Pickup Tone Multiplier: 35 Tones in a Stratocaster, Really?

As a guitarist you can be the old school only-analog kinda player or the high tech full of switches & digital-modellers kinda guy, and you can be in between! At least that’s what I thought when I stumbled upon the Pickup Tone MultiplierTM at awesome-guitars.com. Basically, the Pickup Tone Multiplier is a switching system that enhances the tone possibilities for 3-pickups & 2-pickups guitars or basses. It comes as a kit containing 2 sets of 3 switches in a row:

  • First row normal phase/reverse phase switching & series/parrallel switching
  • Second row is on/off

That’s a nice idea despite the fact that multiplying the switches can be tricky either to properly do the mod yourself or to just remember the different positions once you’re on stage! But to be honest I checked the videos on the Awesome Guitars Youtube channel, and if I rely on the samples I am not really conviced by the system.

For example, when you combine the bridge, and middle strat single coil pickups in series + normal phase you will obviously get more output. Does that mean that it sounds like a humbucker? I’d say not even close but I’ll be glad to be wrong on this one, and to be proven the contrary!

Beyond these considerations, I had a big smile on my face while visiting the website to get more information about the PTM system… It was like travelling back to the late ’90s. Look at the website design, and the “excessively marketed” content… It has the whole package! Here are a couple of quotes that made me laugh, and a little bit sad at the same time!

  • “This is the greatest thing since Les Paul invented the solid body electric guitar in 1941” – Hmmm I doubt that!! Henry J. said the Firebird X is the greatest thing since Les Paul’s log!
  • “This Switching System is so revolutionary, I was awarded a patent by the United States Patent Office” – Let’s forget the fact that a patent is not exactly an award, and have fun with some funny patents & inventions! However I admit it’s great to be the proprietor of a patent!
  • “Are More Pickup Tones Important? In a word, YES! If it were not important, you would be buying 1-pickup guitars” – Oh my oh my… I’d kill to get the tone of a 1-pickup LP Junior! But hey… That’s just me!
  • “After you install our revolutionary patented PTM Switching System into your guitar, you’ll think that it is “powered” by a tone nuclear reactor!” – I’m still trying to figure out why would that be so great to think that!!
  • “I believe this is the switching method that Leo Fender really would have wanted” – Funny when you think that the genius of Leo Fender was a “keep it simple” approach!
  • “Compared to your competitors who only has the “same old 5 pickup tones” to choose from, you will be light years ahead of all of them them. This will quickly lead to more bookings, more income and more recognition” – I have to say that I thought he was selling a how-to-get-more-income-from-your-blog-ebook kinda crap!

I’m not trying to be mean by featuring that list but ain’t that some of the most hilarious marketing routines? It looks like the very same kind of junk we receive everyday in our email… Yeah that one that promises to make your erectile tissue even more harder!

  • The idea: not that bad after all, especially for those who are looking for the most versatile guitar!
  • The “Package”: Keep it simple people… We want nice products with clear information not some vague & colorful burbling that you’ve got straight from the worst marketing manual!
  • Just because you say it is a revolution doesn’t necessarily means that it is one! I don’t this obsession for revolutions!

Sometimes all this crap makes me really really sad! Hence this little rant to end the year…

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