From Andras KURTACS, man behind Sublime pickups
Since I was 14 I was interested in the art of guitar playing, for some years I have even been taught by a particularly good music teacher. I have been in a number of bands, well rather unknown ones. As a man with a mechanical mindset I was always interested in what makes a guitar tick, what makes those glorious sounds. A couple of years ago I was surprised when taking apart one of my pickups, it was much simpler than the countless books and web pages lead me to believe.
My pickups don.t follow the usual ‘PAF’ build pattern, 95% of the manufacturers produce them under fancy names, so why bother with it.
I was always searching for alternative solutions with which my pickups would have a distinct and unique character. As a guitar player myself I find the most important feature of a pickup (and a whole combination of guitar and gear) to express the players style and every small personal aspect. I also strive to make pickups which have a very broad tonal range and can react precisely to the players technique. The only drawback of this is that you cannot really cheat your way through a difficult figure and every mistake you make will be heard.
Every pickup comes to life in my workshop, handwound and handmade to perfection. For wounding purposes I use 0,04-0,071 mm copper wires coated once or twice with lacquerenamel. To impregnate the coils and ensure microphfonyic free pickups I use acrylateepoxy resin or impregnating lacquer. I make my own bobbins or buy them from an outside contractor. When making my pickups I only have one goal: exquisite and perfect sound, hence my pickups contain many unique handmade parts. I managed to put my hands on a good stock of some really old, high quality steel, and buy other metal parts from the current high-tech steel manufacturers.
AlNiCo5 and N35 neodymium magnets are the basis of my pickups, I use them side by side as they complement each other very well.
For the finishing touch most of my pickups end up in airtight vacuum sealed epoxy acrylate cases so they are water proof and resist impactshits and drops. I will change the sound and character of my pickups to fit the customer’s distinct taste and I can also provide a unique look.