I found this pickup in a local music store and paid $48 for it. I had heard good things about it on other guitar gear review pages and wanted to try one. I also own other pickups made by this company and knew that they make high quality products.
This pickup is brand new and is still made by the original company that first produced it 20+ years ago, Bill Lawrence Guitar Pickups company (www.billlawrenceusa.com), aka Bill Lawrence Products, previously known as Lawrence Sound Research and Lawrence Electro Sound. It says Bill Lawrence USA in white letters on the front and in raised letters on the back.
This is my first Bill Lawrence L-500XL and I've installed it in a home made two-pickup guitar. Im very impressed. I used it to replace a Schaller humbucker and the difference is amazing. The L-500XL is bright and full of harmonics every note just sparkles. The Schaller was bright sounding but not as musical as the L-500XL. This is the loudest pickup Ive ever owned but it is still very clear, not muddy. Ive been able to get screaming blues tones, jangly Beatles tones and singing Santana tones from it, depending on the amount of gain and compression applied. I can also get great Tele-like country lead tones. Combining this pickup with the neck pickup (single-bladed Bill Lawrence L-250) produces nice Les Paul-ish quack. The L-500XL has two blades instead of pole pieces, the blades are flat and signal response is very even from string to string. This guitar has never sounded better.
Ive read reviews of this pickup in which people complained that its too trebly. But the guitar Ive installed it in is very lightweight (just over 7 lbs) and has NO TONE POT, and I can still keep the treble under control I just turn down the treble on my amp. It is much brighter sounding than the HFS bridge pickup in my PRS CE-24, but is only about as trebly as the Schaller it replaced. Ive also read complaints about these pickups squealing, but I havent experienced that with this pickup. Hard to believe it could ever be microphonic because the coils are totally embedded in resin inside the covers.
There is nothing that I don't like about this pickup. It's great.
It's built like a rock. The coils are sealed inside the cover (just like the L-250's that I own, made by the same company). No chance of coils ever coming loose or getting broken.
I highly recommend this pickup to anyone looking for a high output bridge position humbucker with clean, sparkly tone.
(Originally written by ozzy ozburne/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
I mounted it on a '87 Hamer Steve Stevens and I can reassure you that it sounds amazing. After lots of experiences with this excellent guitar: PRS HFS, Suhr dsh+, Prs #6 (excellent pickup, I wanted to keep it on this Hamer before I tested the XL500...), Gibson HBL (I love it), etc.
I find this pickup has a very close sound to the old Dirty Finger of my LP R7. Big sound, high output level, full sound with solid lows, compact mids and thick highs. With a CTS volume pot, a good condenser on the tone pot and a small modification (treble bleed, see Seymour Duncan's homepage) to have a progressive volume control, I get a typical Les Paul sound with a small and light guitar.
I own the two pickups that carry the same name (Bill Lawrence 500XL USA and Bill Lawrence 500XL Bill and Becky, I bought them on their website) and I compared them with the same amp and guitar.
I didn't do a research on the web to learn more about these pickups... I just play these pickups with my guitars. That's it.
I've been playing since 1992 and I have a good setup (NOS, VHT, Bogner). I mounted the pickup on my Les Paul.
The US version is a good pickup. It has a good punch but it sounds a bit too dry. It's perfect for distortion, IMO. Good pickup!
With the same guitar, the Bill and Becky is much warmer. It has the same power but it sounds more open and fuller, it has more dynamics and presence (especially during band rehearsals). The sound is clearer and more balanced and it simply cuts through better.
It's a powerful pickup without overdoing it (the US version tends to be more aggressive). It crunches very well because its mid range is perfect.
The Bill and Becky can do everything the USA can and much more.
I agree with the previous review. It's an excellent pickup. FYI the B and B version can be easily recognized by its logo.
Last remark: It's not true that you have to wait months for delivery. I bought my B and B two years ago. I wanted a Zebra 500XL but it wasn't available. Becky offered me the chrome version for the same price even though it's more expensive. B and B pickups are handcrafted in small quantities. I love it. That's why I chose NOS for my 2x12" cabinet.
I don't mind the wait (it was only one week)
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canibalism's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Well we say ke my first post market has pa fé shit since mid javai two hours typing ... good
I etai in total confusion here is kelkes months because I voulai replace the original emg esp ltd kirk on my ki hammet between ourselves are quite merdikes drafts ... so I say the voulai a microphone with a BIG sound accurate enough even kd because I play the brutal technical death and avalanches of notes on the very low strings (1ton below) will ring with pa tt microphones (g jackson randhy roads also equipped with EMG 81 ... well frankly kd Quick playing ds severe mite is nothing ... I men vai forums reviews and I voi ke l 500 xl na pa ... assz potato is good clean sound pa ... pa enough precis ... crakement clean sound (lol) I vai to tt the world daccord
I am connected to a live pod ds mixer / sound card / computer and the sound comes out of 4 monitor speakers (g sold my group fault amp, with this configuration g sound very very correct without poke my eardrums) in output level is equal to the upper view EMG 81 (I avai signal ds cubase) with much more low (so very very big sound) better definition (grain rather unusual but very very good) asure thoroughly ds severe as in acute and combines wonderfully subtle mix of finesse and brutalitée which is so dear to me
por those ki want a demonstration listen to the song raped in her own blood on the http://www.myspace.com/butchersex entierrement guitars are made with this microphone, the other songs are performed with emg esp original note the difference (I used it the sui jackson for any recording (javai envi test my new skyscrapers hehe))
So here I put him 9, the 81 6 (ke vs vs reperiez)
dackerir before this micro g tried a hzh4..bon emg but convinced my pa, di Marzio évolution..un little cold (although I did ke pa tried on my setup but good jme sui made an idea)
here is my choice c focused on this bill lawrence beyond my faith in my attentes..je etai trusted me more is known of the EMG 81 before buying ben g was a little disappointed not to c if c a pleasure to play with this microphone, tt harmonikes out only in short ke happiness and I do it again this choice without hesitation!
here I hope ke vs aider..stay gonna fucking brutal..saludos locos !!!
Personally I prefer the real Bill lawrence: not marked Bill lawrence USA: who is regarded as the real Bill lawrence! An apparent rift between the two partners that the other partner, which I forgot the name !! , Also released its microphones with the same name: the galley good day to find out who does what: apparently, and after consulting the forums: micro Bill Lawrence UESA marked as such on the mic is what her partner: namely when you buy !! .dropoff Window
it's still a good microphone for rock but significantly coarser than the original.