Saturday, February 16, 2008

The new guy... (Willian Jeffery Jones guitars)

I have been talking lately to Jeffery Jones. He is a ridiculously talented sculptor and luthier out of Neosho Missouri. His fretless guitars are starting to generate a buzz in the jazz end of the pool and he is now looking for someone to make some pickups that are more to his liking. His comments to me were very specific ... he needed P-90 and he needed them to be humbucking.

This got me thinking about a similar request I had about a year ago. George Thorogood tours with about 6 guitars. These are specially built Gibsons and all of them sound very different. Sometimes this can lead to strange issues. One of the guitars his tech was working on just sounded too bright and thin no matter what they did to it. I was asked to try to build something to beef up the tone of this guitars in a Dog Ear P-90 style and it needed to be humbucking. I came up with 3 different designs for George to try out. In the end he decided the guitar was just too bright sounding for any pickups to fox and he opted to use a preamp to shape the tone of that problem guitar. Since they didn't use the pickups they sent them back and thanked me for trying to tame the beast.

I was disappointed... I always am when I fail to give someone exactly what they want. But what can you do? They are good pickups... just not for this guitar. So the humbucking P-90s went in a box in the shop and have sat there ever since.

Until now ! I have resurrected two of these pickup designs to see how they sound a WJJ guitar. I am very excited at the prospect of seeing some Searcy String Works pickups in the William Jeffery Jones guitars. After talking to him on the phone I can tell you that he has some big surprises in the works. But we'll talk about that later.

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