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We designed FRED® to bump the mid-range of the PAF Pro® EQ up a notch, but in the process something unusual happened. Harmonics that humbuckers usually don’t reproduce started popping out, particularly with overdriven amps and distortion units. FRED® has about the same power as the PAF Pro®, but the unusual overtones create a sound with more crank and growl. Joe Satriani was the first player to discover and exploit these qualities, and it’s been his main bridge pickup until the introduction of the Mo' Joe™. FRED® is really sensitive to changes in pick attack and control settings, and its distinctive tone makes a great recorded sound for both penetrating solos and tight rhythm tracks.
FRED® started out as a prototype designed to add a little midrange to the PAF Pro®. When we sent one of the first ones to Joe Satriani, he discovered and exploited a unique tonal characteristic — the ability of the FRED® to emphasize upper midrange and treble harmonics through an overdriven and distorted amp. Many standard humbuckers have a tendency to fatten up with distortion. The FRED® does the opposite; it gets tighter and brighter, much like a single-coil. Joe uses the FRED® strictly as a bridge pickup, but it's also a distinctive neck pickup — it works really well with any humbucker of equal or higher output.