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Dynasonic pickups

Have you seen Julian Lage’s new guitar from Collings? The Collings 470 JL (Julian Lage) has Dynasonic-like pickups, although they are custom designed by Collings for this guitar. I love Julian’s guitar playing but the guitar caught my interest.

Visually, at least to my eyes, it appears to be very similar to a Gretsch Duo Jet with Dynasonic pickups. You can currently (February 2021) purchase a George Harrison Duo Jet reissue with the Dynasonic single-coil pickups.

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Gretsch also sells a Chet Atkins model with Dynasonic single coils. This is a classic for rockabilly and close to the guitars played by Duane Eddie and Edie Cochran.

Duane Eddy Guild guitar (Rock and roll Hall of fame, Cleveland, OH)
Claude Humbert, CC BY-SA 4.0.,_Cleveland,_OH).jpg

Both Gretsch and Guild guitars have used Dynasonic pickups in some models of guitars. Guild currently offers the Starfire II ST Dynasonic model.

Another hollow body with Dynsonic-like pickups currently in production is the Godin 5th Ave Uptown T-Armond.

I have no first-hand experience with these pickups other than listening to recordings made by artists playing guitars equipped with Dynasonic pickups. They have a distinctive voice associated with country twang but useful in other genres. Historically, they were the first electric pickup with adjustable pole pieces. Being single-coils, they were and are noisy compared to humbucker pickups such as Filtertons.

You can buy DeArmond Dynasonic pickups from Guild and Fender. TV Jones and others make Dyanasonic-like replicas of the pickup. But if you want to do anything other than replace a guitar that already has these pickups, you’ll have some problems. The original pickups only came in a surface-mount design. They won’t fit most pickup cavities in hollow or solid body guitars. I’ve seen them installed on Telecasters but it required a custom rout to lower the height so it fit under the strings.

An alternative pickup for a Telecaster is the TV Jones Starwood. It allegedly is based on their take on a DeArmond.

2 thoughts on “Dynasonic pickups”

    1. You are correct. As I said in my post, “The Collings 470 JL (Julian Lage) has Dynasonic-like pickups, although they are custom designed by Collings for this guitar.” The Ron Ellis Pickups Website compares them to Dynasonic, P90 and Tele sounds. Many descriptions of the sound of Dynasonic pickups compares them to P90s or Teles. They are, of course, neither. Every pickup has its own sound. Even different reproductions of Dynasonics (e.g., Jason Lollar vs TV Jones) are not going to sound the same. But I would guess they all can produce a similar vibe.

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