photo courtesy of Craig Buzzart
The Dan Armstrong 'London' series guitars and basses employ pickups that are a double-coil humbucker design pickup that features adjustable pole pieces on both coils as can be seen here on the guiar pickup. Although wired as humbuckers from the factory, they feature multi-wire capability for other wiring options. These pickups are a low impedence design that came equipped with impedence matching transformers to allow them to plug into conventional amplifiers.

When Mutron® closed its doors in the late 1970's Mike Biegle of Biegle Labs® introduced Dan Armstrong to Shel Horlick of Schecter Research® and together they marketed a series of pickups called the Z Plus®.

Contraversy exists today as to whether the prototypes were designed and built by Kent or Dan Armstrong. Whichever one it was, the originals were encased in a translucent green epoxy and were eventually produced in an all solid black cast with 12 black allen screw type pole pieces.

Seen at left are a pair of Z Plus pickups that came bundled in a package which was sold as an entire wiring assembly. To the right of the pickups a brass grounding plate holds volume & tone pots as well as wiring for multiple switching capabilities and sounds.

Later, as the 80's progressed onward, Dan began making his Master Series® pickups which were again available in a solid black cast, but this time with a totally enclosed cover that featured his name in the lower corner. These pickups were known as the DA001, DA002, & DA003 Arsenal® pickups, as well as the DA005, DA010 Animator® pickups. The DA010 Animator II pickup can be seen at left.

These pickups feature a patented principle called 'String Aligned Fields' which, according to literature greatly reduces the usual magnetic pull on the strings. As a result, the string is allowed to sustain as long as possible.

The string aligned field also allows the magnet to operate more efficiently which produces very high output and a fullbodied tone without the loss of any treble.

These pickups are reminiscent of his earlier pickups used on the Ampeg acrylic instruments, in that they are a fully enclosed unit only unlike the earlier pickups these do not have the female banana plugs. Instead, they have solid coil leads that protrude from the bottom side of the pickup and allow a myrid different wiring combinations. Seen here the pickup is shown upside-down and one can see the 4 coil leads protruding from the pickup allowing for a mulitude of wiring combinations. Notice the letter 'B' scratched into the bottom of the pickup - no doubt making this the bridge pickup in the last guitar it was in.

Single coil versions were also available, as well as popular for at about the same point in time Dan was enjoying great success with a wiring scheme for Fender Stratocaster® guitars called the Dan Armstrong Super Strat.

These single coil pickups, like the aforementioned humbucking pickups were all marketed through St. Louis Music who had acquired Ampeg at the time.

In the late 1980's Dan came out with the Rock Monster® pickup. A massive 3 coil humbucker meant for the bridge position. Molded the same way, with the cast and black plastic cover, the differences are within, as guitarists could utilize a myrid of coil combinations and switching capabilities that are available.

On the right, and seen from the underside, lead wires can be seen soldered to three pins per side that make up the three single coil pickups. This pickup, along with another, the Mini® which is a miniture humbucking pickup specifically meant for the neck position can be seen at upper left. These were sold through St. Louis Music - who had aquired not only Ampeg, but also Westone® instruments and the Rock Monster as well as the Mini pickups eventually made their way onto the Westone / Dan Armstrong Signature' guitars.


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