Port Orchard, WA July 20, 2011 – Sheptone Guitar Pickups announced the release of their revised “Blue Sky” pickups. The Blue Sky set is a set of humbucker pickups built to emulate the tone of Dickey Betts’ famous gold top guitar and appropriately named after the Allman Brothers Band hit song, “Blue Sky”. To add vintage appeal, the Blue Sky set is also available in a fully aged finish at an additional cost.
Where the Sheptone Blue Sky set differs from others is in the details of how the pickups are built. Different wire gauges, different materials and even the number of windings have a great effect on the overall tone of an individual pickup. It was through extensive trial error that Jeff Shepherd, founder of Sheptone was able recreate that elusive sound, with help from diehard Dickey Betts fans Kris and Rob Horvath. Each bobbin is molded from actual, vintage PAF bobbins that even smell like the real thing. The nickel-silver base plates are meticulously reverse engineered from a collection of vintage models. So detailed, they actually include the original tool markings and are stamped exclusively for Sheptone. When asked what sets his product apart from the competition, he replies “There is no such thing as a reproduced PAF. You can buy 10 PAF's and they will all sound different,” referencing the fact that the original manufacturing process was very inconsistent. Shepherd concludes “I have worked to reproduce the tones of only the best sounding PAF’s. My proprietary winding process and tension control ensures Sheptone pickups remain consistent from set to set.”
There are few guitars players in the history of electric guitar that have created such a unique tone; a tone that others spend their life trying to replicate. The tone Dickey Betts creates with that gold top guitar captivated listeners everywhere, including Jeff Shepherd. Shep, as his friends call him, has done his best to bring that holy grail of tone one step closer to the guitarist making their pursuit that much closer.
MSRP $259.00 USD
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A little over seven years ago, Jeff Shepherd found himself in a local band and this is where the quest for tone began. An on-and-off recreational guitar player since the age of 12, the guitars he was playing live just didn’t sound the way he wanted. He purchased a set of 1958 Gibson PAF’s for a ridiculous $4000 to put in his EC-1000 and the difference was incredible. Being the type that likes to tinker and take things apart to see how they work (much to his parents dismay as a child), he began to experiment with winding his own pickups and comparing them to his 1958 originals, back and forth, adjust and re-adjust for over a year until he finally was able to duplicate THAT tone. Since then he has been fortunate enough to extensively analyze over 100 of those old humbuckers, developing a consistent modern recipe as a reasonably priced substitute for over-priced vintage pickups. With a lot of work and some luck along the way, his original curiosity exploded into a full time business, now shipping to every guitar playing country in the world based on word-of-mouth alone. Sheptone has since developed several lines of pickups including Strat, Tele, P90, Bass, and others based on the same principles and procedures. www.sheptone.com