|From Michael DeTemple you wouldn't expect anything less than absolute tonal perfection -- so what makes SweetSpot™ Pickups so different? They were conceived as a set, not just as individual pickups -- a design that allows for optimum pickup positioning for tone, volume, clarity and definition.
Want more? SweetSpot™ Pickups give you even volume from pickup-to-pickup, creating purely tonal (vs. volume) changes when switching from one pickup to another (a quality Michael calls "balanced for uniform output").
Not surprisingly there are a few technical secrets involved, but there are no hi-tech "improvements" to the traditional method of pickup making -- just handmade pickups created the way they should be, with the attention, compassion and ear of a musician and master luthier.
SweetSpot™ Pickups will help to reduce intonation problems produced by the magnetic pull of the pickups on the strings. SweetSpot™ Pickups solve common pickup problems by varying the output and the magnetic pull to allow for the optimum positioning for tone, volume, clarity and definition while maintaining traditional, yet mature, tonal values.
SweetSpot™ Pickups come with detailed wiring instructions. Michael also offers an optional kit that includes all of the traditional materials, including cloth covered wire, potentiometers, and capacitors. Or, he will be happy to make the modifications for you on the Strat®-style pickguard of your choice -- or build a new Tele®-style control panel for you.
Michael DeTemple: "Every pickup has its 'sweet spot' -- the precise distance from the strings where it sounds its best. Unfortunately pickups have always been made so that you could never position all pickups in their sweet spots and still have uniform, balanced output from pickup-to-pickup. That is... until now.
"Tone freaks are the most demanding clients. Those of you who know DeTemple Guitars™ will appreciate what many are now calling the world’s finest vintage-design solid body electrics. For years I've used the cream of the most toneful boutique pickups. But other than outstanding tone I've always felt that there was something missing -- truly balanced output.
"My SweetSpot™ Pickups were developed to give a more uniform and balanced output volume as you switch from one pickup to another. Usually the tonal sweet spot has to be forfeited for the balanced volume and output from pickup-to-pickup. But SweetSpot™ Pickups deliver a pure tonal change -- without a jump or drop in volume. And as you adjust each pickup into its sweet spot you'll discover that all of your pickups remain balanced in volume and tone.
"You may be relieved to know that SweetSpot™ Pickups represent the exact opposite to state-of-the-art technology. Each pickup is completely handmade and hand-tested. We use only traditional methods and materials -- in fanatically inspected small quantities that allow for fanatically tight quality control.
"We all know that 'original' isn't an instant qualifier for the best, but SweetSpot™ Pickups are designed with an innovative combination of technical know-how and old time craftsmanship that have never been brought together before. They deliver the traditional California tone -- and they sound their best individually or in combination with one another."
A Word About Tone
SweetSpot™ Pickups are designed to give their best tonal range when installed with other vintage-style components. Aside from the method of amplification (or recording) and the guitar's electronics, the composition and fit of the neck, body, bridge, strings, nut, tuners, as well as the finish (oil, nitro, polyurethane, etc.), all play significant roles in a guitar's tone.
Since the 1950s guitar manufacturers have continued to experiment with, and make alterations to, the electronics of guitars. Most of these attempts have strayed from the sought-after vintage tone. And even so-called vintage-style guitars seldom follow the original manufacturing methods and materials.
To give your guitar the maximum possible tonal improvement, and to compliment your SweetSpot™ Pickups, we strongly advise that you rewire your guitar as suggested in the instructions provided with the pickups (see diagrams below).
Michael DeTemple uses hybrid wiring that closely follows the original methods, using the same manufacturers and designs of the original components wherever possible.
Technically, there is no real "standard" for vintage-era guitars. The method of wiring went through many, often arbitrary, changes over the years, especially with the type, number of, and location of of capacitors. The single major difference in the DeTemple Guitars' system is in the type of capacitor used. Michael, like many other experimenters, tested an almost infinite number of values, brand names, types of manufacture before arriving at the absolute best tonal combination.