Backorder Update.

As some of you may know, I've been very behind on getting orders out the door. So, please email before placing an order to see how long of a wait it will be. I'll be starting a wait list if you'd like to be on it, rather than ordering and waiting.

From shipping issues, staff shortages and some health problems  (that I think I have sorted out), I've dug a pretty big hole for getting these built and out the door., time to refocus, regroup and re-organize.

I'm expecting it will take me a month of long days and weekends to get caught up...or at least, I hope that's all it takes.

To everyone who has been waiting, sorry about the delay, thanks for understanding. There's really no excuse I can make for not getting things done in a timely fashion.

 

 

As always, I'm usually available, rarely miss an email and can be reached by text or phone. 

Bad News, Small Price Increase.

So, I've been putting off a price increase for the better part of a year. Our wonderful Canadian dollar has taken a nose dive over the past while. Since most of the parts I use(almost all) come from the US, the cost to make pickups has gone up. 

I've tried to keep the prices affordable for Canadians. I never wanted to make gear that a working player can't afford, so as of January 15th, I put the prices up $10 Canadian bucks per unit. American and International customers probably won't see a significant difference.

Thanks for understanding

 

 

SS90

At the start of the summer, I was contacted by Alex Sorokin of Sorokin Guitars about doing a P90 for his Junior builds. 

The thing that really got me into this project was the near psychotic attention to detail of these guitars, hand made in Canada too. I was pretty excited to collaborate with another Canadian that soaks-in the history and the details of what they were doing in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the 1950's. 

After some back and forth, I sent some test winds of what I thought he was looking for, some tweaks here and there and another round of winding and testing and I think we nailed it. Alex explained that he's tried nearly every modern pickup available and this was the one. 

The target tone was a 56 LP junior. Open, clear, gritty, fat when it needs to be, articulate, everything you want in a P90. I think this pickup landed right on the edge of just enough. A nice slab of mahogany and a Dog Ear pickup is such a great combination. 

We split the difference between Alex's own  '56 Junior and a '56 owned by a friend of mine....and each of us might explain they're the best sounding guitars they know of. 

Sorokin double cut

The SS90 uses 1018 carbon steel 5-40 Fillister head pole screws, A5 magnets, 42 Plain Enamel wire, a component combination I find works so well for my P90's. 

We took the 9022 and 9077 models as the starting points for where we wanted to go with this pickup. Alex tested both in his guitars, decided the A5 9077 model was what the guitars called for and we went from there.  

Similar to my 9077 model, the SS90 is wound for a bit more push and just a touch more low mids. Just a few more turns than the traditional 10,000.  Hand tensioned into the traverse for my take on a linear, machine wound P90. 

Alex explained that while doing repairs on a '52 Gold Top, he found orange cloth on the hookup wire of the factory P90, an interesting anomaly, so he had Luxe Radio & Musical Instrument Co create that wire and that's what we use on the SS90. 

The orange wire is a detail reserved for Sorokin Guitars only, we'll be using standard issue braided shield with black cloth on non-Sorokin builds. 

The SS90 wind is available as on option on the order page.

SM-15 Fuzz

SM-15 Fuzz

The SM-15 is a modded Tone Bender 1.5 circuit that Jody built for me a while back. It's been my main fuzz and probably my favourite Fuzz that I've ever played.  

We built a few of these for friends of the shop and are putting the rest up for sale in pretty limited quantities. 

http://www.sanfordmagnetics.com/sm15-fuzz/ 

Slow News Day.

It occurred to me that we don't update the news section as much as we should.  

If you're interested in keeping track of the random tidbits we pump out, follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 

 

Www.facebook.com/Sanfordmagnetics

 

Halifax Guitar Fest.

Halifax Guitar Fest.

We'll be doing the East Coast Guitar Festival again this year.  

 

Saturday May 14th at the halifax MultiPurpose Centre.  

 

http://guitarfest.ca

 

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Day 3

Unleash the fookin fury.  

Unleash the fookin fury.  

Tosin Animal Leader guy.  

Tosin Animal Leader guy.  

Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens

Kerry King.  

Kerry King.  

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Bogners  

Bogners  

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Day 2

Rics are tasty.  

Rics are tasty.  

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I need one of these.  

I need one of these.  

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These were cool.  

These were cool.  

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The iron thrown. If you ever wondered what they did with the left over 2015 models. Sadly, no proper les Paul junior.  

The iron thrown. If you ever wondered what they did with the left over 2015 models. Sadly, no proper les Paul junior.  

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Fender bass breaker, but not like the old bass breakers. Sounded pretty congested.  

Fender bass breaker, but not like the old bass breakers. Sounded pretty congested.  

Legit sushi, the wasabi was too much. Reminded me of cutting bait.  

Legit sushi, the wasabi was too much. Reminded me of cutting bait.  

Day 1

Just got enough time to get my badge and take a quick look around.  

Hopefully get more time to check out more stuff tomorrow. 

 

These are are just some pics as I walked in the door.  

 

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Mojo tone pedals.  

Mojo tone pedals.  

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Tv jones booth.  

Tv jones

booth.  

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Some new box contraption.  

Some new box contraption.  

Italia guitars. 

Italia guitars. 

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These were pretty cool

These were pretty cool

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Fanes

Fanes

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Collings.  

Collings.  

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The tranquilizer is pretty awesome.  

The tranquilizer is pretty awesome.  

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Ruikangas  

Ruikangas  

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NAMM

NAMM

Off to the airport.

 

 

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Landed in LA, thanks Russian lady for finding the most caustic perfume on the market, 6 hours of Washington to LA with my eyes burning.   

 

The weather is amazing. Checking in then off to the show.  

Tube Amp Biasing At Home

Here's an article I wrote for the J.Rockett Audio Design blog a little while ago. These guys make some killer pedals. I use a couple of them every day, their Boing reverb might be the best sounding reverb pedal going, the perfect reverb for guys that hate reverb pedals, for a single knob pedal, it's insanely usable and doesn't get in the way of your playing.. The whole Tour series is plain killer. The Archer has become my main overdrive. This somehow turned into a pedal review...I digress. Lots of good articles on their Blog, worth following along.

Here's the link to the article.

http://rockettpedals.com/tube-amp-biasing-at-home/

 

 

 

The Doug And Pat Show Humbucker Shootout.

The Doug And Pat Show Humbucker Shootout 4 is now up on youtube. This time around they put up a few different Pickup builders against Oscar, a well known '58 Gold Top. When I sent them my pickups, I was a little nervous about how they would stack up to a set of great sounding  original PAF's. 

They informed me that mine would be going in a '94 Heritage 150 and they'd directly compare it to not just an ordinary old Les Paul, they'd be doing a/b tests with a guitar that you could call the tone standard. 

After seeing the video, my nerves are a little better. I must say I'm quite pleased how the review turned out. 

There's a feature on my pickups at the start of the video and they do a demo later on, right around the 22:30 mark of the video. They have a set of my Model 22's and the 68v's in this episode.

 

 

P90 Shootout on the Doug and Pat Show.

Doug and Pat have pretty great gear show on Youtube, well worth subscribing to, if you're so inclined, I've been following them for a while. They have an amazing assortment of vintage gear, do comparisons with modern re-issues, top shelf stuff.

Their newest episode is on P90's. They demo a handful of 50's Gibbons and Modern Custom Shop Guitars.

On the episode they play through some Lollar P90's, Tyson Tone Labs, RC pickups and my Model 9022's. I think they did a great job highlighting the different styles of P90's that each of us submitted. 

They get to mine around the 28 minute mark. 

Check it out. 

Tele Overhaul

Tele Overhaul

I'm not sure if it's just the week I've been having or what, but I've had a couple Tele's lately that ended up with my humbuckers in them.

This one turned out to be the best Tele I've played since the 2nd week of October 2007, yeah, I remember those kinds of things.

This one was nice to start with. A modern American Tele of some series I probably don't keep track of. Ash body, brass saddles, nice see through blond, but just needed a little something else. The customer dropped it off and said do what you would do to a Tele if it were yours.

So, I had some custom pick guards cut, we ended up going with  matte black, single ply 8 hole PG. Swapped the screws with some proper slot heads, added some compensated brass saddles and Flat top knobs. 500k CTS Audio pots and a .022uf PIO cap. Subtle stuff that adds to the Guitar.

I wound a Model 22 to match the factory bridge pickup, right around 7k ohms. The A2 rolls off the top end just enough. The middle position was stellar. I wish this one was mine.

 

 

The Model 68v.

The Model 68v.


The Model 68v came about after working with a player who had specific requirements for a pickup. The idea was to build a pickup that shows the true sonic qualities of a great guitar, to let the inherent tone in the wood be the real voice in the signal chain.  

These pickups were designed with the principle that you can't put back what isn't there to start with. The words "sonic content" were persistently on my mind when making this model. 

It's somewhat rare that I get asked to make a set of pickups that goes against what we've all been told about pickups over the years. When the player first made contact with me, I was excited we were on the same page when it comes to what we want from a PAF style pickup. 

Take a 1 in 100 Les Paul and let it speak. 

These pickups had a target in the 6k range. To make a pickup in the 6's there's no way to hide poor material selection or winding patterns. Every part of the build will come through. You can often make up for a guitar's shortcomings with a good set of pickups, but that's not what these were about. 

The clarity is there, the bite and snap is there. Full range on the tone knob, it's there. A great piece of wood, great pedals and a great amplifier, these pickups will let those parts of your chain really show themselves. There's nowhere to hide with this set. Every bit of your playing, and the guitar is on full display.

Over the years, what people expect from a Les Paul has drifted away from what was originally intended, this set gets back to that, what I believe they originally had in mind from the PAF humbucker.

Getting away from conventional thinking on pickup design and what we've all been sold on over the years, has lead to something that I'm quite proud of, the results speak for themselves. 

If you lack confidence in your playing or your tone, these aren't for you. If you can't find that one last part of the puzzle, here it is.

This custom set needed to be added to the model lineup. Only available as a set, as I really don't think there's anything else available I would pair with one. 

Clips.

Mini Factory+Guitarshop

If you've been wondering what I've been doing lately, or maybe you haven't, I've been working at setting up a workshop/guitar store. Yes, it's crazy to be opening a bricks and mortar store these days, but I needed a place to grow this thing.

Starting on June 1st, I'll have a workshop to build my pickups, a Guitar and Amp repair facility and stock some accessories too. We've got some cool stuff planned for the future, so keep on eye out for other Sanford Magnetics products.

I've got some great guys working with me. Excited about what we'll be coming out with in the future. Still a lot to do in a week, but it's shaping up nicely.

If I've been a little slow to get back to folks these past couple weeks, sorry about that. I'll post some pics of the shop once the sign guy is finished and the shop is complete.

Thanks to everyone who's helped me get this off the ground.

A link to the website Sanford Musical Instruments

 

V

I felt compelled to post this on here. I've got a thing for Flying V's..or Flying Greater Than's as we called them in high school. It's pretty crazy to think this is a design they cooked up in 1958. Friend of mine had a V2 in High school, saved his paycheques from working at the Dairy Queen. I think we were all amazed he could afford a $500 guitar, wanted one ever since.....I digress.

I got a pic sent to me a of a pretty cool V with 3 humbuckers and thought it looked good enough to post it on here. I wish it were mine, but I wish they were all mine...or something.

Not sure of the year, reasonably new production. This one is sporting a Model 79 in the bridge and a Model 1812 in the neck. I don't know what the middle pup is. All three sporting Raw Nickel covers.

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Road Trip! Halifax, East Coast Guitar Festival. April 25th and 26th.

The weekend of April 25th we'll be at the East Coat Guitar Festival, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We'll have a booth with a few guitars, an amp and some stomp boxes to demo the pickups through.. and pickups for sale. Saturday and Sunday, all day.

Free T-shirt for the first person that gets a Billy Cox autograph on an album with Noel Redding on bass.

Go to guitarfest.ca or their F-Book site for ticket info and events schedule.

 

Stamps/Vanity Shots.

I was taking a picture of a set of Humbuckers, before I shipped them and thought I would show how the boxes are made and what goes out in the mail.

Here's a set of the Mo. 1812's, with raw nickel covers that I just finished. The boxes get stamped by hand with a hefty amount of black archival ink. They don't always turn out perfect and can be a little time consuming, but I thought they looked cooler than having them silkscreened or labels put on the front. 

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In case you were wondering, that ratty piece of wood is an old stool I found in my grandparent's barn, the wire spool sits on it and I hand feed it up to the winder. It doubles as a good backdrop for photos, but it's just what's under my workbench.