Guitar Pickup technology is not rocket science.
It’s a tried and true system that remained largely unchanged since the introduction of active pickups in the late 70s – although most of today’s guitarists prefer much earlier versions, i.e. one of the infinite reinterpretations of the single coil, P90 or humbucker pickups that were invented in the 1920s. (50s, for the humbucker).
Without entering the debate of wether it is worth or not to spend a lot of money in expensive pickups, it is a fact that the technology has not evolved significantly in decades.
Even “innovative” solutions as Fishman Fluence aim to re-intepret tried and true sounds of the past, without adding the typical 60 cycle hum of traditional single coil design.
A Little Thunder
Kudos to A Little Thunder, then, for trying to innovate guitar pickups.
The aim of this battery powered humbucker is to pitch the lowest note you play (on guitar 5th or 6th strings) down 1 or 2 octaves, in real time, adding “a little thunder” (a little bass) to your standard guitar sound.
While the pickup has been on the market for some time now, version 2.0 of A Little Thunder, which started shipping less than one month ago (November 2017 is the time of writing), sports some very interesting new features:
- Capacitive touch for easy on/off operation
- Low Note Priority Mode option (In this mode, only the lowest note being played between E or A string receives the bass application)
- Micro USB for charge port/data transfer
- Ultra high density Lithium Polymer Prism cell battery
- LED indicators
- Alnico V Humbucker for organic signal is 8.2k DC resistance
- Firmware updatable to assign external pickup control
Furthermore, the new version has been re-designed for a better bass response and better note tracking.
“Classic” operation is entirely possible – in that case, A little Thunder operates as a standard Alnico V medium output humbucker, and you can activate it by touching its cover.
No need for additional routing of the guitar – the pickup is standard size.
Even more interestingly, you can add a sound hole adapter to your order and install A Little Thunder on acoustic guitar as well.