• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Stephens design pickups versus throwbaks?

scv8

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
5
The Wizz was so far from sounding like a PAF in that test guitar that I even though it could be broken or not properly installed. In that incarnation that pickup certainly doesn't blow any other makers PU away...

I thought it sounded like they stuck a towel over the mic for the Wizz.
 

latestarter

Active member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
3,982
Forgive the possibly terrible description, but which Throbak set gives a lower wind, bright, dry and chimey “tele on steroids” type of tone? Danke Schoen!

Maybe the DT with an A2 neck and A4 bridge? I dunno, ask TB I guess. I’ve never ordered from them direct for pickups, always purchased used from this site, but I’m sure they will know what you’re talking about.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
631
sa_main.jpg

Holy smokes that is crazy!
 

MikeSlub

Administrator
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
14,764
I've used ThroBaks and think they are great pickups. Have also bought parts from them and have been very happy with them. Jon is a perfectionist and is passionate regarding vintage accuracy and customer service. :dude:
 

57gold

Active member
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
617
No experience with Stephens.

Have Throbaks in two Gustavssons that came as original equipment. Liked them so much that I swapped out the Lollars that came in my two Collings guitars, a CL and I-35 pictured below, and they are fantastic generating improvements in tone, color, responsiveness and delivering more of the "wood" of the instrument, and Bill and the boys in Austin used good wood!

MwzZofa.jpg


cPbUROv.jpg
 

Garincha

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
376
Forgive the possibly terrible description, but which Throbak set gives a lower wind, bright, dry and chimey “tele on steroids” type of tone? Danke Schoen!

When Jon started out 10 years ago and there was only the 101, 101+ and the DT 102 the answer would probably have been "101 or 101+" for that kind of sound. But Throbak has released many new types since and the best bet would really be asking them. I personally only knew the 101+ (they have been in my R8 for 10 years) and the KZ-115 with that A2/A4 combination. The latter do the "Montrose/Weihe Burst" thing extraordinarily well and the 101+ did the brighter and dry thing well. Apart from the frequency response there are more parameters which define a sound. When I opted for the KZ-115 I was especially after a certain kind of attack (in technical terms I was after exponential vs. logarithmic=compressed attack). The 115 gave me that very special kind of "fade in" to the attack that I wanted (apart from a certain midrange resonance that I found also special and important for the sound).

It was Jon who pointed me to the 115 for that special sound components, I wouldn't have thought of those types going from the verbal description on the website alone.

In short: Shoot Throbak a mail and you will get the best possible recommendation.
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
9,973
Jon is also an expert on P90's.

When I wanted "something more" on a 54 reissue he recommended shooting some 'made for LP Specials' into it and did a custom wind at my request.

They are the most excellent sounding pickups I have and I REALLY suggest talking with him to tweak sounds and get his recommendations.

He is a guru!
 

latestarter

Active member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
3,982
Further to all this, I have two R9’s with 101+ installed....one is dry and honky, one is punchy and full. With the pickups being essentially the constant, the tonal variations sit largely with the guitar.
 

duaneflowers

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
2,520
Further to all this, I have two R9’s with 101+ installed....one is dry and honky, one is punchy and full. With the pickups being essentially the constant, the tonal variations sit largely with the guitar.

You mean different guitars sound different? Wow you're a genius... I'll bet no one ever thought of that before!!
 

duaneflowers

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
2,520
Re: Stephens design pickups versus throwbacks?

Jeez, I just searched Duane Flowers on YouTube and it turned up 5 videos Duane did for Wizz, posted to the Wizz youtube channel. Clearly Duane is a fan of Wizz but at least be straight that you are shilling if you are going push Wizz pickups on a thread unrelated to Wizz.

Troll much, creep? That's rich coming from a guy who's only purpose for visiting this site is to hock your wares... I come here for my love of my Les Pauls, you come here for your love of money... "They don't make them like they used to... We do.™"... what a load of crap!!!

For those of you wondering what the flap is between Jon and I, let me lay it out for you. My kids (10 and 13 yrs old at the time) wanted to get me something nice for Christmas a while back and asked me what I wanted. Buying in to all the hype I asked for a set of Throwbacks and promptly ordered them with expedited shipping so they would be sure to make it under the tree. The kids were so excited to get some guitar stuff for their Daddy and of course I shared their excitement. About 3 weeks before Christmas they shipped out and IMMEDIATELY I noticed they had been sent snail mail with an estimated delivery time of 6-8 weeks. I contacted Throwback but got no answer and posted about the lack of response on the MLP forum and and soon after a few days John got back to me blaming his staff for the mix-up, and refunding me the cost of shipping. He then proceeded to respond to my post on MLP blaming ME for the mix-up and how HE was the one who personally noticed the error and immediately rectified it proclaiming to the world how magnanimous he was for rectifying the situation and giving me $30 without even being asked... which was ALL BLATANT LIES. Needless to say my kids were rightfully disappointed that their plan didn't come to fruition, the pickups arrived several weeks after Christmas and ever since John has played the victim. People have consistently asked about the pups and I give my honest opinion, the service being quite similar to the experiences being shared in the current Crazyparts thread. Since John has "been in business long enough to realize there are some people I cannot do business with" he should realize it is I, the customer, that refuse to do business with him and I will tell anyone who cares to listen about the way he treats his customers. Other pickup winders know the truth about Throwback... but you don't see them here... none of them... as John's status as site sponsor allows him to kick dirt on them and they are banned if they respond in kind. That is why you see so many Throwback fanbois here... its the only game in town. Go to any other forum and/or the multitude of Facebook groups to find out what people really think of them and you'll find many experiences like mine... it really is pathetic that a business owner has to resort to trolling and name calling to market his product. I've tried hundreds of sets of pickups and Throwback, IMHO, is meh... not because of the shoddy service I received, but they just don't sound better than Wizz or Rewind or Stephens or Rolphs or OTPG or Boogie J's or Allens or Florances or Ellises or Oxen or Lollars or Wolfes or Mojos or Skatters or BKPs or Sheds or Sheps or Fralins or Holmes or Doyles or Kleins or even many Duncans... I have them all currently installed and they all sound equally as good or better than the Throwbacks I have. If you have them and they work for you, that's great... but after suffering years of abuse personally from John, Throwback will never get another dime from me!!! Buyer Beware!!!
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
631
When Jon started out 10 years ago and there was only the 101, 101+ and the DT 102 the answer would probably have been "101 or 101+" for that kind of sound. But Throbak has released many new types since and the best bet would really be asking them. I personally only knew the 101+ (they have been in my R8 for 10 years) and the KZ-115 with that A2/A4 combination. The latter do the "Montrose/Weihe Burst" thing extraordinarily well and the 101+ did the brighter and dry thing well. Apart from the frequency response there are more parameters which define a sound. When I opted for the KZ-115 I was especially after a certain kind of attack (in technical terms I was after exponential vs. logarithmic=compressed attack). The 115 gave me that very special kind of "fade in" to the attack that I wanted (apart from a certain midrange resonance that I found also special and important for the sound).

It was Jon who pointed me to the 115 for that special sound components, I wouldn't have thought of those types going from the verbal description on the website alone.

In short: Shoot Throbak a mail and you will get the best possible recommendation.

Many Thanks for the info and tips. I’ll hit them up, see what they say.
 

T.Allen

Moderator
Joined
Sep 11, 2014
Messages
2,601
Re: Stephens design pickups versus throwbacks?

Troll much, creep? That's rich coming from a guy who's only purpose for visiting this site is to hock your wares... I come here for my love of my Les Pauls, you come here for your love of money... "They don't make them like they used to... We do.™"... what a load of crap!!!

Duane, Let me chew on this a bit with an unbiased observation. I will admit that I don't follow the pickup craze, so my knowledge on the various winders is limited. First, you are getting on latestarter pretty harshly. IMO, he didn't deserve that response from you. As for Jon, of course he tries to "hock his wares". It would be foolish to pay for sponsorship and not try to develop revenue from it. That is capitalism.

For those of you wondering what the flap is between Jon and I, let me lay it out for you. My kids (10 and 13 yrs old at the time) wanted to get me something nice for Christmas a while back and asked me what I wanted. Buying in to all the hype I asked for a set of Throwbacks and promptly ordered them with expedited shipping so they would be sure to make it under the tree. The kids were so excited to get some guitar stuff for their Daddy and of course I shared their excitement. About 3 weeks before Christmas they shipped out and IMMEDIATELY I noticed they had been sent snail mail with an estimated delivery time of 6-8 weeks. I contacted Throwback but got no answer and posted about the lack of response on the MLP forum and and soon after a few days John got back to me blaming his staff for the mix-up, and refunding me the cost of shipping. He then proceeded to respond to my post on MLP blaming ME for the mix-up and how HE was the one who personally noticed the error and immediately rectified it proclaiming to the world how magnanimous he was for rectifying the situation and giving me $30 without even being asked... which was ALL BLATANT LIES. Needless to say my kids were rightfully disappointed that their plan didn't come to fruition, the pickups arrived several weeks after Christmas and ever since John has played the victim.

Yes, that sucks! Mistakes happen in business and it is up to the owner to make it right. It is difficult to make right in that situation being you are oceans apart. Refunding your expedited shipping is about all he could do since your order was already in the shipping system.

I rarely go on MLP, so I don't know first hand what happened there. If it happened exactly as you say, you have a legitimate gripe. Sometimes it is a misunderstanding or an already salted wound bringing it right up to the surface. Either way, it is unhealthy to harbor animosity like this. Take a deep breath brother.


People have consistently asked about the pups and I give my honest opinion, the service being quite similar to the experiences being shared in the current Crazyparts thread. Since John has "been in business long enough to realize there are some people I cannot do business with" he should realize it is I, the customer, that refuse to do business with him and I will tell anyone who cares to listen about the way he treats his customers.

This is similar to the old "you can't fire me, I quit" thing. Either way, I think it is clear that neither of you will do business with each other again.


Other pickup winders know the truth about Throwback... but you don't see them here... none of them... as John's status as site sponsor allows him to kick dirt on them and they are banned if they respond in kind. That is why you see so many Throwback fanbois here... its the only game in town. Go to any other forum and/or the multitude of Facebook groups to find out what people really think of them and you'll find many experiences like mine...

Other pickup winders are more than welcome here, but if they want to go beyond general conversation, they need to become a sponsor. I am sure they would be welcome to a sponsorship slot.

Again, I am not deep into the winder field, so I don't hear these things in my admittedly limited guitar forum participation, besides here.


it really is pathetic that a business owner has to resort to trolling and name calling to market his product.

Do you really believe that Jon's marketing strategy is to troll the forum and call people names? I think that would be very detrimental to his business. For the record, I don't know Jon and this forum administration has never told me sponsors are hands off. If he was instigating and escalating discourse on the forum, he would be moderated just like any other member here.

I've tried hundreds of sets of pickups and Throwback, IMHO, is meh... not because of the shoddy service I received, but they just don't sound better than Wizz or Rewind or Stephens or Rolphs or OTPG or Boogie J's or Allens or Florances or Ellises or Oxen or Lollars or Wolfes or Mojos or Skatters or BKPs or Sheds or Sheps or Fralins or Holmes or Doyles or Kleins or even many Duncans...

Holy shit Duane! :wow Can you at least admit that you have a problem? Pickup-aholic? (that is in jest, not the holy shit part though)

I have them all currently installed and they all sound equally as good or better than the Throwbacks I have. If you have them and they work for you, that's great... but after suffering years of abuse personally from John, Throwback will never get another dime from me!!! Buyer Beware!!!

My comments above.
 

JPP-1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
1,295
Happy new year everybody!

A question … can anybody tell me how Stephens design pickups compare with the throbak PAF offerings?

Just to get opinions on players that have tried out both.

Your best bet is to check out youtube as there are good clips of both Throbak and Stephens design. While I am partial to Rewind and OX4, I would certainly consider buying Throbak pickups and regard the brand as one of the premier PAF style pickup makers. Jon appears quite passionate about pickup making. His videos on PAF style pickups and their construction are very insightful. In one of his videos, he demonstrates how brass and steel screw types can make for a slight tonal differences.

Bottom line, anyone in the market for a PAF style pickup today is truly spoilt for choice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sol

jwalker

Les Paul Forum Sponsor
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
2,574
Re: Stephens design pickups versus throwbacks?

Fair enough... unbiased and perceptive... time to move on... :salude

Good. I never had anything against Duane and I felt bad about the shipping method error. But it became clear at some point that he was not interested in my sincere and honest interactions and was more interested in being angry. At that point there is nowhere I’m interested going so I can’t work with him, which is for the best.

I think rambling threads like this get tuned out by most but for those that do read them I need to make it clear what the situation is from my perspective. :salude
 

latestarter

Active member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
3,982
You mean different guitars sound different? Wow you're a genius... I'll bet no one ever thought of that before!!

Edit: I'll go easy on you. Your own post says it all.

OP, sorry about all this, but there are some nuggets throughout this thread. Cheers
 
Last edited:

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
9,973
First of all I love Thrōbaks and Jon has been UNUSUALLY helpful in his dealings with me.
I too have tried many many pickups from many many winders.
Some sound better in some guitars and others not so much.
But I usually go to my Thrōbaks bin first.
There is a reason for that.
Much more likelihood I can stop at there.
At least 50% better chance.
And while they are expensive I think they are worth it.

But I do have other winders on a few as well.
Some Wizz custom winds with old wire on my Black Widow.
Wizz on my 339 were the ONLY ones that worked at all.
Lollars have a niche on more than a few when clear piano like tones work best (Imperials are awesome for that!).
I have some OX4's on at least 2 (maybe more, I need to keep records!) which I love.
Tyson Tone Labs Precious and Grace have a tone that is probably going to stay in one of my SG's as they rocked my world.
Some DiMarzio's, Seymours, Wolftones, Fralins (finally, they have been a lifesaver a few times), B&G's (Most excellent by the way, and their double stack P90 humbuckers are to die for) and too many others to mention.
I have no Stephens sadly. Never could justify the price point when my needs have been settled WAY below that.
But I ain't dissing them!

Duane I consider a friend.
After he was banned a few years back I actually waded the swamp of the internet to find him and convince him to come back.
He can be a kind soul and a voice of reason.

But on this subject I do not consider his advice to be whole and pure.
And, quite frankly, I wish he would just shut up.
 

duaneflowers

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
2,520
First of all I love Thrōbaks and Jon has been UNUSUALLY helpful in his dealings with me.
I too have tried many many pickups from many many winders.
Some sound better in some guitars and others not so much.
But I usually go to my Thrōbaks bin first.
There is a reason for that.
Much more likelihood I can stop at there.
At least 50% better chance.
And while they are expensive I think they are worth it.

But I do have other winders on a few as well.
Some Wizz custom winds with old wire on my Black Widow.
Wizz on my 339 were the ONLY ones that worked at all.
Lollars have a niche on more than a few when clear piano like tones work best (Imperials are awesome for that!).
I have some OX4's on at least 2 (maybe more, I need to keep records!) which I love.
Tyson Tone Labs Precious and Grace have a tone that is probably going to stay in one of my SG's as they rocked my world.
Some DiMarzio's, Seymours, Wolftones, Fralins (finally, they have been a lifesaver a few times), B&G's (Most excellent by the way, and their double stack P90 humbuckers are to die for) and too many others to mention.
I have no Stephens sadly. Never could justify the price point when my needs have been settled WAY below that.
But I ain't dissing them!

Duane I consider a friend.
After he was banned a few years back I actually waded the swamp of the internet to find him and convince him to come back.
He can be a kind soul and a voice of reason.

But on this subject I do not consider his advice to be whole and pure.
And, quite frankly, I wish he would just shut up.


:salude
 
Top