Customer Reviews

The following unsolicited comments come from players and resellers of Rio Grande Guitar Pickups. Have a review? We want to hear from you!


Ok Dave.....


Now you have gone and done it !!! I gotta have that Charlie Christian set up !!!


Greg Henderson---Atlanta Vintage Guitars

Hi Dave,

You were right about that pickup being huge! Through my jcm 800 and a vox ac15 that thing will rattle some teeth! Sounds like a big ass tele, love it.   Ill be buying another of your pickups for my strat soon.

Thank you for the excellent service,

Scott Reed
Hey Dave,
I got my T-shirt in the mail today! Muchas Gracias! Mi Amigo!  I'll wear it next gig for sure! 
Still shopping for that next bass but when I do there will be an order coming your way! Rio Grande rocks!


Dear owner of Rio Grande Pickups:

I want to give a long overdue thank you!!!

The Texas BBQ Pickups you cut me a sweet deal on are the best pickups I’ve ever played. I just want to say it means a lot that

you’re a true good ‘ol Texan and support the military! You have made a fan of me for life.

I don’t have a lot of money doing what I do so it was just so cool!!!

I wanted to give you something’s not much but it’s something from what I do.

I got you two stickers: One a "Why not Minot" sticker, because that is a saying up here "Why not Minot, Freezes the Reason".

Then there is the 91st Missle Wing stickers because it’s’s the mission I am a part of.....keeping ICBM’s on on alert 24/7, 365, day and night.

Again thank you sooo much!

If you have any Rio Grande stickers you want people to see, send ‘em up and I will rep your awesome pickps.

God Bless and keep making kick ass pickups!!!

Johny Cole



i spoke w you over a year ago and you referred me to bill Richardson here in Albuquerque and he has loaded my tokai love rock w 
a genuine Texas and bbq bucker it is the best i have been tearin it up here in new Mexico and other guitar players are amazed w the sound of  these p/u's. 

Although I'm not famous by any means these reviews I get for my guitar  make me feel like I am..

thanks again for the awesome tone!

Norm Splude
Abq New Mexico


Energy, sweetness, push, expressiveness behind the notes are a geat way to describe the BBQ. I always knew there were some intangibles I couldn't get a handle on. All I can say, is there has always been something about having the BBQ in the bridge of a guitar that just makes me want to play. They really sing better than most. Is it the compression? Then again, sometimes I find them fairly open. Some say they are modern sounding pickups but I get some of the best classic rock tones with the BBQ in a Les Paul....EVEN over a 9.7K hot PAF.

Ritchie D.


 Dave -

The Tallboy and Half-breed I recently received have been installed into my G&L Legacy S500....making it a truly fine piece o' biz-ness! Impressive by anyone's standards, I believe.
I've hooked up the VTT neck (purchased for Christmas by my brother, Eric) and the VTT for bridge I bought subsequently.... I don't have a better way to say this: these f**kers rock! I have never been more pleased than the moment I got the 1st humming twang out of my previously lack-luster Tele.... I thank you all for doing what you do.
Awesome work - as always...


“Well, Here Goes” I thought as I unsoldered the stock pickups of my 98 Les Paul Standard. The pickups in this guitar are exceptional as far as G*bson Pickups are concerned and I really love the tones I get from this guitar using them. One of the best I’ve had in my 29 years of learning to play guitar.

That is, until now.

I got a set of Rio Grande pickups recently - 'Zebra Coil' Genuine Texas for the neck and BBQ for the bridge - I bought them to put in my Firebird Studio, but on reading some great reviews and ‘thinking about it’ I decided to pop them into the ‘Burst instead, just temporary, to see what they were like.

Temporary became Permanent very quickly as the tone, sparkle and guts of these pickups ensured that they would be staying put in the guitar from now on ! I cannot find enough superlatives to describe the sublime sheer depth of sound these pickups have and what they have done to my Tone, Playing and the Feel of my playing, it’s all been taken up to another level, maybe even another dimension if that’s not overdoing it.

 I can’t believe the response, it’s Alive!! -I pick softly, the pickup obliges with lovely whispered weepy tones- especially the neck, I hit the strings harder on the bridge setting (through my valve amp and 4x12) and it’s with me all the way; plenty of spice, and full, rounded big tones, especially on that big ringing open ‘G’ chord- wow- and don’t get me started on the solo sounds, just lovely. This guitar was great before, now it’s nigh on close to legendary. Where have I been? Hiding under a rock? I should have got some of these years ago.

Here in England, we’ve heard that ‘Everything’s bigger in Texas’, that so obviously includes Guitar Tone.

 Thank you very, very much Rio Grande.

-Craig H Reynolds, Derbyshire, England.



I recently bought and installed a set of the 72 Big Bottoms for my 72 tele.

Here is my review: Holy f@ck is that some tone!
Thanks for the fantastic product. With some simple wiring, I turned my factory Tele Deluxe into a Hella'caster.
Nothing but kudos to Rio Grande.
Brandon Tushkowski. Milwaukee Wisconsin. Band: RECTIFIER.



I wanted to send a quick email regarding a pawnshop special I picked up about 6 months ago.  The guitar is a Conn CSE-2, made in Japan in – I believe – 1980.  Neck-through, maple board, mahogany body wings, brass nut and bridge.  Nothing spectacular, but the guitar is well made and was in pretty good shape for being over 30 years old.  The original pickups sounded strangled.  No surprise there.  Now comes the fun stuff.

I dropped in a prewired pick-guard with Vintage Tall Boys.  I had my friend Mike Lull set it up for me with a set of 11’s and this baby really sings now.  There’s something about the combination of woods and the windings on the Tall Boys that make this guitar just chime.  It’s trying real hard to act like it’s worth a whole lot more money.

These Tall Boys are just great sounding pickups!  Did you steal someone who used to work for Leo to wind these things?  Talk about nailing that sweetness from some of the older Fenders.  It even breaks nicely when pushed, and you don’t have to coax them too hard either.

Anyway, I just want to say thanks.

Best regards,

Chris W.

Auburn, WA. 

Just wanted to follow up and thank you for the support. The guitar sounds killer now, and the bridge pickup is indeed fully adjustable. Big ups to Rio Grande for making the guitar industry more friendly and sonically diverse, and for addin' more fuel to the blazing inferno that is rock and roll. Bitchin'... Okay, adios.
Hello Dave:

I received the pickups. All is well. The sound is fantastic, wonderful, just what I wanted. I send you some pictures with my new guitar Marin Cano ( made by my cousin, ) equipped with Rio Grande pickups.

In this address you can listen to my group:
Recorded with a Fender Stratocaster with Rio Grande pickup in the neck.

Best regards from Sevilla and thank you very much!

I love Rio Grande!

José C.
I purchased  at set of pickups from you about 8 months ago through "Music Gear Guys" in Denver. They were a Half Breed and Dirty Harry for my fender Duo-Sonic.  I am extremely satisfied with the way the guitar sounds, I shopped many pickups and have about 12 guitars, all with various pickups in my studio, but I have to say I feel yours are the cream of the crop.
I originally ordered them in white, but have decided that they would look better in black.  Would there be any way to purchase some covers in black from you?
Again, I just want to thank you for making such a fine product.
Caleb H.
Hi Dave,
Job done this morning, absolutely no issues with excess noise and a fantastic upgrade from the B*****s, so much punchier and more suited for my style of playing.  Many thanks for you help and advice.

Hey Dave,

I just ordered another set of humbuckers from you, order #1988.  Can you shoot me an email once you've shipped and give me the tracking number?  Thanks man.  I LOVE your pickups.  I have them in a John 5 Squier Tele and a Jim Root Tele.  I took EMG's out of the Jim Root Tele to put yours in.  I am not a fan of active pickups.  The set I just ordered are going in another John 5 Tele.  Your pickups have clarity, balls, sustain, evenness, highs, lows and everything in between.  I am proud to play them in my guitars.  Thanks again bro,

Your customer for life,

Mike Ulrey, Yuba City, Ca,

I recently discovered your line of pickups. A friend of mine bought me a used Telecaster from an estate sale. OMG!!!!! The pickups in it are awesome! Neck - 2003 TX / Middle- 2003 Muy Grande ST / Bridge - 2004 Muy Grande "TE". The country bite from the Bridge is incredible. I always hated a tele bridge pickup, always seemed to harsh and thin, but this one is perfect. Question: I am putting together an SRV Tribute Band for some limited gigs and I am building a "Number One". I want that "Texas" bite (especially from the Neck p/u), but I don't want to over do it. There are too many choices on your web site and I don't feel I know enough about p/u's to pick one, too me it's almost like gambling. I am open to suggestions from the pros. Thanks for your time. Once again your p/u's are awesome.

Wyatt C.


 This Vintage '51 P-Bass pickup is AMAZING!!  This is the coolest thing to happen to the world of bass guitars in decades!  Great job, Y'all!

Will H.


The BBQ just sings!

thank you



With Thanks,

To everyone at Rio Grande Pickups:

Tthank you so much for your fantastic pickups. I have just fitted my new Buffalo/Texas set into my Gibson Les Paul. They are the most beautiful pickups I have ever heard. They are sweet and rich with harmonics, that only serves bring out the best in that smooth Texas tone. I am defiantly going to be recommending "Rio Grande Pickups" to my musician friends. As soon as people hear these new pickups, they are going to want to know who made them. Your pickups are made the way pickups should be made, thanks again! 

Steve Carter, Adelaide, South Australia.

p.s. Thanks for the prompt delivery and great service too.


Hey Dave,

Thanks for helping out my guitar tech, Bill Dawson, install those railgunners and BBQ Bucker on my Strat.  The sound is epic!  Just like my Teles with the Texas/BBQ sets.  The tone is delicious!!!!  I see that my card was charged for the Dirty Harry Humbuckers.  Awesome!!  I will be installing those into another Tele so I will have 2 Teles with Texas/BBQ set, 1 Tele with Dirty Harry Humbuckers and 1 Stratocaster with BBQ and Railgunners.  Your pickups are FANTASTIC!!!  I tell everyone about them. 

Thanks man,


Hey Dave,

No worries at all.
I ended up speaking with you over the phone and bought the covers I needed.
I've got the smokin' TX-BBQ set in my Les Paul Classic.
It's the Goldtop of my dreams thanks to those kick-ass pickups!

Matt B.
Thanks for responding. I really appreciate it! Sorry you had a problem with email, glad you got it sorted out.
How much is the bridge ass'y, and does it come with or without the Twangbucker? I found a Tele bridge on Ebay a couple years ago. It had a Muy Grande in it and I fell in love. I use Rio Grandes in a lot of projects that I build and   I have been recommending them ever since. I find a lot of good deals on used units and sets on Ebay and buy them just to keep them on hand. I could tell you some stories! Since I got that first Twangbucker, it's been "S****** who?" and "EM* what?" Sorry, I digress.
Thanks again!
Mark B



I bought a pair.  best J5s on earth.

You gottum   p5?


GF Vandeploeg

Just a quick note to let you know my initial thoughts on a pickup replacement I did today on my tele. I purchased a muy grande for he bridge position and half breed for he neck from shoe string music in Kentucky.  Awesome tone - nice and ratty. Too early for full thumbs up, but if my experience tonight is any hint of what's to come,  I'll be rocking for some time with your pickups screaming...

Thanks - ill be in touch...


This is the second set of Rio Grande pickups I've purchased.  The other was a calibrated set for my Strat.  I love the sound of that guitar so I felt pretty safe getting the Tele set.  Rio Grande never fails to disappoint as these pickups have the spank and tone that I like--almost into the P-90 range, but not quite.  
I have to go back through the guitar and re-shield everything as I have a minor grounding problem.  When I take it apart again i will replace all the pots and cap with USA made ones (CTS).  Once that is done the guitar should scream quite nicely.
Thanks again!
Chris W.
I recently popped one of your railgunner strat humbuckers in the bridge of my new beloved '59 reissue strat. I've always loved having a humbucker in the bridge position of a strat and not having to cut up the body of my guitar is a definite plus. Only one problem: the railgunner absolutely EATS ALIVE the stock single coil pups! Probably one of the best PAF pups (big or small) I've ever played and when you say "redefined for Strat applications" you aren't freakin' kidding! ABSOLUTE MONSTER!! Anyway, I was wondering whether you would recommend your Half Breed or your Muy Grande for a good match with the railgunner. I know there's going to be a bit of output difference between the single coils and the railgunner. Like I said, I like having that output increase in the bridge and hang around a lot paralleling the mid position single coil with the bridge humbucker. No particular reason, I guess. Just "does" it for me, somehow. I just want to know which pickups you think would best compliment the characteristics of the railgunner? Thanks! and keep up the good work!
For the record, I recently dropped a set of Texas BBQ buckers in my Ibanez Iceman, not really knowing what to expect, but tired of the "artificial" and "plastic" sound of the stock  Deactivaters. Only problem is since I've done it all I've wanted to play is the BLUES! I think you might of just ruined my future in modern "new metal"! Thank you! peace
Joseph T.
Hi Dave,
It's been a while since we were last in touch, I hope you're ok and well. I moved to Southern California from Nevada last year, it took me a while to get my studio set back up, but it was completed in January.
I still use Rio Grande pickups, and they still impress me with their clarity and tone. They're absolutely amazing. I was recently invited to record a song for a new Black Sabbath related cancer charity album (all the artists have a connection to Sabbath), and I recorded their acoustic instrumental 'Scarlet Pimpernel'. I added an electric second part to the track, and the BBQ bucker did a great job :-) I mentioned you and Rio Grande in the credits for the CD booklet, I'll of course send you a CD when the record company gets them. In the meantime, if you'd like to hear the track I can send you an mp3 of it.
Best wishes
Mario P.
Hello good people of Rio Grande Pickups,

I just recently completed a custom strat build and after looking at the usual pickup companies I found your pick ups, and I'm glad I did. I went with 2 halfbreed singles and the Muy grande humbucker with coil tap. They are smoking hot to icy cool and I'm already thinking about my next build, a telecaster which I'll be using your pick ups. Any chance you guys could send me some stickers for my case to show my support for those awesome pickup? I think having those sound clips on your site helped make my decision.  Before your pickups the first choice was sd which have worked nice but I'm glad to have yours and when folks ask about them I'm always pleased to say where they are made and who makes them. Please don't change a thing just keep kicking ass!!

Chris R.
Dear sirs:
Just completed my second tele assembly.i decided  to use rio's instead of sd's.all I can say is WOW!.thanks for being a electric guitar pickup winding genius.your tone is the best I've ever surpasses  every guitar that i own.which is a dozen or so.including an am. standard tele,John mayer strat,musicman ss,gib on sg.......I'm blown I've been playing since 1973 so I've had my hands on a lot of guitars.i speak from folks if your lookin for the right stuff,look no further than rio grande brand. They're top tier in my opinion.
Great answer! straight and off the cuff! definitely will be checking out your "new wave" '72 tele pickups! No wonder I love this company so much! peace..
Joseph T.
Good advice (below)...this thing kicks @$$.  I've attached a couple of 5th Rio Grande equipped guitar.  This one's a 1 piece 3.5 lb swamp ash body and Padouk neck (both Warmoth), Wilkinson VSVG bridge, Sperzels...and of course the Rio Railgunner/Tallboy pups.  
Best Regards
Rob C

Hey all...Installed the 51' muy grande in my bass...Finally ! The sound I in visioned in my head ...coming through my speakers !! Thanks for everything...Keep up the great work !!

Thanks Todd K.


About a year ago I bought an American Standard Fender P and the first thing I did was order a set of Muy Grande pickups, because about 20 years ago my wife bought me a '63 P that had full active Duncan's. I took it in for a fret job and new pickups the tech recommended Rio Grande's so I went with it. I got my new P home and knew what it needed. Now I don't have to switch volume when switching basses. Every bass from now on will have Rio Grande's for sure. Now since my next purchase will be my about a free T shirt size XL?  

Kenny M. via email


Dave, Please consider posting on your website, after playing the same old same old. I did some research and came across your website, I was in search of a new sound for one of my Tele''s. Through the magic of you tube and various other outlets, I found some sound clips of your pickups. WOW....... is an understatement, I called up your shop on Thursday and Friday I had pickups in hand. Overnight shipping was imperative my Tele has new life!!! I own several guitars with various pickups, but it's a done deal Rio Grande will be in every guitar that I own. Truly amazed at the sustain and tone that comes from this matched set of single coils. When that being said, I am not a professional musician by any stretch of the imagination. But with your pickups I am determined to play as hard as I can, and my playing will improve. Now here is what I am most pleased with, customer service you see folks, when I called I spoke to a person on the other end of the phone, who truly cared about me. I know that my business is valued, and I will do my part in offering perhaps the best form of advertising, word of mouth. So make no mistake the Rio Grande pickup line is by far the best pickup you can buy, no doubt! I look forward to hearing some new sounds from my guitars, and tones that will amaze. Thanks for all you do!!!

—Danny McJunkin , Charleston SC

"I've been a LIFE TIME guitar collector and player and Im very particular about tone. Rio Grande pickups have that extra soul everyone is wants in vintage guitars, that indescribable extra that makes the difference between noise and music. Since I have made pickups in the past, this comes from experience. I have Rio P-90 Bastards in my Les Paul for a perfect early 50's tone, Texas Humbuckers in my Heritage H175 for classic R&B and jazz tone, and love the Muy Grande BluesCaster in my Strat. These guitars work every week on stage with the band, and really put out under all circumstances. All our customers are very pleased with the Rios, and the wide range of Strat, Tele, G&L, and Gibson type pickups allow us to easily fit anyones style and request. Of course we prefer a Rio Grande equippped guitar to demonstrate our custom hand made tube amps! Rio Grandes are great in our “BluesCaster” and BluesTone Tele” custom wiring setups using everything from the Tallboy set, big Bottom Set, up to the Muy Grandes - great stuff guys!"

—Dan Torres, owner , Torres Engineering , San Mateo CA

"Rio Grande Pickups are one of the closest things to the "best of the best" of the original single coils I have ever found!"

—Rodney hudgins, owner , Backdoor Music , Birmingham AL

"Rio Grandes are the #1 pickup upgrade/conversion in our shop for Memphis studio guitarists. They outsell other major brands of single coils here. Immediate tone enhancement! Thank you!"

—Jim Hollingsworth, guitarist/tech , Consignment Music , Memphis TN

"I have a custom shop Eric Clapton Strat that has Vintage Tallboys on board in my shop for demo purposes. Nine out of Ten people who play it want to buy the guitar (Not For Sale! ). One trick I have for sales that really seems to work is to offer customers a 2-3 day trial period to test out Rio's in their basses or guitars, as long as I install or remove them. I'm happy to say that about 95% of them stay installed with very satisfied customers. Customer satisfaction and great tone are two very important factors I strive for at my shop and with Rio's on board, reaching that goal is much easier. Peace through good tone!"

—Rob Hacker, owner , The Guitar & Bass Custom Shop , Austin TX

"Rio Grande: Texas Pickups from the "HOT" end of the state. My Big Bottom Strat Set lets me go from glassy clean to loud and mean with the flick of a switch! I'm talking about tone, and I mean five alarm Texas chili tone! Rio's are chock full o' Mojo!"

—Harry "O", Rockin' , Robin Guitars & Music , Houston TX

"I looked at my '65 Strat after putting in Vintage Tallboys and said "Damn, these make even ME sound good". My best selling pickups. Great catalog, too, no bull! The Barbeque Buckers brought my old '65 Marshall back to life! Rio Grande is "The Real Texas Tornado!". Your pal in tone..."

—Bill Richardson , Gryphon Guitars , Palo Alto CA

"One of our hottest selling pickup lines. Rio Grande's look cool, sound great, and are a pleasure to sell. Thanks!"

—Mark Murphy, owner , Guitar Heaven , Nashville TN

"I took on Rio Grande Pickups in 1994 because I like trying new things. I believe that if a product will deliver as the salesman promised, then there must be something to it. Rio Grande came through and turned out to be the best pickup line we carry."

—Paul L. Unkert, owner , "The Guitar Guy" , Tom's River NJ

"We sell as many to our staff as to our customers...That speaks for itself! It's "REAL" Texas Tone."

—Greg Hall, G.M. , IRC Music , Indianapolis IN

"I've worked on and owned hundreds of guitars and I've seen most of the after-market pickups that have come and gone. Rio Grande Pickups are the best. My Strat is loaded with Tallboys and people constantly comment on the "Stevie Ray" sounds it gets. At BCR, we favor Les Pauls. All of my personal humbucking guitars have Barbeque Buckers in the bridge. Our favorite pickup by far is Rio Grande's "P-90 style" pickups as we have a voracious appetite for L.P. juniors and Specials. The Bluesbar and Jazzbar capture the right sound at any volume and don't require cutting up a precious old friend. I use Rio's and install lots of them in my custom guitars. I recommend them to anyone who wants to hear the real sound of a good guitar. We also offer a money back guarantee and have never had any returns! Bart is a genius!"

—Greg Platzer, owner , BCR Music and Sound , Lemoyne PA

I am a guitarist from Memphis and I tried your pickups about two years ago in one of my Strats. They are the best pickups I have ever heard and they are in every Strat that I play on stage except for one. In fact… after I put your pickups in my favorite axe, I had to put them in all my guitars because they were so much hotter than the rest of my guitars making it very difficult to switch guitars (without totally resetting my amp). Point is… I love the pick ups because they ARE tone and when the tone is good, usually so is the playing. Thanks and I hope to endorse you guys soon!

—Kirk Smithhart

I have been playing for almost 34 years and NEVER in my life all have I heard a Les Paul sound so good [since I installed the BBQ in my Les Paul Standard]. Again, I thank you for your graciousness. . I showed off my guitar to lots of people who agreed. Well, now I am hooked on Rio Grande Pickups and everyone who heard my LP are aiming to get some RGs too. You guys and your products are leaps and bounds above EVERYTHING out there! Your pickups are ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!! Thanks for everything and once again, the happiest of holidays!


Received my order, hooked up, started playing, and WOW!!! For under three hundred bucks I have a Strat that sounds as good as any Fifties Strat. Your salesperson was helpful and friendly, your product was packaged neatly, and best of all, IT'S NOT HYPE! Thank you very much!

—Les Cooke , Jumping Crow Band

I have your GT and BBQ set in ALL of my Gibsons. What can I say? Your pickups are by far, the best pickups on the planet!! The thing I like best about them is that they will cover ANY style of music or playing technique with ease and authority. They are focused, powerful and dynamic. After 34 years of playing, I say to you with all honesty, I will not use, nor stand to hear my collection with, any other brand. Whatever you all are doing, just KEEP DOING IT! Best regards,

—Roy A. Simmons

I took delivery of my big bottom bastard set and installed them on my Les Paul Classic. The pickups fit good and tight and I had no problems installing them. I took the guitar to the practice studio and plugged it in to my Vox AC15 and all I have to say is those pickups ooze classic rock tone and turned that common sounding guitar into a very special beast. I found the set to be balanced and the tone is perfect, not too high ended, and the output is comparable to the humbuckers I took off of the guitar. Also for single coils I found the noise to be minimal. I'm very pleased.

—George Smith

I don't know how the wizards at Rio Grande do it, but thanks a million. It was an unexpected surprise!

—Ray Weidenburner (another happy customer)

So, I had the HB set I ordered from you put in my Les Paul while I was home and I can't begin to tell you just how happy I am. The sheer power and depth of tone they have added to what was already an awesome guitar is completely amazing. Thanks SO much!!!!! I have run it through an old Marshall super lead,a couple of Fenders,and a Mesa triple rectifier and it has sounded wicked through all of them. Oh yeah, I had read a few reviews where people say that metal players would maybe not like these pickups. To that I say put it through any high gain setup and these bastards will be fit for it. Absolutely!!! Any guitar I buy in the future will have it pickups replaced for these. Again, thanks a bunch!!! < /p>

—Brian Hunter

About a year ago, I bought a 1998 Gibson Explorer from one of my favorite music stores in Concord, NC. Even though an Explorer has a radical shape that was not my first choice (I play classic rock/jam band type stuff) in body styles, I still bought it because the neck played like butter and it had this killer tone. A couple of weeks ago, the pickup ring on the guitar mysteriously cracked and I had to get a replacement. When I took the pickup out, low and behold I discovered the previous owner had replaced both of the what I had thought were stock Gibsons with nickle covers, with a set of Genuine Texas BBQ pickups! No wonder this guitar sounded so good! While I had heard of Rio Grande pickups before, I had never played a guitar that had them, or so I thought. Great pickups, fellows! I am now going to get a set for my Strat!

—Charles Gore

I installed a Muy Macho set into my old ESP Strat copy, removing the active "3M6's" then present. I had an out of body experience when first playing your pickups. They made my guitar really come alive. I wanted to thank you for producing such a fine product. The set really lives up to all the hype I've heard.

—Kyle Streicher (guitar hobbyist)

Just thought I'd give you an update on the Rio Grande conversion since I had a chance to "ring it out" this week. The overall tone is much better. The scratchy highs are gone and the tone is much smoother. On the guitar side (bridge pickup) it sounds much more like a guitar now on both the clean and dirty channels (that's what I wanted). On the bass side (neck pickup) much smoother and more natural sounding. I definitely notice these pickups don't produce as much low end (sub lows). 
It might be that this is the true sound of the bass coming out and not just faked lows coming from the "3M6" actives. I simply boosted a the lows in the 50 - 80htz range on my bass preamp and it sounds fine. I would recommend this conversion to anyone wanting a smoother more natural "vintage" sound. Thanks for the suggestions.

—Jim Morgan

Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to rap with me about your pickups and steer me in the right direction.  I ended up dropping a BBQ in the bridge of Rosalie (my precious SG) and HOLY SH*T does she cook.  I'm a believer to say the least.  I'll be dropping a 50's bucker in the neck as soon as I get the chance.  I'll hopefully be replacing the 498 T/490 B pickups in my otherwise sweet Les Paul Custom, and then I think a pair of Babybuckers in my Firebird.  Thanks again, you have a customer for life.  Who knows, I might even end up buying a guitar off of ya within the next few years.... 


"Hello good folks. My name is Daniel Wilson and I live in Anniston, Alabama. I formally lived in Huntsville, Alabama and was, and still am when I can get up that way, a proud customer of the fine people of The Fret Shop, where the most knowledgable and capable guitar tech that I know of, Matt Gibbs, persuaded me to purchase and have installed a set of three Rio Grande Vintage Tall Boys in my then new limited edition Fender Strat. The pickups have pearloid tops and Matt also installed an extremely high quality pearloid pickguard. The results, as far as looks - ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! I have never brought that guitar out without people just drooling over it. That was 10 years ago. Now about Tone: The marraige between those pickups and that guitar have utterly ruined every guitar that I have had in these past ten years since I went with your Rio Grandes. Seriously. Currently I am about to sell my Gibson '57 Custom Shop Reissue with PAF's because they are nowhere near as sweet as the single coil Vintage Tall Boy's. Even though I have the same model pickup in all three positions, it is more versatile than any new Fender Strat that I've taken off a wall and played. They are just amazing, and what is even more interesting is that they seem to be sweeter now than they were ten years ago. Is it possible that these pickups have aged enough to notice a very substantial difference in thetone?? I cant say thanks enough for your pickups as they are more responsible for my tone than my amps,effects, or anything in a system.

—Daniel Wilson