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50’s wiring

I like to support my customers as much as I can so here is my drawing of Gibson 50’s wiring. Hopefully it will help you fit your new pickups.

The 50’s wiring is great for players wanting to retain some treble when the guitar volume is turned down.

The difference between the 50’s and modern wiring is in how the tone capacitor is connected to the volume pot. It’s a very simple modification if you have modern wiring and are curious.

I recommend this wiring for my Integrity humbuckers – https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/integrity-vintage-humbucker-2/

I’ve used my humbucker colour code.

There really is nothing wrong with modern wiring, having your tone darken as you turn down the volume can be very useful in some settings. So try both and see which suits you best.

It seems that all the cool kids and ‘experts’ on the internet are telling us it has to be 50’s or nothing but for anyone with a soldering iron it’s an easy mod and completely reversible so experiment for yourself. You may find you like 50’s for the neck pickup and modern for the bridge.

Here are some demos of my humbuckers https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOdXLT6XwMykEOjfDKlY6fBikNmVCBQXB

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Mr Glyns ‘Integrity’ vintage voiced humbucker

Inspired by the early Gibson PAF pickups the Integrity-vintage humbucker give the classic full, balanced tone we all love. Asymmetric coils give an open sounding mid range and the Alnico II magnet gives clarity and balance. A rich bottom end, characterful mids and sweet treble make this a pickup set for every situation – Jazz, Blues, Rock, it does it all.

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 the Integrity-vintage humbucker along with it’s timeless tone inspired the name “Integrity”. https://mrglynspickups.com/

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Telecaster Wiring Diagram

Telecaster wiringg diagram by Mr Glyns Pickups. Tele wiring diagram

I like to support my customers any way I can so here’s a Telecaster Wiring Diagram for a standard Telecaster to help you fit your set of Mr Glyns Pickups.

Telecaster wiring diagram. By Mr Glyns Pickups.
Tele Wiring Diagram

I’ve draws this diagram using the colour code for Mr Glyn’s Pickups.

I use shielded cable for my Telecaster pickups so not only do they hum less but by swapping the red and white wires it’s easy to reverse their phase. That’s really useful if you want to use a 4 way switch to combine the two pickups in series as a humbucker.

This is the standard Telecaster Wiring Diagram – there are plenty of modifications you could make to change things a little.

Changing the capacitor to one of a lower value will lessen the effect of using the tone control. A .022 microfarad cap, for instance, will make the tone control more subtle to use but it’s not great if you like using the tone as a wah wah.

I like to use a treble bleed on my Tele to avoid treble loss when using the volume control – here’s some info about it https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/09/04/treble-bleed/

Mr Glyn’s Pickups’ Story

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.

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.

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.

Here are my Telecaster Pickup demos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOdXLT6XwMylvwTfhCDTzJjmzhq2kQbLD

Telecaster Wiring Diagram

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Series Parallel switch

There are numerous ways to wire a humbucker but for me the most versatile is with a Series Parallel switch.

So what is series/parallel all about?

The standard way of wiring a humbucker is in series. PAF’s are wired this way and it gives the traditional full sound with plenty of mids and bottom end. Its simply one coil following the other, the end of one coil connected to the beginning of the next.

Wiring a humbucker in parallel is quite a different sound. It’s much more similar to a single coil sound but the pickups is still hum cancelling. There is a drop in volume though not as much as with a coil tap (switching one coil off).

This series parallel humbucker wiring diagram shows how to do it with a push/pull switch. With the switch down and the humbucker is wired in series (normal), pull it up and it’s in parallel. The wiring colour code is for Mr Glyn’s Pickups ( I use the same colours as Seymour Duncan).

Series parallel humbucker wiring diagram

I’m not sure why series/parallel isn’t more popular. Maybe it’s a little harder to understand than coil tapping, maybe it’s because its a little more complicated to wire up. I certainly prefer it.

I’m going to be posting a few more wiring diagrams in the near future. Keep an eye on this blog or my social media:

Mr Glyns pickups are individually made near Auckland, New Zealand. From low powered Vintage to powerful ROCK pickups. Designed combining experience, intuition and science. Road-tested by players on stage and in studios. Packaged with care for you and the planet. Food for amplifiers.

Mr Glyns Pickups is a small business which means I can communicate with my customers one to one. I’m always happy to discuss your requirements, answer questions and give advice. I want to know about the guitars my pickups are going in, send me pictures, send me recordings.

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For the full range of pickups https://mrglynspickups.com/

Series Parallel switch

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Treble Bleed, an explanation.

A brief explanation of how treble bleed circuits work and why you might need one.

With some help from Sammy the dog.

Here’s a more wordy explanation of a Treble Bleed: http://mrglyn.blogspot.com/2016/10/treble-bleed-capacitors.html

Treble bleed capacitors

You may have noticed that when you turn the volume control down on an electric guitar it not only gets quieter but also more muddy. As the volume goes down so does the clarity. This can, of course, be useful. Quite often you’ll want to be able to take some sparkle off the sound of single coil pickups. But with humbuckers I think they just get too wooly and undefined as the volume goes down.
So here’s the solution, it’s cheap and simple, easy to fit and makes humbuckers so much more versatile without taking anything away from the full volume sound. I’m talking about treble bleed capacitors.
 For our purposes all you need to know about capacitors (caps for short) is they allow treble frequencies to pass through them but block bass. The frequencies involved depend on the value of the cap.
 The volume control (potentiometer or pot) on an electric guitar looks like this:

It’s a fairly simple device, As you turn the volume down the resistance between the ‘in’ and ‘out’ leg increases. This makes it increasingly harder for the signal from your pickups to get through. Less signal means quieter.
 Here’s the same thing with our cunning treble bleed:

This one has the ‘Orange Drop’ treble bleed which has a resistor added to it. This resistor softens the treble as you turn down making the effect more subtle. My preference is for the cap on its own.
So as you turn down and the the resistance increases there’s an alternative path for the signal  – through the cap. But the cap will only let treble through. As you turn the volume down you’re also turning the bass down. As a result you have a usable single coil (ish) sound when the volume is low. If you’re overdriving an amp the result is cleaning your sound up. So with a high gain amp and your volume at about 1/4 you get a bluesy breaking up sound , crank the volume on the guitar and you’re rocking.
Here’s a picture of me rocking.

 As you can see, it’s very effective.
On my guitars I prefer a simple treble bleed (0.001uf), no coil taps or series parallel. Just the volume control.

Treble bleed circuits explained