Bronzeville Pickup from Duneland Labs

Designed and built by Bob Palmieri at Duneland Labs, the Bronzeville pickup system is the result of six years of research and testing, the goal of which has been to create a self-powered device whose performance exceeds that of the finest systems using preamps and batteries. Throughout its development, the guiding beacon for engineering a transducer worthy of translating the spectacular characteristics of Parker's instruments has been dynamic response. However, achieving the system's other desired features—vanishingly low levels of hum and buzz, excellent string-to-string balance, and high output with low levels of magnetism—required rethinking essentially all conventions in magnetic pickup design. “To his credit, Ken just wouldn’t sign off on this project ‘til ALL of his trusted cadre of terrific players agreed that this was really IT,” says Bob, adding, "This has been by far the most difficult and rewarding pickup design project I've ever done."

The Magic Knob


For control, Ken finally dealt with the shortcomings of existing conventions. To accommodate the wafer containing supplementary elements of the pickup system, Ken completely rethought the pickguard, taking into consideration how knobs and pots are used. How they fit. How players interact with them. To that end, he designed the 'magic knob'. From the front, you see a dome made from black palm which provides an entrancing pattern that compliments the wood of the instrument. The potentiometer has been scaled to its minimum height and it all fits within the pickguard to work with the Bronzeville pickup to provide its dynamically sublime sound and silence. The diagonal 'rope' knurling around the edge of the aluminum knob provides just the right grip. The knob can be used from the top with your pinky, or from below the pickguard with your finger.