MEET THE "LITTLE CHARLEY" BLADE PICKUP
(Please note these are my most expensive
pickups at $285 each, because of the intense amount of time required
to make one completely by hand).
Savo, a master
of the jump blues style, is one of the hosts at our jam. He
plays a Charlie Christian model guitar from 1937, an ES-150 with
the original blade pickup. The tone he gets from this ancient
pickup and guitar has always been astonishing to me, and inspired
me to try to get "that sound."
My original Little Charley is a bright, crisp tone
machine, works well for Jazz, blues etc. some use a 250K pot with
this but my sound clips are all with 500K pots. And now we have
the new Fat Charley...
FAT CHARLEY FOR THE JAZZER IN EVERYONE - DISCONTINUED
The new Fat Charley uses a fatter blade, different
magnet wire and winding pattern, and comes even closer to the
real deal ES150 tones. This pickup has a little thicker tone the
the L.C. and is really awful darn close to the real deal tone.
I have studied and done more measurements on Marco's guitar and
made about 12 prototype winds and blades before finally getting
this one down, alot of work but the results paid off. (Photo coming
Thanks to Cliff White for helping in the testing
o this pickup, here are a string of samples he made for me: Fat
Charley jazz samples
Blades typically have a nice midrange honk that is very
horn-like. That is probably why Charlie Christian and a lot of
the early jazz guys loved the sound so much and played them well
into the early 60's.
Of course, there is no string fade-out when bending
notes. This pickup is really suited to archtop style guitars
and recommended only for neck position. And, man oh man, it sure
sounds great in neck position on a tele, if you have a tele it
will fit. What's more, that horn sound has a nice, crisp high
Hand-wound, with vintage cloth-covered wire, steel
blade and Forbon bobbins. The top is decorated with
router-cut black laminate pickguard material, for a funky tasteful
cool look with the Charley Christian traditional diamond shape.
The pickup body is available in matte black plastic or nickel
silver (extra charge).
I only recommend this pickup for
archtop style guitars and cheaper teles that have swimming
pool routs. I have two new tele neck blade pickups now available
on the Ice-House tele page that fit stock tele neck routs
and have classic blade tone in two amazing flavors!
to hear the Little Charley Blade played through a '73 Princeton,
installed in an Ibanez Artcore archtop guitar, with 11 gauge flatwound
strings. Played clean, then dirty. Also check the reviews
page for gig samples.