Motor city pickups communications

endofall

Member
Hey guys! Anyone talk to Wade lately? I was wanting to order a new pup from him and was wondering about new models when I noticed several people on Facebook saying they have order pickups form around nov/dec with zero contact with him?
Alternatively does anyone know of another pickup like the MCP 2nd degree black belt or Nasty Nasty?
 

GregM

Member
8-10 weeks for delivery was normal but his wife died not long ago and I know he took some time off. He posted in October that he was just getting back to work, and I'm sure he has quite the back log.
 

Bxlxaxkxe

Active member
Yea the personal life stuff is really rough. Just got a pickup from him a few weeks ago. Took 2-3 months I think, don’t remember exactly when I ordered and honestly forgot about it til it showed up. He’s doing his best.
 

endofall

Member
Yea the personal life stuff is really rough. Just got a pickup from him a few weeks ago. Took 2-3 months I think, don’t remember exactly when I ordered and honestly forgot about it til it showed up. He’s doing his best.

Well it’s good to hear he’s still got stuff going out. Does anyone know much about any of the models he’s currently making? I have owned a Detroiter, afwayu and currently still own a 2nd degree black belt and a Nasty Nasty. I know he’s currently making several other models but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there
 

endofall

Member
I should add that the 2nd degree black belt and the Nasty Nasty have both been my favorite. I find it weird that the NN did not take off more. That pickup sounds absolutely amazing
 

fearhk213

Well-known member
I haven't played a 2nd degree (though I want one), but I do have a NN and have had it in 4 different guitars. Right now I have mine in a neck-through super strat and it sounds killer in there. Maybe a WCR Icebucker would get you what you're looking for if you haven't tried one. I also have those loaded in my LP style guitar. I've also had the NN in that guitar as well too. While the pickups don't sound alike per se, I feel they both can serve in a similar capacity if that makes sense.

The NN & IB are both lower output pickups that hold together well under lots of gain, they track well, and they have some firmness under the pick attack. The NN has more lows and a rounder attack. The Icebucker has more glassiness to its tone and an edgier, more percussive attack. The NN is a little more open with not much gel/glue between the notes. The Icebucker has some good openness to it, but it also has a little more gel/glue. How I see their difference in openness play out is mainly in the way the pickups handle the low end with chunky, heavy gain riffing. The NN's work great with amps with a bit of compression and lots of preamp gain because of all their separation. With drier, more open amps, they can be a bit more challenging to get the low end to give the response most look for with power chords. The IB's seem to get that low chunk a little easier with the drier amps and they do well with amps with lots of compression and gain too. So yeah, the IB may be worth looking into since if seems you're into lower output pickups that hold together and track well under gain.
 

braintheory

Well-known member
I haven't played a 2nd degree (though I want one), but I do have a NN and have had it in 4 different guitars. Right now I have mine in a neck-through super strat and it sounds killer in there. Maybe a WCR Icebucker would get you what you're looking for if you haven't tried one. I also have those loaded in my LP style guitar. I've also had the NN in that guitar as well too. While the pickups don't sound alike per se, I feel they both can serve in a similar capacity if that makes sense.

The NN & IB are both lower output pickups that hold together well under lots of gain, they track well, and they have some firmness under the pick attack. The NN has more lows and a rounder attack. The Icebucker has more glassiness to its tone and an edgier, more percussive attack. The NN is a little more open with not much gel/glue between the notes. The Icebucker has some good openness to it, but it also has a little more gel/glue. How I see their difference in openness play out is mainly in the way the pickups handle the low end with chunky, heavy gain riffing. The NN's work great with amps with a bit of compression and lots of preamp gain because of all their separation. With drier, more open amps, they can be a bit more challenging to get the low end to give the response most look for with power chords. The IB's seem to get that low chunk a little easier with the drier amps and they do well with amps with lots of compression and gain too. So yeah, the IB may be worth looking into since if seems you're into lower output pickups that hold together and track well under gain.
Agreed on the descriptions. I liked the Darkburst best of his lower output pickups and Iron Man for hot ones, but all his pickups sound very good and for my taste the best I’ve tried in that price range. I only use Tone Specific myself for current made pickups, but they’re almost twice the price, but for me well worth it

It’s been a while now since I last had any Wagner’s, but I remember the Darkburst having more pleasing mids and frequencies to me overall compared to his other low output sets, a little more complex tone and similarly tight and articulate to the others and in some ways more versatile. Definitely also my favorite neck pickup by him
 

endofall

Member
Thanks for the help guys! I might check out the Icebucker. This would be going into my Les Paul Custom. Right now I have a Dimarzio Fortitude in it which is actually really close to the Nasty Nasty, the biggest difference is that it doesn’t have quite as much lows and the attack isn’t as percussive/sharp as the nasty nasty.
 

fearhk213

Well-known member
Thanks for the help guys! I might check out the Icebucker. This would be going into my Les Paul Custom. Right now I have a Dimarzio Fortitude in it which is actually really close to the Nasty Nasty, the biggest difference is that it doesn’t have quite as much lows and the attack isn’t as percussive/sharp as the nasty nasty.
I gigged a Les Paul Custom with an Icebucker set for a while and it was great in there. As long as it's not an overly bright & lean guitar it should be good. The Icebucker isn't thin, but it likely wouldn't be my first choice to warm or fatten anything up. I'd say it works best in guitars that are naturally balanced/neutral to warm.

I've been curious about the Fortitude myself but haven't played one. Continuing with the Nasty Nasty comparison, is the Fortitude also a little tighter and more mid forward?
 

endofall

Member
I gigged a Les Paul Custom with an Icebucker set for a while and it was great in there. As long as it's not an overly bright & lean guitar it should be good. The Icebucker isn't thin, but it likely wouldn't be my first choice to warm or fatten anything up. I'd say it works best in guitars that are naturally balanced/neutral to warm.

I've been curious about the Fortitude myself but haven't played one. Continuing with the Nasty Nasty comparison, is the Fortitude also a little tighter and more mid forward?
The fortitude has some similarities with the Nasty Nasty, but I would say it is closer to the 2nd degree black belt. It hits a lot harder than its resistance rating, and is really well balanced with a lot of string definition. Right now I have the fortitude in my Les Paul Custom and the Nasty Nasty in a Les Paul Standard. when going back and forward with both guitars I wouldn't really have to change the eq of the amp but the Nasty Nasty mids are a bit more pissed off and it does have a touch more lows.
 
Last thing I ordered from Wade was an Angel Dust set back in 2018. Fantastic pickups. His service can take some time without a lot of communication. I’m not knocking the guy, as he does eventually make good on his deliveries but it can take some time.
 
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romanianreaper

Well-known member
I have 2nd Degree Blackbelts in my Les Paul (that Buckeyedog installed for me several years ago!! :) ) and they absolutely destroy. They are the epitome of having a pickup that can do heavy but is still "clean". Lower output but great for Alice in Chains, etc. (not modern metal). I really dig them. My have a JB in my Charvel and the 2nd Degree Blackbelt sounds more organic but with less output. Still is awesome
 

panhead

Well-known member
These are good pickups, I had bbelt and then arcanes in a Trussart. I then finally purchased a set of Tom Holmes/ gameover. There is no comparison.
 

braintheory

Well-known member
These are good pickups, I had bbelt and then arcanes in a Trussart. I then finally purchased a set of Tom Holmes/ gameover. There is no comparison.
I had a similar experience. Had lots of pickups from both Motor City and Arcane’s and liked both, but liked the Arcane’s even more, but eventually I got Virgil Arlo’s that sent all the pickups I had at the time packing and then later I got Tone Specifics, which I liked even a little bit more and sold the Arlos. I’ve admittedly not tried Holmes, but several guys I’ve talked to that tried both preferred the Virgil Arlo’s to the Holmes. The only pickups I’d want now that I don’t have would be some real deal vintage stuff that I wouldn’t wanna spend that much on anyway
 

Emg77

Active member
Ive reached out to Wade 3 or 4 times over the years to inquire about picking up a set of pickups. Not once have I received a response from him.

In contrast, every time I have reached out to Wolfe from Wolfetone I have gotten a response with eagerness to assist in a purchase of his pickups. I think his pickups sound outstanding. I love them. The only problem I have with Wolfetone is he doesn't wind F Spaced pickups!

I guess for me if I'm going to be spending money, I appreciate a bit of acknowledgement,
 

braintheory

Well-known member
Ive reached out to Wade 3 or 4 times over the years to inquire about picking up a set of pickups. Not once have I received a response from him.

In contrast, every time I have reached out to Wolfe from Wolfetone I have gotten a response with eagerness to assist in a purchase of his pickups. I think his pickups sound outstanding. I love them. The only problem I have with Wolfetone is he doesn't wind F Spaced pickups!

I guess for me if I'm going to be spending money, I appreciate a bit of acknowledgement,
I liked the Wolfetones better than the Motor City’s anyway. Those and the Jim Wagners were probably my favorite pickups in that price range. Most of the Wagners I think can be had with f-spacing. Every time I’ve ordered from him they arrived within a week and he’s always been very nice and pleasant to deal with
 
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