We partnered with Brad Perry to develop his Silver Hand Pickup line because he was doing some absolutely unique things that instantly grabbed our attention. He's an autodidact extraordinaire who's pairing intricate science with some really cool ideas. We were hooked and if you haven't listened to them yet, head over to checkout our pickups and give the demos a listen, you'll be hooked too. So let's meet the man, the myth, the legend... introducing, Brad Perry.
Hey Brad, tell us a little about yourself.
I enjoy deep conversations, romantic dinners, and long walks on the beach.
Sorry, wrong questionnaire.
Like most people probably reading this, I’m a music nerd. I simply love music. My parents got me a guitar for my 13th birthday and ever since my love for music has just kept growing. I also enjoy learning how things work and creating. The combination of those traits led to me designing and winding pickups.
What sort of music are you into?
The good kind! I enjoy a lot of genres and a lot of instruments, so answering this question quickly is always a little tough. I also seem to be able to find artists I enjoy listening to in virtually any genre. The music I usually listen to is generally rock or blues influenced in some way or another.
Are you a musician?
Most days I find time to play some guitar, and I’ve been in and out of bands over the years. I also play bass, a little keys, and dabble in writing arrangements via computer.
What motivated you to start winding pickups?
I was motivated to start winding pickups because of my dissatisfaction with buying pickups that claimed to be something they weren’t. Specifically, I was trying to find a humbucker that gave single coil tones. My initial motive was that simple. From there I just kept building and learning. Once I get interested in something, I get very focused on it.
What is your favorite part of creating pickups?
My favorite part of creating pickups is letting guitar players hear them. Especially with the “Missing Link” series, since most guitar players have heard plenty of humbuckers and single coils, but not a hybrid of the two tones. I also really enjoy sitting down and testing out prototypes. There’s an exciting feeling about playing something new that no one else has experienced yet.
How did you come up with the Missing Link series?
The concept of the Missing Link series actually started out as a happy accident. My first goal in pickup design was to build a single coil in a humbucking package, which is now known as the “Missing Link S”. However, my first prototype for it didn’t quite hit the mark. It didn’t sound like the single coil pickup I was modeling it after, but it definitely didn’t sound like a humbucker either. It was a tone that I had never heard before, and it was a really cool! After finally figuring out how to achieve the Missing Link S, I went back and started experimenting with designs that filled this tonal gap I’d found. The designs that came from that were the “Missing Link”, “Missing Link +”, and “Missing Link ++”.
Where do you think the pickup world is headed?
I think the pickup world is going to continue to open up to new ideas. There are a ton of pickup builders out there, but a lot of them are doing essentially the same thing; cloning vintage designs with modern parts. Right now there’s still a boutique pickup boom via the internet. Eventually these builders are going to be trying to sell the same thing to guitar players multiple times. While this works well for players wanting to chase a specific tone and never stray very far from it, I don’t think it’ll work for the whole guitar playing world. Music is constantly evolving and combining popular elements from the past, and I believe pickups will continue that trend with time.
What are you excited to work on next?
What I’m currently working on has me very excited! I’m working on some P-90 prototypes. We’ve been getting a lot of interest and requests in P-90’s. The designs are shaping up to inherit a lot of the benefits our “Missing Link” series that our humbuckers have...more clarity, definition, and dynamic range than standard P-90’s. I’m also looking forward to designing some more Missing Link designs for both guitar and bass.
Thanks, Brad! If you're an aspiring luthier, a boutique guitar fan, or just curious to learn more, feel free to email me questions for our next post and we'll be happy to answer as best we can.
-Happy playing out there.
The Cigar Box Pickup
Art Stimson: Spokane’s Missing Link in Electric Guitar History
The Back End of 1965
Meet the Bartell Bass
Missing Link ++ Demo from Devin Symanski
Tele pickups with a twist. What makes Silver Hand Tele Pickups stand out?