The historic collaboration between TV Jones and Chet Atkins’ “right-hand man,” Paul Yandell, is now complete. Tom “TV” Jones is proud to announce the release of the Paul Yandell “Duo-Tron” pickup ($150 retail).
The project between Jones and Yandell began in 2009, and upon Yandell’s passing in 2011, his family reached out to Jones to complete the project. “The Duo-Tron,” (as Mr. Yandell called the pickup while in development) is a significantly historic pickup, and is directly related to the very first patented “humbucking” electric-guitar pickup invented by close Yandell friend and legendary inventor, Mr. Ray Butts.
The unique and proprietary design links to Yandell’s earlier collaborations with Butts, whose initial concept is laid out in his original patent drawings (No. 2,892,371, filed Jan. 22, 1957 and awarded June 30, 1959). After Butts’ passing, Jones was bequeathed pickup parts, tooling, and other items by Ray’s daughter, Katha House, and his grandson, James House. All items are housed at the TV Jones headquarters today.
The pickup features a combination of pole screws and blades across the string range that perfectly accommodates the fingerpicking techniques mastered by Atkins, Yandell, and other greats. The design provides players of all genres with unprecedented clarity and attack across all strings.
“The hallmark of the Yandell/Duo-Tron neck pickup,” said Jones, “is that the player won't lose any sensitivity bending the treble strings. You’ll notice a fuller, bolder response that affects both sound — and equally important — feel. On the bass side, I’ve dialed in a tone directly reminiscent of Ray’s original Filter’Tron, but with a touch more dynamic attack — it’s a little more focused and rounded. Remember, this pickup was developed by a master fingerpicker for none other than Chet Atkins. It has nice a dynamic pop in the bass, and full-bodied tone for melody.”
I know Paul would be so pleased,” said his widow, Marie Yandell. “Paul really wanted Tom to produce this pickup. He thought Tom was the greatest, and he just loved talking to him and working with him from the very first time they met. He was so impressed with Tom’s creativeness and knowledge.”
The pickup was first unveiled at this summer’s Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) gala in Nashville, Tenn., July 12, 2014.
“Nobody was closer to Chet than Paul,” said Atkins’ daughter, Merle Atkins Russell. “He was literally a lifelong friend, and his right-hand man.”
Further honoring the deeply historic nature of this pickup, TV Jones enlisted the design services of Nashville’s Hatch Show Print, commissioning a special poster commemorating the project. The special design will also be featured on each Duo-Tron box.
Paul Yandell (left) with Tom "TV" Jones.