UPDATE Dec-2022: Available now. Kinman's Universal P-90 \ Soapbar as well as our new Jaguar covers ....
Our Injection Molds are completed for own own Universal Soapbar cover that has the 7mm radius corners and authentic Gibson cream color, as well as White, Parchment, Aged White and Black. And we have delivery of our fabulous new covers.
We also now have our own Jaguar covers that don't require modifying the opening in the pickguard. Available in Warm White, Aged White, Parchment, Gibson Cream and Black. Additionally, we can now supply 52.5mm, 51mm and 49.5mm magnet spreads in any color to suit any type of bridge (wide Vintage or modern narrow such as Mastery, Tune-O-Matic and so on)
We are gluttons for punishment wouldn’t you say?
The original article: One customer asked us about the price of our Stratocaster pickup covers. One must be aware that we do not use generic covers, our's are unique. We use vintage material and they have vintage appearance but are necessarily taller than vintage. That means we had three expensive molds made, one for each magnet spread.
First there is the high cost of the meticulously hand polished (hard tool steel) molds and moldbase themselves. And then consider this, Injection molding is not a hard n fast science, it's a mix of black magic, experience, intuition, science, luck and the ability to color match to reference colors. Color matching is a persistent headache and causes us ongoing big trouble since day one back circa 2001. As well as that fine tuning the many molding parameters of the injection machine to achieve an acceptable surface finish and dimensions can take hours. To get these parameters right the molder will make 2 to 300 covers that get thrown away before they start producing good ones. Do you know the normal human eye can detect 1,000 color variations of common White? And in the meantime their machine sits idle until a new batch of colorant is brewed up. There is a lot of wastage in terms of materials and time in matching colors and getting the molding parameters right.
We have had 12 different molding companies since 2001 and now we are looking for number 13 because no-one wants to mold our covers. They say it's too much headache and trouble for them in the relatively small numbers we order (still in the thousands but they want a minimum of 100,000 to be viable and cost effective).
The last company to ditch us jacked their prices up 300% and then after they delivered our order told us to go somewhere else.
By rights the old price of our covers, a low $5 each, should be double or even triple and we have increase prices just to cover our costs. I recently came across a Japanese company selling Soapbar P-90 covers for $60 each, imagine that!!! Apparently there are pickup makers who pay it to get a top quality cover. Have you heard of ThroBack pickups, he charges $80 for humbucker covers and $60 for Soapbar P-90 covers. Even Gibson charge $36 for Cream Soapbar covers.
It's pretty obvious we are not the only ones to experience the difficulties encountered in injection molding covers in lower than the usual 100,000 plus quantities that are needed for the plastics industry.
Onwards and upwards. All the best, Joe (Customer Care and Technical Help Desk)