Saturday, December 20, 2008

And now....this....

I can't believe you laughed at this..... you should be ashamed of yourself. ..

Friday, December 5, 2008

Corrections and updates and John Kingma ( oh my..)

John Kingma runs Apollo Guitars up in Canada where he builds everything from the mild to the wild. Recently he built this guitar using some Searcy Pickups. John said...

"The pickups were made by Clint Searcy... I find the neck pickup has a bit of vintage PAF sound. The bridge pickup is quite a bit hotter and really wails. I love the variety of tones...."

I'm proud to add John Kingma and Apollo guitars to what is becoming a very long list of Canadain clients now. You will see some more soon.

Correction! This cat in this video is not Pete Poynter as I reported earlier but his mega riffin' son Justin Poynter

Justin Poynter gets mellow with his Benavente Guitar(Jazz-90 Pickups)

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Little Drummer Boy

It's now Thanksgiving weekend. That means it must time to put up the Christmas decorations. There is a huge effort these days to move Christmas Decorations Day to October 31st. But guess I'm just a traditionalist.
Now... I'm not a particularly religious guy but last year when I was asked submit a Christmas song for a compilation CD I chose to go with an all bass version of 'The Little Drummer Boy".
The keyboards you think you hear on this track are not keyboards at all but bass guitar running through some of my many effects. On this song I am using two pedals from the Digitech X-Series. Those being the Bass Synth pedal and the Bass Multi-Chorus pedal. The drums and vocals are loops that put together in Sony ACID as a backing track. When I first recorded this song and let people hear it many of them seemed to describe it as sounding like a sort of weird horror movie rendition of the old classic. This has always puzzled me a bit. So I put together this little video of the sort of images that were running through my head when I conceived and recorded this little ditty. The composition itself is a slight take on the old David Bowie, Bing Crosby duet from an old TV show with a little Chris Squire and Bootsy Collins tossed in for good measure.

Hope you dig it. More pickup stuff next week I promis.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Happy official Thanksgiving everyone.

I and grateful for all the friends and clients I have had this year. I'll be taking the rest of the week off but I'll be back in the shop early next week to try to finish some mods on the 12 string bass pickup and a few other projects you might like to see.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving ( For the love of Money)

In a few days it will be Happy Thanksgiving. I'm getting started early.

You know, I don't really talk about world events much on this blog but today I'm going to. I'm not gonna preach but I want to say a little something about the economic woes that so many, from the wealthiest CEO to the poorest single mom seem to be facing these days. I have two things I want to say about this. The first is this...have a plan....

You see, we have had a very expensive and eventful year here at the Searcy house. I pay the same high gas prices everyone else does. Alicia's medical expenses have been significant. My truck was totaled. Food prices are over the top. The price of copper magnet wire and many other parts have been way up this year. We have had some unexpected trips to the vet with the dogs and I just learned I need $1000 for some dental work. But we are ok.... we have made it through all or these expensive things and we're still truckin'. Every bill got paid on time or early. Alicia and I were able to make it through this tough year because we have a plan. We haven't worried one single day about the bills getting paid or if there was enough money for gas. This has caused some of our friends to ask how we are able to do it.

Over the last month I have had talks with two different friends that are on the verge of losing their homes. As I talked to each of these families one thing became clear to me. These friends of mine were all living life without a plan. They just sort of bumbling along, hoping things will work out in the end. While none of them would qualify as rich they make good money. However this chaotic attitude towards finance insures that they live pay check to pay check year in and year out. They use debt and credit to impulse buy huge items like TVs, boats, cars, AVT and yes.... guitars that should require planing and bargain shopping. It's not hard once someone has developed this style of borrowing and spending to actually spend more money every week than they make. Once someone is on this road all it takes is one good pothole like sky high gas prices, slumping sales or a medical bill to send folks running to credit cards, payday loans, title loans, home equity loans anything to scrap together the cash to just barely make the minimum payments on this mountain of debt all the while being eaten alive by late fees and penalties. Maybe, as in the case of one of my friends, it starts sounding smart to float the mortgage just one month to get a little cash freed up.

Does this sound like you? Alicia and I used to live a similar way. For years I thought "well... we live paycheck to paycheck because we don't make enough money." But over time, as our income increased it became clear that this was not true. We were broke no matter how much money we made. The problem was how much we
spent. Finally we got fed up with all the stress and chaos and bad interest rates and bounced checks and minimum monthly payments. We sat down and started working out a plan. The plan consists of three major parts. The first part is a budget. To start gaining control of your finances you MUST sit down and do a total, prioritized, written budget for your family. Spend all of your money on paper before the month so you can finally see where it's going. You might be surprised to see what your Starbucks habit is costing you. This doesn't mean you need to cut out Starbucks but if it's going to be a priority for you then the $30 or so it's costing you has to be included in your budget. For more information on making a budget check out Dave Ramsey.

The second part is a simple philosophy.
Never spend more than you make. It's a small thing that has changed our life but it's one of the hardest for others to understand. Basically what this means is that we never borrow money. Alicia and I don't have a single credit card anymore. There is no car payment. No lines of credit hold up Searcy String Works. And they never will. If we don't have the money for something we want then we simply have to wait until we do have the money. Usually I hunt for a better deal while we am saving up the cash and many times I am very successful. We don't owe a dime to anyone accept for my hose payment and we are knocking that down as fast as we can.

The final part of the plan is to save money. Keep enough money in the bank to pay 6 months worth of expenses should you lose your job. This is a good number because it will cover most other things that come along too. Think about it for a second. Almost all those little and sometimes big emergencies that take such a heavy toll on our wallet have been a long time coming and are easy to see. Your tires
are going to need to be replaced. You roof is going to leak. You are going to get sick. Your car will die and need to be replaced. Your kids will need to pay tuition. These things are not sneaking up on you in the night like a Ninja. They are 60 yards out and barreling at you like a line backer. Be prepared. Don't expect a bailout.

Any way... I hope I don't sound preachy here. That's not my intent. I am Thankful for all that we have this year and I want to share a little of that with you. Take care of your money and you will be able to take care of yourself so that you can take care of those you love. If every one from the wealthiest CEO to the poorest single mom used this simple plan the nightly news would look a lot different.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Justin Poynter gets mellow with his Benavente Guitar(Jazz-90 Pickups)

Correction! This cat in this video is not Pete Poynter as I reported earlier but his mega riffin' son Justin Poynter.

Remember those old Searcy String Works Jazz-90s I wrote about a little while back? Well here is a video of them being put through some very tasty riffs by Justin
Poynter and his fantastic Benavente guitar. I'm always happy to see demos of the work that leaves the Searcy String Works shop. Be sure to tell Justin what you think of his video and his kicking pickups and remember that if there is a video of you playing some of our products be sure and drop us an email about it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The long awaited Six String Bliss CD is out! (Stay Tuned)

It's finally here: Stay Tuned, 6SB community's TV theme song cover album. The listening experience begins here, but don't forget to download the album, read the liner notes and see the artwork. And hop on the forum and talk to the artists about their tracks!

That's right boys and girls. The guys over at six string bliss have finished the TV song CD "Stay Tuned". Did I mention that I did a song on this one? Did I mention that Steve Benford of Benford Guitars did a track on this one? Did I mention the Alicia did 3 songs on this one and came up with the totally cool title? I have to admit that it was a lot of fun listening to and working on. You might be surprised at how good these tracks are . The CD is fully down loadable and FREE! Click HERE to get your free copy. But to get the full effect, what I recommend is that you start by listening to Six String Bliss
Episode 125: Stay Tuned!
and let to Pipes and PT give you the play by play of the entire CD.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

US Veterans Day is November 11, 2008

This is a little dated now but the point still holds true.

Please take a moment today to remember and thank those who have given you all you have.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hello pickup my old friend.... (a Jazz-90 comes home...)

Anyone remember me telling you about my Jazz-90 Pickups? They were the result of aa effort between me and Steve Benford for his kick ass Surf-57 guitar. They sounded so good that when Chris Benavente asked for something special to put in some guitars he was taking to NAMM we quickly decided the Jazz-90s were the way to go.

They were designed to sound like a Fender Jazz Master pickup but withough the ugly HUGE covers. I won't say they sound exactly like a Jazz Master pickup but they do have that big fat soul without so much of the noise. I had a set come back to the shop this week that needed to have to leads replaced and some covers swapped out. Ain't they somthin all decked out in gold? Click here if you want to hear what she sounds like.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Born to run in the USA

Here is a shot of some Tele pickups I made last week. These went out to Steve Benford and were designed after Esquire pickups. They were to be used in a replica of the guitar made famous by The Boss. This iconic guitar was built out of old Tele and Esquire parts. I think the first time I remember seeing it was on the Born in the USA cover. Needless to say it's gone on to do a little rockin' over the years... A classic..

Saturday, November 8, 2008

This old Ric... (Dissecting a Ric 4001 bass pickup.)

Wow, TONS of work going on in the shop this week. I sent out about 12 pickups yesterday to all points on the globe... But the one I thought you might like to see is this one, a neck pickup from a Rickenbacker 4001 bass. The guy who sent it in thought it was dead and needing a rewind but the real problem was that the ground tab had come unsoldered. This was an easy fix and we didn't have to molest the windings so a lot of originality was saved there. I like when that happens. All I did was fix the solder joint and put a new lead on the pickup.

Rickenbacker is a crazy guitar company really. Their unconventional thinking can also be credited with allowing them to invent the first electric guitar. That's right... I said it... The first electric guitar was not the Fender Tele or the Les Paul or the Bigsby... It was The 1934 Rickenbacker "Frying Pan".

The more you learn about them the more you see that they rarely fallowed convention. That's a good thing because it has led to some truly unique and innovative instruments with a sound all their own. Think about Chris Squire, Geddy Lee and Lemmy... Starting to see what I mean?

The total lack of convention can be seen in their pickup construction. The flat work is a type of phenolic boards. Interestingly this was my first choice for flat work back when I first started making pickups. The poles they use for this 1970's pickup are steel rivets. Some of the newer ones use screws.The magnet on this one is a big ceramic unit. Later they started using rubberized magnets like you stick on your refrigerator. They use 44ga wire for the winding. Once the whole thing is done they spray paint it black and slap it in a nice chrome ring and it's held in place with an aluminum bracket which should introduce a ton of eddy currents into the sound... maybe it does. Perhaps that's where that cool barking tone comes from.
Hmmmmm....... Any way.... check it out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The new winder and the Bliss Busters

Here is a new humbucker I made for Jacko up in Canada. He wanted something different for his Explorer project so we worked out this custom monster to his specs. There are lots of small things one can do to a humbucker like this to shape the tone. Here is a new video of this pickup being made so you can see what a few of those things are. Most of the time I make guitar humbuckers in largish batches but when a custom order comes in it goes about like this most of the time.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

They call me the working man...

...I guess that's what I am...

It's Halloween time and in honor of the season I have posted a few old spooky MIDI tunes I recorded many years ago.

1. Vamp mp3
2. Renfield mp3

Been working hard ..... The shop is full of pickups and notes and ideas this week. The humbuckers for the Six String Bliss NAMM fund raiser are going out this week. I made some more Tele pickups for Benford. Oh... And Steve would like you to know that his computer crashed and he has lost some Emails. So if you wrote him lately and he hasn't gotten back to you that's why. Go over to his website and read all about it.

I got a cool Rickenbacker 4001 bass pickup in for some work. We thought it needed a rewind but it turns out it just needed the ground wire re soldered.

I also got some of my old Searcy String Works pickups in for some work. It's interesting to see where your little wonders go after they leave the shop and venture out into the world. I'll be posting more about some of these projects later.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another Click in the Wal....

About twice a year someone mentions the 8 coil Music Man pickup I make on a forum somewhere and before long I start getting Emails about my "Wal Pickup".
While this pickup does use one set humbucking coils per string much like the Wal design I don't think it's accurate to call it a copy of a Wal pickup. My pickup is essentially 8 of my Scarab single string pickups in one housing. It uses Neodymium magnets and offers an out put for each string.
Most folks aren't too interested in the things once I tell them they sell for $300 each plus shipping. The fact that they are getting 4 humbucking pickups for that price doesn't seem to register with most. They are very time consuming and tricky to make so they cost a lot.

Do they sound just like a Wal? I have no idea.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New VOV Revolution starts now

Maybe you remember the VOV humbuckers I made for guitar shredder J.A. Allen. They are some of the newest additions to the Searcy String Works line. Well, here we have a set of the new White VOV Revolution humbuckers. With 12 adjustable poles and powerful ceramic magnets they are a more modern design with great upper mids but not shrill sounding. The coils are what I would call hot without being too hot.
The original VOV Revolution humbuckers were all black but the new sets have a stunning contrast of white bobbins. They look right at home in this Michael Schenker Flying V.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

12 String Bass pickup (part 12... Is it soup yet...?)

Well, I changed up the look of the Blog today. What do you think? I'm not real happy with it but the old one was hard to read, especially the comments. Maybe I'll be able to talk Alicia into helping me clean this one up a bit.

I think I'm reaching the end on the 12 string bass pickup. Last night I got to do some final sanding and it's looking pretty cool if I do say so my self.I'm glad Timothy called my out on the mistake because now I have something I'm very proud of. The
walnut lines don't scream out at you but they do add a nice high end touch I think. For the screw head counter sink I decided to do a little notch like my 8 string guitar pickups have.

Well, that's it for now. More later!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

12 String Bass Pickup (Walking the plank!)

Ok, like I told you a few days ago I got the 12 string bass pickup back in the shop for a few tweaks that Timothy wanted to make. He wasn't nuts about where the holes were and wanted a little more rounded look over all. So after kicking around a few ideas we came to this. I shaved off the ends on the top. plugged the holes and recapped it with some walnut and a new bit of ebony. How slick is that? Click on the picture to get a better look. I still have to do a little more gap filling and sanding. Then I'm going to re drill the holes and counter sink them just a bit. It's gonna be rad!

Oh! And be sure to check out the Bass Balls review I did for the Six String Bliss #122 this week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Introducing Har Ik Zehr (East meet West)

By now you have likely seen some of the things I have written about that ambitious 12 string bass pickup for New York bassist Timothy Leung. It came back to the shop for a few modifications but that's not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about Timothy's band Har Ik Zehr . Anthony Johnson did a fantastic interview with him for Bass Musician Magazine about the band and Timothy's playing style and more that you should read HERE . These guys have created one of the most original sounds I have ever listened too. It's a fantastic blend of Eastern vocal, chant and drumming work mixed with a healthy dose of Western Alt Rock guitar and bass work. I have become a huge fan. I want you check out this band and listen to at least 3 songs on the official Har Ik Zehr web site or maybe their MySpace page . You can pickup their CD on CD Baby . If you're in the New York area I want you to go see them play live. One other impressive thing about these guy is their willingness to share any of their own prosperity with others that might need it. Check out their very cool charity work with Kiva. This is a group that makes small loans to people in an effort to promote entrepreneurship and help end poverty. Check out their efforts here.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The new winder!

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I got on a roll and busted out the new Searcy String Works pickup winder. It's a converted lathe that should make some of the bigger, badder, bass pickups easier to wind. I'll give it a good work out this week and I bust out a new VOV set, Some new MM style bass humbuckers, a custom humbucker set for Jacko over at Six String Bliss and a new order you Benford guys will really dig.
I'll have some more news later this week as I start work on a new Vacuum Form system. I think this will give me an other way to form pickup covers. If so it might let my offer some more options and better prices for some of the custom work.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Searcy String Works newest endorsee

I would like to take a moment to introduce you all to the newest Searcy String Works endorsee. Jessica is the 15 year old daughter of my friend and luthier Mike Dotson. Mike makes some of the most classy reso-phonic slide guitars you have ever seen. A few years ago he asked about a P-90 pickup for his 'PlastiFerri' electric he built from some parts he scrounged up. What I sent him were some of the S-90s I was pushing at the time. They use 6 neodymium magnets and six steel pole screws and have a lot more bright tone than a standard P-90.

Get this.... Jessica has only been really trying to play guitar for a little over a month!! She has a fantastic singing voice to be sure and her playing is FAR better then mine was after a month.

Also, Pipes and PT over at Six String Bliss did an interview with Jeffrey Jones with some production help from Alicia in their 119 show last week. Down load the podcast HERE and find out more about Jeffrey Jones
and the mind that brings us such amazing work.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another old Fender Stratocaster Rewind

This week I'm going to be spending some quality time with this fantastic old Fender Stratocaster bridge pickup. It's dead and needs a rewind. The guy who owns it believes it's a 1959. I'm not so sure. I'll be taking lots of notes and measurements from this one for my files.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

W. Jeffrey Jones Guitars (From the dark mind of the Master!)

Do you remember me telling you about W. Jeffrey Jones Guitars?
They are the masterful works of professional sculptor turned luthier W.Jeffrey Jones. He has sculpted everything from Santa to Spawn . His Dragon Wing art guitar is undoubtedly one of the most outrageous guitars I have ever had he pleasure of putting pickups in and his Nocturne Guitar is shaping up to top even that one.

So that's W.Jeffrey Jones and the other day he was passing through Nashville where he and I and Alicia got a chance to meet at the Baja Burrito . We ate some of the best burritos in Nashville and talked about guitars and Nashville and guitar pickups and finally I got a chance to see one of W. Jeffrey Jones' famous fretless guitars in the flesh.
Click here and listen to what one of these sounds like. The guitar is called the Special K and I can tell you that the workmanship this guy puts into his instruments is unreal. See those black lines? That's not ink or paint. It's ebony wood dust. The thin and light finish is a polymerized linseed oil and it settles into the grain just enough to let you know you are feeling wood. I wish I had brought my PigNose so I could have played it a little louder.

I can already tell that I will be doing a lot of work with W. Jeffrey Jones Guitars and I can't wait to see what sort of crazy art guitars he makes next.

It's Alive!!! (Monster Pickup #5)

Alright!! After a few delays brought on by everything from defective materials to hospital stays to car crashes the 12 string bass monster is finally done!!

Wow!! What a Drama

I'm sure Tim will be happy to
see it finally show up in his hands. The pickup is really two pickups under one cover. The bass side covers only the 5 top strings while the treble side covers the lower 7 strings. Each side houses a variation on my NeoJazz bass single coil with blade style steel and neodymium poles .

I can't wait to see the finished bass!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

"12" The Number of the Beast! (Monster Pickup Part 4)

The week has ended better than it started. I got all the crap for the truck done. Paper work filed and parts are on order. I'll put it back together myself.

I got to meet W Jeffery Jones this week. What a treat that was but I'll talk more about that later.

I got the cover for the 12 string bass pickup almost done. I still need to do a little more sanding and fill a few voids and round the edges over but then it's time to stuff it full of coils and magnets and let it roll.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just 16, Pickup truck, Out of money, Out of luck...

Have you ever noticed that just when you think you have things rolling right along and the world has returned to normal fate likes to kick you square in the ass...?

Well, things are no different around here. I still have some back orders in the shop. I have some pending new orders and one repair to do. I have some business meetings later this week with former and future clients and I'm pressed for time. So it's only right that while I'm running some shop errands a redneck, moron, jack ass from hell would decide he needed my lane more than I did and smashed the Searcy String Works Pickup Truck like a beer can... The whole driver side is waded up. The door won't open, mirror is gone, lights are no more, AC stopped working...

Lot's of phone calls to insurance companies, waiting for police reports, waiting around for adjusters, more phone calls to make... I really don't have time for this crap...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Six String Bliss!!

Have I ever told you guys that I have done a lot of work with Six String Bliss ,the longest running guitar podcast on Earth? Well, I have now. My first dealing with co-hosts Pipes and P.T. was a few years back when I did an interview with them for episode 20 . Later I did a short segment for them in episode 57 . When they reached show 100 Alicia and I both talked to them about how crazy a trip it's been so far and we talked about bands we thought were over rated.
Recently I helped them produce a show with Vintage Guitar expert George Gruhn and as soon as I get all my back orders out the door I may work on another show for them.

If you're looking for something laid back and guitar related to crank in your i-Pod then tune in every Monday for a blast of Guitar News, Guitarist Of the Week, The Center Song, Gear Reviews, Interviews, Guitar Stories and more with your most excellent hosts Pipes and P.T.

Monster Pickup Part 3

Doing a little work on the ebony cover today. Once the holes are drilled and I have rough cut the cover on the band saw it's time to do some routing. One of the newer additions to the Searcy String Works shop is the Micro Mill. Its slow tool speed and X, Y axis table make it a lot easier to rout out the Ebony covers without blowing out the tops of the covers like a router table can do. But it does make the work go a lot slower. I'm thinking of converting this to CNC soon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

12 String Monster part 2

I got the bobbins made up for the huge 12 string bass pickup. I wound them with 42 gauge wire to start with but was having trouble getting the resistance up where I wanted it and still keep the size manageable. So I worked my way up. After a few rewinds I ended up at 45ga poly coated wire. It's gold in color and is one of the smallest wire types I have. It did the job well.
I picked out some Ebony for the cover with a wicked white stripe in it. It should make a good visual statement. I have never understood these cats that want a hand made ebony cover then they want it dyed jet black and then polished to a mirror finish so that it looks like plastic. Why not just let me make one out of plastic? Oh well.... takes all kinds I guess.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

12 String Bass Pickup ( The Beast!)

This week I am working on the biggest pickup I have ever made. It is a monstrous bass pickup that is going on a 12 string bass guitar. It's gonna be like 2 of my Neo Jazz single coils but just a bit hotter than a stock Neo-Jazz pickup. It's going to have separate bass and treble out puts so that sound can be mixed properly. It will also have a nice Ebony cover. How do you play this thing? I have no idea!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Scarab City!

The million Scarabs are almost done. They should be ready tomorrow when I get done putting the caps on them. Speaking of the caps. This batch will be the last batch of Scarabs for a long while. I have run out of some of the parts I use to make them and my supplier has stopped carrying them as well. That's ok with me because they were needing a redesign anyway. They are very hard to make and eat up a lot of time for the money they make. So this will be the end of the Scarabs for a little while. Maybe they will come back someday but not until I have reworked the process and design into something that's simpler to make.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ellie Guitars... What a beautiful mess.

Got some information back about those crazy blood spattered P-90s I made for EllieGuitars a little while back. Seems they made their way into this kick ass LP type guitar. These pickups are the closest thing I have made to a straight up P-90 copy. They were unpotted because Ellie wanted them to be a little microphonic and I know she is more than able to pot her own pickups if they turned out to be too microphonic. So I wound them good and tight and sent them on. She digs them a lot! I may have to rethink some of my old ideas on potted and unpotted pickups.
I have had a few folks asking when I would be taking orders again and the news is good. I will start taking new orders again at the end of this month. I know that's later then planned but then again things didn't really go as planned. I have about a million Scarabs setting up on the bench this week and I'm working to get them all sent out late this week or early next week. So if you have been waiting for Scarab Pickups you don't have much longer to wait!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The JC Basses 8 string Monster!

Anyone remember those crazy 8 string Neo Jazz pickups I made a while back? I killed a scroll saw making those monster ebony covers! No big deal though, I needed a new scroll saw anyway. Well those big single coils went out to JC Basses in Cali to be used in a wicked 8 string, quilted top bass. This thing is amazing to behold! I sooooooo... wish I could play it... Man.... now I'm depressed.....

The only thing I don't like now that I look at it is where I put the screw holes.
I thought that would look cooler than it does. It's a small thing but it's room for improvement. Next time we do this I'll make them match better.

So if you're looking for a monster, sky's the limit, custom bass give JC Basses a chance. You'll get to see your bass before he ever starts working because when it comes to CAD he has mad skills.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just ask Alice....

It's election season here in the U.S.A. and that can only mean one thing. The bullshit is flying fast and furious. This time around there is lots and lots of flash and style and zero substance . I'm voting for Alice...

Tele Bridge Humbucker "The 615"

Here is another one that got to go out. This is a crazy split coil Tele bridge pickup is called "The Searcy String Works 615" . The bass side is just a little hotter then the treble side to give it a little more low end. I think this one will really take off when people have a chance to hear it. I need to make one for my own Tele.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

John Derricks Arch Pickup

I finally got the curved arch top pickup done for John Derrick. I'm really excited to see what he does with this. The extreme curve made it a major challenge to make and still get good string coverage while remaining balanced and humbucking all at the same time. I thought about giving up more than once but I just couldn't . And now we have this....

Mini Humbuckers

Here's a new model to the SSW pickup line. It's a FireBird style mimi humbucker. It's so new I don't even have a name for it yet.
It has what I'm calling a half relic finish on it just to be different and it's off to Canada for a mutant Tele project.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Baaaaack In the saddle again!

Alright alright!! That John Derrick pickup is about done. I have some pickups heading out to Canada this week. Have some stuff going to Benford Guitars. We have some Scarabs getting built and a new set of VOV Revolution humbuckers about to hit the wax bath. It feels go to be back in the shop and marking projects off the board. Here's a shot of a few works that are headed to the wax pot in the morning.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yes.....The Dr. is in....Working on John Derricks pickup.

Things are finally starting to get up to speed here the Searcy String Works Shop. This week I worked on a number of pickups including this curved humbucker for Arch Top builder John Derrick. This design is quite complicated but if it all works out it should flow with the lines of Johns Derrick's fine Modern arch tops much better than the pickup he is currently using.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

He's up to something....

I'm back in the lab. There's a lot on the slab..... Stay tuned kids

Sunday, July 6, 2008

There's a light on....

There's a light on in the Searcy String Works shop. What can that mean? Stay tuned folks...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Streets of Laredo

Things are going well with Alicias' recovery. My mom was here to help for the first week but she had to head back home to Memphis. While things are going better than expected I think I underestimated how much work I would be doing here in the house. I did manage to get all the rebuilds out that were in the shop but I still have a lot of custom builds that are on the bench.

Thanks to all of you for your patience. I'll get the work done soon I hope.

Here's a little Marty Robbins. From a time when Country music was country.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fixing a Fender Strat pickups

Alicia is doing well and recovering at home. There is still a long hill to climb but we are glad there have been no complications. Thanks to all of you who sent cards and letters wishing her well.

Not much news from the shop so here is a video I did a little while ago to fill in the gap a bit.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This one goes out to my Baby....

Alicia is scared today because the surgery is tomorrow.

This classic sums it up perfectly...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Do you feel like I do?

There is a lot going on here at Searcy String Works this summer. Change is in the air and as usual some of that change sucks and some of it is great.

First I would like to use this post to let everyone know that Searcy String Works is closed for business until August. The reason for this is that my wife Alicia is undergoing some much needed neurosurgery next month. Here she is hanging out with Peter Frampton last year.

There will be a long recovery time attached to this procedure and rather than get way behind on my work it's better that I just suspend orders for two months. This will allow me to focus on clearing out the back orders in the shop and helping Alicia heal.

If you already have an order in for Searcy Pickups or a repair don't worry. Your order will be addressed but there will be a delay of several weeks. I'm sorry for the disruptions this may cause anyone but this event was quite unexpected and simply can not be put off any longer. When we return in August you will see some changes to Searcy String Works. Upgrades are already being made in the shop. New designs are being tested and we plan to kick the whole thing off with a new site.

I will be posting news regarding all of these changes right here as I am able.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


There will be some news posted here this week end that will greatly effect pickup orders.

Dysfunctional Jazz Bass

Here is a new video I made about a jazz bass pickup I fixed a few week ago. I have a few more of these sort of things in the works. Hopefully they will get better as I go.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rocker of the week Graham Bonnet! (Since you been gone)

Graham Bonnet has always been one of my favorite rock singers . I can't think of anyone with as wide a range and the ability to sing just about anything from 50's pop to full metal scrodeling. Here is a little clip from his Rainbow days. Oh yea... and Ritchie Blackmoore is in this too I think.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Update from Guitars for Vets

I got this update from Steve Benford this week. I knew you would want to see it.

G4V supporters, Its been a while since our last update and a lot has happened.

We have been getting a TON of press and exposure which is fantastic. In March gave us some exposure in their newsletter. That led to about 600-700 hits on the website in a 2 day period. It also prompted 250+ emails. The outpouring of support and encouragement meant a lot to us. It also made us aware of the need for our program. Of those 250+ emails about 75 of them were requests for guitars. To all of you who inquired, hang in there, we haven't forgotten you. Please remember we are a small group and we are trying out best.

We are really concentrating out efforts in our backyard at this time. The Milwaukee, and Toma, WI VA's are our primary places for our program. On April, 8th and 9th we saw the fruits of our labor come to pass. We were able to give away 27 guitars in those 2 days. It also marked the start of our lesson program at the Milwaukee VA. We have about 15 Vets taking lessons every Tuesday and Thursday. Special thanks to Pete and Tom for volunteering! Please check out the Pictures section of the G4V site of pics of the Milwaukee guitar presentations. Toma pics will be up shortly.

Lets back up a second. All our paperwork has been filed, and we are now an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization!!! What does this mean? It means we are able to file for grants and take large donations from companies. Our goal is to give away 750-1000 guitars a year. That’s a lot of money we would need to raise, so having the 501 status is a big deal.

On behalf of G4V, we’d like to take this moment to thank everyone who has donated guitars, bought t-shirts, donated money, and bought raffle tickets. We wish you were all here to see the change we are making in peoples lives.

We also would like to thank Gibson Guitars for donating an Epiphone Hummingbird acoustic!!!

On May 2nd Steve, Dan, John, and Pete went down to Chicago to meet Gary Sinise (CSI New York, Forest Gump) Gary plays bass in a band called The Lt Dan Band (his character in Forest Gump). WHO KNEW!?!?! TLDB plays charity events for Veterans all over the US. We were fortunate to meet him after the show and plant the G4V bug in his ear. Hopefully we will be able to work with him in the future. Special thanks to Larry and Don of Westerheimer Corp ( Cort Guitars) in Northbrook IL for hooking us up with tickets and the meet and greet with Gary!

Heres what we have coming up in the next couple months.

May 17th-18th we will be a the Vintage Guitar Magazines Guitar show in Chicago Illinois. Cream City Music has donated one of their tables for us to set up and promote. This is one of the biggest guitars shows of the year and we are excited to be there. Also on May 17th, we will be here in Milwaukee at the Welcome Home event at our Veterans Museum. The 440th is coming back from Iraq. We will be there to celebrate that, and that should prove to be a good time.

May 31st marks a special day for us. Godin Guitars will be holding an event at Cream City Music. Daryl Streummer of Genesis/ Phil Collins will be there giving a clinic. Godin has donated a guitar which will be raffled off at the event. All the proceeds will go to G4V! ALSO, we will be drawing the winner of the Benford 101st Airborne eagle guitar. As you may recall we are only selling a limited amount of tickets. 300 to be exact. We are getting close to that mark, so if you were thinking about getting one (or 10) act quickly!

Another cool event we have coming up will be in the beginning of Sept. An Art show. We are taking any donated guitars that are un repairable and giving them to local artists for the show. They will be displayed at The Art Bar on the east side of Milwaukee. Everything will be for sale and proceeds will benefit G4V. It’s a creative way to take a guitar that is no longer playable and use it to generate some much needed funds for the program. More details will be on the website as they arise. If you are in the Milwaukee or Madison area and have an old beat up acoustic guitar you don’t need, let us know!

That’s it for now. I imagine I have forgotten something, so you may see another newsletter soon!

As always, thanks for the support. Don’t forget, Buy a T-shirt. We have S-L-XL-2XL-3XL sizes!

Steve Benford

Dan, Patrick, John, Steve and Pete.

I'm so happy to see these guys taking off like this. I hope the program grows even more.

Friday, May 9, 2008

May Madness!

Wow! The shop is full of action this week. I have some new pickups to build. I have a pair of VOV prototype humbuckers to do some mods too. I have a Fender Jazz Bass pickup to do some mods too. I have a dead Fender Strat 69 that needs new life. I have a pair of Fender Noiseless Tele pickups that are dead that I will be sorting out. I have two Brad Gillis PJ Marx pickups coming that will add a new chapter to my previous PJ Marx story.

Look for reports on each of these here. Man!! I better get busy!!

In the meantime I would like you all to buy a raffle ticket from Steve Benford for a chance to win the Guitars For Vets Eagle guitar. There is less than a month till the drawing for the winner is picked. It's only $10 bucks and it's for a good cause. In order to encourage folks to do a little more than just talk about supporting the troops I made a little YouTube promo for G4V. Check it out and listen to Steve Benfords great playing

Monday, May 5, 2008

Gibson Mandolin Pickup Restoration ( listen to the mandolin wind)

Well, I finally went and did it. I took an old Searcy String Works photo essay of the Gibson Mandolin pickup restoration and made a video about it and posted it on YouTube.

I'll be converting a few more of my old photo essays in time. I'm also planning to do some new ones as I can. Hopefully I will get better at this as I do some more.

Check it out and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

8 string Humbucker

The 8 string guitar humbucker is done and will leaving the Searcy String Works Shop soon. This one is going to Jeff Head at Head Guitars . If you haven't seen this guys work there is something wrong with you!!

Jeff is a master inlay man and builds some insane instruments. Once everything comes together this pickup will be installed in a monster 8 string guitar featuring such abnormal amenities as an 8 string Kahler tremolo bridge. Eventually this will be making monster sounds in the hands of Matt Williamson.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Introducing Searcy TV! (Video killed the radio star...)

Ok, I have been playing around with some video editing programs I have and my new digital camera. Just for kicks I slapped together this little clip of some of my pickups, some client projects, some random shots of the shop and splattered that with some effects. Then I posted the thing on You Tube. The little tune playing on the clip is mine. It's something I recorded years ago and never did anything with so now it's a sound track.... sort of...

If you guys like these I think I will do some more that are a little more informative .

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stills standing....

I think Steven Stills is just about my favorite of the old hippy crowd. His voice is just fantastic and his playing is great. He is in very poor health these days and that's a bummer. I have seen him play live a few times and he is a top notch showman.

Love me some Stills.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Searcy goes acoustic!??!!??

That's right. The pickup man is building an acoustic guitar in his spare time. It's actually not the first one I have built. I made a Martin copy for my dad a few years back. It has turned out to be a good guitar. So lately I have been looking at buying an acoustic to use for some of my own music. The more I thought about it the more I figured I should just make one for myself. Then my buddy Ellie Erickson of Ellie Guitars offered to trade me some great acoustic parts for some custom pickups so I jumped on it.

I'll up date this one from time to time. I also finished the 8 string guitar humbucker this week so I'll be posting a bit about that a little later on this week.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A little more UFO

Ok.... I'll admit that I wish I was seeing this old classic line up of UFO this week. But I'll take what I can get at this point... right?

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Any one who knows me knows that my favorite band in the world is UFO. They are coming to town this week and I plan to catch the show. I won't get to see Pete or Mikey but I don't much care. I'm gonna enjoy this.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

William Jeffrey Jones (The worm has turned....)

Ok children, the DragonWing guitar from William Jeffrey Jones Guitars is finished. I must say that it's one of the most insane guitars I have ever seen. Look at how the ornamentation compliments both the lines of the guitar and the grain of the wood. That is the eye of an artist at work.

I talked to Jeffrey on the phone several times while we were developing the pickup for this guitar and was struck by the realization that this man is truly an artist in the most classic sense of the word. Although his sculpting medium has changed from time to time he is a guy who has made his living as a sculptor for most of his life. There is a very good chance you have seen his work.

Jeffrey has been building guitars for a long time. First as a hobby and a bit of an
escape from his sculpting work. Then as demand for his fantastic instruments grew the guitars became a second passion. The DragonWing represents a coming together of the passions of William Jeffrey Jones. The artist and the craftsman that reside in his soul have come together into unbelievable works of art that are as grand to play and hear as they are fantastic to look at and feel.

The pickup for this guitar is a mellow sounding humbucking P-90 . This is a design I make exclusively for WJJ Guitars . I didn't make the cover. Come on... you have seen the guys carving ability. Does he need for me to carve a cover for him?

If you would like to buy one of William Jeffrey Jones unbelievable guitars you can Email Jeffery here . Or you can talk to Richard Glick from Guitars From Another Realm

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I'm so sick...

I feel like I've been hit by a bus this week... I have some sort of cold that's kicking my ass but I'm cranking out pickups like a gum ball machine. So this weeks tune is Sick from FlyLeaf.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

William Jeffrey Jones Guitars (Something wicked this way comes...)

William Jeffrey Jones has been hard at it building one of the most incredible guitars I have ever seen. (and I have seen some incredible guitars in my day...) I made a special humbucking P-90 for it. Ummm... that's about all I'm gonna say right now. More later this week.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Searcy Mandolin Pickup ( listen to the mandolin wind...)

Some time ago I rebuilt a Gibson Mandolin pickup for Amy Hopkins who was rebuilding a Gibson electric mandolin that had been damaged in the floods after Katrina in NOLA. Check out the project here.

Ever since then I have wanted to try to make a copy of that pickup. Well, I finally got around to doing it. This is not an exact copy of the Gibson but it's close. It's basically a P-90 that has been cut down. It uses a pair of Alnico 5 magnets just like the original and has about the same output.

It's been said before. Searcy String Works can make a pickup for damn near anything.

This one will be headed out to Ellie guitars soon. I can't wait to see what she does with it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Song of the week .... Adrian Legg

If you thought I was all metal all the time.... well... I'm not.

I love Adrian Legg!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mail Call!

Ok Folks, the old ATT email address is dead now. If you are trying to reach me at that address I will not get it. If your spam blockers does not have the new address I can't write you to tell you the old one is gone... Please make sure you have This new email address.

Got some 8 string guitar pickups on the way. More about those later.

In the mean time I thought you might like this old picture of my first pickup winder that was set up in the spare bed room way back when.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Vampire of Vaudeville ( meet J.A. Allen)

Alright, There are a lot of pickups coming out of the Searcy String Works shop this week. One was a set of prototypes to the Vampire of Vaudeville , J.A. Allen. J.A. is a great guitar player and owner of the Ten Ten recording studio. Check out this video of him playing live.

He was looking for a pickup maker who can adjust the design to fit his needs. The pickups I'm making for him have two rows of adjustable pole to allow for fine tuning of the volume. J.A. likes a controllable over drive distortion so these pickups aren't super hot . The are in the 13K range. Because his live shows are loud and sometimes in small club type venues we wax potted the pickups. They are made with 4 wire leads. Even though J.A. Allen doesn't need any fancy switching on these pickups I like to keep my humbuckers standard.

Hopefully J.A. will love these prototypes. If not I will rework them till he does.

Check out J.A.Allens interview with Searcy String Works conducted by my wife Alicia. Also be sure to check out these links to J.A. allen projects.

The offical VOV My Space page is a great place to hear some of J.A.s playing.
Ten Ten studios home page Runs a list of show dates where you can catch VOV live.

If your into high energy full on rock guitar you owe it to your self to check out J.A. Allen "The Vampire of Vaudeville" .