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Gojira guitarist and lead vocalist Joe Duplantier favors the tonality and nuances of a vintage PAF®. Joe had specific requirements based on adjustments made in his Silver Cord Recording Studio.
First and foremost, he wanted a passive pickup that was vintage-sounding. For Joe, it’s all about the dynamic; he wants people to hear what he’s doing on the strings with his hands and the pick. He feels that’s the part of the chain that adds the spirit, soul, and life to the sound and prevents it from being flat.
Most of Joe’s riffs are on the bridge pickup, and he says it needs to sound “killer.” The Fortitude™ Bridge is very precise, very sharp, and Joe can get all sorts of percussive sounds with it.
The Fortitude™ Bridge is based on the PAF® 36th Anniversary Bridge with a few modifications. The clarity of a low output humbucker allows it to cut through with different tunings and high gain. Joe wanted the pickup to have a boost at 160Hz of about 1.5db, a touch more low-end, and a notch down around 500/600Hz. The Fortitude™ Bridge features vintage tone with a twist.
Joe suggested calling the pickup Fortitude because “it’s simple, it’s honest, it’s straight to the point, and it’s strong.”
The Fortitude™ Bridge maintains the vintage PAF® quality, yet produces some low-end muscle as you hit the strings harder. Basically, it’s a vintage-style humbucker that can step out of the box.