Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between "wide" and "narrow" aperture pickups?
A: "Aperture" is the width of the string sensing area of the pickup, and is generally the distance between the two poles of a humbucker. Wider apertures sense a larger section of the string, and result in a "warmer" or "fuller" tone. The lows are a bit deeper and the highs are a bit smoother. Our standard soapbar pickups are wide aperture and sense an area about .75" (19.05mm) wide.
The narrow aperture pickups sense a narrower area of the strings, and have more of a single coil type of tone, with tighter lows and a punchy upper midrange. Our narrow aperture soapbar pickups are similar to our Jazz Bass pickups, but in a larger case. They sense an area of the string about 5/16" (0.312" - 8mm) and use thinner blades. This gives you the option of having a tighter, more single coil tone in a soapbar size case.
Q: What is a Sidewinder?
A: Our new Series 4 "sidewinders" use a unique configuration where both coils in the humbucker are on their side and sense the strings though a single central blade. Because there is no upper harmonic cancellation and midrange emphasis like you get with standard humbuckers, these give a clean bright tone with extended top end, and a more neutral midrange as you would get with a single coil pickup.
These are specially wound for fans of very natural sounding bass, such as the old Lane Poor pickups provided. They have slightly lower output than our humbuckers and feature ceramic magnets. These also easily do the vintage/bright single coil tone.
We also make a hotter wound version for a more fat-vintage single coil tone.
Q: How long does it take to get my order?
A: SGD Pickups are hand made to order. Average wait between order and delivery is about 3 to 4 weeks. When things get busy the waiting time will increase. I work on batches of pickups in the order as I get them. Check the front page for lead time status. I'm now trying to keep pre-made parts on hand, and even wound bobbins for the various sizes to reduce the wait. SGD is a one man operation. All pickups are hand wound by me. All parts, with the exception of the plastic covers, are hand made in house. If you need something a little special, ask. Custom orders take more time. Please be patient, I'm working as fast as I can! If you have a question about the status of you order, please drop me an e-mail. I sometimes get backed up, but you will always get your pickups.
Please note that all sales are final. Orders can not be canceled, nor refunds given once work has started on your order. It doesn't matter if you sold the bass the pickups are being made for and have become a monk. ;) Sorry, but too many people had a project sitting around, ordered pickups, and then lost interest on the project, sold the bass, etc. If you need an order changed after you placed the order, drop me an email ASAP and I should be able to change it.
Q: Will neodymium magnets pull my strings down, or cause tuning problems?
A: No. While the bare magnet itself is very powerful, our "magnetic circuit" reduces the field strength over the pickup to about 400 gauss. In comparison, pickups with Alnico rod magnets exhibit about 800 gauss at each pole piece! So our neo pickups are pulling the stings less than conventional vintage style Alnico pickups. Neos are powerful like ceramic magnets, but have a warm tone like Alnico.
Q: Do you make custom pickups, or OEM pickups or electronics for luthiers?
A: Yes, drop me a line if you want something you don't see, or to inquire about Dealer/OEM pricing. I also make private label pickups. Please note that all sales are final on custom ordered products. Returns are only granted for defective items for repair or replacement. I cannot resell custom orders, nor can I regain the time it took making them. Also I cannot guarantee lead time on custom orders.
Q: What is the warranty on your products?
A: Our products are guaranteed against defects in materials or workmanship for 10 years and may be exchanged for for other models up to 10 days. Pickups and electronics must be unaltered and undamaged. This means the leads are not cut short and the pickup casing is not scratched. Customers pay shipping on exchanges. We do not cover intentional or accidental damage or misuse by the customer. Pickups and electronics should be installed by qualified individuals. On custom orders all sales are final, but I will work with you to get you what you wanted, and will repair defective units.