I’ve just published a couple of videos on YouTube entitled ‘Eat My Packaging’. The idea is to demonstrate that our packaging is compostable and to have some fun at the same time.
I’d love other businesses to think about how they send their products and maybe make some changes.
If you think this is a good idea I’d love it if you could share it on your social media and maybe ask a business to do the same and post a video or pictures on #eatmypackaging
Here’s the short version:
And there’s a longer talky one:
No pickup makers were harmed in the making of this video.
Eat My Packaging is not something I recommend you try and do – you’ve got way more sense than that.
Mr Glyn’s Pickups is a small manufacturer operating from one of the more distant corners of the planet sending delicate products all over the World. If we can manage to use fully bio degradable packaging then there’s no reason why others can’t. You don’t need bubble wrap, you don’t need plastic bags.
I’m going to use this video to encourage my suppliers to do the same. Too many of the parts we use arrive in plastic bags. We do our best to re-use these and some can be re-cycled. It isn’t perfect but we’re working on it.
The products we sell contain plastics and metals but our pickups are designed to last at least 50 years and after that are repairable. Again not perfect, but we’re doing our best.
If you think this is a good idea please share on all your social media, tell your friends and maybe challenge a business to #eatmypackaging
Mr Glyns Pickups Jazzmaster vintage set is intended for the clean player needing a low powered Jazzmaster set with full tone, warmth and clarity.
These pickups have smooth a jangly treble , always present, never harsh and distinctively Jazzmaster. The bass is clean, clear, woody and full of character and with the warmth of the original Jazzmaster pickups. The mid range is smooth and well balanced. Alnico II magnets give these pickups a clear, very musical quality.
Wound RWRP they hum cancel when both pickups are on.
Their clarity makes these pickups suitable for many musical styles and lend themselves well to pedals with the personality of the pickups shining through. Drenched in reverb and delay, grinding fat fuzz tones or even clean Jazz.
This pickup set was designed around the standard 1MegOhm pots though work equally well with 500KOhm or 250KOhm. It’s really up to you which tone you prefer.
I’ve always had a fondness for offset guitars and Jazzmasters in particular. Is it the look? The smooth, clear treble? The versatile electronics? Probably all of those things. Jazzmasters are not like anything else, you either get it or you don’t.
I hope you enjoy these pickups, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed designing, and especially testing them. This time the rigorous testing that I put all my pickups through re-kindled my love of Jazzmasters. The sound of a pickup and the way it reacts to pedals and your amp change the way you play. I really like the direction these pickups have steered me in. I wish it was possible to demo the feel of a pickup not just the sound because the feel is a huge part of it.
The sound samples are a CIJ Jazzmaster into a NZ made old Jansen amp – ECC83, 6L6. With a Celestion Hot 100 12″ and using an SM57.
Each riff goes from neck pickup to middle to bridge using the treble circuit. The 4th riff compares the neck pickup on the treble circuit to the neck on the rhythm circuit, then the middle, then bridge.
I repair quite a few old pickups and thought you might be interested in this ‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup.
As you can see it’s looking pretty tired. I quite like seeing pickups like this – it’s clearly given great service for decades. This is just wear and tear and the sign of a happy life and although it isn’t working now there’s no reason why it can’t be made good for a few more decades.
One of the first things I noticed is the black tape. Underneath it is the original waxed protective string. I’m not sure why someone added that.
The plate underneath has aged fantastically but as you can see the earth wire is missing from it. I re-solder the connections just in case there is a dry joint but the pickup is still dead.
I suspect this is the fault- the top plate has warped over time and the corrosion has got in and damaged the windings. That top plate looks like a skateboard deck – it should be flat! This pickup is going to need a re-wind.
With the back plate off you can clearly see the date.
And here it is, this is the problem. With the windings cut away you can clearly see that the corrosion on the pole piece has spread into the winding. There’s a bit of wax in there too from when it was potted originally.
So here’s the plan. I need to flatten that top plate back. Then clean up the pole pieces. I need to do something about the corrosion. And finally re-wind the pickup to original spec. And most importantly make it look like nothing ever happened.
Cleaning the poles is easy, then I flatten the top plate and glue it in place with super glue. Originally it was just a push fit. Then I treat the rust with some anti rust stuff. Here you can see it masked off so I can give the poles a couple of coats of lacquer.
Next I wrap the poles with thin tape. I want to protect the windings from future corrosion. I want this pickup to play hard for another 50 years.
Then it’s re-winding and wax potting and finally replacing the original string.
Of course, I forget to take a photo of it with the string on.
The Gretsch FilterTron is something rather special. Originally designed in 1954/5 by Ray Butts for guitarist Chet Atkins who wasn’t satisfied by the DynaSonic pickup he was using. It has become a classic but often misunderstood pickup.
It has left a distinct mark on the sound of Rock’n’Roll. It’s the sound of Malcolm Young, Brian Setzer, Billy Duffy and plenty more. That unmistakable ‘Clank’ on the attack of the note is the essence of the FilterTron.
But you don’t only find FilterTrons in Gretches, there’s the rather cool Fender Cabronita Telecaster.
So how does it make that distinctive sound? What makes it so different from a PAF?
Here’s a vintage Gretsch FilterTron from 1961, let’s take a look under the hood.
With the cover off it looks quite different from a PAF. There are 2 rows of adjustable poles and they’re bigger than on a Gibson. The top of the bobbins are rather neatly hidden by a thin plate.
Here’s where it gets really interesting. Those are very narrow bobbins and this one measures only 4.2KOhms. Not a lot of coil strength there but look what they’re sitting on. That is one fat magnet. It’s an Alnico V and literally twice the thickness of the Alnico 2 (usually) that you’d find in a PAF. So not only more powerful magnetic material but double the amount of it compared to a Gibson.
So that FilterTron sound consists of a weaker, thin sounding coil so lots of highs and twang from the windings and getting the aggression, attack and ‘clank’ from the powerful magnet.
This is the original FilterTron, the design didn’t change much through to the late 60’s although there are plenty of inconsistencies. They can have a dc resistance from 4KOhms up to 5KOhms.
By the 1970’s they had changed the design and really they just didn’t sound like Gretsch’s any more.
A lot of the modern ones are simply small humbuckers with cool looking covers and just miss the whole point of the FilterTron sound.
It’s all about those weak coils and that monster magnet.
My own version of the FilterTron is now available:
A big thanks to Brett Kingman in Aussie for his demo of Mr Glyns “Black Sand” humbucker size P90. I love his relaxed approach while giving us a thorough listen to what these pickups can do.
The humbucker sized P90 is a great pickup – it sits tonally between a humbucker and and a strat type pickup. If your neck humbucker is a bit thick and woolly sounding for you, you want more clarity, or just want a different tone, then this one may be the answer. The physical size of this pickup is identical to that of a “normal” humbucker so it will pop straight in.
P90’s are different to other single coil pickups. They have a wide, flat coil similar to that of a Jazzmaster but the magnetic field is a very different shape. Fender single coil pickups have the coil wound around the magnet giving a focused, precise percussive sound. A P90 has 2 bar magnets underneath the coil; this broadens the magnetic window allowing the pickup to listen to a bit more string and thickens the sound. I chose Alnico V bar magnets for this model to help give some grit and power characteristic of a P90.
Of course, too much power and the pickup would sound too thick and bass heavy which is not its purpose. Too little power and it just won’t snarl.
Humbucker sized P90s are such a useful pickup. They sit tonally between a single coil and a humbucker (roughly speaking). and their physical size means they pop straight into any humbucker equipped guitar.
The development of my “Black Sand” pickup was a bit backwards. Usually I make a bridge pickup first and work from there but with this one the neck pickup came first. I had a customer ask for a neck pickup for an es335 to sound clearer than his existing Gibson humbucker. I sold a few neck pickups before thinking it would be a good idea to have a set. So I started work on the bridge pickup.
I wanted this bridge pickup to have clarity in the lower mids to stand out from humbuckers while having enough power to grit up nicely. I wanted it to be clean when tickled and to growl at you when you dig in. P90’s are all about dynamics. It had to match the existing neck pickup or work well as a stand alone in a HSS situation.
Of all the pickups in my range this one came together the quickest. There were only 4 or 5 prototypes and I was happy. Experience and intuition combined with a notebook where I’ve written down details of every experimental pickup I’ve made since 1995.
There were a load of prototypes in and out of a Les Paul, Tele Delux and PRS, through different amps and in the hands of different players. I never trust just my own ears with my pickups. I like to get opinions and suggestions from a few players before making any final decisions. I listen to what players say and I adjust prototypes accordingly, but at the end of the day the final decision is mine. I’m always aware of the phrase “a camel is a horse designed by committee”.
It took a while to get this one right. A pickup would sound great at workshop volume, them I’d play it in a band situation and it would be too boomy, too much like a humbucker. So I’d have a think and make another. In the end persistence paid off.
The pickups I finally settled on went into my Les Paul and off to a gig for the ultimate test, and that’s where they’re staying.
The neck “Black Sand” is a great match for either my “Integrity” or “Cloud Nine” bridge humbuckers or as a set with its equivalent “Black Sand” bridge humbucker sized P90.
I agonised over what to call this pickup set. I wanted a name that would reflect the apparent contradiction in P90’s. From the perspective of a humbucker player they are clear and chiming. From the viewpoint of a single coil player they are powerful and gritty. They’re one thing while looking like another. I wanted a oxymoron to reflect this contradiction, one that might include the unique magnetic structure that gives the P90 its character. So I went for a run along Muriwai beach to think. And there it was staring me in the face (literally). Muriwai has black volcanic sand due to its iron content and it’s magnetic. So I’ve called this set “Black Sand”.
I’m very happy with this pickup – hopefully you will be too.
Seymour Duncan JB humbuckers are such a classic pickup, loud and aggressive with no shortage of high end attack. This particular one has had a hard life and finally gave up so it arrived at my workshop for repair. It’s not the first Duncan JB Re-Wind if had to do but this time I’ve taken some pics.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (021 912 678).