Tone Perfection 5


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Bartolini Pickups and Electronics are recognized around the world as the standard in guitar and bass guitar tone with the broadest selection to fit almost any instrument and sound. Based in San Luis Obispo, California, Bartolini builds pickups and electronics for some of the most respected luthiers around the world and also supply to service-oriented retailers who offer upgrades and replacement parts. All our products are 100% USA manufactured and supported. Our mission is to offer superior tone for musicians playing stringed instruments worldwide; for all genres of music. Our comprehensive product line of pickups and electronics can be mixed and matched to express the individuality of any player.

Guitar Pickups- Humbuckers, Strat®, P-90, Jazz, and Acoustic

Bass Pickups- J-Bass®, P-Bass®, Music Man®, Soapbars, Rickenbacker®

… We offer pickups for 4, 5, 6 & 7-string basses

Pre-Wired Harnesses- We offer over 26 different pre-wired harnesses, varying by number and configuration of volume and tone controls, EQ, and active/passive options.

Electronic Modules- Pre-Amps, 2-Band & 3-Band Equalizers, & Buffers

Company History

Company History


In 1973 Bill Bartolini began manufacturing magnetic pickups after 11 years of part-time research in the acoustics of nylon string instruments, speaker cabinets, power amplifiers and polyphonic pickups. During his first year, he made only quadraphonic and hexaphonic (Hi-A label) pickups.

In 1975 we brought out our first monophonic designs under the Hi-A label. In 1978 we discontinued the Hi-A label. From the beginning, and always in response to the needs of many excellent musicians, we have continued to expand our catalog of pickups and electronics.

In 1975 we introduced square-wave magnetic pulse testing for magnetic pickups, expanding upon our description of the impedance curve for these pickups. Shortly afterwards we introduced the mechanical string picker to the field of pickup testing.

In 1977 we introduced the first electronic (preamplified) pickup with parametric bandpass enhancement (the EVQ). These pickups were also some of our earliest hum canceller designs in large humbucker size. The EVQ and related designs were discontinued later as our on-board preamps began to provide wider tonal range and more versatile application.

Toward the end of 1980 we started manufacturing vertical hum canceller designs such as our 3AV acoustics, 3XV Fender Strat* replacements and 9V J-Bass* replacements. Shortly afterward we introduced the 94J, our quadraphonic for J-Basses*.

In 1981 we brought out our Laminated Core humbuckers, adding the choice of upper midrange enhancement to the smoother response of our previous designs. In the next year, after extensive experimentation with the sound requirements of several New Wave and Heavy Metal guitarists, we developed a pickup specifically tailored for power guitar tone (these developed into the E88, E90 and E90-D series) and a distortion effect (the Tube-It) that was appreciated by many musicians at that time.

With our roots firmly in mind, in 1982 we presented the results of our experiments with Classic and Flamenco guitars at a meeting of the Catgut Acoustical Society in DeKalb, Illinois. These results and many other scientific inquiries into the acoustics of guitars and violins were then published in the Journal of Guitar Acoustics**.We continued the work on nylon string instruments with an electronic device capable of controlling the attack, decay and tonal characteristics of solid body instruments to duplicate the sound of the best acoustic instruments.

In 2012, Clyde Clark became President of Bartolini Inc. We now operate two manufacturing facilities in California; one in Livermore and one in San Luis Obispo. We continue to computerize our quality control and test departments as well as our component selection.

“We deeply thank all the musicians, repairmen, luthiers and manufacturers whose thoughtful requests and suggestions have helped to develop and improve our products.”  -Pat and Bill Bartolini

Clyde Clark, Bartolini

Clyde Clark is President of Bartolini Inc.

- – Engineer, Woodworker & Luthier, Musician, Businessman – -

Clyde has been a successful business manager and an engineer for over 20 years in high-tech digital and analog electronics design and development. He has in-depth experience with mechanical engineering, industrial design, manufacturing  engineering, computer system architecture, project team development, and management.

He is an inventor with multiple patents.

He has a BS in Electronics Engineering from Cal Poly, SLO, with a minor in music recording and synthesis.

Clyde ran a wood-working and cabinet shop called Custom Pride Woodworks.

He is a Luthier – Bass and guitar parts, repairs, finishing

He is a Musician – Guitarist & Bass Player