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Author Topic: My Apache review  (Read 9815 times)

Tomcaster

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My Apache review
« on: July 22, 2008, 11:20:35 AM »
Hi everybody,

some time ago I have asked you about a pickup set for a Fender SRV Signature Strat. Thanks to everybody that responded and also thanks to Tim for his support via phone.

The final set of Apaches I acquired for my favourite axe is the following: Apache Alnico V (neck), Apache Alnico III non-RWRP (middle), Apache Alnico III (bridge - wound a bit hotter as usual). Flat array to suit the 12 inch fingerboard.

As my Strat has a thick slab neck (maple / rosewood) and an Alder body, it is very resonant and full sounding.

In middle and bridge, the Alnico III pickups removed the harshness and over-brightness which modern strat pickups suffer from, delivering all the incredible early Mark Knopfler sounds you can imagine. Middle is round, jazzy - pure Sultans of Swing. Middle/bridge is equally phenomenal and covers the whole Communique album. Stefan Price from this forum has proven how close you can come to Mark with these pups.

In the neck I had an Alnico III pickup also. It sounded very good when playing alone, but in this particular warm Strat it didn't cut enough through the mix in a band situation. I called Tim and asked for an Alnico V Apache. This was the solution. The pup came a few days ago and made the neck position sound how it should. Just a tad bit more brightness, but far more presence and glassyness - a pure early 60s Strat tone. The neck/middle position has also benefited and delivers a beautiful Little Wing sound.

Now I have the guitar of my dreams. I can go through all positions without touching the treble and volume knobs. Every position is balanced, transparent and nicely cutting, although not piercing at all. It feels like playing an old pre-CBS Strat. The pups will stay in that guitar forever.

The overdriven performance of the pups is impressive. Obviously they don't quite reach the territory of the Texas Specials that were in the guitar before, but still have muscles and are enough for most applications beside of heavy metal. Thanks to Tim's wiring (I ordered a pickguard assembly) I can control the bridge treble indepedently. With this feature, I dial in the middle/bridge position, roll treble off to 2-3 for all concerned pickups and get a freakin' great creamy overdrive sound comparable to 'Money for Nothing'. Simply stunning. The harmonics just jump out!!!

Do the Apaches help my playing? No. Instead of concentrating on new licks I just flip around positions, strum chords and grin how good it sounds everywhere :-)

The flat magnet array is not vintage correct but a blessing when it comes to string balance. You can sit down with your Strats and play acoustic songs without having the adjust your attack to the loud g string.

I can really advise people to try a mixed magnets Apache set in similar 60 style Strats. You won't be dissapointed.

lulusg

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Re: My Apache review
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 12:45:13 PM »
Excellent review!!!! To have a pickup made according to your specs is priceless... What a great product these BKPs!!! :D
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38thBeatle

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Re: My Apache review
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 07:02:08 PM »
Excellent review.
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BKP's: Apache, Country Boy, Slowhands.