jerry amalfitano

"I am a native New Yorker and together with my wife, relocated to the Dallas/Fort Worth area in 1995. We purchased a new house, and in 1999 were blessed with a beautiful son.

I started fiddling with guitars in 1972 and today I build and repair them and have about 23 in my collection. I maintain all of my guitars, some of which are newer originals and some are older vintage ones. I've improved six of them by installing my own pickups and am very satisfied with their tone. I consider myself fortunate to have the knowledge and ability to build custom pickups.

I have been in the technical field of commercial aviation since 1983 and apply this professional discipline and experience to my customers needs. I have the capabilities to custom-build a guitar pickup to meet your specific requirements."

Jerry Amalfitano is an unassuming guy. As soon as you meet him, he's telling you, almost apologetically, "I didn't know anything about making pickups when I started this; I just wanted to make the best pickups I could." That is both a worthy goal and a tall order, but Jerry seems to have given us full measure with his SP set of Strat pickups.

The SPs, along with the rest of Amalfitano's pickups, are scatter-wound, which the Amalfitano website describes as a "hand-wound, non-uniform, wire layering technique." This method more closely replicates the way that vintage pickups were originally manufactured. Leo Fender wasn't able to purchase winding machines at the local Sears and Roebucks; he had to make them, and they weren't very precise. Jerry has explored this concept with incredible results.

Why should someone buy a set of Amalfitanos out of all the boutique options out there?

According to Jerry: "I think it's just about great tone -- a lot of guitar builders and professional musicians like them and use them. I've had great reviews so far, but I gotta say, tone is subjective. Your ear might think they're great, but somebody else's might think they're not. And that's not a problem with me. That's why there are so many out there. They all have a following -- you know, people say, "I love my Lollars." "Well that's good," I tell them, "don't change them then." Pickups aren't that complicated and it's not rocket science. It's just magnets and wire, but what gives them their tone is in the pickup maker's specs -- where you stop winding, your magnet strength, your magnet heights, your wire tension and your scatterwinding technique. This all shapes the tone at the end, and mine are just very musical and articulate. You can strum your guitar and hear every note ring out -- it's that clarity, and players like that."