Free Stuff for NZ Music Month

New Zealand Music Month is here and to celebrate MrGlyn’s Pickups wants to help you look good.

With every pickup set bought from the website in May we’re going to give you a free “Robo Aotearoa” T-Shirt.

If you buy a single pickup we’ll give you a treble bleed and a pick holder as usual but if you get a pickup set you get a T-Shirt too.

Here I am modelling (luckily not my chosen career)

Mr Glyn's T-Shirt
Music Month “Robo Aotearoa”

And here’s the choice of colours and sizes.

NZ Music Month T-Shirt colours
T-Shirt colour

When you order your pickup set just write in ‘Order Notes” at the checkout to let us know which size and colour you’d like. Don’t order it from the “Merchandise” page, it will try and charge you and then it’s not free.

This is only for New Zealand retail customers, only for full sets of pickups and only in May, simple.

If you just want the T-Shirt and no pickups you can buy one from the “Merchandise “ page.

https://mrglynspickups.com/

Support NZ music – go and see some live bands and buy some music.

Don’t forget to check out my YouTube series “Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker” for interviews with NZ guitar and pedal makers .

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcDggiRTQyFec5KAVHsC2xA/videos

“Tui” hot Strat pickups getting a workout

Thanks to https://www.thejamunit.com/ for showing us what the “Tui” hot Strat pickups can do.

I’ve wound a lot of Strat pickups since I started in 1995. I started off re-winding cheap pickups and then moved on to repairing old dead Fender pickups. Every experiment was written down in a notebook with tone comments. Back when I started there wasn’t much information available so there was a lot of reverse engineering and a lot of trying things out. That learning time was invaluable to developing instinct for how to change the sound of a pickup. I’ve still got the note book and I’m still adding to it.

In, I think, 2014 a customer of mine approached me wanting a set of Strat pickups. He’s a great blues player and had recently moved from using a Les Paul to a Strat. He described the sound he was after and it seemed to me it was the same as I’d been after myself so I put some time in to designing a pickup set for him.

The “Tui”- hot Strat pickups needed to be most definitely a Strat sound – I hear plenty of Strat replacement pickups that are fine but just not Strat-ish. Secondly I wanted a bit more power, just a bit, enough to make a good old valve amp clip a bit easier than a “vintage” pickup would. And there needed to be dynamics – tickle it and it’s clean, dig in and it grits up. As I was making the original version of this set for a player used to humbuckers I wanted to reduce the ”ping” of the attack. I’ve added steel base plated as standard to this set. This changes the shape of the magnetic field, broadening the harmonic window. They add a wee bit of power, a wee bit of bass and reduce that pesky ping.

The neck pickup needed to have “that” Strat sound with fullness and clarity. It’s the ‘go to’ sound for most Strat players. The middle pickup needed to have some ‘quack’ to it with its own distinctive personality. The bridge pickup shouldn’t be too thin, it needs to have plenty of highs but not too much of that ‘ping’ or it’s almost useless. Then there are the other sounds – positions 2 and 4, mistakenly referred to as ‘out of phase’. They are really just 2 pickups in parallel. It’s hard to predict what those sounds will be, there was a lot of experimenting.

So I consulted my old note book and wound a lot of pickups and fitted them in a few test Strats. I’ve been lucky enough to have some great players as repair customers and so I was able to get quite a few opinions.

Eventually I was happy and I fitted a set for my ex Les Paul customer and he loved them straight away. A few months later he contacted me to say he was still loving them. I love it when players do that.

I’ve fitted resulting sets into a lot of instruments and it turns out that not only blues players like them, they seem to work for everyone. I shouldn’t be surprised, the Stratocaster is such a versatile guitar, of course they do.

Ep#10 Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker – Rod Capper Guitars

In this episode I talk to Rod Capper and get to completely re-think some of the things I thought I knew about guitar construction. Rod’s years of experimentation have brought him to some interesting conclusions.

Rod Capper has been making classical guitars near Auckland for 35 years. I was interested in discussing the conflict between tradition and innovation in the classical guitar making world. I got way more than I bargained for. Rod’s constant experimentation has led him to some interesting conclusions and caused me to re-think my view of how guitars work. http://www.capperguitars.com/

Hi all, some of you will know how keen I am on NZ made musical gear. We have world class makers here in Aotearoa and the World needs to know about them. Rather than just having a good moan I’ve been trying to think of ways I can help. After many conversations with other small manufacturers I’ve come up with an idea. I’m starting a series of YouTube videos where I chat with NZ makers so we can all get to know them a little better. I figure that seeing and hearing the person behind the product, hearing their story, their philosophy, will help promote what they do beyond just their website. Some of these makers you may not even have heard of. It’s a very simple format, just recording a Skype conversation. There is some editing mainly cutting out my own waffle but I do try and keep edits to a minimum. I am not a professional presenter I’m just an ordinary bloke working with what I’ve got and this is way out of my comfort zone but I hope you’ll find the content interesting. I’ve called the series “MrGlyn Meets Your Maker”. In episode #1 I’m talking with Aiden from Archetype Guitars in Palmerston North who very graciously agreed to go first. If these videos go any way towards you considering buying NZ made then I’ve succeeded. Please share, link to, subscribe and spread the word, that’s how you can help. Thanks, Glyn. ​ https://mrglynspickups.com/ https://mrglynspickups.com/

Continue reading “Ep#10 Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker – Rod Capper Guitars”

‘78 Musicman Stingray Bass pickup re-wind

The Musicman Stingray bass is for me one of the top 3 basses ever – the Precision, the Jazz and the Stingray cover pretty much everything between them. A big part of what makes the Stingray so good is the Musicman Stingray Bass pickup.

It has such a distinctive sound. Once you’re tuned into it you can hear it on so many recordings.

This pickup is from 1978 (they started in 1976) and was sent to me from a customer in Christchurch. I thought I’d show you around inside it – these are really interesting pickups.

Music Man Stingray bass pickup
‘78 Musicman Stingray Bass pickup

The Musicman Stingray Bass pickup is by the look of it a big fat humbucker but there’s more to it.

The magnets are big alnicoV’s, 3/8” diameter and 5/8” deep so a lot of the power and grunt comes from them. The 2 coils are wound with awg 42 wire and are around 4KOhms each (they vary). The poles on each coil have opposite polarity and the coils are wired out of phase electrically so they act as a humbucker. The really interesting part is the coils are wired in parallel, not in series like most humbuckers.

The sound of 2 coils in parallel is the sound of a Jazz bass with both pickups on or a Strat on switch position 2 or 4. It’s a very distinctive, clear tone with a very clear midrange and chimney bass.

So the distinctive Stingray sound comprises of fairly low powered coils in parallel to give plenty of clarity but with exceptionally fat magnets to give bass and grunty mids.

I haven’t mentioned the active circuit the signal goes through yet but that’s another story.

Music Man Stingray bass pickup, cover off
‘78 Musicman Stingray Bass pickup

As you can see, under the cover it looks very similar to ‘Fender’ pickups.

Music Man Stingray bass pickup
‘78 Musicman Stingray Bass pickup

One coil was open circuit so I cut the windings out. There was tape wrapped around the magnets to protect the coil. I left that in. I love the way they staggered the pole pieces but kept the magnets the same size.

Music Man Stingray bass pickup repair
pickup re-wind

The original winding wire is insulated with red poly. Unfortunately I only had Poly insulation in the natural colour – that’s my coil on the right.

Music Man Stingray bass pickup
MusicMan Stingray Pickup

And there she is, all ready to go back in to the bass. https://mrglynspickups.com/

If anyone has a faulty pickup just give me a call 021912678 or email mrglynspickups@gmail.com

Take a look at my YouTube series “Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker” where I have chat with manufacturers of musical gear from around New Zealand https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcDggiRTQyFec5KAVHsC2xA

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcDggiRTQyFec5KAVHsC2xA

‘74 Precision Bass Pickup re-wind

I’ve been doing quite a few bass pickup re-wind jobs recently.

If your pickup has stopped working or suddenly started sounding thin and quiet it may well need re-winding.

This old Fender pickup was completely dead, now it lives again.

P Bass Pickup repair

Pickup re-winds are a big part of what I do.

In the early days back in the 1990’s I re-wound a lot of pickups. It was an invaluable introduction into the inner workings of electric guitar pickups.

Back then there were a lot of 60’s and 70’s quality pickups around to practice on, they weren’t as valuable or sought after as they are now. Because of that I got to see how pickups were put together in the old days, the construction, the potting material…

There wasn’t much information available so experimentation was the only way to learn. I made so many bad pickups back then but made a note of every single one, how I’d wound it and what the result was. By using that method I got closer and closer to what I wanted. I also made a note of all the re-winds I did and the original spec if I could get it. I’m still writing in that note book to this day and it’s becoming a fantastic reference tool when I receive an unusual pickup repair from a customer.

I still really enjoy re-winding pickups, I think I have a strong instinct to fix things. I would much rather repair a faulty old pickup than sell a customer a new one. Sometimes, of course, the customer wants a different sound that the old pickup can’t give them and a new pickup is the way to go.

Please feel free to contact me about any faulty pickup by email (mrglynspickups@gmail.com) or by phone (021 912 678).

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcDggiRTQyFec5KAVHsC2xA

www.mrglynspickups.com

Mr Glyns Pickups logo - Roboguy

Bass Pickup re-wind

Ep#9 Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker – Red Witch Pedals

Red Witch Pedals

This was a real treat for me, getting to have a chat with Ben Fulton from Red Witch Pedals https://redwitchpedals.com/ . He’s a Kiwi legend and has designed some of the most imaginative pedals out there. I’m amazed at his constant evolution and pushing the boundaries. He talks about the past, his current designs and a few hints about future designs in the pipeline. I urge you to have a listen to his sound samples, better still try his pedals, you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s what the Red Witch Pedals website says about Ben:

Ben Fulton has never killed a man.

Not even once.

Not even just a little bit, down some dark back alley, in the middle of the night, when no one else was around and all evidence of the crime was suitably bleached and limed away.

Not even ever.

Honest.

Ben Fulton has designed a range of effects pedals that a whole lot of extremely good musicians use and love on a daily basis – in the arenas, studios and bedrooms of the world.

This would have been a difficult feat if he had killed someone because he inevitably would have let it slip “Oh yes, the other day, you know, the day after I killed that guy….”

And the game would have been up.

Very hard to design world-class effects pedals in prison.

Very hard indeed.

People like Andy Summers and Reeves Gabrels are pleased that Ben ended up designing marvellous guitar pedals instead of going to prison.

Though we’re sure some of the guys in prison are sad that it worked out like this.

He’s got quite pretty hair.

Ben Fulton’s Mum is relieved that he hasn’t killed anyone and quietly proud that he has designed these rather lovely effects pedals.

We are too.

https://mrglynspickups.com/https://mrglynspickups.com/

New Development- Extreme Metal Pickup

I started designing an Extreme Metal Pickup back in August with the help of Raj Singarajah from Dynamic Rage Studio in Auckland, well, today we finalized the design.

It’s been a long journey but I’m delighted. I heard the final prototype in the studio this afternoon and it does everything I wanted it to.

Raj has put in so much work and catalogued the audio for each stage.

It’s still going to be a little while before there are any production models though.

I’m having magnets made, I need to get poles made, I’ve redesigned the base plate so I need to get those made, I need to get bobbins made, there are some other parts I’ve added to shape the magnetic field, they need to be made. All that stuff will me made in NZ except the magnets.

In the end there will be 6 and 7 string models as well as a slanted version for multiscale.

So folks, keep watching this space, the Extreme Metal Pickup it is on the way.

https://www.facebook.com/DynamicRage

Here’s Raj with one of the early prototypes.

About MrGlyn’s Pickups

MrGlyn’s Pickups is based near Auckland, New Zealand.

My name is Glyn Evans. I have been a full time pickup winder and luthier since 1995. I wound my first pickup under the guidance of legendary guitar repairer Ted Lee while studying guitar making/repair under him at City of Leeds College of Music in the North of England. There’s something about the physics that really appealed to me. I went straight home, built my own winding machine, bought some wire and started experimenting.

In those pre-internet days there just wasn’t any information available on how to make good pickups. I made pickup after pickup, I wound and I listened. I made notes of every variation both good and bad so I could learn what was happening. Looking back I think that time was invaluable for developing an intuition for making pickups. Whenever I came across a result I didn’t understand I swatted up on the physics; there’s a lot to learn. I wrote all the experiments down in a notebook, I still have the notebook and I’m still adding to it.

I love hearing my pickups played live or on recordings; it feels good to have played a very small part in that sound.

Glyn Evans

My day to day work has always been in guitar repair so I’ve been privileged to be able to study first hand some of the great vintage (and modern) pickups. I have re-wound and repaired countless faulty pickups to either restore them to their original state or to improve them. This is how you learn and I think I will always be learning.

In 2012 I had the idea for my own range of pickups. In 2020 MrGlyn’s Pickups website went live. https://mrglynspickups.com/

I’ve been lucky enough to know many professional players who’ve given their time and expertise to help me. Every pickup design I make has been tested both by me and some of these “test pilots”. They’ve been in and out of numerous guitars, recorded, gigged, analysed and altered more times than I can remember.

I am really happy with the results, I hope you will be too.

Bellbird vintage Strat pickup set

Another amazing video from Andy Marra using MrGlyn’s “Bellbird” vintage Strat pickup set.

The Stratocaster has been around since 1954 and the legend continues. Reading the internet (!?) tells me there have been good and bad years or decades, guitars to avoid and ones worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’ve been repairing guitars since 1995 so I’ve played a lot of old Strats and analysed a lot of old pickups. Vintage pickups aren’t all great but the good ones are fantastic.

I’ve based my vintage Strat pickup set on the best of the old pickups I’ve had the pleasure of playing through . So I use AWG42 heavy formvar insulated wire – there’s something about the thickness of that insulation that just works with an old Strat pickup.

I’ve aimed for that old quacking chime that makes Strats wonderfully percussive but with a singing quality that’s so musical. Warm and clear with beautiful almost reverb-like clean tones – that’s what I want out of an old Strat. The neck needs to be fat, round and clear, the middle pickup needs to quack and the bridge a cut through twang without thinness. The all important ‘in between’ sounds in positions 2 and 4 must be balanced and characterful. Nothing says Strat more than these sounds.

The Bellbird set has been designed mainly for clean tones but they’re certainly not afraid to perform with a bit of gain. As part of a HSS set they’re great with one of my ‘Integrity’ humbuckers in the bridge position.

I agonised for months over names for my Strat pickup sets then during a camping trip to Tauwharanui Regional Park I heard my first Bellbird and realised that was the sound I had been looking for when I was designing this set. The comparison in tone between the Bellbird and the more common Tui seemed exactly what I had in my head when designing my Strat pickups. Bellbirds don’t just go tweet, there’s a depth and warmth in the tone. It’s so hard to describe sound and the difference between pickups but I think the difference between the Bellbird and the Tui sum up the difference between my vintage and hot Strat pickups. So I called them the Bellbird and the Tui.

Gold Foil Pickup re-wind

A Gold Foil Pickup is not for everyone or for every situation. They are low powered with no shortage of high end.

Gold Foil repair
Tokai Gold Foil

This Gold Foil Pickup came to me with the coil reading ‘open circuit’ on the meter so it was likely it would need re-winding. It’s a Tokai from the 1960’s

You never know what you’ll find inside these.

Gold Foil repair
Gold Foil Pickup

Under all that gold and chrome there is a very scruffy little coil wound directly around a ceramic magnet. There isn’t a bobbin which makes it rather tricky to work with.

I never just re-wind a pickup without testing all the connections first just in case it was just a dry joint. This time it paid off, one of the connections had failed. The repair turned out to be fairly simple.

Pickup Repairs

Pickup re-winds are a big part of what I do.

In the early days back in the 1990’s I re-wound a lot of pickups. It was an invaluable introduction into the inner workings of electric guitar pickups.

Back then there were a lot of 60’s and 70’s quality pickups around to practice on, they weren’t as valuable or sought after as they are now. Because of that I got to see how pickups were put together in the old days, the construction, the potting material…

There wasn’t much information available so experimentation was the only way to learn. I made so many bad pickups back then but made a note of every single one, how I’d wound it and what the result was. By using that method I got closer and closer to what I wanted. I also made a note of all the re-winds I did and the original spec if I could get it. I’m still writing in that note book to this day and it’s becoming a fantastic reference tool when I receive an unusual pickup repair from a customer.

I still really enjoy re-winding pickups, I think I have a strong instinct to fix things. I would much rather repair a faulty old pickup than sell a customer a new one. Sometimes, of course, the customer wants a different sound that the old pickup can’t give them and a new pickup is the way to go.

Please feel free to contact me about any faulty pickup by email (mrglynspickups@gmail.com) or by phone (021 912 678).

https://mrglynspickups.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcDggiRTQyFec5KAVHsC2xA

Mr Glyns Pickups Roboguy

MrGlyn’s Bellbird vintage Strat Pickup

Here is Andy Marra sounding fantastic with his MrGlyn’s ‘Bellbird’ vintage Strat Pickup set.

The Stratocaster has been around since 1954 and the legend continues. Reading the internet (!?) tells me there have been good and bad years or decades, guitars to avoid and ones worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’ve been repairing guitars since 1995 so I’ve played a lot of old Strats and analysed a lot of old pickups. Vintage pickups aren’t all great but the good ones are fantastic.

I’ve based my vintage Strat Pickup set on the best of the old pickups I’ve had the pleasure of playing through . So I use AWG42 heavy formvar insulated wire – there’s something about the thickness of that insulation that just works with an old Strat pickup.

I’ve aimed for that old quacking chime that makes Strats wonderfully percussive but with a singing quality that’s so musical. Warm and clear with beautiful almost reverb-like clean tones – that’s what I want out of an old Strat. The neck needs to be fat, round and clear, the middle pickup needs to quack and the bridge a cut through twang without thinness. The all important ‘in between’ sounds in positions 2 and 4 must be balanced and characterful. Nothing says Strat more than these sounds.

The Bellbird set has been designed mainly for clean tones but they’re certainly not afraid to perform with a bit of gain. As part of a HSS set they’re great with one of my ‘Integrity’ humbuckers in the bridge position.

I agonised for months over names for my Strat pickup sets then during a camping trip to Tauwharanui Regional Park I heard my first Bellbird and realised that was the sound I had been looking for when I was designing this set. The comparison in tone between the Bellbird and the more common Tui seemed exactly what I had in my head when designing my Strat pickups. Bellbirds don’t just go tweet, there’s a depth and warmth in the tone. It’s so hard to describe sound and the difference between pickups but I think the difference between the Bellbird and the Tui sum up the difference between my vintage and hot Strat pickups. So I called them the Bellbird and the Tui. https://mrglynspickups.com/

Mr Glyns Pickups