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How do Humbuckers Work?

So How do Humbuckers Work? By a clever quirk of physics humbuckers manage to cancel out the hum they pick up. So how do they do it? Here’s a simple explanation with some help from Sammy the dog. https://mrglynspickups.com/

Mr Glyn’s pickups are hand made in New Zealand.

I make a few flavors of humbucker:

The Integrity

A full, clear sounding Alnico II pickups in the style of the best of the early PAF’s. Balance and clarity – a humbucker for every situation. https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/integrity-vintage-humbucker-2/

The Cloud Nine

A mid to hot, pickup made specifically for blues/rock players who want to push the front end of their amps. Plenty of grunt, plenty of mids and enough cut through for you to stand out in the mix.https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/cloud-nine-hot-humbuck

The Attitude

A pickup for the modern metal or fusion player. Articulate and balanced, smooth and clear. https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/07/29/attitude-humbucker/

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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.

How do Humbuckers Work

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DiMarzio Super Distortion – Rewind

The other day I had a DiMarzio Super Distortion in for a re-wind. A classic pickup, first made in 1972 and still ROCKS. I’m not sure how old this one is but it has certainly had a life.

I love seeing the Ohms of each coil hand written on the underside of the bobbins.

The whole thing is powered by that over thick ceramic magnet, offset to one side and with a steel bar down the side of one set of bolts to compensate for it. It’s that magnet that gives it the power, articulation and sensitivity.

Never judge a pickup by its ohms!

You will have heard these on thousands of recordings the DiMarzio Super Distortion is such a classic.

DiMarzio Super Distortion

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

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“Cloud Nine”-hot humbucker

Single NZ$199 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; NZ$173.04

Pair NZ$379 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free; NZ$329.57

Cover NZ$20 ($17.39) extra each pickup

AlnicoV – Bridge 13.48 KOhms, 10.49H, Neck 7.9 KOhms 5.69H

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“Cloud Nine”-hot humbucker

The “Cloud Nine”-hot humbucker is a versatile ROCK pickup with plenty of mids, plenty of power but with enough clarity to help you stand out in the mix. A great pickup set for the Blues/Rock player but also well suited to heavier sounds , think Randy Rhodes or EVH. It with push the front end of an amp but will also clean up especially with a treble bleed.

Here’s the Cloud Nine story:

I am at heart a man of ROCK.

Since the advent of the DiMarzio Super Distortion players have been able to get some power out of their pickups, enough to really push an amp.

The neck pickup needed to be clear and present but with enough power for some of those sweet lead lines. I wanted the bridge pickup to have power to scream with the best of them while retaining enough clarity to have definition. When I play a 7th chord I want to hear it as a 7th and not sound mushy like a John Deere tractor at full throttle. It’s a real danger with hot pickups that they lose character and tone. I needed a crunchy rhythm with strong mids and an over the top lead sound. I want to get squawking pinched harmonics whenever I please. Not only that but I need it it to clean up nicely and react well to a treble bleed circuit. A humbucker for every situation, for players not afraid of a bit of gain.

Not much to ask, eh!

I got through a lot of wire and magnets experimenting over the years to get this set right. I suppose I worked on it for about 5 years, different magnets, winds, wire thickness, insulation, winds per layer – there are a lot of factors. Whenever I felt I was close I used them at a gig to hear how they sat in the band. Pickups can sound quite different next to a drummer or in a mix. I tweaked and adjusted…

Eventually I was happy with the design and I was lucky enough to have legendary Kiwi band ‘Head Like A Hole’ help out with road testing. I knew if they came back from tour happy then I was on to a winner. They did.

When you get it right it feels so good, a sensitive pickup rich in harmonics is so much fun so I called it the “Cloud Nine” which how I felt at the end of it all.

This is the pickup set I gig with myself in my covers band now. I have them in an Epiphone Sheraton with treble bleeds on the volume pots. With this set up it works for everything from The Smiths to Metallica and all points in between. I don’t feel the need to swap guitar – these pickups work for everything.

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.

Neck Pickup Clean
Bridge Pickup Clean
Middle Position Clean
Neck Pickup with Overdrive
Bridge Pickup with Overdrive
Middle Position with Overdrive

Double Cream humbucker - Mr Glyns Pickups
Humbucker cover options offered by Mr Glyns Pickups.

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

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