Our goal is to reinvent the guitar pickup.

Our history

Dialtone Pickups was founded by John Liptac, a physicist and engineer who wasn't perfectly happy with the way his favorite guitar sounded.

After some initial research and quickly figuring out that no product on the market would get him the very particular sound he wanted, he began thinking about a new approach to adjusting tone in an electric guitar. He had three priorities: (1) simplicity, (2) quick access, and (3) an ability to adjust tone extensively enough to make it very likely that he'd find the one he was looking for. These three conditions meant that he needed to build the functionality directly into his guitar without making additional modifications or using external components, like a pedal.

Originally, John had no plans to make a retail product out of his idea. He just wanted to find the right tone for his guitar. But considering the amount of work he and co-founder Tory Taylor had put into designing, prototyping, and eventually launching the product, the energy and enthusiasm that came with inventing a really cool device, and the usefulness of the pickup once we got it up and running, we decided to move forward with developing something we could share with other guitar players and maybe even turn into a profitable business.

Our future

After a promising but admittedly rocky start - a Kickstarter campaign we cancelled because we really didn't know how to market or advertise our idea and a lot of money spent on small production manufacturing in California during our first year - we've decided to go back to focusing on what we're good at, and what we enjoy most: research and development. The cost of manufacturing and putting together a retail item ended up exceeding (ahem... far exceeding) any sales revenue. And from coming up with in-store displays to feeling pressure to cut costs where we really didn't want to, we eventually realized we weren't having much fun anymore. We got so sidetracked with the 'business' side of, well, business that we'd lost our spark. So we're getting back on track with R&D and we're excited to get back to our late-night, probably-too-much-wine-involved prototyping sessions; not caring about the nerdy-ness of what we post on social media or if someone doesn't like what we're doing; and hopefully continuing to break ground in the guitar pickup technology world. 

Our goal is to make the first 'smart' pickup, as in the control center of an electric guitar. There's a lot of potential there for not only access to tone, but other controls as well. We're actively taking steps to move the Dialtone concept in that direction -- stay tuned!

More about the v3.0 Dialtone humbucker

What it does

In a guitar pickup, tone is primarily characterized by two technical values - resonant frequency and Q-value (together, called frequency response.) Previously, these values were determined solely by how a pickup was physically constructed - the type of magnets used, coils, and so on. Further, these values could not be adjusted without changing the physical build of the pickup. Dialtone's patent-pending design and technology is the first/only pickup that allows users to adjust resonant frequency and Q-value on the fly, providing access to an impressively wide range of sounds and allowing players to color and enhance the natural tones already contained (but previously constricted) within their guitars.

Tone control at your fingertips

With a resonant frequency range of 317-5,000 and Q-value range of 0.33-7.43, each Dialtone pickup technically provides access to infinite tones - practically, this translates to thousands of great combinations using the two dials built in to each pickup. Once the desired setting is found, the dials can be locked in place, or left unlocked for on-the-fly access to adjustments. Dialtone's pickups provide impressive harmonics and sustain, but are also easily capable of crunchy, beefy tones best suited for playing with distortion. Dialtone offers the only guitar pickup with built-in gain adjustment, providing up to 28x gain through a control knob on the body of the guitar.

Dialtone pickups are so versatile, that they make me want to play my guitar more! I have so much control over my sound that I dabble in new styles and genres because I can find all the sounds that I associate with certain styles of music in my one guitar! They’re quiet and powerful at the same time. I can make them rage or sing sweetly with the turn of a knob! They’re the ultimate tone machines!
— Brandon K McCullough, Blues Musician