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Draig doom set

Draig doom set NZ$379 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free; NZ$329.56

Draig doom single humbucker bridge NZ$199 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; NZ$173.04

Bridge covers are $20 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free; NZ$17.39

Draig doom single P90 neck NZ$189 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; NZ$164.35

Draig doom set specifications: Alnico VI – Bridge 9.18 KOhms, 7.42H, Ceramic 8 – Neck 6.96 KOhms

The Draig doom set is a pickup set designed for all the genres encompassed by Doom Metal. It has strong mids, smooth treble and a bass response immediate enough to cope with low tunings but not the harsh, dry percussive bass needed for extreme metal. It really is all in the bass and mids.

Draig doom set in chrome and open chrome covers

The Draig is inspired by the sound of Tony Iommi and that heavy riffing guitar tone, mid forward. Iommi’s tone has been in my head since I was a teenager m, I’m delighted to make this pickup available.

Power and Tone

But there’s another factor with this pickup. You’ll notice the Ohms for the bridge are in the 9Krange, lower that you might expect for a powerful humbucker. This is all about increasing the dynamics and reducing compression. When using heavy fuzz, it’s really useful to be able to back off using just playing technique; the Draig is designed to do just that. It’s designed to work along with your fuzz.

The coils are tuned to give the Draig its tonal characteristics with the magnet providing the engine.

Draig Doom Humbucker by Mr Glyn's Pickups
Draig in ‘Dragon Breath’

Pickups designed to derive most of their power from the strength of the coil, rather than the magnet, sound smooth, even and compressed like my Attitude humbucker. The Draig bridge gets a lot of power from its oversized alnico 6 magnet. This makes the Draig touch sensitive, dynamic and punchy.

Draig doom humbucker in chrome
Chrome cover Draig

So why alnico 6 in the Draig doom bridge humbucker?

Alnico 6 has similar properties to the more familiar alnico 5 but with more mids – it’s all about the mids. As you’d imagine, it has a little more power too.

Draig Doom Bridge Humbucker
Draig bridge humbucker

Draig doom bridge humbucker design

It wasn’t an easy pickup to design. It was designed for low tuning but with more of a Doom vibe in mind. I’ve made pickups before for extreme metal and it a very different approach to the bottom end. With extreme metal the bottom needs to be much drier and more immediate and percussive. With the bass on this one I’ve tried to walk the line between over hard and dry on one side and soggy and undefined on the other.

The choice of magnet was a big part of this. A bigger magnet has a more immediate response than the conventional size and I experimented with a few different types of alnico, finally settling on alnico 6. This oversized alnico 6 magnet gives all the punch and immediacy I wanted but with slightly stronger mids than alnico 5. Being an unusual size and material, I get these magnets manufactured specifically for this bridge pickup.

Like with many pickups to focus on the winding alone is telling only a small part of the story. The winding is 9.18K Ohms which might seem small but it’s all about balancing the mids. That oversized alnico 6 magnet is where the power comes from. The blade pole pushes more of that magnetic energy to the side of the pickup furthest away from the bridge, lessening the ‘pingy’ high end. It’s all about balancing the tone and emphasising the mids.

Draig doom humbucker in uncovered black
Open, no cover Draig

I made a short video explaining the thought behind the Draig pickup and how it works:


Test, tweak and test – Draig doom set

I rigorously test all my pickups in various situations, different amps, pedals and always next to a drummer. For the Draig I asked Timmy Smalls in Australia for his opinion on the Draig bridge humbucker. He has a great Instagram channel and makes fantastic demo videos. Always good to have a second opinion you can trust.

There are always changes along the way; this video is from when the Draig had an alnico 5 magnet.

Draig neck – humbucker size P90

With the success of the Draig bridge pickup I was asked by a few players about a matching neck pickup to complete the Draig doom set.

It was an interesting challenge. I wanted the neck to have a similar ‘mids forward’ character to the bridge pickup. It needed a smooth lead tone but a lot of clarity when playing chords. It needed to hit a fuzz pedal with just the right amount of power so as not to make the sound into an undefined mush. And it needed to be a good match for the bridge pickup.

I decided upon a humbucker size P90.

P90’s have a very different magnetic field to humbuckers with woody mids and less of a lower midrange push. It’s those lower mids that can create a mush.

After a lot of experimenting I landed on a combination of winds and magnet that did what I want.

I used a pair of undersized ceramic magnets that I have specially made for me. Ceramic has a drier tone than alnico which helps with the clarity and I designed the coil windings to compensate for the ceramic’s reduced mid range.

After some tweaking and, as ever, playing the pickup set alongside a drummer and bass player I was happy.

The Draig neck pickup has a different look to the bridge but I think they compliment each other well.

The name – “Draig”

So why call it ‘Draig’? Well, the word Draig means dragon in Welsh and although I’ve lived in New Zealand since ’05 I was born and grew up in Wales.

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updated 26 June 2023

Draig doom humbucker

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The Duchess Tele set

Single The Duchess Tele – NZ$129 for NZ customers. If you’re overseas it’s GST free; $NZ112.17

Pair The Duchess Tele – NZ$249 for NZ customers. If you’re overseas they’re GST free; $NZ216.52

Alnico 5; Bridge 7.28KOhms, Neck 7.1KOhms

The Duchess Tele set is for the Telecaster player in need of that distinctive smooth Tele twang but with none of the ice pick cut. The neck pickup is warm and balanced with a full clarity and string separation. This a medium powered set that sits nicely in my range between the Silver Lady and Cruel Mistress.

The Duchess - Tele set
The Duchess Tele Set

The Duchess Tele set will do just about everything from ‘vintage’ Tele twang to a platform for pedals.

The Duchess’ beginnings

The idea for this pickup started in 2021. I had some work at Roundhead recording studios in Auckland looking after the guitars of an American recording artist. During the process, the producer and engineer (working from the US) decided to send over their favorite ‘magic’ telecaster because they wanted that sound on the record.

The guitar arrived and it was an original ’61 Fender Esquire Custom, sunburst, double bound and just beautiful.

Although it was an Esquire it had a neck pickup that they told me had been added later. After taking the pick guard off it looked more like the neck pickup had been fitted in the factory so maybe it was a custom order.

My job was to check over this guitar and set it up for the recording.

Fender Esquire '61. Mr Glyn's Duchess pickup set

I plugged it in and loved the sound immediately, now I understood why they’d shipped it over from the US for this session. So, I got my test meters out to analyze every aspect of the pickup. It was rather unusual for a Fender pickup of that time so maybe it had been re-wound at some stage. That didn’t matter, it sounded great, so I set out to make a Telecaster set in that style but with my own spin.

I made quite a few prototypes and did all the usual testing but didn’t quite get around to releasing the pickup.

The Duchess Tele is finally born

Then in 2022 I had the idea for my Pandora 3-way pickup. I used the design for The Duchess bridge pickup as the middle position for the Pandora. I knew all along the Pandora was never going to be for everyone but was pleasantly surprised when the idea caught on.

An order for a Pandora came in from an old friend of mine in the UK. He’s called Darren Driver and he’s in a well-established Springsteen tribute band – The Boss and the Beeston Street Band

Darren had been a customer of mine when I had a guitar shop in Leeds in the late 90’s. He was a Telecaster player back then. It’s always good to re-connect with people.

A couple of months later Darren got in touch saying how the mid position of the Pandora was his ideal Telecaster sound. Well, that was all it took. I got into the workshop and made a matching neck pickup for the Duchess. That week’s band practice I tested the set next to the drummer and was still really happy with it. So, I sent a set off to Yorkshire.

Darren said he was happy to make a demo of the pickups once he had got them into him number one Telecaster. That’s him in the video above.

And so The Duchess Tele set was born.

The Duchess – Tele set is great with either 250KOhm or 500KOhm volume pots. It’s really up to you – 500K will give more high-end Tele twang while the 250K will sound warmer. It really is a great pickup set either way.

I have made a couple of short videos to explain my thinking behind these two pickups:

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updated 17 May 2023

The Duchess – Tele set

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Pickup Relicing available

Pickup Relicing is available, it’s not on the website, just ask me when you’re ordering.

From gentle ageing just to take the glare off to serious steampunk treatement.

Pickup Relicing available
‘Integrity’ light/medium ageing

I am often asked to age pickups to match in with an old guitar. A 40 year old Les Paul can just look wrong with shiny new pickups. Giving them a little head start makes a lot of sense.

Often I’m asked to age pickups to match in with a new but reliced guitar.

Guitar elicing used to be a really controversial subject but it’s so commonplace now that it’s pretty much universally accepted.

Soapbar ‘Sassy’ P90 aged

Aged soapbar P90

Some players feel a guitar should be played for years on end to earn its wear, I get that.

Personally, I like the feel of an aged guitar. A dulled finish, rounded over fretboard edges all make for a more comfortable playing experience.

And then there’s the other factor- fear. I find I’m afraid of a shiny new expensive guitar in mint condition but when there are already a few scratches I can just let go. I play look at a lot better on old or aged instruments.

Black Sand HBSP90 medium Pickup Relicing

Aged HBSP90

I also rather enjoy the process of making a pickup look like it’s the veteran of a World tour. Pickup Relicing is something I openly encourage.

Heavy Relic The Tron

Heavy relic The Tron by Mr Glyns Pickups

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updated 3 October 2023

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Black Sand Humbucker sized P90

Single Black Sand Humbucker sized P90 NZ$189 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free NZ$164.35

Pair Black Sand Humbucker sized P90 NZ$369 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free NZ$320.87

Alnico V, Neck- 6.96 KOhms, Bridge 7.94 KOhms

The Black Sand Humbucker sized P90 has all the clarity, punch and fullness of a soapbar or dogear P90 but built to fit humbucker guitars.


Black Sand Description

The humbucker sized P90 is a great pickup – it sits tonally between a humbucker and and a strat type pickup. If your neck humbucker is a bit thick and woolly sounding for you, you want more clarity, or just want a different tone, then this one may be the answer. The physical size of this pickup is identical to that of a “normal” humbucker so it will pop straight in.

P90’s are different to other single coil pickups. They have a wide, flat coil similar to that of a Jazzmaster but the magnetic field is a very different shape. Fender single coil pickups have the coil wound around the magnet giving a focused, precise percussive sound. A P90 has 2 bar magnets underneath the coil; this broadens the magnetic window allowing the pickup to listen to a bit more string and thickens the sound. I chose Alnico V bar magnets for this model to help give some grit and power characteristic of a P90.

Of course, too much power and the pickup would sound too thick and bass heavy which is not its purpose. Too little power and it just won’t snarl.

The Black Sand Humbucker sized P90 story

The development of my Black Sand Humbucker sized P90 was a bit backwards. Usually I make a bridge pickup first and work from there but with this one the neck pickup came first. I had a customer ask for a neck pickup for an es335 to sound clearer than his existing Gibson humbucker. He was finding the lower mids of the humbucker were getting in his way and needed a clearer sound with more character. I worked on the Black Sand Humbucker sized P90 neck pickup for a while using my Les Paul as a test guitar. There’s a balance to getting the right neck pickup sound. There needs to be a bit of power but a danger of becoming too boomy. It was a case of tweaking the windings until it was right. I sold a few neck pickups before thinking it would be a good idea to have a set. So I started work on the bridge pickup.

I wanted this bridge pickup to have clarity in the lower mids to stand out from humbuckers while having enough power to grit up nicely. I wanted it to be clean when tickled and to growl at you when you dig in. P90’s are all about dynamics. It had to match the existing neck pickup or work well as a stand alone in a HSS situation.

Of all the pickups in my range this one came together the quickest. There were only 4 or 5 prototypes and I was happy. Experience and intuition combined with a notebook where I’ve written down details of every experimental pickup I’ve made since 1995.

There were a load of prototypes in and out of a Les Paul, Tele Delux and PRS, through different amps and in the hands of different players. I never trust just my own ears with my pickups. I like to get opinions and suggestions from a few players before making any final decisions. I listen to what players say and I adjust prototypes accordingly, but at the end of the day the final decision is mine. I’m always aware of the phrase “a camel is a horse designed by committee”.

It took a while to get this one right. A pickup would sound great at workshop volume, them I’d play it in a band situation and it would be too boomy, too much like a humbucker. So I’d have a think and make another. In the end persistence paid off.

The pickups I finally settled on went into my Les Paul and off to a gig for the ultimate test, and that’s where they’re staying.

The neck “Black Sand” is a great match for either my “Integrity” or “Cloud Nine” bridge humbuckers or as a set with its equivalent “Black Sand” bridge humbucker sized P90.

I agonised over what to call this pickup set. I wanted a name that would reflect the apparent contradiction in P90’s. From the perspective of a humbucker player they are clear and chiming. From the viewpoint of a single coil player they are powerful and gritty. They’re one thing while looking like another. I wanted a oxymoron to reflect this contradiction, one that might include the unique magnetic structure that gives the P90 its character. So I went for a run along Muriwai beach to think. And there it was staring me in the face (literally). Muriwai has black volcanic sand due to its iron content and it’s magnetic. So I’ve called this set the Black Sand Humbucker sized P90.

Warren Mendonsa Black Sand demo
Jimmy Christmas on stage using Mr Glyns Pickups
Jimmy Christmas – D4

I’m very happy with this pickup – hopefully you will be too.

Black Sand Humbucker sized P90

Here are some sound samples recorded clean through a Fender Princeton Reverb-Amp. The overdrive sounds are using an Electroharmonix Soul Food. The guitar is a ’98 Les Paul Std with D’Addario 10-52’s. All of them with the same guitar, same amp, same settings, no reverb or eq added later. Black Sand Humbucker sized P90

Neck Pickup Clean
Bridge Pickup Clean
Middle Position Clean
Neck Pickup with Overdrive
Bridge Pickup with Overdrive
Middle Position with Overdrive
Black Sand Humbucker sized P90
Black Sand – Nickel
Humbucker sized P90 Mr Glyns Pickups
Black Sand Black Cover
Humbucker side P90 by Mr Glyns Pickups

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Cruel Mistress hot Tele

Single Cruel Mistress hot Tele NZ$129 for NZ customers. If you’re overseas it’s GST free; $NZ112.17

Pair Cruel Mistress hot Tele NZ$249 for NZ customers. If you’re overseas they’re GST free; $NZ216.52

AlnicoV – Bridge 10.65 KOhms, 4.96H. Neck 7.25 KOhms, 2.48H

Mr Glyns Cruel Mistress hot Tele Pickups are designed for the Tele player who wants more than the traditional country twang. They have a full bottom end, cut through mids and a top end that is strong but never harsh. They’ll push you amp that bit harder without loosing that Telecaster character.

Brett Kingman demos (I think he likes them)

More Cruel Mistress hot Tele demos


There is nothing like the high end snarl of a good Tele bridge pickup. However, Tele Pickups are complicated. It’s a sound that needs to be just right – too much treble and it can sound grating and obnoxious, too little and it just isn’t a Tele. The treble needs warmth while still cutting through a mix like a zombie banjo.

I wanted to make a pickup with a bit more power to drive an amp harder while keeping the Tele character. My biggest concern was not losing what a Tele is all about. In my repair work I came across quite a few replacement Tele pickups that just don’t sound like Teles. Bridge pickups need grit and the neck a chimey clarity and together they should be full and open and matched well enough to create almost a reverb sound with the switch in the middle position.

The Cruel Mistress hot Tele uses AlnicoV magnets to help with the attack and AWG43 wire for the snarl.

The neck pickup on a Tele needs to be smooth and warm and have a great balance with the bridge pickup so that the middle position rings with an almost reverb-like tone. The difficulty with Telecaster neck pickups is there just isn’t much space under that cover. As a result it can be a hard pickup to get right and there were a lot of experiments and disappointments on the way. Eventually I came on a design that has enough bottom end to sound full but not so much to sound boomy. And the final pickup was a great match to the bridge.

I had help from the ears of a couple of pro players who were generous enough to let me load their guitars with prototype pickups for testing. The whole process takes time and only after many road tests and versions did I fix on a design. As a result, each of my designs have been developed over many years of subtle changes and road tests. Having help like this means my pickups are trialled through many different amps and playing styles. The neck/bridge balance as well as dynamics/compression need to be tested in as many situations as possible to find a pickup that will work for most players.

So if you need some grit and aggression from your Tele this is the set for you.

Cruel Mistress hot Tele sound samples

Here are some sound samples of the Cruel Mistress -hot Tele set recorded clean through a Fender Princeton Reverb-Amp with a swamp ash body, maple neck Tele with D’Addario 10-52’s.The overdrive is an Elecroharmonix Soul Food pedal. All of them with the same guitar, same amp, same settings, no reverb or eq added later.

Cruel Mistress Neck Clean
Cruel Mistress Bridge Clean
Cruel Mistress Middle Position Clean
Cruel Mistress Neck Pickup with Overdrive
Cruel Mistress Bridge Pickup with Overdrive
Cruel Mistress Middle Position with Overdrive
Cruel Mistress Tele pickup set on stage with Rob Lock
Rob Lock
Cruel Mistress -hot Tele Bridge pickup - Mr Glyn's Pickups
Cruel Mistress -hot Tele neck pickup - Mr Glyn's Pickups

Cruel Mistress -hot Tele

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