Best known for making the vintage-sounding Magna’Tron, Power’Tron, and Supra’Tron pickups, TV Jones has expanded its well-regarded line to include pickups for Telecasters, Stratocasters, and Les Pauls.
The TV Jones Starwood Humbucker sprang from an effort to develop a “dynamic,” well-rounded, and musical PAF-style pickup. Using proprietary steel pole screws, slugs, and magnet keepers, the company’s goal was to offer a variety of sounds with punch, articulation, and warmth the player could access simply by using their guitar’s Tone and Volume controls. It’s offered with zebra or double-black bobbins and optional chrome, nickel, gold, or aged covers as well as an optional four-conductor lead.
In a Les Paul Historic ’56 Goldtop, the neck pickup was smooth and clear with ample low-end and the right amount of output to stay clean for jazz and rockabilly while also embracing the burn with saturation. It yielded substantive volume and clarity, giving the hands free rein to embellish the guitar’s sonic overtones. The bridge position offered definition for days, presenting a full-bodied crispness and old-school flavor that cut nicely. Being wound for a fast attack and pick-sensitivity, as the guitar’s Volume was turned up, it unveiled a range of harmonics and pleasurable sustain.
The Starwoods bring to mind the sound of nicely aged humbuckers from the ’50s, minus decades of wear and tear – just the ticket for those in need of singing musicality without muddiness or harsh top-end. – Oscar Jordan
This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.