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SnoMan97

Kent Armstrong pickups...any good?

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Specifically the tele bridge and the neck mini humbucker pickups. Anyone have any experience with them?

 

I had a KA Hot 60s Tele Neck pup in a project that I did few years ago, sounded awesome. I was happy with it. I didn't like the Duncan I had in the bridge though and opted for a GFS Vintage Alnico Tele and was actually super impressed by it.

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There was a Kent Armstrong humbucker of some sort in the bridge position of my US Masters when I got it. I thought it sounded terrible. Really thin and very harsh. I replaced it with a Dimarzio Tone Zone and have been happy as can be since.

 

That's the only first hand experience I have with Kent Armstrong pickups. It may have just been whatever model I had that I didn't like. :idk:

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I tried the humbucker sized P90s. It would be hard to describe in words just how bad they were. Maybe I got a bad set but they were the muddiest most life-less pickups I have ever tried.

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I have the Tele bridge pickup and it's OK, but not great. I have another Tele with an SD AlNiCo II pickup that I prefer over the Kent Armstrong.

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I have the Tele bridge pickup and it's OK, but not great. I have another Tele with an SD AlNiCo II pickup that I prefer over the Kent Armstrong.

 

Was not knocked out by the tele set I had. Not horrified, but bowled over with mediocrity.

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i dont know anything about those models mentioned, but just a word of props for Kent Armstrong, he is a super nice guy and makes a quality product.

Every one of my archtops (5) has a Kent Armstrong 14-pole PAF humbucker. IMO, they are the best jazz pickup out there.

 

I once had occasion to call Mr Armstrong in Vermont and found him to be absolutely accommodating and quite a delightful person. he is quite the crackup...he was full of quips and one liners - it was an entertaining conversation.

 

again, i cannot help with what you are really asking, but after reading some disparaging other comments, i thought i should at least share my experience with his handmade jazz pickups, which are superb. :thu:

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The PAF and bridge humbucker in my Jackson Soloist are excellent pickups.

 

When I first got the guitar my standard procedure was to swap things for

EMGs or something else but they were so good I've kept them.

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Matthew Bellamy of Muse used the "Motherbucker" In his first few custom guitars. Just youtube "Stockholm Sydrome Glastonbury" You'll get the idea, the idea that the motherbucker is Broootal!

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i dont know anything about those models mentioned, but just a word of props for Kent Armstrong, he is a super nice guy and makes a quality product.

Every one of my archtops (5) has a Kent Armstrong 14-pole PAF humbucker. IMO, they are the best jazz pickup out there.


I once had occasion to call Mr Armstrong in Vermont and found him to be absolutely accommodating and quite a delightful person. he is quite the crackup...he was full of quips and one liners - it was an entertaining conversation.


again, i cannot help with what you are really asking, but after reading some disparaging other comments, i thought i should at least share my experience with his handmade jazz pickups, which are superb.
:thu:

 

Mike,

 

Any experience with this one?

 

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Pickups:_Guitar,_archtop/Kent_Armstrong_Suspended_Jazz_Humbucker.html

 

Kent_Armstrong_Suspended_Jazz_Humbucker_

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Mike,


Any experience with this one?


http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Pickups:_Guitar,_archtop/Kent_Armstrong_Suspended_Jazz_Humbucker.html


 

yes. no, i don't like those one bit. I may be wrong, but i think that is one of the overseas "licensed" pickups, not handmade in Vermont. Don't know for sure.

anyhow, i've had 2 or 3 of those on guitars i've owned and they are thin and overly bright. depends on the sound you want of course - they ARE at least as good as the Gibson Johnny Smith mini humbuckers that came on some of the older Gibbies and Heritage archtops, but well...

 

Also, the lack of adjustable poles is a turn off for me, YMMV, but I will say the best "smooth top" floating jazz pickup I've owned is the Bartolini 5J pickup, which is an excellent choice for that thinner, more acoustic sound.

 

By contrast, the Armstrong (VT-made) PAF 12-pole humbucker has a much fatter, more electric sound.

 

Here is the one I love:

 

KentPAF_Eastman7.jpg

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Mike, thanks for the feedback (no pun intended). As long as you are talking about KA pickups and bumping the thread, I think of it as no dis-service to the OP.

 

So those VT hand-wound, 12 pole HB's...how much does something like that run?

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These are the Kent Armstrong pickups in my Soloist:

 

1.jpg

 

The bridge pickup has a bright fendery tone, for a humbucker it

has body but the upper frequency contour is really interesting.

 

The neck pickup produces a surprisingly authentic jazz tone with

the tone rolled down, with it rolled up it's a a warm nice tone with

clear edges.

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I've been using Kent's m214 - m215 pair of humbuckers as well as the wpu10 - wpu11 for over 14 years now in nearly every custom that I have built because they blow away Seymour Duncan's Mayhem set and you can't beat the price nearly half as much. The pickups are hot a great pairing with my Engal Powerball, Mesa Roadking and Carvin V3 all modern high gain amps. They have a nice full tone not thin and bright like most pickups in this output range. They can be a little bit of figuring to roll off and clean up but once you find the sweet spot your good to go and you can't expect pristine creamy cleans from pickups of this output. They allow me to play the most aggressive styles of music out there like no other, they really complete my tone. I tell every one of my customers to give them a try if they are looking for high gain, and let them all know I will gladly replace them with something of their choosing and not one have come back looking for replacements in over 14 years.

Brian

BCH Guitars

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