Why should you buy from Bulldog?
I personally care about every pickup. Each pickup is hand wound, made and played by me – the person you talk to on the phone will make your pickup. That means I’ll make sure that you choose the right pickup and I can guarantee a level of consistency not normally found in hand wound pickups.
So who are you?
My name is Hayden Minett, guitarist, teacher, amp designer, technician, sound engineer etc etc…. I have worked with lots of organisations over the years including Matamp, Ashdown, Bare Knuckle Pickups, CCGX, Morgan Custom Guitars, Keeley Europe (Moonphase), Stone Deaf, Crinson Guitars, Stormshadow, Bretton Hall College and the University of Leeds.
So what’s the link with Bare Knuckle?
In 2003 I hooked up with Bare Knuckle through Matamp at the Music Live Show at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. Tim and I got on well and I helped out testing new pickups, recording soundclips and demonstrating at shows. In 2005 an opportunity to work for Bare Knuckle full time came up. Unfortunately it wasn’t to last as in 2006 it proved financially un-feasible to maintain a remote workshop in Yorkshire. Bulldog started with the intention to take what I’d learned at Bare Knuckle and develop a different range of great sounding pickups.
Why so expensive?
Yes they’re expensive, but you get what you pay for. Compare them to a similar priced pickup from my competitors and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s money well spent. You’re getting a hand made British product using premium grade components from somebody who cares, and they can't be made for less at this level of quality. They’re actually cheaper than some because of my lower overheads!
So why do you want to change your pickups?
It’s fairly accepted that most new guitars come with pickups that are, at best, average. Dramatic improvements can be made to any guitar, even that expensive American instrument that’s your pride and joy. It never ceases to amaze me the corners even the most respected guitar companies will cut when it comes to pickups. I’m not going to mention names but you could have spent several thousand on a high end US guitar that’s fitted with pound shop pickups.
What about cheaper guitars? Well, the pickups in these are really cheap – and please don’t be fooled by ‘Designed By A Big Name’ pickups, you’re not getting much in the way of tone with those. However, often the wood is good and build quality great on these guitars – money spent on a set of Bulldogs will transform such an instrument into a giant slayer! (Or vintage tone monster, your choice)
What’s a hand wound/scatterwound pickup?
It’s a pickup where the wire has been guided by hand. A machine spins the pickup bobbin round while I sit there and guide the wire through my fingers. It takes ages and you have to be very careful with the tension and winding pattern or the tone won’t be there. Learn more in the FAQ.
Which one should I choose?
Start with these questions:
What don’t you like about the pickups you have?
Are they too bright and trebly?
Too dark and bassy?
Not enough midrange?
Then start working through the product pages, use the tone charts to get an idea or just drop me a line if you get stuck.
Should I care about technical specs?
No, I’ll do that for you. Unless you’re technically minded don’t worry about DC resistance, magnet types, wire, inductance, resonant peaks etc…..it can get very confusing! But if you want to know more, there’s some info in the FAQ.
So what do your pickups sound like compared to other brands?
Bulldog humbuckers sound rich and full with just enough brightness to cut through – a lot of hand wound humbuckers are just too bright, most machine produced ones sound a bit lifeless, mine are just right. Strat single coils have warmth and chime, Tele’s are bright but hot harsh, P90s fat and juicy not overpowered and dull – you get the idea. I’ve listened to the best, and not been 100% happy with what I’ve heard, at the end of the day if you want something doing….
But tone is in the ear of the beholder, or something. Try them, everybody who has agrees that they are great pickups:
“These pickups do exactly what they say on the tin” Kevin Ackroyd
What’s the catch?
There is just a one. As I make all of the pickups myself there is a small amount of waiting involved depending on demand. Normally around 5-10 working days.
One last little problem, courtesy of Paul Wright a couple of years ago:
“the trouble with these pickups is all the guitars that don’t have them fitted I just don’t want to play”