We started our test with the pickups in the Gibson Les Paul Model before beginning the arduous swapping of pickups into our test mule Les Paul Standard with Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. All pickups were tested without covers and in the bridge position with the same set of SIT. We removed the covers so the differences would be more apparent, because nickel covers reduce treble response and output, while adding focus. We disconnected the negative-feedback tap from the output transformer and re-capped it with Orange Drops. We set the amp to slightly favor high-end response, which favors the true tone of the pickup. The speaker is a Celestion G from a Peavey Butcher, in a homemade cabinet.
The winder known as Virgil Arlo is a bit mysterious but session players seem to really favor his pickups. Some forum posts have said he might be the alter ego of Jason Lollar or Don Mair, doubtful. Others have claimed that he is actually Alan Hamel working under a trade name. Jim Rolph is name that only serious tone chasers seem to know. Not a lot of guys plays these but the guys that play them absolutely love them. His website is seriously lacking so finding specs, wait times and ordering info is a bit tricky. We got one of his sets used and they definitely fit in with the rest of this group.
Clean and articulate with very good note separation. The parts used look like real P. The Pure P. The Lindy Fralin Pure P.
When discussing how pickups sound, we're left grasping for hopelessly imprecise words. Rather than provide a guide that offers vague adjectives like some pickup sommelier, we're letting the pickups themselves do the work. Cover the screen and quiz your friends. Come up with your own descriptive lingo.