Benedetto pickups are designed for one purpose only - to produce a straight-ahead mainstream jazz sound. Perfectly balanced with big, fat high notes, they are an improvement on any guitar.
Are the Benedetto Pickups handmade?
Yes. Winding is done with a machine - the same way it is done in a one-man shop. However, everything else, including encasing the wound coil in the casting material, is entirely done by hand. There is great consistency with our procedures so you are guaranteed to have a quality jazz pickup that the Benedetto name implies.
I would like to purchase the S-6 pickup. Do I need a pickguard on my archtop? If so, does it have to be altered in any way?
Yes, you will need a pickguard. A small notch should be cut into the pickguard to accommodate the pickup. The guitar, however, does not have to be altered in any way. (Note: if you have a vintage pickguard that you want to remain original, you might want to have an additional pickguard made to accommodate the pickup.)
What purpose does the flange serve on the S-6 and S-7? Will it fit any pickguard?
The use of the flange eliminates the need to drill holes in the side of the neck, as with many neck-mounting pickups. It will fit any pickguard thickness. The flange can be routed, cut or filed to mate properly with the pickguard.
How do I know if I have enough clearance to install the S-6 or S-7?
The thickness of the “S” series is 7/16" (or .440"). As long as you have enough clearance between the top of the fingerboard and the top of the guitar, there should be no difficulty mounting it. There should be a step of 3/32" - 1/8" from the top of the pickup to the top surface of the fingerboard.
I want to install your S-6 suspended pickup in an archtop, but I am not sure how the jack mounts. Does your mini volume potentiometer attach to the pickguard/finger-rest? I want to make as few modifications to the guitar as possible, so a pickguard mount would be preferable to a body mounted knob.
We recommend mounting the S-6 pickup using the same method Benedetto uses on his own guitars: 1) the pickup attaches to the pickguard (or finger rest); 2) one mini volume control mounted on pickguard; 3) an Ernie Ball® endpin jack installed in the tailblock. An alternative to the endpin jack would be a small 1/8" jack mounted to the underside of the pickguard. It's a pretty straightforward installation which can be done by any competent repair/set-up person.
I recently ordered an S-6 pickup from Seymour Duncan.The pickup is different in dimension and construction from the previous S-6 Benedetto pickups. Why did they make changes? I felt the old model was hard to beat...
As for the construction, Bob worked closely with Kevin Beller, Seymour Duncan's Chief Engineer, to improve the design in several ways and offer a pickup that's tonally superior to any Benedetto pickup ever built. We think you'll agree.
Although I'm sure I will never play quite like Jimmy Bruno, I'd like to at least get his sound! I'm considering replacing the Super 58 pickup on my Ibanez® PM-100 with one of your B-6 pickups. Do you recommend replacing the volume pot along with the pickup? What about the tone pot - is there a special one for the B-6? Should I use a 250 or 500K pot? Lastly, what capacitors work best?
Traditionally, 500K pots have always been used for dual coil humbuckers and 250K pots have been used for single coils. More recently, players have begun using 250K pots for humbuckers because they prefer the smoother taper or more gradual change in volume response. They find it particularly useful for effects like volume swells and feel it is easier to use when making quick adjustments during a gig. In reality, either value will work; the 500K will give a slightly brighter tone and a miniscule amount of extra output and the 250K will give a smoother taper for volume changes. We recommend a .022 uf capacitor, though higher volumes can be used for a more drastic high end rolloff when usong your tone control.
Do you sell volume knobs? Tone knobs?
Volume and tone control knobs are available, in all the popular styles, from most musical instrument retailers. Benedetto’s mini-Ebonova™ knobs are currently not available but he intends to include them in a Benedetto product line sometime in the not-too-distant future.
Can I install these pickups myself? I have done various soldering jobs and am pretty handy.
If you have done routine repairs and have soldering experience, you probably will be able to do the installation yourself. If you're not certain, it's best to have them installed by a competent repair/set-up technician. Detailed wiring and installation instructions are included with each pickup.
What type of magnets are used in the B-6 and P.A.F. models? Alnico II? V?
Alnico V is used on all the Benedetto models.
What is the difference between the B-6 and A-6?
Do the A-6, B-6 and P.A.F. come with mounting rings, screws, and springs? If not, where can I get them?
No. Any standard size humbucking mounting ring will work and can be purchased from any music retailer. The built-in pickups include screws amd springs.
Do they come with connector terminals?
No, they terminate with high-quality cable for a solid connection.
Regarding the “S” Series, is it necessary or recommended to install a tone control with the pickups or just a volume control?
In most cases, only a volume control is used. Some players however like having a tone control also. It's a matter of personal preference.
Is there any difference between the S-6 & S-7 models?
No, only the length; the S-7 being longer to accommodate the wider neck.
I want to install one of your humbuckers. Will they fit without any extra work? Would this be a good choice to improve and thicken my sound?
The A-6, B-6, and P.A.F. are standard size humbuckers and will fit a standard size opening of any guitar, so no altering of the existing pickup hole should be necessary. Both the A-6 and B-6 have an incredibly fat, well-balanced mainstream jazz sound and either would dramatically improve the sound.
Can any archtop have a built-in pickup fitted to it?
Yes, but the installation should be done by an experienced professional. The bracing sometimes has to be modified to compensate for the weakness resulting from cutting the pickup hole.
I am building a solid body guitar out of mahogany, koa and ebony woods (similar to Benedetto’s “benny”) and need a neck and bridge pickup combination. I want to achieve a warm, clean sound that responds well to the volume control and the types of woods I've mentioned. I like styles of music that range from country-blues to jazz to R&B. What are your thoughts?
We recommend the A-6 model as it's a very versatile pickup and will nicely accommodate your needs. Fender/Guild uses two A-6’s on the popular Benedetto “benny” model so you know it’s a good choice!
If a guitar is really responsive before installing a built-in pickup, would the instrument's acoustic properties be stifled?
There IS an acoustical compromise when installing a built-in pickup on any guitar. But since some players are better suited to a built-in pickup rather than a suspended model, why think of it as a compromise? If the instrument is being tailored to suit a particular player's needs, it could be viewed as an improvement.
Per Jimmy “Paganini” Bruno himself, when queried about suspended versus built-in pickups on well-made carved archtops:
“I have a 17" Benedetto with the S-7. The sound, when amplified, is more acoustic. On my 16" Benedetto I have a B-7, which is, as you would expect, more electric-sounding. Both guitars do retain the sound of the wood. If you are going to play gigs with drummers, get the B series. If you just want a great pure sound, go with the S Series.”
Do built-in pickups eliminate feedback better than suspended pickups?
Contrary to popular belief, no. It's a fact of life that any full-bodied archtop has potential to feedback. The problem doesn't seem to be related to the instrument's acoustical sensitivity either. Plywood as well as a carved body can feed back and it doesn't matter whether the guitar is fitted with a suspended or built-in pickup.
From a tonal perspective, does the B-6 (or A-6) sound different if installed on a carved guitar or a laminate?
The pickup itself will produce the same sound on either a carved or laminated body. The “voice” of the instrument however (the actual sound we hear), especially at reasonably low volume, is a blend of the amplified sound (the pickup) and the acoustic sound (the sound coming directly from the body). The acoustic sound certainly will be more prevalent on a carved body than a laminated one, but in either case we hear a blend of both.
What are the tonal differences between the Benedetto P.A.F. and the B-6?
The B-6 is basically a “built-in” version of the S-Series. It maintains the same natural acoustic qualities of the instrument. According to Bob, “this pickup is the best sounding jazz pickup I've ever heard. There isn't even a close second.”
I need two pickups. Do I have to reverse the bridge pickup or install it the same as the neck?
The neck and bridge pickups are both the same. For the covered humbuckers (A-6 and P.A.F.), in the neck position the adjustable screws are closest to the guitar’s neck. In the bridge position, reverse the pickup so the screws are near the bridge.
Are there separate neck and bridge pickups available in the different models?
I’d like to see one of the pickups before ordering. I understand you sell the Benedetto pickups direct. Is that true or would I have to go through a dealer?
You can go direct through us or through a dealer. If you need to find a Seymour Duncan / Benedetto dealer near you (and you're in the USA), click here. If you decide to go through us, just click here to order online.
What if I have any other technical questions? Customer Service issues?
You can direct technical questions to email@example.com. For sales and customer service (and sales orders) issues, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Benedetto is a registered trademark of Robert Benedetto and is used,
under exclusive license, by Seymour Duncan / Basslines Pickups.
© 2000 Seymour Duncan.