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Will Bill Lawrence Pickups stay afloat after he passes?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by amos, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    Not trying to sound morbid or anything hear, but Bill Lawrence is ancient. I'm thinking I should put pickups higher up on my list just in case.
  2. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
  3. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    Yes, let's also buy those Leo Fender basses and pickups!

    When he dies all production will stop immediately.....


  4. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    I don't know, that's the way it looks from his website. Bill Lawrence USA is a totally different company.
  5. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Bill Lawrence is 77. Seymour Duncan has to be in his mid 60's. I've heard that Bill Bartolini is going to retire soon...
  6. tedw

    tedw Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Northwest U.S.
    I suppose the original poster is paying a compliment to Bill Lawrence in way. But at the same time, it seems kind of disrespectful. Am I off the mark here?
  7. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    I'm not trying to be disrespectful, I probably should have chose a different thread title. My question should have been since Bill Lawrence makes his pickups by hand, do you think his company legacy will continue after he passes?

  8. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Bill Lawrence the person/guitarist/designer was born Willi Lorenz Stich. He used the stage name Billy Lorento in the 50's, and then Billy Lawrence since 1962.


    He designed guitars for Framus Guitars in the 70's, and also guitars and pickups for Gibson, such as the Firebird pickups, the Super Humbucker and the L6-S guitar for Santana as well as the Marauder, S-1, G-3 bass, and probably the Ripper (L9-S) and Grabber basses too. An interesting note is that Framus founder Fred Wilfer had a son named Hans Peter Wilfer, who started a company called Warwick. ;) He now owns Framus again.

    Bill also designed the Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups for Fender as well as the Roscoe Beck humbucker.

    Bill Lawrence USA is run by Jzchak Wajcman, who is the founder of the 1965 Original Bill Lawrence Guitar Pickup Company (Lawrence Electro Sound). He started that Company together with Willi Stich aka Bill Lawrence. He makes the original Lawrence pickups that Bill designed. Bill seems to have lost the trade mark to his name and his patents on those pickups at some point, and was making OBL pickups (Original Bill Lawrence) for Gibson after that.

    Confusing, no?
  9. So are u actualy saying that Elvis is alive?
  10. tank4checo


    Feb 14, 2008
    new mexico
    if you really like the sound then get them but dont get them becouse production might stop soon. get the pickups you like the best.
  11. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    They are for sure the pickups I want, the other deciding factor is that they the only nice drop-in replacements I've found for my bass.
  12. BTW am i the only one that feels the "pre Bill Lawrance, Bill Lawrance vintage pickups" wave? :D
    Anyway, long live Bill :)
  13. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    I have a Tele I built that has three pickups.. two Strat pickups, and a Tele bridge. I had two vintage Bill Lawrence L-250 Strat size "small humbuckers" which I liked very much in my Fender Mustang, so I put them in my Tele and got a newer Lawrence USA L-250T that Stew-Mac was selling at the time (mid 90's). The newer Lawrence USA pickup didn't have as much output, was thinner sounding, and would squeal when I got close to the amp! Also one of the screw tabs broke the day I install it in the guitar!

    So based on that pickup, my experience is that the Lawrence USA pickups were not as good as the "real thing" (i.e., Willi Stich era Lawrence pickups).

    I'd only buy from the real Bill. As a pickup maker myself, I have much respect for Bill.
  14. riku888


    Nov 1, 2007
    you should just buy Bill's pickups anyway. They're some of the best I've ever heard and they're really cheap
  15. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Yes, the Lawrence pickups that StewMac was selling were the bad ones, not made by Bill Lawrence himself. If you order direct from Bill you get the real thing made and tested by Bill himself.
  16. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Strange, Dimebag always bought his Bill Lawerence 500XL's (installed backwards with the hot blade to the bridge, bridge pos, on all his personal guitars) from StewMac.
    And on Bill Lawerence's site is the same pickup, for sale. So, at least some that StewMac used to sell were the good stuff.
  17. The good new is, Bill is alive and healthy and about to celebrate his 77th birthday on March 24th.

    I dread the though of him passing, but such is life. His wife Becky, and his children work with him and are all quite knowledgable in pup design so I truly believe that they will continue making world class stuff.

    PS. just so you know, from time to time he reads here.
  18. sublime0bass


    Aug 2, 2007
    Boone, NC
    before i opened this, i said "wow, morbid thread"
  19. I can't find any price info on his Jazz pickups on the website. Anybody ordered direct from him?

    edit: looks like they go for 60 bucks a piece
  20. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Well the ones StewMac used to sell are the pickups made by Bill Lawrence USA, and they still sell them, and they have pictures of Dime as well.

    At that time it was the first time those pickups where being made again after an absence.

    The thing is that those pickups were designed and patented by Bill, but by that time he was no longer making them, and his ex-partner, who now owns the name Bill Lawrence, still makes them. But people who have tried the originals, and the BL USA ones know that the originals are better. I don't know why, since they say they are made on the same winders and use the same parts, but the quality doesn't seem as high.

    My own experience with having both the old and new in the same guitar is I like the old ones better. They were wound slightly hotter too, as determined by DC resistance readings I took.

    You can also buy a L-500XL from Bill himself.

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