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What do you know about the very rare VELVET HAMMER P-Bass Pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by squarewave, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. squarewave

    squarewave Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Iowa City, Iowa USA
    I got this set from Juan Alderete of The Mars Volta in a trade deal for a '62 Fender PU. He had them in a '62 P-Bass, but I haven't installed them yet. If anyone has information on these, I'd really like to learn more about them.

    They were made by Red Rhodes. This is the only Velvet Hammer P-bass set I've seen. I've found only limited info online on the six-string guitar pickups, which appear to be highly coveted, and considerably more common than the P-Bass set.

    I just listed this set in the Classifieds, by the way.


  2. ZombiCrow


    Jun 15, 2006
    Davenport, IA
    Delano makes a similar P, mainly with the individual MM-style poles for each string instead of two smaller poles. Does this mean it would have a sound sharing some tonalities with a MM as far as response and aperture? Anyone ELSE?
  3. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Instal them and let us know how they sound. They're so rare that it's unlikely anyone here has used them. They might be good, they might be bad, they might be average.
  4. I imagine they might sound a little more like the original single coil Precision pickup.

    Red Rhodes' work is legendary. Give them a try, if only to tell us what they're like :D
  5. Ah man the Velvet Hammer's sold :(. Whoever had them, post clips!!!

    I wish Juan would go on more often!!!! Then we could have an Ask Juan Alderete section!!!!

  6. If I recollect correctly, 'way back at the beginning there were DiMarzios & also Velvet Hammer replacement pickups - and that was it. I'm talking about the mid 70's here - anyone go back further than that?

    I remember seeing them when I was putting an original set of DiMarzio Super Distortions on my LP - the VHs were even heavier then the DMs - if I recollect, I would have needed to route extra depth on the LP - no go for me.
  7. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I go back further I'm sure. Before I ever heard of Dimarzio I saw the High A pickups. They were the first replacement pickups for a P bass that I saw. I don't know if they predate Dimarzio though. I remember Attila Balough, who later started Odyssey Guitars, was using High A in some early kit basses, Fender clones, that he made and sold in Vancouver. The High As were, from what I remember, the first replacements that were widely available. Someone else said that Star's Guitars sold replacement pickups.

    Never heard of Velvet Hammer at all. Only a few country guys knew of Red Rhodes.
  8. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    I remember High A's, Dimarzio's, and to a lesser degree Velvet Hammer pickups being advertised as the first guys in replacement pick ups.

    Seemed like Red Rhodes was reasonably well known but did not have either the manufacturing or distribution.

    Guess this applied to Lane Poor as well.
  9. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    i now have this set of pickups. i will post clips once i install them in a bass.
  10. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Looking forward to hearing it.
  11. WildBill987


    Dec 8, 2011
    i have a 69 Precision with a Velvet Hammer pup from bout 1976. i installed it and never looked back. It is punchy yet sweet and pushes thru our 6 piece mix w. 2 keyboards just fine. I still have the OEM pup also. The Hammer is almost as hot as my 76 Jazz with a 76 Schecter tapped sound pup in the neck position. I just put together a Warmoth Pbass with a Seymour Duncan SPB2, and it doesn't come close to either Fender, altho the Warmoth is pretty slinky to play. None of this stuff is for sale.
  12. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    I don't know anything about this pickup, but I love the name!
  13. I just bought a pbass set on ebay from a guy called Scott. it seems he found a new "old stock' given to him personally by the widow of Red Rodhes....check it out he has few others also for strats...
    Garret Graves likes this.
  14. butterfingers


    Jan 5, 2009
    When I was at school in about 1979, a friend's sister had a purple sparkle P-Bass copy (Columbus or Satellite - can't remember) which had a Velvet Hammer pickup. I remember the pickup covers with the embossed script. It must have been a retro-fit - this was an inexpensive (at the time) Japanese instrument, but I can't imagine why anyone would put a premium pickup like this on such a cheap bass, or indeed how the pickup wound up in Devon, England.
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  15. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    More than likely someone liked the playability of that Japan bass.....after all the Japan Fender copies from the mid to early 80's are legendary themselves.

    Somehow a lot of folks locally wound up with very early Bill Lawrence pickups too.

    Often stores would close and sell leftover stock for dirt cheap......then those dirt cheap parts wound up in cheaper Japan basses....then musicians trade and sell stuff as they travel around!!