Beryllium Pickup chat

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby GuitFiddle » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:50 am

I'll let you know what they sound like with a 50s wiring scheme soon. History in the NGD - DC127 in BRG thread if you care.
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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:36 am

gumbynotpokey wrote:
spudmunkey wrote:A pretty good video, going through medium gain, clean, higher gain, all pickup positions, on an Aries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvxLO9qS5pU

In his video description, the video creator wrote:Finally getting around to doing a Play-though using different tones with the Kiesel Beryllium Pickups. Tried to cover the basics... quick & simple. (not great, but to the point) You'll get the point.

These pickups have a nice tone... cover a pretty wide musical spectrum.
This is the my first attempt at this type of demo/review.

This Kiesel Aries (A6x) has an alder body, maple regular neck profile, 12in radius, med jumbo stainless steel frets, standard ebony fretboard, weighs right at 8lb, w/ Pearl Blue satin finish.

The Classic and clean tones are through Steven Slate's S-Gear... High gain is through Bias FX.


I really don't see the point of tone demos like this that are without ERG chugging, without neo-classical shredding, and without a play over example with a rhythm section firing 32nd notes of 40caliber belt-fed ammo in a 2-man weapon system at about 105bpm. I mean, this bedroom tone sampling stuff just isn't helpful to any real player. Oh well, the interwebs have literally everything.


I love it!! :laughhard: :laughhard:
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1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby gumbynotpokey » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:30 pm

Doctor Turn wrote:
gumbynotpokey wrote:
spudmunkey wrote:A pretty good video, going through medium gain, clean, higher gain, all pickup positions, on an Aries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvxLO9qS5pU

In his video description, the video creator wrote:Finally getting around to doing a Play-though using different tones with the Kiesel Beryllium Pickups. Tried to cover the basics... quick & simple. (not great, but to the point) You'll get the point.

These pickups have a nice tone... cover a pretty wide musical spectrum.
This is the my first attempt at this type of demo/review.

This Kiesel Aries (A6x) has an alder body, maple regular neck profile, 12in radius, med jumbo stainless steel frets, standard ebony fretboard, weighs right at 8lb, w/ Pearl Blue satin finish.

The Classic and clean tones are through Steven Slate's S-Gear... High gain is through Bias FX.


I really don't see the point of tone demos like this that are without ERG chugging, without neo-classical shredding, and without a play over example with a rhythm section firing 32nd notes of 40caliber belt-fed ammo in a 2-man weapon system at about 105bpm. I mean, this bedroom tone sampling stuff just isn't helpful to any real player. Oh well, the interwebs have literally everything.


I love it!! :laughhard: :laughhard:


brother, thank you....i laughed writing it....i was really waiting for the audience reaction....you have heartened me
:)

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:05 pm

Believe me, you said a good mouthful of serious things hidden in that there sarcastic bit, and none of it was lost on me.
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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby Alcathous » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:25 am

I got Berylliums in my new Zeus (the one with the ziricote top). I don't have tons of references as I don't try tons of guitars with different pickups, switching them in and out like some people (in fact, for a decade I just kept up my chops playing guitar unplugged). So I cannot really make detailed comments. And I only used them with a Marshall DSL tube.

The Berylliums are a lot hotter than the Holdsworth pickups (which are inside my Vader). They don't give me a sterile modern vibe like some people say the Lithiums are (I have never played a guitar with Lithiums). They do not really sound modern. I think they are traditional pickups good for hard rock and metal. You get harmonics easily. They single coils are very twangy. Overall, clean you never get an acoustic sound. With the Holdsworths single coil bridge sounded pretty near to acoustic.
I don't think I like the sound I am getting with the Zeus Beryllium & Marshall for lead playing. I think for that I prefer a low output pickup with a much rounded fuller sound. But then again I always think single notes I play with my guitars though my amps don't sound anything like Shawn Lane or Eric Johnson.

I recently saw a video of Rob Chapman where he claims he had a PRS with a really special sound. And there through their mic setup I could hear the special PRS sounded better than the average one. There was something special and lively about that one. I can't say me playing my new guitar sounded as good as Rob Chapman playing that PRS. But I don't think that means the Berylliums must be average and inferior to SD or Dimarzios.

So now I have a guitar that does palm muted rock/metal riffs a lot better than my semihollow and my Vader Holdsworth. So that is what I wanted so they delivered what I expected from them.

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby Handy » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:34 am

Alcathous wrote:The Berylliums are a lot hotter than the Holdsworth pickups (which are inside my Vader). They don't give me a sterile modern vibe like some people say the Lithiums are (I have never played a guitar with Lithiums). They do not really sound modern. I think they are traditional pickups good for hard rock and metal. You get harmonics easily. They single coils are very twangy. Overall, clean you never get an acoustic sound. With the Holdsworths single coil bridge sounded pretty near to acoustic.


I just got my mahogany bodied Aries 6 with Berylliums and have the same take as you. A pretty traditional humbucker sound, somewhat higher output than PAF style pickups, but not by a huge amount. Great for rock and they sound great split.

This is precisely what I was going for in this guitar, and actually quite like the output level and tone, so they're staying.

The Lithiums in my Vanquish are totally different animals, and are in my option overly bright for the ash body / maple neck / maple body cap wood combo in that guitar - especially as it has no tone knob. Though I think the neck Lithium pickup works better on this guitar than the bridge.

I'll be playing around with different bridge pickups on the Vanquish. The Berylliums are staying put.

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby UnexplodedCow » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:46 am

Handy wrote:
Alcathous wrote:The Berylliums are a lot hotter than the Holdsworth pickups (which are inside my Vader). They don't give me a sterile modern vibe like some people say the Lithiums are (I have never played a guitar with Lithiums). They do not really sound modern. I think they are traditional pickups good for hard rock and metal. You get harmonics easily. They single coils are very twangy. Overall, clean you never get an acoustic sound. With the Holdsworths single coil bridge sounded pretty near to acoustic.


I just got my mahogany bodied Aries 6 with Berylliums and have the same take as you. A pretty traditional humbucker sound, somewhat higher output than PAF style pickups, but not by a huge amount. Great for rock and they sound great split.

This is precisely what I was going for in this guitar, and actually quite like the output level and tone, so they're staying.

The Lithiums in my Vanquish are totally different animals, and are in my option overly bright for the ash body / maple neck / maple body cap wood combo in that guitar - especially as it has no tone knob. Though I think the neck Lithium pickup works better on this guitar than the bridge.

I'll be playing around with different bridge pickups on the Vanquish. The Berylliums are staying put.


Regarding your Lithium experience; it's not the wood combo; it's the lack of tone control combined with the pickup's response (which has a 1.5-1.6Khz frequency peak amongst the rest) along with its resonant frequency/peak. The neck is mellower by comparison. I tried Lithiums in various designs, scales, etc. and it never sounded "like the guitar." The pickups did seem to work best with 1Meg volume pots, and some tone control to mellow out a bit.
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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby dbone » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:27 am

Handy wrote:
Alcathous wrote:The Berylliums are a lot hotter than the Holdsworth pickups (which are inside my Vader). They don't give me a sterile modern vibe like some people say the Lithiums are (I have never played a guitar with Lithiums). They do not really sound modern. I think they are traditional pickups good for hard rock and metal. You get harmonics easily. They single coils are very twangy. Overall, clean you never get an acoustic sound. With the Holdsworths single coil bridge sounded pretty near to acoustic.


I just got my mahogany bodied Aries 6 with Berylliums and have the same take as you. A pretty traditional humbucker sound, somewhat higher output than PAF style pickups, but not by a huge amount. Great for rock and they sound great split.

This is precisely what I was going for in this guitar, and actually quite like the output level and tone, so they're staying.

The Lithiums in my Vanquish are totally different animals, and are in my option overly bright for the ash body / maple neck / maple body cap wood combo in that guitar - especially as it has no tone knob. Though I think the neck Lithium pickup works better on this guitar than the bridge.

I'll be playing around with different bridge pickups on the Vanquish. The Berylliums are staying put.


It would be interesting to hear the difference with M22T/M22V pickups in your Vanquish with those woods.
I was making some pickup comparisons with my guitars the other day and listening back to back the same heavy rhythm passage between my guitars with different models pickups body’s etc.
The M22T/M22V combo in a all maple set neck 1983 Carvin DC150 sounds warmer and say...darker yet musical, and not as hot as my lithium’s in a DC400 and CT7.
I like the lithium’s but they definetly have their own sonic footprint and are more likely intentionally designed for a certain genre, and I would agree with what others have said that they are a pickup that benefits from the use of a tone knob. Anyways the price is right on the M22’s and you can still get them from the factory or used online. Might be worth a try. if your just doing the bridge it’s a M22T
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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby Handy » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:48 am

UnexplodedCow wrote:Regarding your Lithium experience; it's not the wood combo; it's the lack of tone control combined with the pickup's response (which has a 1.5-1.6Khz frequency peak amongst the rest) along with its resonant frequency/peak. The neck is mellower by comparison. I tried Lithiums in various designs, scales, etc. and it never sounded "like the guitar." The pickups did seem to work best with 1Meg volume pots, and some tone control to mellow out a bit.


Thanks, that makes lots of sense. I've got a couple DiMarzio bridge pickups in my closet that I'm going to try swapping in there. Messing around with various loading options on the Lithium might get things a little closer to my tastes, but swapping in a pickup I already know I like is probably going to be a lot less frustration.

But to repeat my self, the Berylliums in my Ares aren't going anywhere. I'm pleasantly surprised with how much they sound like what I was hoping for. Same with my new A6 in general.

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby Handy » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:53 am

dbone wrote:It would be interesting to hear the difference with M22T/M22V pickups in your Vanquish with those woods.
I was making some pickup comparisons with my guitars the other day and listening back to back the same heavy rhythm passage between my guitars with different models pickups body’s etc.
The M22T/M22V combo in a all maple set neck 1983 Carvin DC150 sounds warmer and say...darker yet musical, and not as hot as my lithium’s in a DC400 and CT7.
I like the lithium’s but they definetly have their own sonic footprint and are more likely intentionally designed for a certain genre, and I would agree with what others have said that they are a pickup that benefits from the use of a tone knob. Anyways the price is right on the M22’s and you can still get them from the factory or used online. Might be worth a try. if your just doing the bridge it’s a M22T


I've got an unused DiMazio Norton and a Tone Zone in my parts box I'm going to try first, as they're already paid for. :mrgreen: I'm going to start with the Norton as its one of my favorites for the bridge position of super strat like guitars with more traditional Fender-like wood selections.

I might keep the Lithium neck in there - it sounds a lot less over the top than the bridge.

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby dbone » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:47 pm

Handy wrote:
dbone wrote:It would be interesting to hear the difference with M22T/M22V pickups in your Vanquish with those woods.
I was making some pickup comparisons with my guitars the other day and listening back to back the same heavy rhythm passage between my guitars with different models pickups body’s etc.
The M22T/M22V combo in a all maple set neck 1983 Carvin DC150 sounds warmer and say...darker yet musical, and not as hot as my lithium’s in a DC400 and CT7.
I like the lithium’s but they definetly have their own sonic footprint and are more likely intentionally designed for a certain genre, and I would agree with what others have said that they are a pickup that benefits from the use of a tone knob. Anyways the price is right on the M22’s and you can still get them from the factory or used online. Might be worth a try. if your just doing the bridge it’s a M22T


I've got an unused DiMazio Norton and a Tone Zone in my parts box I'm going to try first, as they're already paid for. :mrgreen: I'm going to start with the Norton as its one of my favorites for the bridge position of super strat like guitars with more traditional Fender-like wood selections.

I might keep the Lithium neck in there - it sounds a lot less over the top than the bridge.


Cool. Glad you like the Beryls! I hope they get cracking and get a couple more pup sets in the rotation to fill the void of the discontinued M and C series.
I listened to some tracks of the Beryls on a Red Metallic CS6 that a member posted and thought they sounded pretty nice also. The cool thing about that was he actually laid down a gain rhythm track with that guitar and then put some lead melodies over it. As I am playing rythm most of the time it was refreshing to hear.
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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby Handy » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:52 am

UnexplodedCow wrote:Regarding your Lithium experience; it's not the wood combo; it's the lack of tone control combined with the pickup's response (which has a 1.5-1.6Khz frequency peak amongst the rest) along with its resonant frequency/peak. The neck is mellower by comparison. I tried Lithiums in various designs, scales, etc. and it never sounded "like the guitar." The pickups did seem to work best with 1Meg volume pots, and some tone control to mellow out a bit.


Thanks for that tip - after swapping out the bridge Lithium with a DiMarzio Norton DP160 the guitar is transformed. It actually has bass frequencies again! Sounds great!

The neck Lithium sounds better, but actually has LESS bass than the Norton in the bridge position, which is just a weird setup. Got a PAF 36th neck on the way to take care of that.

Also still liking the Berylliums in my mahogany Aries. I especially like the middle position which is the two inside coils in series. Nice and chimey while still sounding like a mahogany bodied humbucker guitar. Never would have thought to try this wiring config - it results in more high end clarity than the typical all-four-coils middle position.

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:57 am

The Lithium series, as a whole, is pretty bright-sounding. Still, I don't mind the neck pickup, as I like a brighter neck, however, I think the M22V is better-sounding, and the M22N gets the deeper sound, and then gets properly bright when split. At the end of the day, I'm just an M series fan, and can't see the newer humbuckers improving on them, honestly, though the sound is different, and that's ultimately what this is all about.

Anyway, don't be afraid to try an M22N. I think it'd be right up your alley.
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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby amispy » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:18 am

UnexplodedCow wrote:The Lithium series, as a whole, is pretty bright-sounding.
I agree. I hardly ever mess with the tone knobs on my guitars with M series or C series pups. I almost always roll back the tone knobs on my guitars with Lithiums. I have an Aries on order with Berylliums. I have high hopes for them.
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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby GuitFiddle » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:56 am

Keep your expectations reasonable for the Beryls. I happen to like them for the most part, but the short of it is this: Due to significant differences in construction compared to literally every other passive humbucker I can think of including the original Carvin designs - namely, the use of a non-metallic fiber base plate and a short stack bobbin - the Kiesel branded pickups will all share some tonal commonality which may or may not appeal to you. To my ears those qualities are crazy-good splitting, hot-for-the-numbers output level, and what could be described as a strident and focused high end. Depending on your rig and style, that might either work for you or make you want to burn them with fire.
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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby spudmunkey » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:58 am

They are now the standard pickups on the Chris Letchford signature model, as it's now what he uses.

I wonder if that means there's 8-string versions? For some reason I thought I heard that there wasn't going to be. :think:

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby jayhawknavy02 » Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:11 pm

GuitFiddle wrote:Keep your expectations reasonable for the Beryls. I happen to like them for the most part, but the short of it is this: Due to significant differences in construction compared to literally every other passive humbucker I can think of including the original Carvin designs - namely, the use of a non-metallic fiber base plate and a short stack bobbin - the Kiesel branded pickups will all share some tonal commonality which may or may not appeal to you. To my ears those qualities are crazy-good splitting, hot-for-the-numbers output level, and what could be described as a strident and focused high end. Depending on your rig and style, that might either work for you or make you want to burn them with fire.


This is a great explanation of the Kiesel Beryllium and other pickups. I do wonder why Kiesel has departed the standard humbucker construction? IT seems like that would increase cost as the parts are unique. However, I do think the screw pattern on the tabs is brilliant, but not widely adopted other than some Seymour Duncan pickups as far as I've seen.

I thought the Beryllium were hotter than advertised, or at least appeared that way to me in tone, which makes sense based on your post. They definitely push harder than the Suhr Thornbuckers I have with similar output/purpose. They're definitely not bad, I think they sound very good. Easy coverage of Rock of all flavors and dip into blues and vintage metal in my DC600 (Maple neck, Alder wings, Maple Neck, Ebony Fretboard w/FR). There is definitely a focused (bright) high end in the tone. I wonder if a covered Beryllium pickup would be the way to go to roll a little of that focused high off. The closest I've heard in tone wise is the DiMarzio PAF Pro in my opinion. Overall very happy. I pulled out a Fender Strat (SCN Noiseless), Fender Tele (Cavalier Fat Lion P/U), CT3 (Suhr Thornbuckers P/U), and found it to be more articulate than most humbuckers in the neck, with some loss of warmth/fatness but approaches single coils in some areas. Very good balance overall. The bridge is slighlty brighter and the neck slightly thinner than I would desire, but I dialed the bridge down with the pole pieces and played with pickup height and seems to work much better, plus the tone knob still turns ;). I am swapping out the factory strings from the Elixir Nanoweb (bright) to the Elixir Polyweb (warm) and see if that closes the deal. It's very close to ideal. I do wonder if a Mahogany Neck, with Alder Wings and Rosewood Fretboard would tame some of the high end, but every tone wood video I've watched hasn't show significant change IMO (Warmoth, etc.). I also wonder if the stainless frets add a little bit more treble over nickel.

I was able to take the DC600 it to a buddy to A/B with his Jackson USA Custom Soloist on the same amp and try and dial it in to the JB/Jazz pickups he's using, which is the guitar I was trying to emulate. His soloist is the best sounding I've ever heard and the reason I had this built. Even with the factory elixir nano webs (Bright) it was pretty close, as in really close. I do think the Kiesel is an inherently brighter guitar due to the rock maple neck and maybe carbon fiber rods, but a real Luthier/Tech would need to weigh in vice someone from the great unwashed mass like myself. If the Polyweb is too warm I'll kick to the Optiweb. Next time we get together I plan on both of us having new strings when were together to get a better comparison.
Last edited by jayhawknavy02 on Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby UnexplodedCow » Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:39 am

jayhawknavy02 wrote:I do think the Kiesel is an inherently brighter guitar due to the rock maple neck and maybe carbon fiber rods, but a real Luthier/Tech would need to weigh in vice someone from the great unwashed mass like myself.


Tonewood is mostly a myth when it comes to electric solid body guitars, at least what is typically ascribed by the everyday guitarist. 99% of a guitar's sound comes from the pickup circuit. That little tiny 1% left will be a combo of hardware quality.

Maple isn't some insanely hard wood that inherently makes a guitar trebly. It grows everywhere, is a sustainable source of wood, and is very strong for its weight.

As for neck-thru construction, no, that doesn't make much of a difference other than feel (which I personally like).

Case in point: I have two headless guitars.

1. V6 Vader - 5 piece Maple/Mahogany neck-thru with Mahogany body wings. Ebony board with abalone block inlays, jumbo stainless frets. 25.5" scale. Fishman Fluence modern humbucker set.

2. Z6X Zeus - 1 piece Cocobolo bolt-on neck, 1 piece Ash body. Cocobolo fretboard (from the same piece of wood as the neck), dot inlays, jumbo stainless frets, has the Hipshot vibrato. 25.5" scale. Fishman Fluence modern humbucker set.

These two guitars could not be much more different in construction type or materials. The neck-thru uses softer woods, and is fixed bridge compared to the bolt-on having harder woods and the vibrato. Despite the differences, both guitars sound the same, and it's so close in sound that I tried comparing them, had to walk away for a few minutes, and forgot which one was which in the sound clips.

I've had other experiences with guitars, building and repairing them. While I prefer the neck-thru heel compared to a bolt-on, the former is much more difficult if something catastrophic happened, such as needing a truss rod replacement. Neck-thru does not lend itself to easy neck replacement, whereas bolt-on does. I used to only be about neck-thru, and thought it had some magical effect, but on testing my own ideas years ago, concluded that I was wrong.

Now, if we're talking acoustics, then yes, absolutely, wood makes the difference, but as soon as a magnetic pickup and circuit come into play, no, just plain old no, the woods do not matter that much.
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Re: Beryllium Pickup chat

Postby jayhawknavy02 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:53 am

UnexplodedCow wrote:Tonewood is mostly a myth when it comes to electric solid body guitars, at least what is typically ascribed by the everyday guitarist. 99% of a guitar's sound comes from the pickup circuit. That little tiny 1% left will be a combo of hardware quality. Maple isn't some insanely hard wood that inherently makes a guitar trebly. It grows everywhere, is a sustainable source of wood, and is very strong for its weight. As for neck-thru construction, no, that doesn't make much of a difference other than feel (which I personally like).


That's awesome. I don't have any significant experience or knowledge. Just from watching/listening to YouTube I couldn't make out any significant differences in types of wood, and nothing that couldn't be dialed out with an EQ for sure. Given a mix, even less so.

UnexplodedCow wrote:I've had other experiences with guitars, building and repairing them. While I prefer the neck-thru heel compared to a bolt-on, the former is much more difficult if something catastrophic happened, such as needing a truss rod replacement. Neck-thru does not lend itself to easy neck replacement, whereas bolt-on does. I used to only be about neck-thru, and thought it had some magical effect, but on testing my own ideas years ago, concluded that I was wrong.


That makes sense. Moving forward, I may go with a bolt on. The Kiesel neck heel joint is more ergonomic than my Fender Strat or Tele, so I doubt it would be an issue, its really never been an issue regardless, even on the upper frets anyway. I had a Carvin DC years ago, and an SC now, before picking up the DC600, and they've all been great. I also played one of the bolt on guitars at the show room and thought the same thing.

I don't want to, and hopefully haven't given any impression that I'm unhappy with the pickups, I think they cover more territory than the JB/Jazz and can be dialed back to sound incredibly similar, dang near almost identical. No plans to change them just "tweak" some of the tone via string Changs and pickup pole/height adjustment to get it right where I want it.


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