Tom Anderson VA1 Set
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Tom Anderson VA1 Set

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VA1 Set, Guitar pickups kit from Tom Anderson.


2 user reviews
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Tom Anderson VA1 Set tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Tom Anderson
  • Model: VA1 Set
  • Category: Guitar pickups kits
  • Added in our database on: 06/24/2009

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Tom Anderson VA1 Set user reviews

Average Score:5.0( 5/5 based on 2 reviews )
 2 reviews100 %
tjon90107/16/2011

tjon901's review"A single coil for the modern age"

Tom Anderson VA1 Set
Tom Anderson is one of the best boutique guitar makers out there nowadays. Out in California is making top of the line guitars for clients who demand the best. When you put so much attention and detail into a guitar you dont want to just throw in someone elses pickups. Tom Anderson makes his own pickups also. He has a line of single coils called the VA line. The VA1 is the most well known of these pickups. It is a single coil but it is not designed to sound vintage. This single coil has more of a modern tone to it which is a welcome change to all the vintage voiced single coils out on the market. People in the 60s werent putting in pickups from the 40s in their guitars why should we be trying to. The VA1 is a pretty bright pickup so it is more suited for playing in the neck position. In the neck position the brightness adds some clarity to the natural bassyness of the neck position on the guitar. With this brightness you get a clearer tone from the neck position. This pickup can also be used in the middle position. A good middle pickup is a pickup that can play well with the neck and the bridge because thats what the middle pickup is mostly used for. It can add more bite to the neck position sound for more bass to the bridge position sound. In the bridge position this brightness may be a problem because it may give your guitar a harsh tone that may sound unpleasant. These pickups work well in neutral woods like alder. These pickups will accentuate the natural tone of the wood so if you have a bright guitar the pickup will sound extra bright and so on. If you are looking for a single coil that isnt trying to sound like its 40 years old this is a good choice from a good custom guitar maker.
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Hatsubai05/18/2011

Hatsubai's review"Modern sounding single"

Tom Anderson VA1 Set
The Tom Anderson VA1 is part of the VA series that Anderson offers. It is a pickup aimed at the more modern vintage single coil crowd instead of the super vintage crowd. There are different models available, but the VA1 is probably the most recognized model he offers. It features extra large pole pieces which help give this pickup a unique look and tone.

The Anderson VA1 is a pickup that’s fairly bright sounding. To me, I find that it works best in the neck position than the bridge. Some like the extra brightness in the bridge, but I find it gets a bit too harsh sounding. It has a good output, but it’s not super hot like certain other single coils out there. It’s still very much a classic sounding output when compared to the hotter ones Tom offers.

I tried this pickup in the neck (VA1R) and middle, and they seem to suit these positions best. The pickup has a great vowely sounding character, but it’s not overly woody to the point where you can only play classic blues sounding riffs. It’s clear and precise enough to do super fast solo runs without muddying up like certain singles can do. It combines nicely with both another single and a humbucker to deliver that great in between “quack” sound that Jimi Hendrix helped make famous.

I find that it works best in neutral sounding woods like alder or basswood. To me, these really help make the VA1 shine and give it its true character. Woods like swamp ash and mahogany either mask the characteristics of the VA1 or make it a bit too overly hyped in certain frequencies.

If you’re looking for a more modern sounding single coil that still retains those classic overtones, check out this for the neck or middle position. It should work out perfectly for you.
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