the L280 pickups in my G&L Legacy earlier today, replacing
the original Duncan SDS-1's. This guitar has always been a great
playing, so-so sounding instrument. The transformation is aboslutely
remarkable. The first thing that hit me was no hum. The second is
how smooth and sweet sounding these are at low volumes and as you
say they do kick when cranked.
Many thanks for a great pickup at a sensible price.
I received the L-280s about
a week ago and I immediately installed them in my guitar. After
a few jamming sessions with my band the only thing I can say is
THANK YOU for making these great pickups. The sound is just what
I was looking for. It has the right clean sound and output when
overdriven is just amazing. Plus there is actually no hum.
So once again, thank you for your cooperation and the best pick
ups in the world.
As seen recently on alt.guitar...
I received my set a week ago.
They replaced a set of Lace Sensor Golds that replaced the stock
pickups. The guitar is an 8-year-old Amer. Std. I played the guitar
for a while just before the switch to try to keep a sonic memory
so I could compare. What a waste of time. The Lawrence pickups were
so different and so much better it's like having a new guitar. A
friend has a '62 in great shape, and I've always been impressed
with the richness of the tone and the separation of each string's
tone. The 280's are like that. Big, ballsy, vintage tone and whisper
quiet. Best $125 I've ever spent on gear. Looking forward to replacing
the pups on my new Tele now.
Bill and Becky,
The pickups arrived; I installed them on Saturday, and I played
at my friend's club Saturday night. I have to tell you, truly, playing
those two Strats was an orgasmic experience for me. I've never ever
had any Strat that even came close to sounding as good as either
of these guitars. The two setups are as different as night and day,
but the tones are incredible! The only problem is deciding which
one to play next. My friends all came by to jam so we played from
10:00 PM Sat night until 10:00 AM Sunday morning. Kinda like the
old days, huh, Bill?
Thank you, my friend for those magic pickups. You turned two otherwise
mediocre guitars into two beautiful works of art, and for that,
I am eternally grateful.
Dear Mr. and Mrs Lawrence,
Here is the promised feedback:
The magnet-spacings which you´d recommended are absolutely perfect
for my guitar with its wider neck.
Sound: Although I started with old strings and with a standard setting
on my amp, I was convinced by the L280S from the first notes I played.
First of all, I was stunned how much punch und power the treble-pick-up
delivers. I had not expected that combination of fat bottom, sweet
mids and crisp high end - always balanced on every note on the fingerboard.
Next surprise was that the sound was great on every distortion-level,
and the sensitive reaction on every change from fingers and picking
is a real inspiration. When I turned to the other picks and combinations
it was the same. Within a short time I found so many good sounds
in an extremly wide range with just changing volume level on the
guitar, switching the pickups and doing some small changes to the
All in all I really got what I was looking for : not just vintage-style,
but a huge range of great and easily accesseable sounds - from the
fifties to the nineties - and for the third millenium.
Best regards from
Dear Bill and Becky,
Well, I got the Bill Lawrence 280-T set on Thursday. I have not
been that excited about some guitar parts ever. I have two words
to describe these pups, Tone Nirvana. I soldered them in, and plugged
in, and there is now no noise. It is almost scary. These pups are
the true definition of noiseless. Bothersome noises that I had previously
thought were from my amp were from the guitar! This set delivers
pure tele tone minus the 60Hz hum. The neck pickup is everything
is should be, warm and bassy. Blues leads growl with articulation.
Pedal steel imitations are glassy and smooth. The bridge pickup
is the ultimate in full bodied twang. Chicken pickin' rhythm never
sounded so good. And the in-between setting delivers that shimmering
quack that I was seeking. Great price, great service (Small businesses
rock!) and great tone with no noise. I am a happy tele camper.
Gotta go play! (Feel free to post this on your testimonials page)
Keep twangin' --Ben P.
I certainly have to say you made this strat player a VERY happy
man. I took it out last night to a gig, and I couldn't believe the
quality of the tone and NO HUM!!! I am like a kid with a new toy!!
Everyone complemented me on the sound of my Strat. I told them all
it was because of Becky & Bill!!!!! Good job. And I'm glad I didn't
use the base plate, Becky. Bill told me it wouldn't be any good
Well, take care...if I get a chance, I will go on your web site
and write into the ..testimonials or whatever they are. I believe
your in products!!!!
talk to you soon..
Dear Becky and Bill,
Never in my 35 or so years of playing the guitar have I ever been,
indeed never even considered, that I could be so blown away by pickups!
I can't thank you or Erik enough. These 280s have completely remade
my 68 Tele into a creature of sonic beauty. I am completely jazzed
and satisfied. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to hear the
light. You can count on me to be talking you up at every opportunity.
So now what do I do with all those other guitars I have?
Hey Bill and Becky,
This is Stirling, and I am
just writing to say how wonderfully the copper shielding has worked!
The guitar is QUIET and sounds AMAZING. Utterly amazing. I can scarcely
even believe how much I have fallen in love with the 500C, it is
truly the "clearest" sounding pickup I have owned. The 500XL has
given me EXACTLY what I was looking for in the bridge position,
high output and clarity... But I just have to say, that when playing
through the clean channel on the 500c and with the Q-filter (also
fabulous) rolled back, it brings a sass to this Steinberger that
was TOTALLY non-existent with the stock EMG-85's. Wonderful product,
Thanks to both of you for being such professionals!
been a reader of the TDPRI for a little while now because I love
kinds of information about guitars and teles and everything related.
Your posts have
been the most educational things I've ever read on a web-community
like that, and I
just wanted to send a note to let you know that I appreciate it.
I studied engineering for
two years, so the science you describe is not over my head at all
and always explains
things I've wondered about. I just wish that you weren't able to
logically defeat the use
of metal pickup covers, I love the look!
quite gotten the sound from my tele that I wanted and have considered
placing the pickups, I just never knew what to get. Then I read
the notes on your page
about pickup height and adjusted my pickups at the next chance.
The difference is small,
but incredible. I'm no ace player, so everytime I start to embark
on another project I
feel like I shouldn't be worrying about my sound so much. Now I've
got a sound that gets
me closer to what I really want, and now I can probably wait until
I'm a better player
(with a better ear!) until I start concentrating on my gear again.
Hello Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence,
Thank you for a great product. I just installed your L-500XL and
L-250HP in my
brother's guitar. The tone is incredible. Great bite and "sparkle"
in the high end
with a super low end. We both own the same model of guitar so I
decided to do an
A/B test. I installed various models from Dimarzio, Seymour Duncan,
Carvin in my guitar and compared them to the Lawrences in his guitar.
agreed your pickups sounded the best. Don't get me wrong. The other
sounded very good too, but yours have a little something extra,
a certain "feel"
to them that is great.
My topic post on TDPRI ...
Posted by stratNtele on September 27, 2000 at 20:16:11:
Finally got to finishing and setting up the newly
assembled Warmoth Strat (hollow cham-
bered ash body w/flame cap, modern vintage flame maple neck, Gotoh
twin post trem) and
wired in a set of L280's onto the white pearl pickguard. Plugged
into the '65 Princeton ...
whoa! holy moly! GREAT tone! Having owned a set of Kinman's on my
last Strat, I've
gotta say these L280's are just as fantastic, if not better! And
no noise, too! And for
$125/set delivered, that sure beats $260/set delivered (Kinman's).
I just ordered the L280 Tele set for the new korina Tele Thinline
for $85 all up. Bill Lawrence, you da pickup man!
I just want to say thank you for producing such a quality pickup
as the ones I just recently
purchaced for my Tele.....280's if I remember right.... Anyway,
these pickups are every-
thing you said they'd be....and more!!! I'm extreemly impressed
with the way they handle
the string moving across the pickup on an extreem bend...WITHOUT
THE NOTE!!!! Also, the silence that hummbuckers only dream about.
The quality of the
sound produced.... Suffice to say...WOW!!!!! I LOVE 'EM! Keep up
the good work.
Hi, My name is Clark from Massachusetts. I had a 500xl
in the eighties, where I grew
up listening to Van Halen. I got the idea from Nuno Bettencourt,
who lived a couple of
towns away. I started playing guitar again recently, after not playing
for about 7 years.
I now collect Charvel Jackson American guitars from the eighties.
I just ordered the
500 xl from you, and now remembered why I liked it so much in the
first place.I just
want to say that while most pickups don't sound that much different...that
smokes anything I have ever heard! I could tell right away....it
almost sounds to me like
I am playing with a wah just barley cracked open....very fat! I
just wanted to say that I will be ordering more for all of my guitars,
and thanks for a fat warm sounding pickup.
Hi Bill, I hope this message will get to Bill, although it certainly
pertains to "Bill Lawrence, the Company" as well as "Bill Lawrence,
the Person". I just wanted to say thank you so much for the time
we spent on the phone today. I called hoping I could get some questions
about Lawrence steel guitar pickups answered straight "from the
source". I have to tell you that aside from practice time and playing
gigs, this was the best time I've spent as a steel player. I hope
you came away from the conversation feeling as though he'd talked
to a "player". I'm just an average steel player, but I am a "player"
not a gear head. Aside from wanting to have good quality, durable
equipment, my personal feeling is that the best thing I can do for
myself as a musician is play my instrument and tweek at little things
like my amp settings and my guitar, so that I can bring out the
best sound I can possibly make. I don't think a huge investment
in a big rack system or spending thousands of dollars buying every
different guitar I can find will make that kind of difference for
me. Whether it's on stage with a band, in the studio, or in my practice
room, I just want to sound the way I want to sound so I'll play
confidently and enthusiastically. I got the idea from our conversation
that we think alike in this regard, and I am pleased that we had
a chance to connect on this issue. I'll be looking forward to getting
a Lawrence 910 "sweet" pickup for the E9 neck of my Fessenden steel.
Thanks again for your time and the wonderfully informative conversation.
hello becky and bill! i bought a pair of what bill described as
sidewinder pickups recently and i realley like them.what an improvement
over what came stock,in my heritage 535.could you supply me with
details about them.they are humbuckers arn't they?or are they single
coils? are they similar to gibsons p94,a single coil in a humbucker
body?any info would help,as i'm curious and friends who have played
them are also.may i also say how pleasent it was to do business
w/you.you were both so helpful and patient! have a great 2000!!
a new satisfied loyal customer,
Hi Bill & Becky!!....thank you , thank you , THANK YOU!!!....My
visit with you folks made me feel "right at home"!...furthermore
it truly was an Honor to listen to Bill PLAY!!!...Well, to the pick-ups
/ BRAVO!!!....The pick-ups are BETTER than I had expected!....TRULY!....I'll
be installing your outstanding pickups in ALL of my guitars from
now on!....Sincerily Frank...
Thanks for the card you sent with the pickups I ordered. It's nice
to know someone backs their product and cares about their customers.
I had no probem installing the pickups. They work great!
Thanks- J. Wholey
Bill and Becky---I wanted to thank you for this article.
(OHMS, OHMS, OHMS by Bill Lawrence) I have a friend who has a small
pickup company, and he, like so many others, still goes by the old
"resistance equals output" nonsense. I have tried to tell him that
that doesn't hold water, but he won't listen. Oh, well...Some folks
just can't be bothered with the truth! Keep up the good work, and
I'm going to tell my friend about this article. Maybe he can be
swayed from the "dark side"!! M. Richardson
Again I am blown away by your handiwork. We installed the L-280N
pickup into my housemate's Telecaster and it sounds so good the
standard bridge pickup sounds BROKEN in comparison. Thanks again,
I am proud to say I have bought 6 pickups from you this year and
you've never let me down. I'll continue to spread the word as well.
The 280's were in my mailbox when I got home from work Tuesday and
I put them in right away.(Becky- you were right about how easy it
would be, this was the first time I've ever done anything like this
and it was a snap.)I can't believe my ears. I don't have a fancy
Telecaster; it's a MIM standard, and it sounds FANTASTIC now.
I've read some of the testimonials that you have
on your website and can't really add anything, but honestly, I had
no idea what a difference these would make. It's brighter, snappier,
more substantial and full sounding and growls like hell when I turn
up that little Vibro Champ. You are a magician. Hey! I sound better!
Thank you so much for your efforts and obvious dedication. I really
love to play and I love these pickups.
Yes, I got my 910's , I put them in my Zum and I LOVE them !!!!!
Wonderful string separation and clear tone. Thanks for making such
a great sounding pick up.
Greetings Bill & Becky,
Thank you so much for those FABULOUS special L450 pickups for my
new Jazzmaster! They're *PERFECT*!!! Thanx, too, for the LCR tone
filter - another amazing Bill Lawrence device!!! Below is a reply
I just posted at the TDPRI forum - I thought I'd share it with you
folks. Very much obliged for all your assistance,
"The Amazing Bill Lawrence"
Weeks ago I chatted with Bill about getting a pair of pups for a
hybrid hardtail Jazzmaster I was assembling. I used his L490's in
a previous Tele I assembled and thought they'd be perfect (which
they surely would have been) but I was looking for white pickups
and L490's are only produced in black sealed cases. I was looking
for an alternative dual coil sized pickup, in a white case, that
would exhibit the biting treble of Bill's L490 or L280 series -
great "Class A" single coil tone and totally noiseless. Bill made
me a set of L450's, but totally reworked them using an old set of
his spex spex from decades ago. They look just like L450's (dual
white coils) but that's the ONLY thing they have in common with
a true humbucker. I won't even publish the pickup's resistance or
inductance, I doubt anyone would believe me and I surely don't care
- the TONE is all I care about with a pickup. They arrived late
last week - each pickup's rear cover was signed by Bill, marked
as "#1 - for Rob". I installed them this past Friday and WOW!, the
tone is *pure* single coil, somewhat like a Tele L280T. I used standard
500k volume and tone pots, with a .022uf tone cap. When the tone
is rolled, I get a honking, nearly out of phase bluesy tone that
just drips with twang - not a muddy, treble killed bassy tone. I'm
totally impressed - and so are two buds who dropped over last night
to jam and heard the little JM beastie roar! A few days ago, Bill
sent me one of his "LCR" filters, gratis. It's an amazing little
package that's about the size of two AA batteries and yields a super
smooth, "woody" kinda tone to his L280 pups. My constant "Don Quixote
quest" for pickups is totally over - whatever "engines" I need to
power the gits I assemble will strictly come from Bill Lawrence.
Superb quality tone and build, at incredible prices and the best
of service. And Bill's a great fella to boot!
Hi Bill & Becky --
My name is Tim (Hi Tim) and I have become Lawrence-dependent. Love
love love them. I replaced my 86 mij strat pu's with the 280s. The
mij pu's actually had a really nice full tone that I was happy with
except for the 60 cycle buzz. Then I tried these. I ordered a set
from Becky (who was great in helping me choose the right set for
my style and gear and a pleasure to deal with.), received them in
6 days ( nice packaging and the leads were stripped,and ready to
go), and gigged with them two days after. Awesome! Big sweet woody
tones! No hum! Even though I was playing very close to stage lighting.
Mine don't line up perfectly with the strings but they are closer
than standard single coils. The lower strength magnets really do
allow for a wide variety of tones to play with and amplify the instruments
natural sonics instead of trying to mask or hide them. They respond
much better to higher gain situations, they hold definition and
don't mush out.
Thank you so much and keep up the good work!
Dear Bill and Becky,
I can't thank you enough for the 280-T pickups. I managed to install
them in my Telecaster just in time for my band's show on Saturday
night, and I was incredibly happy with them once we got on stage.
The bottom end has more clarity than either the old Fender pickups
I removed or the MFD's in my G&L ASAT, and the neck and bridge pickups
are a perfect match: both are so versatile, and the blended tone
of the two is so distinct, that I found myself switching around
all night. The high end is never brittle, the sustain is impressive,
they're very quiet, and they're wonderfully sensitive to changes
in picking... I really can't think of a single complaint. Thanks
again for the great service. I'll be sure to refer others to you,
and I'll be sure to check out your products first when I'm looking
for things in the future. Philip M. Athens, GA
Hello Lawrences! (Becky and
I'd like to thank you both very much for the wonderful and outstanding
job you guys did on sending me my order. I absolutely adore the
L-280s (and L+ bridge) pickups. The most outstanding set of pickups
i've run across. Your extremely warm attitude and considerate personalities
were more than wonderful over the course of my handful of phone
calls to you guys. Thank you for being such a wonderful business
entity and a superb group of people. Thank you very much for the
hand drawn (i couldn't believe it was hand drawn and not copied)
wiring diagrams and the nifty postcard of Bill. It was such a pleasure
buying these off of you.
Wish you both all the best
in your future endeavors!
Hi Bill and Becky:
I am just writing to let you
know how much I appreciate the 280 set I recently installed into
my 1990 MIM Fender strat. I've been struggling with strat tones
for close to 20 years, and after hearing glowing reviews about your
pickups on the Fender Discussion Page, I had to see for myself what
all the fuss was about. After installing the set of 280s, my immediate
reaction was shock. "Where did the noise go?" Then, after playing
for a while, I noticed a decrease in the high frequency spike associated
with the bridge and middle pickup tones of a typical single coil
strat. Alarmed that I had lost some strat "sparkle" as a trade off
for the noiseless operation of the pickup, it took a while to realize
that after some very minor amp and pickup height adjustments, not
only could I retain the sparkle I thought I lost, but it was a broader,
more balanced high end than ever before. And with more sustain and
Thanks for creating such a dynamic and sweet-sounding noiseless
single coil pickup. And for keeping the small company mentality
and customer service alive in this age of automated answering systems
and cold treatment.
Last night I sat down for a
couple of hours and replaced the stock pickups on a Mexican Tele
with your 280's. The installation went easily (all very elementary
wiring- in fact, it gave me a chance to clean up the sloppy factory
soldering!) and very soon I was connecting up to my Vox Cambridge
First thing I noticed was definition.
There was a very amicable chime to the sound that was lacking before
(and mind you, this isn't with new strings- although I know I should
have replaced them...). It got me exactly where I wanted to go with
this. There's a beautiful pluck to the pick contact and a marvelously
clean tone. When going into distortion mode, I have a greater palette
of tones to play with now. It's like adding a few more colours to
the spectrum. My desire is to play around with a somewhat vintage
tele/ British invasion tonality. I like being able to really thinned-out
the sound for crunchy rhythm work, and to get a fuller, rounder
feel for leads. It's all there folks. Very nicely.
Second thing was the absolute
lack of noise! My main purpose in replacing the pickups to begin
with was to get that wonderful 60 cycles plus every other available
harmonic thereof out of my amplifier. These pickups, without question,
quieted the thing down so as to make distortion boxes usable for
recording without having to face a particular direction in
the room! I can set everything to full gain (including the tube
preamp channel on the Cambridge), and hear nothing when the strings
are muted. No buzz, shortwave broadcasts, CB radios, or voices of
the dear departed. Amazing!
For a meager investment, I have undoubtedly turned
a mediocre instrument into something rather special. The 280's have
expanded my range of versatility, and done it in such a manner as
to have all of the sounds very well defined and of high quality.
This is a quantum leap forward in the evolution of this particular
guitar. And I look forward to many thousands of hours I know I'll
be spending with it, learning to play with some semblance of ability,
and having a lot of fun, which of course which is what it's all
Thanks very much for offering a high quality, well reseached and
designed (and constructed) product without 'causing one to have
to sell all of their other instruments to afford. Bill Lawrence
pickups have my recommendation, hands down. You guessed it, Becky.
I liked them!
I hope this decription isn't too over the top. I'm just very happy.
Best to you and Bill.
Have a great weekend.
Put those pups in last weekend. They were exactly
what I wanted. I can get the classic tele sound utilizing my switch
that activates the L-280T neck and bridge pups alone. With that
L-280S strat pickup in the middle, I can get most of the strat sounds.
If wanted, still plenty of classic tele twang by increasing the
tone control, but not the tex-mex twang the original pickups had
that I did not like. (The Nashville tele comes with tex-mex pups;
there is no other choice).
The pickups are of excellent quality. In my opinion, they have a
fantastic sound and make this old plunker sound like a better player.
I will recommend these pups to anyone looking for quality, sound
and value. As a matter of fact, a friend has already contacted you
about a pickup for his Gibson SG. Every aspect of dealing with you
was A-1, and any pup that I may need in the future will come from