New “Extreme Metal” pickup in development

Some of the more patient amongst you will have been following the work I’ve been doing on developing a humbucker for “Extreme Metal” with help from Raj Singarajah from Dynamic Rage Studio.

So far there have been 3 prototypes, each one has gone to the studio for testing. Raj gives me feedback (arf arf), I go away, have a think, and make a new version.

After version 2 I reduced the bass coming from the coils, introduced asymmetry to the coils to broadened the mid range response and changed the screw poles for a rail on one of the coils.

Here’s the verdict:


Its fantastic imho. The high mid 1.6-3k range with the rail is great! the rail has definitely done its job. Its got just the boost needed to stop it from being dull.

has that really nice snarl with the gain on. Very bright. Its actually great and tight.

low end is great.

it sounds “right” at the moment for this style of music I feel.

The high end is smooth. The high mid is apparent but not “pokey”. Not too much when getting close to 3k. Really sitting at that 1-1.6k where it should be.

I almost feel like possible next iteration to see how it goes with getting a slight scoop out a tinge. by a tinge. I mean a tinge haha as I feel like its really starting to get there. the slightly more scooped part is more of a “try to see if it gets any better”. But I really think this is great as it is.Thoughts?


I’m chuffed with that. From now on I’m only going to make one small change at a time for each version. I’ll keep you folks informed but this does take time.

We’ve already got a bloody good pickup – lets see how good it can get.

Höfner 510 Pickups re-wind

Old Höfner pickups are common visitors at the workshop for re-winds. The insulation breaks down on the winding wire they used and they become open circuit and simply stop working.

Although these are built like humbuckers magnetically with 2 rows of pole pieces powered by a single bar magnet they have a single coil inside them.

The bobbins are often very fragile. They’re made of thin plastic and can deform easily.

I was happy with how they came out in the end.

If you have any dead pickups, get in touch.

New “Tui” Stratocaster Pickup Video

Just made a short promo video for the “Tui” pickup. Thanks so much to Warren Mendonsa for his fantastic playing.

I’m going to use it for a Facebook/Instagram ad but just thought I’d preview it on the blog first.

Here’s the full version with a real human playing:

Continue reading “New “Tui” Stratocaster Pickup Video”

Black Sand neck pickup

Great to see my old mate Warren the other day and a huge privilege to have him using one of my pickups. If you don’t know his music yet:

I’ve fitted one of my ‘Black Sand’ humbucker size P90s in the neck position of his es335. Here’s how it sounds:

I can’t describe the satisfaction I get from hearing something I’ve made sound so good in the hands of such a musician – and to think, I call this work!

Telecaster Elite ‘83 bridge pickup

I was sent an interesting faulty pickup the other day. It’s a bridge pickup from a 1983 Fender Telecaster Elite. Fender did a few unconventional things around that time and this is one of them.

It’s an unusual shape which means that it’s not an easy pickup to replace so I really needed to save this one.

Inside the plastic cover is a humbucker encased in some sort of resin. At least one of the coils is faulty so needs to be re-wound. There was no alternative, I just had to dig them out. There was no way the coils were coming out undamaged so I gave the customer a call to explain they both needed re-winding. He was happy so I got on with it.

It’s a pretty delicate operation to get the coils out without damaging them.

Once they were out and cleaned up it was a straightforward re-wind. I matched the dc resistance to the original spec of 11.3KOhms and put it all back.

If you have any duff pickups, get in touch. Most old pickups can be saved.

Seymour Duncan JB – Re-Wind

Seymour Duncan JB humbuckers are such a classic pickup, loud and aggressive with no shortage of high end attack.

This one had stopped working altogether. With the tape off the hook up wires are exposed and it’s possible to identify which coil has the problem. It’s usually just one coil.

It turned out to be the coil with the screws in this case.

The coil with the lugs in fine and showing 8.42KOhms and from that I can figure out what size wire they used and calculate the number of turns needed to re-wind the duff coil.

Pretty routine stuff this one but always nice to have a look inside a classic pickup.