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Vyasa Dodson, who's many sound clips are on this site, now has a CD available with his band, The Insomniacs, available for sale now, click on the album cover to hear and get details. The Insomniacs were voted best New Act and won the presitigious Muddy Award for 2006 from the Cascade Blues Society in Portland, Oregon. Vyasa plays an authentiic '51 Nocaster with an SD bridge pickup, the album contains many examples of SD Pickups in action with his tele and my Epi Dot Deluxe, check it out...

To read customer reviews please scroll past the sound clips.


Nick is one of my all time favorite guitar heroes. A master of jump style blues, a great vocalist, with about five great albums of his own and is a recent addition to the T-Birds line-up of star musicians. I caught up with him recently at our blues jam where the Thunderbirds band did a guest sit-in with Jimmy Bott on drums, Kirk Fletcher on guitar, Ronnie James Weber on bass, after coming from a show at the Aladdin. Here are 3 songs featuring Nick on vocals and guitar with one solo by Kirk in left channel (he wasn't playing very loud unfortunately). Nick is playing my Squire with the Mojo V set, a more vintage lower output set that he loved playing, I made and sent him a set recently, his comment, "the pickups are killer man!" is all I needed to hear :-)

"Its My LIfe" NIck Curran

"Been Shot Down" Nick Curran / Kirk Fletcher (1st solo)

"I Love You Baby" NIck Curran (Nick broke a string at the end of the song, you can hardly tell....)



Phil is one of the best guitars player in Portland as far as I am concerned. Here he is playing a '72 thinline tele with two Texas Twister strat pickups and a Super Broadcaster tele bridge, turn your speaker up LOUD!




Julie getting killer tone with Slim's guitar and my amp, total different sound that Slim's. Check out Julie's awesome band at the StrangeTones Website. Julie is one of my favorite lady singers in Portland.



Marco Savo is a master of the jump blues style, here is he on a George Benson tune playing the Little Charley pickup in my Ibanez Artcore. He's playing pretty dirty with the tone rolled back some. Marco is speaker right, microphone is closest to the amp, Suburban Slim is on the left speaker (my single coils in his tele), these guys rip this one up!



This is the Little Charley Blade pickup. This pickup just amazes me with its authoritative voice. Evertime I play it I get that "oh YEAH! feeling." What else can I say about it? Oh, almost forgot, this one is in an Ibanez Artcore archtop with 11 gauge flatwound strings through my Deluxe.



Here's the new Little Charley Blade pickup again, providing that nice horn-like "honk" and wonderful tone. This one is in neck position in a tele. Tone, Tone, Tone!



This is parts of 3 songs with Robbie playing the Tall Texan Strat Set on my '57 Fender reissue, a light and bright sounding guitar, through his '64 Super Reverb with ten gauge strings. Robbie is the top-of-the-heap of the strat blues guys in Portland and one of the best players around. Check out his albums on Blue Heron Records.



Here's Vyasa (pronounced Vee-oss) Dodson playing a Hollywood Fats tune on my Epiphone Dot with the recent Silver Series Alnico II Humbucker Set.

He is playing through an old Magnatone twin speaker amp with an outboard Premier reverb unit. Nice tone, good solo.



I'm not a great guitar player like the rest of these guys, but this will give you a taste of the new Silver Series Humbucker Set, in an Epiphone Dot Deluxe, 10 gauge strings, through my deluxe. This is a slightly underwound humbucker set that is capable of amazing tone qualities through any amp.



Phil doing playing the Silver Series 'buckers, starting on the neck with some tone backed off, and ending in a blazing bridge solo, full on. You can hear some of Phil's great vocal style here also.



Marco is an awesome player, this isn't his best work but you can hear his work on the neck pickup on my 335. I will get some of Marco's awesome jump blues solos up soon, he's killer.



The Reviews section is impossible to keep updated, so I gave up! Please visit Harmony Central under SD Pickups to read what my customers think about me and my work. If a pickup isn't there email me and I can forward customer emails who bought the item you are considering.



Hey man, these are very nice! You hit on something, Dave. Real srong tone and full. tHEY AINT LIKE THE 59'S AT ALL... THE 59'S ARE ON THE CLANKY SIDE THESE RED HOUSE seem on THE TIGHTER SIDE to me. The in-between tones are pronounced (I really like those tones). I wired it with the extra two tones (neck & bridge together and all 3 together) and they are cool too. the two middle magnets are longer it seems. So I like that feature alot. the chords are beautuiful sounding.... I aint full of bullshit... I did the play then stop then play about 6 times Thursday so I could get the height adjustment happening and to see if I hear the differences happening... Just bitchin'! just fuckin' bitchin'???!!!!!!!! nOW I CAN'T PUT IT DOWN... You made them with some airyness to them just like those gorgeous 59's, man...To sum up I dig the shit out these too, man! gottdamm this is bitchin'!!!! I dig the 59's so much and now these ones... can't wait to play through them at rehearsal tomorrow.
Thanks for being there.

Tucson, Arizona



"I have been playing guitar for almost 30 years and I have tried many pickups along the way. “All Things Strat” Magazine has forced me to open my ears to be able to convey what makes a good pickup to its readers. Dave Stephens may be new to some guitar players, but I firmly believe that this artisan, craftsman, and musician has a real gift and that we will definitely be hearing many more good things about this man and his pickups in the future!”

Chuck McCrory, All Things Strat Web site

absolutely the BEST Strat resource site
on the Web! Click here for the full review


"Dave I really like them (full Texas Twister set). Compared to the Fender Lace Sensor they are brighter / louder/ just as quiet and most of all the sustain is there. I had to really dig in to the guitar to get some bite with the Lace sensors but these guys really have it. Very well made as well. To buy a set of 'Seymours' I would have to pay about $325 so your 'pickups' are far too cheap......enough praise !!! If you send me a 'logo'jpg I'll put up a link for you."

Londonderry, North Ireland

"I just received and installed the Texas Twister bridge pickup that I ordered from Stephens Design in Portland, OR. This is an overwound, alnico magnet, flush top pole pickup. The output is very hot, measuring ~11k ohms. This pickup is installed in an ASE alder Strat with rosewood fb and 12db midboost. I compared it to a Fralin Steel Pole-43 in my '73 swamp ash/maple fb. Strat with a Callaham vintage bridge. The SP-43 is Fralin's version of a Strat sized P-90.


The Twister is more Strat-like than the Fralin, in that it doesn't have as much midrange crunch, and it mantains the Strat brightness without being shrill, but definitely has more drive and fatness than a standard Strat bridge pu. This is exactly what I was looking for in this guitar, since the mid-boost and tone control can bring it into more of a P-90 or humbucker tonal range.

So far, I really like this pickup, and would recommend it to anyone trying to get a stronger, fatter bridge sound from a Strat. One of these days, I might try a full set.

Dave Stephens is great to deal with, ships very fast.”

“Andy” on the Fender FDP Forum


"Dave, I really love the pickups you made for me."

Suburban Slim; Portland, OR
Host of the Duff’s Blues Jam
and a Portland Guitar God
Two Twister pickups and Super
Broadcaster in his ’72 Tele Thinline


"When two pickups in my ’59 maple board strat went open and when the “repair” or rewind turned out unsatisfactory, I decided to try some new strat pickups and perhaps fix some problems or things with my guitar’s sound that I was never happy with. Once I stumbled upon the Nick Curran sound files on Dave’s site I decided to go with these pickups. After emailing Dave back ‘n forth to death, Dave made up a slightly custom set of Mojo V’s for me. I really dig them! They did essentially what I had hoped – they give me a bigger, fuller sound without harsh or tinny trebles yet still retain the basic vintage Stratocaster tones. I didn’t want to shove some overwound, midrange heavy, tube screamer-sounding pickup set ruining the beauty of my old strat. These pickups were right on the money and I’m real happy with them. I’ve had more than one player come up to me at gigs and say things like “that’s a big sounding strat” or “ man, what pickups do you have in there, those sound fat. Not skinny sounding like stock strats.” So I guess I’m not the only one hearin’ the difference. The bigger magnets, thick-insulated wire, maxed-out coils really do the deal. Not to mention Dave’s handwinding. I’d say these pickups sound like I have almost a gauge higher strings on my guitar, while maintaining vintage tonality. Dave, thanks again for a great sounding set of pickups. One of these days I’ll get some sound clips of these (as I promised) to you."

Karl Angerer
Prairie Village, Kansas

I picked up my guitar this morning and WOW!!!!! I had it set up to 10's and I blocked the trem also. These pickups are amazing. The middle pickup is creamy like butter. This sucker quacks like there is no tomorrow. You have an amazing product Dave. These pup's are one in a million. I will recommend these to everyone I know. Thanks for everything and I wish you much success!!!!

Dylan Austin
Miami, Florida



Click here to read the current review of this set on All Things Strat website!

"To anyone looking to upgrade a strat or tele with new hand wound pickups be sure to check out Stephens Design pickups. They have had more effect on my sound than any stomp box overdrive or expensive amplifier could ever have. Excellent product. Excellent Corespondence with the maker Dave Stephens. The mush that used to come from position 2 and 4 on my strat is gone. It's like somone lifted a wet towel off my guitar. If this guitar were stollen I would order a set of pickups from Dave and shop for a guitar worthy of them."

Dan Hiveley

on the Fender FDP Forum


"I have to say, what a fantastic set of pickups. After a night of being able to let it fly, I can say they were what I was looking for. They run hot, yet are also very controlled. And the tone is phenomenal. The highs are perfect in that they reach some great levels yet they never get that piercing sound that makes you wince. The lows are powerful and cut through the mix well. Other than that I don't know how to describe it.
I can actually say that since they are so clear and distinct yet powerful at the same time, that they helped with my note phrasing and overall playing. I've always heard that when you begin to get real quality equipment that the equipment begins teaching you, in that your own technique and nuances come through so much more and you can adjust accordingly."

James Almasi

Silver Series stock set in a Les Paul


“Thanks so much, Dave for building me a bridge pickup for my vintage Fender no-caster. The full, round, awesome tone of this pickup has given me more confidence in solos and has made a huge difference in my playing.”

Vyasa Dodsun, Portland, OR
(personal friend of mine)


"Just received the pickup in this morning's post (about 6 hours ago), took the the kids to school, came back, couldn't wait, slapped it in my Tele, tined up with tuner (no amp, the first time I wanted to hear it was in tune ready to play). plugged into my home built Torres 6w warmed-up valve amp and–Fantastic!! ended up neglecting work for 2 hours. This thing sings' lovely tone (there's that word again). I wouldn't know what a vintage broadcaster pickup sounded like if it came up and smashed me in the face, but if it sounds as good as this, then I can understand why they are sought after. Chords sound clear and bright bbbbbrrraaaaaannnnggg y'know? That's the best way to describe it. Played Sweet Home Alabama intro–sounded lovely, not a hint of shrillness (is that a word??). Cranked up, single notes are thicker and warmer than before; loads of punch but still retain their clarity. Playing along to Buddy Guy "Damn right I got the Blues" backing track–sustain seems a lot better. I still need to tweak the setup (maybe not, if this is as good as it gets then that-s fine by me).
I think we may well speak again if this is anything to go by. Watch out for a review on Harmony Central (something I don't normally do, but I think your pickups deserve more recognition). Thanks again.

Steve Hodgkiss, UK
Super Broadcaster Tele Bridge


"P90 dogear in the Bridge position on an Epiphone Les Paul Special On my Fender Super60 clean channel it (moderate vol) it's sweet but with plenty of guts & bright & clear. I can get it to just break up a tiny bit (thats the Fenders fault) , The SD J Beck pup didn't do it! But the thing I like is the "bite & attack" it's got, the tonal range is also good , depending on vol & tone ctrl settings, sustain is greatly improved as well Been messing around with the OD channel Dep on the settings OOHHH MAN it kicks some serious butt Gain between 2-3 it growls like nothing else & you can get that "P90 fat sound" ( had to adj Bass & Mid settings, as this amp goes really bright on OD ch), roll down the vol on the guitar & it clears up just nicely Gain at 6-7 this thing strips paint of the wall even at low vol settings I can get that typical P90 harmonic overtones easily & the sustain just hangs & hangs & hangs....... until it goes into that lovely scream Thanks Dave for a GREAT P90, finally I've got that sound I've been after for years!!!

Hawkan Forsberg, Australia
Stock P90 Zephyr Bridge


"I finally got your pickups to work in my guitar with the 500K's. I must of had a bad pot, because at first I couldn't get anything to work, after messing with it, I finally gutted the controls and started over with new parts. It works now, and I do like the 500K's better. These are some nice pickups, and they are very well matched in volume balance (I know that this depends on how close the pickups are mounted to the strings, but indeed these pickups are matched). Thanks for the nice set of pickups, and I will get some soundclips done with your pickups for you to hear. I also will be giving you a great review on Harmony Central. Thanks for the great pickups!"

Tamerlane Amplifiers


“Hey Dave, I finally got a chance to install those P-90's and they are tone monsters. I love the sound coming from my Gibson LP Special. It’s so much better than with the stock P-100’s. They are quiet, too — even beneath my fluorescent light. Nice pickups, man!”

Don Ruoff; Portland, OR
A set of Zephyr Blues X’s

"Hello Dave, let's talk about these pickups. It's perfect for my music–the singer of my band immediately heard the difference. I can decrease the gain on my amps because it's easier to play. And I finally have enough trebles. (Sorry with my baby I'm so tired and it's very hard to me to try to explain you all the qualities of these pickups.) Now I have a big problem... I want to change the pickups of my Strat ! Could you help me ???"

Sebastian Delestienne, France
Zephyr Blues Standards


"AWWW MAN that sound Love it, bright but with a really good grunt & tone to it put my SD Jeff Beck pup in the neck pos & yours in the bridge (of course), & Ohhh Mama that is one nice sounding mutherf*cker! At first (remember I'm in a garage here) I was thinking a this sounds like a Fender----- plugged my Tele in and nonononono Single coil sound ---Yes, NOT Fender sound!! Thanks for a great P90."

Hawkan Forsberg, Australia

Kay Bar in bridge Les Paul Junior


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