Why Choose Revel Pups?
A lot of people chose Revel because of cost. I’m nothing if not honest. There are thousands of pickups and pickup makers to chose from and I am a drop in the bucket of a hugely over-saturated boutique pickup market. This is a hobby of mine, not my primary source of income. I’m not using cheap parts or cheap wire or poor skill.
In the years I spent trying to discover and develop my tone, I tried all the guitars and all the amps and all the pickup combinations I could afford. I tried all the well known, inexpensive and cheap pickups (“Fetish” this and “Riders” that), and I tried many of the boutique pickups (the ones I could afford). Were the boutique pickups better? Yes! Clearly, yes.
Eventually I learned how to build my own guitars and amps and wind my own pickups to find that tone.
In Defense of The Cost Of Boutique Pups
Why do boutique pickups cost what they do? Because the market bears that cost. People are willing to spend one hundred or several hundred for a great sounding pickup. There’s also the research and development behind a particular builders “recipe.” The time spent learning the craft and how to do it well is substantial. And there is the cost of the parts of the pickup. For me, this is the largest factor of the cost. When you buy a pickup from me at least half the price is the cost of the parts. The parts are good. They’re the best available and the best is important. The alloys of the metal matter. The quality of the pole pieces matter. The quality of the magnets matter. Every aspect of the pickup is a factor in the quality of its sound. For many large boutique shops, their parts are custom: custom cut fiber work, custom alloys, custom magnets, custom covers and custom etching.
Why Don’t You Have Sound Clips?
I’m often asked for sound clips of my pickups. I don’t have any. There is the argument that you can get some sort of objective tonal assessment of a pickup by using a well known amp with the knobs at noon using a popular guitar. I guess that’s maybe possible. Maybe. Actually I don’t think it is. There’s too many factors in play, from the wood of the guitar body to, most importantly, the player. I could hire a player that would make the shittiest guitar with the shittiest pickup played through the shittiest amp sound like the best thing you have ever heard. Which leads me to my next point…
How Important Is The Pickup?
I obviously don’t want to talk you out of doing business with me. But my business is more about my passion for music and for tone and the creation of something special than it is the building of a guitar and pickup empire. And so I have the liberty of being completely honest (if you’ve even read this far!). In the hierarchy of what creates awesome tone, pickups are last. My top 6 tone factors are:
The player. How often the player practices. How often the player plays. The Player. The amp. The pickup.
Actually the pickup would be further down around 7 in a list of 10, but you get the point. Many people I talk to hope a pickup is going to solve the problem of not being a good enough player or not having a very good amp. And this isn’t a knock against your playing. It really isn’t. I just mean to emphasize that the real secret to good tone is finding your voice as a player. And if you get my point and you end up not buying a pickup from me because of it, well, it’s almost worth it!