Curtis Novak Bi-Sonic Pickups: Part One

Hello! Jonathan here with something a little different; today we're investigating an often overlooked or taken-for-granted element of one's signal path: the pickups. More specifically, this is the first of a few segments focusing on the bad-ass Curtis Novak Bi-Sonic pickup.

Photo credit: Curtis Novak

Photo credit: Curtis Novak

Juan and I have both been obsessed with the mysteries of the original Bi-Sonic design for years, which doesn't really make us too unusual within the bass community; these pickups have had a cult following since their introduction back in the 60's...and with good reason, as they certainly impart their uniqueness in tone, aesthetics and mojo alike. I recommend checking out the mighty bass of Jack Casady on the Jefferson Airplane live album 'Bless Its Pointed Little Head' for one of the most 'classic' representations of the Bi-Sonic's righteous power (although early Allman Bros and Dead albums will shed much light as well).

Photo credit: Curtis Novak

Photo credit: Curtis Novak

In the past year or so I've gotten acquainted with Curtis Novak, a passionate pickup builder and fountain of knowledge in that department, not to mention a really swell dude. Out In the desert near Joshua Tree, CA he and his wife Sheri hand build an extensive menu of pickup designs including his version of the Bi-Sonic, following up where Fred Hammon- the last builder to tackle and produce the design- had left off with his coveted Dark Star model. 

This video segment finds Juan and I discussing our discovery of and journey through the Bi-Sonic/Dark Star world and we show a little of what they can do, in part 2 I go out to Curtis Novak's shop and get an in-depth tutorial on the Bi-Sonic from the man himself. Thanks for tuning in! 

-Jonathan