Ep.8 ‘Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker’

In this episode of Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker I talk with Trevor Binford, he’s the real deal. As well as a top class guitar maker he runs a school of guitar making in Auckland NZ.

I wanted to find out how he got to where he is and where he learned his craft. Turns out we’re very lucky to have him here in New Zealand.

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”.

https://www.youtube.com/c/MrGlynsPickups/videos

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/

Mr Glyns Pickups Roboguy logo
Mr Glyns Roboguy Logo

Andy Marra ‘Bellbird’ Strat Pickup Demo

Thanks to Andy Marra for this “Bellbird” Strat Pickup Demo

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 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.

Thanks to Andy Marra for this “Bellbird” Strat Pickup Demo

‘63 Jazzmaster pickup re-wind

I recently had this ‘63 Jazzmaster pickup in for a re-wind and thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about what gives them such a unique sound.

What gives a Jazzmaster that smooth, full ring? The simple answer is ‘coil geometry’.

As you can see it’s a very thin pickup. That means that less of the winding is close to the magnet.

A Strat is a much taller pickup, the windings are closer to the magnets and so has a more immediate, snappy tone. You could say a Strat is more efficient.

The gauge of wire and number of turns is very similar to a Strat but this geometry makes all the difference. The further away from the magnet a winding gets the less treble and the less response.

And to accommodate enough wire in such a thin pickup it needs to be wide.

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). www.mrglynspickups.com

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

Mr Glyn’s Merchandise now available!

Mr Glyn’s Merchandise is now available.

https://mrglynspickups.com/merchandise/

Time to upgrade your wardrobe as well as your pickups .

Mr Glyn's Merchandise now available!
MrGlyn’s Pickups

A huge range of cool stuff available through the website.

https://mrglynspickups.com/

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

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. Merchandise
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.

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.

 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcDggiRTQyFec5KAVHsC2xAemail: mrglynspickups@gmail.comphone: +6421912678

Mr Glyn’s Merchandise

Fender ‘Wide Range’ humbucker

I had a 1975 Wide Range’ humbucker in for a rewind the other day and took the chance to take some pictures. I thought I’d explain why these are different from ‘normal’ humbuckers and show you what its innards look like.

The main difference is with the magnets. A tradition ‘Gibson ‘ style humbucker has a single bar magnet underneath the coils with the pole pieces ‘conducting’ this magnetic flux up through the coils towards the strings.

The Wide Range is much more similar to a Fender pickup (like a Strat) with the poles being individual magnets, 12 of them. This produces a more trebly, percussive, clearer tone than a traditional humbucker. To offset this high end Wide Ranges have overwound coils. The more wire you put on a coil the more bass you get so Wide Ranges are wound to around 10.6KOhms where as a traditional humbucker is closer to 8KOhms. This adds bass and balances out the tone from the magnets giving a balanced, full, clear tone. To give space for these extra windings the pickup was made physically bigger.

Interesting eh.

Oh, and the magnets have a different chemical composition, but that’s another story.

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

Integrity vintage humbucker humbucker Demo

A huge thanks to Nik Dobbin for his demo of MrGlyn’s Integrity vintage humbucker.

Every pickup manufacturer makes a “Vintage” humbucker based on the Gibson PAF, of course they do – old Gibsons sound so good.

So how come they all sound so different? Well, the simple answer is that PAF’s were all different. I’ve been a full time luthier since 1995, whenever I come across an old humbucker I test the ohms and the gause and have a good listen. They’re all different. My conclusion is that pickup manufacturers have taken the PAF they like and based their own version on that. Old PAF’s vary so much so modern ones do as well.

I like my own version to be clear sounding, have obvious string separation and definition and to keep clarity no matter how much gain. The mids must be strong and woody, this is not a “scooped” pickup. The clean sound needs to be chimey and clear with no mush; through a valve amp I want clarity. When I tickle it I want clean and vocal sounding when it clips. The bridge pickup needs to be well behaved with high gain and clear with enough cut through so the drummer knows you’re there. The neck smooth, clear and articulate. Warm but with none of the boom you get with a more powerful pickup.

I don’t want much do I.

My Integrity vintage humbucker has an Alnico II magnet and I’ve used plain enamel insulated magnet wire with asymmetric coils to open up the mids. The very first pickup I ever made back in 1995 was a PAF style and I’ve been tweaking the recipe ever since. Like all my pickups I’ve used a number of test pilot players in its development as well as gigging it myself. It wasn’t until around 2015 that I settled on this particular design. I did a gig with a set in a PRS SE series only last weekend – sounded great to me.

The full and honest sound of this pickup along with it’s timeless tone inspired the name “Integrity”.

Is pickup was originally called the “Blue Sky”.

Integrity vintage humbucker cover options

International Shipping Rates for Mr Glyn’s Pickups

Shipping Rates

Just NZ$30 to all the red bits and NZ$35 to the yellow bits, and that’s tracked too!

If you’re lucky enough to be in New Zealand it’s just $10

We ship to most of the white bits as well, just take a look at the website for individual prices.

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

Ep#7 MrGlyn Meets Your Maker

Just published Ep#7 of “MrGlyn Meets Your Maker” with Kiran from FirehorseFX in Hamilton. We talk about his range of pedals, how he develops them and what cool stuff is in the pipeline including a Mu-Tron Phaser that’s got my GAS going. I even have one of his pedals on my own board.

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

www.mrglynspickups.com

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

7 String “Attitude” ready for shipping

This 7 String pickup is on its way to a customer in Sweden.

https://mrglynspickups.com/

For a while I’ve been working on extending my range of humbucking pickups for rock players. The Cloud Nine will do just about anything but I wanted to offer a more specific pickup for modern rock/metal.

I decided to start with a 7 string which is a slightly unorthodox way of going about it but I was concerned with getting the bottom end right. If there was any sogginess in the bottom end a 7 string would show it up more than a 6 string.

7 string pickups are not like others. The low bass string reacts so differently, there’s a lot of string deflection and low harmonics. My mission was to tame this bass and keep it tight but not to sacrifice the sound quality of the treble strings. The treble still needed to be sweet and singing. The mids needed to be balanced and noticeable. I didn’t want this pickup scooped; the mids had to stand out from the mix when needed to.

So in October 2019 I got back in touch with my old mate Graham Young in Yorkshire. He’s an amazing player and really knows his gear.

Back in 1998 I wound a 6 string humbucker for Graham. In those days I had a guitar shop and repair business in Leeds in the North of England and he wanted a bridge pickup to suit his style for a parts caster.

Years passed and he became a 7 string player, so when I decided to develop a 7 string pickup Graham was the person I asked to be test pilot. We’d very loosely kept in touch over the years and it turned out he was still using the 6 string pickup I’d made for him back in the 90’s.

We had a chat via messenger and it turned out he’d tried a lot of pickups but none quite did it for him. So I listened to his thoughts, came up with a design and went away and made a prototype.

The first one wasn’t quite right, so he sent it back and I changed a few things and returned it. I don’t know how many adjustments I made but that pickup accumulated quite a few air miles between NZ and the UK over the next few months.

Every time we got closer, every adjustment less than the one before. When you get that close you know you’ve got a good pickup. I was at the point when I felt we really had something great but I just needed that confirmation.

Then Covid 19 happened, the mail got too unreliable to send stuff overseas with any confidence of it arriving and the process was put on hold.

At the end of June 2020 I got a call from Gabe Dovaston in Papamoa. He’d done some demos for me with some of my other pickups and was asking if I did a 7 string, just in case, for an Ibanez of his. Well, this seemed like a chance to test my new pickup on fresh ears. I made a copy of the last one I’d sent Graham, the one I was happy with, and got it off in the post. I sat back and waited. It only took a few days and I got a very happy call, he loved it and he’d already made a demo that he’d put on YouTube.

Great news, but what was I going to call it? The pickup was already on YouTube, it wasn’t on my website yet and it didn’t even have a name!

I got on Facebook and asked people to come up with a name; there were so many excellent suggestions but nothing quite did it. In the end this pickup that had taken so much work to develop, traveled so far and refused to go away I called the “Attitude”.

The Attitude is available in 6 and 7 string, for neck and bridge positions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSRfmSbRacwhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSRfmSbRacw

‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup Repair

https://mrglynspickups.com/

This old Telecaster Pickup Repair came to me for a re-wind but as you can just see from the picture the problem turned out to be outside the coil.
You can just see the broken wire on the left. That blob of solder is a clue too, this pickup has been messed with.
It’s very common for a pickup to come to me for a full re-wind but it turns out to have a smaller problem.

This one is a fiddly Telecaster Pickup Repair because the broken end is the inner winding but I managed to fix it.

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