Despite a long history in the electronics business, Ben Bailey is a relative newcomer to the boutique pickup scene. From Ben: "I've worked in the electronics and telecommunications industries for many years. I wound inductors, transformers and antennas for satellite, microwave and radio applications. I've been playing guitar for thirty years, and thought it was time to apply the electronics skills to the art of pickup making. I'm fairly new to it, but prepared to earn my stripes and pay my dues." Well, if this set of pickups is any indication, I would say those dues are paid and then some. This set (Ben can wind you pretty much anything) is unabashedly based on David Gilmour's Black Strat pickups. They have a softness and articulation that I have not experienced in any other set previously and I'm a little bit in love with them.
For this video I've called upon the mighty Axe-FX III and dialled up a Hiwatt DR103 model, some overdrive and fuzzes, delay, reverb, vibe and occasional rotary. The IR's I used were shot by Justin York at York Audio (see: http://yorkaudio.co). The beginning of this video tries to show the different position clean tones; there are 7 with the mini toggle which brings in the neck pickup on positions 1, 2 and 3. Then I get to some drive action.
V12 Loaded Pickguard specs:
• Neck: Alnico V ’59 spec - 6.0-6.1K
• Middle: Alnico V ’69 spec - 5.8-5.9K
• Bridge: Alnico V SSL1C spec - 12.7-13K
• Black 8 hole single ply pickguard (Allparts USA suit MIJ), added copper shielding
• 3 X CTS brand A250K pots (A-Log) 450 series brass shaft
• Tone capacitor USSR NOS Paper In Oil 0.047uF (tested 0.05uF as per CS strat)
• Gavitt cloth wire to suit
• White covers & knobs
• Pickguard screws, solder, cable ties
• 5 way wafer switch, graphite lubrication
• 7 sound mod C&K sub-miniature switch
• Upper tone control to Middle & Neck Pickups
• Lower tone control to Bridge Pickup
The guitar is what I call the 'Numbcaster', an obvious tribute to the Black Strat. The body is a light alder Warmoth, the neck is a Soft V vintage spec Fender 50s. Hardware by Gotoh, pickups, electronics and loaded pickguard by Ben Bailey Guitar Pickups, paint and assembly by Ray Carlton.