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New Wolfetone J-Bass Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Palomorado, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Wolfe Macleod is one of the most respected and admired custom guitar pickup winders out today. He has received numerous accolades for his work and is constantly improving and expanding his line. Finally, he has crossed over to our side and built a J-Bass pickup. I have had the great fortune to be the "Road Tester" for this new pickup. Here are my observations from playing these pups on an R&B gig, a metal gig, a honky-tonk gig, and a singer-songwriter recording session.

    SETUP : I loaded these pickups into my old trusty Fender Jazz with a DPDT for series/parallel switching and 500K audio taper pots. The cap is a gigantic Jensen oil & paper with a .66 measurement. The bass was played through a GK RB800, Aguilar DB680, and a Radial Bassbone DI.

    Construction : The pickup was carefully assembled and had a very clean and professional build with no wax residue or messy soldering. The cloth wrapped leads were very long and sturdy. The covers were great and had a very nice look; not shiny and "cheap" looking like the stock Fender pups. The pole pieces are staggered slightly.

    Sound : For the R&B gig I played most of the show in parallel with both pups on full and a slight bit of the tone rolled off. Very big and ballsy sound that sat in the mix incredibly well. It actually reminded me of the sound of my '64 Jazz but with a little more top end. For the James Brown-esque funk number I rolled off the neck pup and the bridge pickup had a great sound by itself. Full and cutting, it really growled and gave a good sharpness to the fingerstyle funk. Unfortunatly, I did not get a chance to play any slap or pop licks so I don't know how they will handle that.

    Next was the metal gig. With this band I ended up playing with the pickups in series and I found that here is where these pups absolutly rule!!!
    The sound was HUGE and had a presence that had been lacking in my old setup (SD QP's) for this band. The low end was massive without burying the mids and highs. It was really great to get this gigantic tone without being overly dirty like the QP's were. At the end of the gig both the drummer and the SINGER (?!?) came over and told me how amazing I sounded. For me these pups in series are worth the price of admission alone.

    The honky-tonk and singer-songwriter gigs were very good to show off the versatility of these pups with the big bottom in series laying it down for the country sets and the parallel setting giving me a killer JPJ sound for "Ramble On" and the rest of the Singer-Songwriter set.
    No complaints from either!

    Conclusion : These pickups are really great for me and my uses. I loved the sound of the pups in series so much that I am debating if I should just hardwire it in series. It really does "out P" my P-Bass and that is saying something!
    These pickups cover alot of ground but really seem to come into its own when playing aggressive. My biggest complaint with the SD QP's was the lack of clarity and with the Wolfetones I get the Huge sound with a very defined presence.
    These pups are staying in this JBass. My fretless Jazz has the SD Antiquity II's and between both of these basses I have EVERY Jazz bass sound I could possibly need and can even out-do my Precision.

    One of the best things about doing business with Wolfe is that he actually custom winds for each individual player. He talked to me at length about what type of playing I was doing, what sounds I wanted, how my bass was constructed, and what amps I was playing through. On top of that he even had me submit examples of my playing (via mp3) so he could tailor the pups to specific nuances in my style.

    All in all, these are an amazing set of pickups and have been an all-around great experience. Since these are the last prototypes he has no prices listed on his website ( http://www.wolfetone.com/ ) but he gladly discuss the details with you.
  2. They sound like great pickups but that's sure an unfortunate choice for the company name..."wolfetone." It kind of reminds me of the problems General Motors once had trying to market the Chevy Nova in Spanish speaking countries. In Spanish, "no va" means "doesn't go."
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Hmmm. Speaking of unfortunate names, I wonder how the "Rabid Bitch" ones sound.
  4. that's understandable.

    the Owner's name is Wolfe and that's what he went with.
    now, on the other hand i don't believe that there are many people in the know about the "wolf tone" phenom in acoustics.
  5. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Hi Palomorado!

    I´m glad that you like your new pickup...

    Your post on the other hand is riding a very, VERY fine line between a review and plain ol´ spam/advertising.

    In the future, tone down your reviews just a tad, we have a TB marketplace here (in beta stage right now) for these kind of things. :)
  6. WolfeMacleod


    Aug 2, 2004
    Greetings, folks. Palomorado sent me a link to his review, so I thought I'd check it out.

    I can somewhat agree with that (borderline overly glowing), but I want to let you know that Palo has no connection with my business, and he knows my utter disain for blatant spam (especially email spam) so I don't think he'd do that intentionally. However, I coulnd't have written a more glowing review if I had done it myself :D

    I had thought of the implications, but the name just fits It was given to me by former Fender Custom Shop and Warmoth employee Brett Faust. Coupled with my deep respect with the lupine community, I coulnd't pass up a name like WolfeTone.

    For the record, these were only about the 5th set of bass pickups ever made my me in six years (including rewinds). I'm still sorting out specs and stuff, and deciding which direction I want to go with them, so they won't be standard fare for awhile yet. I "crossed over" at the request of one of my large OEM customers, and coulnd't turn it down.

    Also....and I don't mean to sound spammy here...but I've got a set of P-bass pickups that need testing. Free. First US resident who wants 'em get's em...all I ask in return is feedback! (is that too spammy? :bag: )

  7. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Hi Wolfe and welcome to our community here! :)

    I´m glad that the thread wasn´t spam and I welcome you to our community here, we can always use a new pickups manufacturer here :)
  8. I dealt with Wolfe about a Telecaster pickup several years ago. Great pickup, great guy.
  9. I'd love to try and give you feedback on your P-Bass pickup. I currently use a Fender "Original 62" in my P-Bass clone. It has a solid mahogany body and a MIJ Fender neck, if that matters to you. You can e-mail me at
  10. WolfeMacleod


    Aug 2, 2004
    You got mail. And speaking of mail, I'd advise you to edit your post and munge your email address. It can be scraped by email harvesters and added to spam lists, which I'm sure you woulnd't want. :rollno:

    Does the Golden Boy have a name? :)
  11. Yeah,

    But I promised I'd send you a pickup to check out a long time ago. I forgot about it until I read this thread. :eek:
  12. Thanks, Wolfe. I will let you know my impressions of the pickup as soon as possible. Also, thanks for the heads-up about my e-mail address. I'm kind of careless about things like that...which probably offers some insight into why my home computer has a virus infestation.
  13. WolfeMacleod


    Aug 2, 2004
    Hmm..you could be any one of a bajillion people :p

    Telecaster...years ago...let's see....

    David V
    Andy C
    Daniel in Germany
    Bruce (Mojowillow)

    aaanndd...the paralyzed cop who's name I forget at the moment :(

    These are the ones that stick out most. Are you any one of them? :hyper:
  14. Damn, you're good!

    I'll call you!

    And actually, it was a Strat pickup I've got for you!
  15. Hey Guys,

    Seriously, I have not talked or communicated with Wolfe since last summer or so. The Telecaster pickup deal was around 2-3 years ago (perhaps longer). This is the kind of personal attention you get from this guy.
  16. WolfeMacleod


    Aug 2, 2004
    Hmm...I spoke with Dietrich a couple months ago, and my wife sees him about once a week...so I'd have to say you're not him.
    The disabled cop was in 2002, and I don't remember anything about strat pickups, so..not him either...

    I'm going to take a guess and say that you're Andy C...got Tele pickup in 2000, and I vaguely remember something about MIM strat p'ups needing work. :D

    Call me! :hyper: