Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

kent armstrong


Rickstar123

Recommended Posts

I've had Kent Armstrong pick-ups in my sheraton for about 15 years. I changed out the stock p.ups because they were pretty crappy (apparently they have improved a lot over the years). I got the hot-rodded PAFs and they have held up quite well. I'm actually thinking of up grading. I played a mates Bare-Knuckle p.ups the other day and they sounded AWESOME.

There are 2 different types of Kent Armstrongs. The cheaper type are made in the far-east while the more expensive ones are USA made. I got the cheap ones (I was only 18 at the time) and was very pleased. If you go here,

 

http://www.wdmusic.co.uk/

 

they have the full range and a brief description of each one.

As they always say, try before you buy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to sell them.

I've got them in two guitars of my own. humbuck size p90s.. and the vintage 12 pole humbuck.

all of them are just great. really nice.

I used them exclusively in my tele strat builds for a long time, and those are all nice pups, too.

even the lower priced ones.. 30.00 or so, in single coils were excellent.

 

the only ones I didn't like were the stacked humbuck hot output.. way too dark for my taste.

www.wdmusic.com is the us distributor. but ebay prices will beat them.. handy for descriptions though.

 

I've had several pups in my sheri. but the hot p90s are staying in.

the lp studio has the vintage 12 pole humbuck at the bridge, and that's a keeper, too.

 

TWANG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it's a 3-humbucker guitar I strongly recommend the following :

 

1. Neck postion, this KA pup : http://www.wdmusic.co.uk/product/PAF_Style_Chrome_Cover_HPAC-1

2. Middle position, your stock Epi neck pup

3. Bridge position a hotter KA like : http://www.wdmusic.co.uk/product/Rocker_Alnico_Humbucker_Chrome_Cover_HRC-1A

 

I had that configuration on an Epi LP and it worked great. I played classic / rock / blues at the time and got several compliments on my sound after gigs. The middle pup doesn't do much tone-wise on a 3 pup LP so the stock Epi pup is fine in my view. I'd go for that configuration again if I had a 3 humbucker guitar. I have used Seymours and Gibsons and there's very little difference, except in the price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ive noticed that about my guitar that the middle doesnt really do much. i wanted to have it rewired so it worked like a normal les paul but i could use the middle pickup on a push pull but i got told it would cost quite alot to do it. thanks for your help

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That neck pup on its' own with a little treble rolled off on the tone control would give you a warm mellow full sound, especially if you pick at the bottom of the neck.

That bridge pup with full treble and plenty of gain on the amp gets you a nice biting tone like Claptons' John Mayall period.

Using the middle pup with either gives you something inbetween which I didn't like much. I had my LP wired so that 1 volume pot was a master volume, and the other was middle pup only. Most of the time I played with the middle one set to zero volume. I love the look of 3 humbuckers, but the extra one does little sonically.

 

My old Epi; I wish I'd kept it...

 

100_0437.jpg

 

Rewiring to 1 master vol plus a specific vol for middle pup should be quite cheap; it doesn't need any new / different components. You could probably find a wiring diagram on the net, and it's a 15 minute job for someone who's good with a soldering iron. In my case, a 30 minute job involving a certain amount of swearing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

It's funny that this thread just came up, because I discussed this topic with my tech just today.=D> I have mentioned in previous posts that my tech had claimed that the stock P90 pups in my '56 Gold Top Les Paul and Zephyr Blues Deluxe (see my sig.) are actually Asian-produced "Rainbow" pickups by Kent Armstrong. Up until now, I have had no other verification of this claim, until he directed me to the WD Music website (as milospilo has provided the link above).

 

Below are pictures of this model of pup as well as the Casino, as listed on the WD website:

 

1190042346_KentArmstrongcremep90.jpg

 

KentArmstrongCasinochromep90.jpg

 

A site named "Dan Armstrong - A Man and His Guitars" outlines the history of Dan and his son, Kent, and their manufacture of guitars and pickups. Dan and Kent planned to reproduce the pickups that Dan and Bill Lawrence made for the famed see-through acrylic "Dan Armstrong" guitar, sold by Ampeg. However, Dan and Kent had a major falling-out, as the story explains:

 

"The proposal was for Kent to manufacture and distribute the pickups, and for using his fathers name they would split the proceeds. Unfortunately it didn't work out - for Dan wanted an additional 10% above of the proceeds for the use of his name. Kent goes on to describe "It just didn't seem right to me. I would have been doing all the work and Dan would get as much - actually more for just using his name. It felt wrong and so I told him that I wasn't interested." Kent then went on to make his own pickups using the name 'Rainbow Pickups' and once his name was more established, he changed it to Kent Armstrong® Pickups. Unfortunately for many years these sorely needed pickups - made by Dan Armstrong & Son never materalized."

 

At this point, I do not know if Kent Armstrong supplies Epiphone with other OEM pickups in addition to these P90's. Assuming they do, it is curious how so many people automatically rip out the stock Epi pickups and replace them with (you guessed it) Kent Armstrongs. :-s

 

Any thoughts? :-k

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are 2 different types of Kent Armstrongs. The cheaper type are made in the far-east while the more expensive ones are USA made. I got the cheap ones (I was only 18 at the time) and was very pleased. If you go here' date='

 

http://www.wdmusic.co.uk/

[/quote']

 

This company advertises that they have the hand wound Kent Armstrongs:

 

http://www.oneflightupguitars.com/kentarmstrong.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is probably a dumb question to a lot of you but I'm still relatively virginal guitar-wise.

 

I've been browsing the wdmusic site and have found a few products with identical descriptions, one is for a ceramic version the other an alnico version, both are the same price and tech specs except for the magnets. I've known that these two types of pick-up magnets existed for a while now, what is the difference between them and what are the tonal characteristics of each? This is the links to the two:

The Ceramic

http://www.wdmusic.co.uk/product/Rocker_Humbucker_Gold_Cover_HRG-1

The Alnico

http://www.wdmusic.co.uk/product/Rocker_Alnico_Humbucker_Gold_Cover_HRG-1A

 

Also what is the difference between active and passive pickups?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can tell you for fact that the Stock P-90's in my 2004 Casino were not even close to the Kent Armstrong P-90's I replaced them with. Based on what I read on this forum there seems to be a lot of variability in the stock Casino P-90's. My Epi originals had a passive resistance of about 14.5K Ohms!!!!! The Kent Armstrong's were about 8K Ohms (as they should be). And....they sounded way different too.

 

FWIW, the markings on the bottom of the original P-90's say Epiphone (engraved in the bottom plate) with a sticker on each that says either neck BHK or Bridge BHK for the respective pickup.

 

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest icantbuyafender

active pups require a battery.

 

personally, to me they sound characterless and stale...

 

I prefer passive pickups for their character and subtle nuances.

 

i dont like the idea of a guitar having a battery... too toy-ish IMO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ceramic tend to have a "thinner" sound, but powerful ceramics give good metal tones when over-driven. Judging by their use on low-end guitars I assume they're cheaper to make.

 

Alnico magnets are the traditional 50s/60s Gibson/Fender standards and generally have a warmer fuller tone than ceramic.

 

Active pickups are battery-boosted for even more power, usually with an on-board 9v battery. It's like an on-board pre-amp boosting and distorting the signal. Only really good for heavy metal sounds, although if linked to an on/off switch can be good to switch from passive to active for screaming solos.

 

Just depends what tones you're after; whatever you choose, you'll probably end up buying pedals to make it sound more like one of the others. We all do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks one and all, that's filled in a lot of blanks for me, and hopefully others. Since I wrote that post I did some trawling and found some good references, also got on the humbucker page at GFS and copy/paste all the specs on the ones I'll get next windfall. The reason I asked here is I know I'll get good info I can trust, you go through a lot of chaff before you find something really useful trawling. Thanks again.

 

Here's a link to a great semi-technical explanation:

http://www.guitartechcraig.com/techpckp/pickups.htm

 

EDIT: forgot to mention, I'm especially interested coz I have a G-400 Custom which has 3 buckers also, and I have an active picup git, an Ultra-II with NanoMag, it can make some half decent tones. My main problem is I live in a unit so I can never play anything out loud, I'm looking to re-locate asap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can tell you for fact that the Stock P-90's in my 2004 Casino were not even close to the Kent Armstrong P-90's I replaced them with.

I don't need to read posts like this, Greg! LOL. Let me continue to believe that my stock Casino pickups are as good as any others because when I read opinions like yours I once again go to this page

 

http://www.pinupmusicparts.com/Pickups-Kent_Armstrong_P90_Famil.html

 

and start thinking about it and then my bank account will suffer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

bluelake07,

 

Don't despare so quickly. There is a chance that you might have gotten a "good" set of P90's as stock equipment on your Epi. I did not. If yours sound like P-90's should sound OR you are happy with them, then don't even think about replacing them. The variability might have worked in your favor.

 

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...