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Jazz Bass

Single – “Jazz Bass” NZ$149 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; NZ$129.57

Pair – “Jazz Bass” NZ$285 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free; NZ$247.83

Neck – 6.84 kOhms, Alnico V. Bridge – 7.45 kOhms, Alnico V

Jazz Bass pickup by Mr Glyn's Pickups

Mr Glyn’s “Jazz Bass” pickups are inspired by the Fender Jazz pickups from the early 60’s. Low powered vintage tones suited to players looking for a clean, clear, springy tone. Positive, percussive bass response, woody mids and clear highs. Designed for players wanting a pure tone with either fingers or a pick.

All my Jazz pickup sets are RWRP so they are hum cancelling when both pickups are on.

I love Jazz basses, that off-set body looks so cool and the narrow neck makes it very easy to get around. Looks, playability and versatility make it hard to beat.

The Jazz bass has such a classic tone. The sound of a Jazz with both pickups on can be heard on so many recordings, it’s so distinctive. It’s the sound of two coils connected in parallel, like a Strat in positions 2 or 4. It’s that clear, scooped tone. The pair of coils in a Precision Bass are wired in series which gives it a bigger, more powerful sound with a lot more lower mids but the clarity of a Jass Bass can really stand out.

Over the years I’ve re-wound a lot of old Fender pickups. I like to make notes to record what I find in these old pickups, wire gauge, insulation types, d.c. resistance, magnetic gauss, dimensions. My notebook is getting pretty full. This is my constant reference when I’m designing a new pickup, that and my ears.

I’ve based these pickups on the best of the old Fenders I’ve come across over the years. Not all vintage pickups are great but when you see enough of the good ones patterns begin to form.

I still repair pickups and still add to my old notebook, always learning 😎.

Jazz Bass pickup set by Mr Glyn's Pickups
Mr Glyns Pickups Jazz Bass

/https://mrglynspickups.com/

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

Jazz Bass Cool

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Epiphone Les Paul pickup upgrade

Integrity humbuckers. PAF Alnico 2 vintage voiced pickups

The biggest difference you can make to an Epiphone Les Paul is a pickup upgrade. In this video Ben Neal does just that.

Take a look at his YouTube channel for more great videos – https://www.youtube.com/c/BenNeal

Here’s some info on the Integrity humbucker set and you can go to my Integrity page for lots more demos:

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”. 

Roboguy - Mr Glyns Pickups mascot. pickup upgrade

pickup upgrade

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New Alien Weaponry pickup

COMING SOON!

Spent a couple of days with Alien Weaponry working on a signature pickup for Lewis and we’re just about there.

We’ve got the sound, and it’s BIG. This is not a pickup for the timid.

We just have some work to do on the look of the final pickup and it will be available to the public.

Alien Weaponry Mr Glyns Pickups

This is so exciting for me, working with an artist who really knows what he wants and is such a great player and they are lovely people to work with.

More news coming soon. https://alienweaponry.com/tour-dates.html

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Integrity humbucker demo

Integrity humbuckers. PAF Alnico 2 vintage voiced pickups

Thought I’d let you know about a new demo of my Integrity humbucker by Ben Neil. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVg2uivLJff7FTWmwTYVZWQ

Here’s the short, to the point version:

For those of you wanting to delve a little deeper here’s the full version:

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/

Integrity humbucker demo

Mr Glyns Pickups logo. Integrity humbucker demo
Mr Glyns Pickups

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Hamurana Guitars NZ

It’s always interesting to see where my pickups end up, in this case Hamurana Guitars NZ.

Hamurana Guitars featuring Mr Glyns Pickups
Hamurana Guitars

They make World class guitars combining looks, playability and tone. I’ve played a few – they are outstanding.

Hamurana have used my pickups in a few builds and it’s always great to see what he comes up with. This time he’s used a pair of my my Black Sand humbucker size P90’s.

You can get in touch with Hamurana Guitars and order your dream guitar here:

https://www.hamuranaguitarworks.co.nz/

Hamurana Guitars made in New Zealand

Here’s more info on the Black Sand pickups:

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.

Mr Glyns Pickups
Mr Glyns Pickups

Hamurana Guitars

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‘Mini’ – mini 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

AlnicoV – Bridge 7.25 KOhms, AlnicoV – Neck 6.6 KOhms

The ‘Mini’ is inspired by the Gibson mini humbuckers of the 70’s used in the Les Paul Deluxe.

The ‘Mini’ is a clean clear sounding mini humbucker with the warmth and clarity from an alnico II magnet combined with low winding strength. This gives them a full, smooth, chiming bass, clear mids and an almost jangly treble, present but never harsh.

Great for jazz, funk, blues, pop or any genre that requires a clean, low powered humbucker set.

Mini humbucker by MrGlyn’s Pickups

Mini humbuckers are great pickups, lower in power than their full size sisters their clarity comes from less windings around a smaller bobbin. The smaller size of the pickup means they ‘hear’ less of the string length than a full size humbucker. The result is a clearer tone with less of the lower mid range push that you get from a PAF.

Mini humbucker set by MrGlyn’s Pickups

The neck pickup has a clear voice ideal for funk or jazz. The neck and bridge pickups together have a perfect balance when used together, ideal for clean rhythm playing. The bridge pickup alone has a cheeky ‘cut through’ quality pushing you to the front of any mix.

Although he Les Paul Deluxe was a short lived guitar in the Gibson range the mini humbucker has lived on. It is a very popular pickup in custom guitars particularly the neck pickup and is a great match for Mr Glyn’s ‘Cruel Mistress’ telecaster bridge pickup.

If you’re looking for a pickup that is clearer than a PAF, has a less prominent lower mid spike with an even balanced tone then the mini humbucker could be the pickup for you.

The Mini has a more powerful sister – the Minx https://mrglynspickups.com/2021/11/11/minx-mini-humbucker/

MrGlyn’s Pickups Roboguy logo

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

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‘Sassy’ P90 skateboard lap steel

The Sassy is a traditional full fat P90 pickup by Mr Glyn's Pickups

Been having some fun making a pickup demo using a skateboard lap steel.

The Mr Glyn’s “Sassy” P90 is a pickup set influenced by the Gibson P90’s of the late 50’s. The “Sassy” have a distinctive woody aggressive tone, full of character. The highs are smooth yet punchy, there’s a chiming bottom end and a very obvious mid range that pushes through the mix. If you tickle the strings they’re clean and clear but dig in and there’s no shortage of power to drive the front end of your amp.

I’ve grown to love P90’s over the years, it’s the sound of those early Gibson Les Paul Juniors. It’s a pickup that needs no extras, just straight into a good amp. They’re happy to power pedals but there’s a fullness and balance that seems to need nothing else.

I wanted the “Sassy” P90 set to live up to its name and have the dynamic range that I love about P90’s. The wide flat coil of a P90 gives a richer, less percussive tone than other single coil pickups and this is where the full tone comes from. I’ve sat both neck and bridge pickups on top of a pair of Alnico V magnets to give the power this pickup needs and help add that bit of grit when played hard.

I’ve made the neck pickup smooth and fat but with clarity and chime enough for jazz. The bridge pickup has the dynamics, pushy mids and aggressive highs when pushed but cleans up when you ask it to.

This is a pickup set that would be happy in almost any situation, blues, rock, punk, reggae… If it’s a full bodied, dynamic P90 you’re after look no further.

The Sassy is available in Dogear and Soapbar. https://mrglynspickups.com/mr-glyns-pickup-store/sassy-p90-set/

I’ve named this set the “Sassy” P90 set to reflect these pickup’s attitude, they’re bold, spicy, disrespectful and a bit cheeky. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJtZkIbaCZU

Sassy P90 dogear black. A full fat P90 from M Glyn's Pickups

skateboard lap steel

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Clear View humbucker set

Take a Squire Affinity, give it to luthier Ramsay Phillips, add some Mr Glyn’s pickups Clear View humbucker set and see what you get?Superb demo from Jason Herbert – all 3 of him.

The “Clear View” humbucker is something different. It’s a humbucker for players that don’t like humbuckers.

This pickup set is all about pure clarity. There are no pushy lower mids that make your clean sound a mush. The highs are clean and clear but not harsh, the bottom end is clear but with none of that humbucker woof.

If single coils are too harsh and unforgiving, conventional humbuckers too powerful and muddy then here’s the solution. The “Clear View” humbucker is low powered and balanced, designed for the textural player, great with reverbs and modulation, sits its the mix without getting in the way.

If you want a low powered ‘Vintage’ humbucker with all the character of a PAF get a MrGlyn’s ‘Integrity’ humbucker. If humbuckers sound too thick and you crave extra clarity then the ‘Clear View’ is for you.

And, of course, it’s hum cancelling.

This is not a pickup born to rock, it’s more than that. https://mrglynspickups.com/2021/08/20/clear-view-humbucker/

The Clear View Story

It started with a phone call from luthier Ramsay Phillips.

I’ve got huge respect for Ramsay, he’s worked all over the world and has a great client list (including Steve Vai). He knows guitars, knows tone and he’s a thinker. So when he calls to talk about a new pickup idea I listen.

He was interested in having a humbucker for people that didn’t like humbuckers (his phrase). A pickup with clear tone and low powered but not like a PAF, clearer than that. He wanted a midrange more like a single coil than a traditional humbucker. At first I thought my ‘Black Sand’ humbucker size P90 would suit him but as he talked I realised he didn’t want the grit of a P90. He’s very well practiced at describing sound so I felt I understood what he meant. He assured me he had customers asking about such a pickup.

He wasn’t in a rush which meant I could have a good ponder over what he’d said before making anything.

Then one morning about a week later I was out on the beach with the dogs. There was quite a big swell (the sea is never calm at Muriwai) and I was listening to the sea. I was trying to figure out which frequencies in that sound I would need to remove to make Ramsay’s pickup. By the time I got home there was a plan.

I made a set of pickups, sent them to him and a few days later he called to say they were spot on. It isn’t usually that easy.

Clear View humbucker set.

Clear View humbucker set.

Mr Glyns Pickups

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‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup

Fender Telecasterbridge pickup from 1968

I repair quite a few old pickups and thought you might be interested in this ‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup.

‘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.

guitar pickup

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.

old guitar pickup
Tele pickup bridge plate

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.

broken pickup

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.

'68 Tele date

With the back plate off you can clearly see the date.

guitar pickup corrosion

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.

pickup lacquer

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.

Tele pickup

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.

Telecaster Bridge Pickup

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.

If you need any pickup repairs please contact me through the website http://www.mrglynspickups.com or give me a call 021912678

‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup

Mr Glyns Pickups

https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/silver-lady-vintage-telecaster/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0b3oNSRvP0

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New Cruel Mistress Tele Demo

Cruel Mistress hot telecaster pickup set.

A big thanks to Jonathan Ho for this great New Cruel Mistress Tele Demo showing us Tele’s are for more than just country.

Mr Glyns Cruel Mistress hot Telecaster Pickups are designed for the Tele player who wants more than the traditional country twang. They have a full bottom end, cut through mids and a top end that is strong but never harsh. They’ll push you amp that bit harder without loosing that Telecaster character.

There is nothing like the high end snarl of a good Tele bridge pickup. However, Tele Pickups are complicated. It’s a sound that needs to be just right – too much treble and it can sound grating and obnoxious, too little and it just isn’t a Tele. The treble needs warmth while still cutting through a mix like a zombie banjo.

I wanted to make a pickup with a bit more power to drive an amp harder while keeping the Tele character. My biggest concern was not losing what a Tele is all about. In my repair work I come across quite a few replacement Tele pickups that just don’t sound like Teles. Bridge pickups need grit and the neck a chimey clarity and together they should be full and open and matched well enough to create almost a reverb sound with the switch in the middle position.

The “Cruel Mistress” -hot Tele uses AlnicoV magnets to help with the attack and AWG43 wire to help with the snarl.

The neck pickup on a Tele needs to be smooth and warm and have a great balance with the bridge pickup so that the middle position rings with an almost reverb-like tone. The difficulty with Telecaster neck pickups is there just isn’t much space under that cover. As a result it can be a hard pickup to get right and there were a lot of experiments and disappointments on the way. Eventually I came on a design that has enough bottom end to sound full but not so much to sound boomy. And the final pickup was a great match to the bridge.

I had help from the ears of a couple of my regular customers who were generous enough to let me load their guitars with prototypes. The whole process takes time and only after many road tests and versions did I fix on a design. As a result, each of my designs have been developed over many years of subtle changes and road tests. Having help like this means my pickups are trialed through many different amps and playing styles. The neck/bridge balance as well as dynamics/compression need to be tested in as many situations as possible to find a pickup that will work for most players.

So if you need some grit and aggression from your Tele this is the set for you. https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/cruel-mistress-hot-tele-pickups/ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOdXLT6XwMylvwTfhCDTzJjmzhq2kQbLD

Cruel Mistress hot telecaster pickup set.
Cruel Mistress Tele Demo
Mr Glyn’s Pickups Logo – Roboguy

Cruel Mistress Tele Demo

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Gretsch FilterTron – a look inside

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.

I started playing guitar because of the sound of A FilterTron. Listen to Malcolm Young on the intro to “Jailbreak” – that’s what I’m talking about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRo2m6RYJpI

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.

Gretsch FilterTron

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.

Filtertron with the cover off
Filtertron underneath
Gretsch FilterTron

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.

Bobbins

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.

Gretsch FilterTron
Mr Glyns Pickups

My own version of the FilterTron will be available soon.

Feel free to get in touch for pickup repairs or new pickups mrglynspickups@gmail.com. 021 912 678 https://mrglynspickups.com/

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“Clear View” 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

Alnico V, Bridge 3.58KOhms, 2.43H, Neck 1.96KOhms, 1.16H

.

,

The “Clear View” humbucker is something different. It’s a humbucker for players that don’t like humbuckers.

This pickup set is all about pure clarity. There are no pushy lower mids that make your clean sound a mush. The highs are clean and clear but not harsh, the bottom end is clear but with none of that humbucker woof.

If single coils are too harsh and unforgiving, conventional humbuckers too powerful and muddy then here’s the solution. The “Clear View” humbucker is low powered and balanced, designed for the textural player, great with reverbs and modulation, sits its the mix without getting in the way.

If you want a low powered ‘Vintage’ humbucker with all the character of a PAF get a MrGlyn’s ‘Integrity’ humbucker. If humbuckers sound too thick and you crave extra clarity then the ‘Clear View’ is for you.

And, of course, it’s hum cancelling.

This is not a pickup born to rock, it’s more than that.

Here’s a short video, clean with no effects, to show the clarity and balance of the “clear View” Pickups.

.

.

The Clear View Story

It started with a phone call from luthier Ramsay Phillips.

I’ve got huge respect for Ramsay, he’s worked all over the world and has a great client list (including Steve Vai). He knows guitars, knows tone and he’s a thinker. So when he calls to talk about a new pickup idea I listen.

He was interested in having a humbucker for people that didn’t like humbuckers (his phrase). A pickup with clear tone and low powered but not like a PAF, clearer than that. He wanted a midrange more like a single coil than a traditional humbucker. At first I thought my ‘Black Sand’ humbucker size P90 would suit him but as he talked I realised he didn’t want the grit of a P90. He’s very well practiced at describing sound so I felt I understood what he meant. He assured me he had customers asking about such a pickup.

He wasn’t in a rush which meant I could have a good ponder over what he’d said before making anything.

Then one morning about a week later I was out on the beach with the dogs. There was quite a big swell (the sea is never calm at Muriwai) and I was listening to the sea. I was trying to figure out which frequencies in that sound I would need to remove to make Ramsay’s pickup. By the time I got home there was a plan.

I made a set of pickups, sent them to him and a few days later he called to say they were spot on. It isn’t usually that easy.

Clear View humbucker Mr Glyns Pickups
Clear View humbucker
Humbucker options Mr Glyns Pickups
Humbucker options
Guitar Pickups, cute robot
Mr Glyns Pickups Roboguy

/https://mrglynspickups.com/

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

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Yamaha SA30 pickup

Vintage Yamaha humbucker

This Yamaha SA30 pickup came to me for repair the other day and I decided to take some photos and share my thoughts on it with you.

Yamaha SA30 pickup - Mr Glyns Pickups

The Yamaha SA30 is becoming a bit of a legend and getting rather sought after. Gone are the days you could pick one up cheap – the word is out. Thank you internet 🥴.

If you don’t know about them here’s some info: https://tymguitars.com.au/blogs/blog/1966-yamaha-sa-30t

This pickup was sent to me with an intermittent fault. It would work if you tapped it but stop a minute later. That pointed towards it being an internal wiring fault rather than a broken coil, I needed to investigate.

Yamaha SA30 pickup - Mr Glyns Pickups
Yamaha SA30 pickup - Mr Glyns Pickups

With the cover off you can see the hook up wires – these were my number one suspects. Sure enough, there was a dry joint where one of them was soldered to the connectors on the base plate. Just to make sure I re- soldered all the joints and the pickup is fixed.

But that’s not the interesting part – look at those bobbins. They’re different sizes. They each measure in the 4.5 K Ohms range but they’re clearly wound with different gauge wire on each coil. These pickups are renowned for their clarity – so what’s going on?

The smaller coil on the left must be wound with thinner gauge wire and less of it than the one on the right. Thinner wire have a greater resistance for the same length.

The coil on the right looks like a conventional humbucker coil like an overwound PAF but the coil on the left would have a less full sound. It will have less bottom and lower mids and a lot less power. But that’s just the windings.

bobbins - Mr Glyns Pickups

Turn the pickup over and you can see a ceramic bar magnet but it’s how it connects to the poles that’s interesting. The bigger coil has a larger piece of steel coupling the poles to the magnet than the smaller coil. Measuring the strength of the magnetic field on the top of the poles the smaller coil is about 20% weaker. So this again gives the big coil an overwound PAF sound and the smaller coil still thinner.

 - Mr Glyns Pickups

So with the Yamaha SA30 pickup they’ve created that clarity by having one coil doing most of the work – 4.5k Ohms with a ceramic magnet has a bit more grunt than one half of a PAF. But the other coil on it’s own would have more of a weedy gold foil type sound. Then they’ve been combined in series as a humbucker. Smart stuff eh!

Feel free to contact me for pickup repairs or for a chat about my range of new pickups. mrglynspickups@gmail.com

And here’s a great site for all things Yamaha SA, heaps of information here https://www.thesupposedstringmeister.net/?page_id=644

https://mrglynspickups.com/

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

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Cruel Mistress Telecaster Pickups

Cruel Mistress hot telecaster pickup set.

Mr Glyns Cruel Mistress hot Telecaster Pickups are designed for the Tele player who wants more than the traditional country twang. They have a full bottom end, cut through mids and a top end that is strong but never harsh. They’ll push you amp that bit harder without loosing that Telecaster character.

There is nothing like the high end snarl of a good Tele bridge pickup. However, Tele Pickups are complicated. It’s a sound that needs to be just right – too much treble and it can sound grating and obnoxious, too little and it just isn’t a Tele. The treble needs warmth while still cutting through a mix like a zombie banjo.

With the “Cruel Mistress” -hot Tele wanted to make a pickup with a bit more power to drive an amp harder while keeping the Tele character. My biggest concern was not losing what a Tele is all about. In my repair work I come across quite a few replacement Tele pickups that just don’t sound like Teles. Bridge pickups need grit and the neck a chimey clarity and together they should be full and open and matched well enough to create almost a reverb sound with the switch in the middle position.

The “Cruel Mistress” -hot Tele uses AlnicoV magnets to help with the attack and AWG43 wire to help with the snarl.

The neck pickup on a Tele needs to be smooth and warm and have a great balance with the bridge pickup so that the middle position rings with an almost reverb-like tone. The difficulty with Telecaster neck pickups is there just isn’t much space under that cover. As a result it can be a hard pickup to get right and there were a lot of experiments and disappointments on the way. Eventually I came on a design that has enough bottom end to sound full but not so much to sound boomy. And the final pickup was a great match to the bridge.

I had help from the ears of a couple of my regular customers who were generous enough to let me load their guitars with prototypes. The whole process takes time and only after many road tests and versions did I fix on a design. As a result, each of my designs have been developed over many years of subtle changes and road tests. Having help like this means my pickups are trialed through many different amps and playing styles. The neck/bridge balance as well as dynamics/compression need to be tested in as many situations as possible to find a pickup that will work for most players.

So if you need some grit and aggression from your Tele this is the set for you.

There are more demos here: https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/cruel-mistress-hot-tele-pickups/

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

Mr Glyns Pickups
Mr Glyns Pickups
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“Black Sand” humbucker size P90

Humbucker side P90 by Mr Glyns Pickups

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.

Mr Glyns Pickups

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.

Humbucker size P90 by Mr Glyns Pickups
Mr Glyns Pickups humbucker size P90
Mr Glyns Pickups
Mr Glyns Pickups

humbucker size P90 https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/black-sand-humbucker-sized-p90-neck/ https://www.youtube.com/c/MrGlynsPickups/videos

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

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It’s new demo day – Sassy P90

P90 by Mr Glyns Pickups

Thanks to Nik Dobbin for his demo of the Sassy P90 . I love his no-nonsense approach to demos.

You can find more of his gear demos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/zaulkin/…

The Mr Glyn’s “Sassy” P90 is a pickup set influenced by the Gibson P90’s of the late 50’s. The “Sassy” have a distinctive woody aggressive tone, full of character. The highs are smooth yet punchy, there’s a chiming bottom end and a very obvious mid range that pushes through the mix. If you tickle the strings they’re clean and clear but dig in and there’s no shortage of power to drive the front end of your amp.

I’ve grown to love P90’s over the years, it’s the sound of those early Gibson Les Paul Juniors. It’s a pickup that needs no extras, just straight into a good amp. They’re happy to power pedals but there’s a fullness and balance that seems to need nothing else.

I wanted the “Sassy” P90 set to live up to its name and have the dynamic range that I love about P90’s. The wide flat coil of a P90 gives a richer, less percussive tone than other single coil pickups and this is where the full tone comes from. I’ve sat both neck and bridge pickups on top of a pair of Alnico V magnets to give the power this pickup needs and help add that bit of grit when played hard.

I’ve made the neck pickup smooth and fat but with clarity and chime enough for jazz. The bridge pickup has the dynamics, pushy mids and aggressive highs when pushed but cleans up when you ask it to.

This is a pickup set that would be happy in almost any situation, blues, rock, punk, reggae… If it’s a full bodied, dynamic P90 you’re after look no further.

The Sassy is available in Dogear and Soapbar.

I’ve named this set the “Sassy” P90 set to reflect these pickup’s attitude, they’re bold, spicy, disrespectful and a bit cheeky. https://mrglynspickups.com/

sassy soapbar
Sassy P90
Sassy P90 by Mr Glyns Pickups
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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/

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

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

Mr Glyn's Pickups Roboguy
Mr Glyn’s Pickups Logo – Roboguy
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Fender Lead I Pickup

I’ve been repairing a few pickups recently and I thought I’d share this one with you. It’s a Fender Lead I Pickup that was sent to me by guitar repairer Jeff Baker from Oamaru.

The Fender Lead I was one of those obscure models that never really caught on and the pickup reflects that. It’s a little unusual and that’s what makes it interesting.

It even looks different with those square topped bobbins.

Fender Lead I Pickup

Not only is it unusual looking from the top but turn it over and it shows what it’s really all about. Those are 12 big adjustable poles screwed into substantial steel blocks and coupled to a powerful ceramic magnet.

This is clearly not a typical Fender pickup, this was designed to ROCK.

So what were Fender thinking? Well, this was 1979, the DiMarzio Super Distortion had been around for 5 years and was becoming very successful. Fender had nothing to compete with it. Looking at the spec of the Lead I pickup it is remarkably similar to the Super Distortion. Fender were making a Superstrat and it wasn’t even the 80’s yet.

 Lead I Pickup underneath

Back to the repair – it came to me because it wasn’t working and typical for faulty humbuckers one coil was showing ‘open circuit’ on the test meter. In these cases I can use the good coil as a reference to what the faulty coil should be. It had a dc resistance of 7.61 KOhms. Wiki told me the final dc resistance of the whole pickup is approx. 13KOhms so that gave me a pretty good indication of how I should wind it. That’s a powerful set of coils to go with that magnet.

A bit of maths, plenty of experience and some intuition and I had a plan for winding it. Detailed information just isn’t available for this kind of job.

humbucker bobbin

I stripped the bobbin and wound the coil.

pole pieces

I potted it very lightly because these bobbins are made of butyrate that has a lower melting point than most modern ABS bobbins – I didn’t want it to deform with the heat, I wasn’t going to be able to get another bobbin.

Here you can see the chunky pole pieces, they’ll guide a fair bit of that ceramic magnet’s strength up to the strings.

Fender Lead I Pickup

If you have a faulty pickup or are interested in my range of handmade pickups have a look at the website.

Here’s some more great info on the Fender Lead series: https://chrisandricktalkguitars.com/fenders-lead-series-cbs-era-gems/

https://mrglynspickups.com/

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

Mr Glyn's Pickups Roboguy
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Telecaster Bridge Pickup Repair

I had this Fender Telecaster bridge pickup repair in the other day and thought I’d show you it. It’s from an ’87/8 Fender Telecaster USA Standard.

Tele bridge pickups are the essence of Rock’n’Roll. For those of us that love our Teles there’s just nothing like it. So how come they sound so different from Strat bridge pickups? The magnets are usually the same, the windings are about the same so what makes Telecasters so distinctive?

There are 2 factors:

1) The Tele has a steel baseplate. This base plate increases the pickup’s inductance (by about 7%) giving it a bit more power. It also changes the shape of the magnetic field a little, broadening the magnetic window so the pickup ‘hears’ a bit more of the string. I use this principle on my ‘Tui’ Strat pickups. https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/tui-hot-strat-set/

2)The pickup is mounted to the steel bridge plate. Put a Tele bridge pickup in a Strat and you’re only half way to a true Tele sound. It really does make a big difference.

So, back to the repair – this pickup was completely dead showing ‘open circuit’ on the test meter. As with every one of these repair jobs I start by checking for dry solder joints – always worth ago. The solder joints were fine so time to look further.

As you can see from the picture there’s a lot of corrosion on the pole pieces. My suspicion is the corrosion has spread to the inside of the pickup and caused a break in the windings. I need to get in there and investigate.

90’s Telecaster Standard  bridge pickup. Mr Glyn’s pickups.

Once the windings are cut out it’s pretty obvious the corrosion has caused the problem. Fender pickups are wound directly on to the pole pieces so a bit of rust and they’ve had it.

Tele bridge pickup repair . MrGlyn’s Pickups  New Zealand

I clean the rust off and treat it with an anti rust product . Then I glue the poles to the fibreboard using superglue to make them secure.

1997 Tele bridge pickup . MrGlyn’s Pickups .

After that it’s a few coats of shellac to seal everything and finally I wrap the pole pieces with tape. I know it seems a bit extreme but I want to keep the windings from touching the pole pieces so this doesn’t happen again. The tape is so thin it won’t make any difference to the sound.

It’s all about preventing this problem from occurring again.

Mr Glyns  pickups New Zealand

Then finally I re-wind the pickup to the original spec.

Pickup rewind Telecaster . Mr Glyn  pickups

After the pickup is wax potted and the protective string replaced and waxed the Telecaster Bridge Pickup Repair is done and it’s ready to go back to its owner.

Telecaster bridge pickup. Mr Glyns  Pickups

It’s really satisfying saving old pickups.

If you have a pickup problem get in touch – mrglynspickups@gmail.com

For new pickups visit the website, I make 2 flavours of Telecaster sets.

https://mrglynspickups.com

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

Mr Glyn’s Pickups is based near Auckland, New Zealand. We manufacture a full range of electric guitar pickups for every situation.

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“Sassy” P90

Single – “Sassy” P90 NZ$189 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; NZ$164.35

Pair – “Sassy” P90 NZ$369 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free; NZ$320.87

Alnico V, Neck- 6.7 KOhms, 4.42H, Bridge 7.55 KOhms, 5.23H

.

.

The Mr Glyn’s “Sassy” P90 is a pickup set influenced by the Gibson P90’s of the late 50’s. The “Sassy” have a distinctive woody aggressive tone, full of character. The highs are smooth yet punchy, there’s a chiming bottom end and a very obvious mid range that pushes through the mix. If you tickle the strings they’re clean and clear but dig in and there’s no shortage of power to drive the front end of your amp.

I’ve grown to love P90’s over the years, it’s the sound of those early Gibson Les Paul Juniors. It’s a pickup that needs no extras, just straight into a good amp. They’re happy to power pedals but there’s a fullness and balance that seems to need nothing else.

I wanted the “Sassy” P90 set to live up to its name and have the dynamic range that I love about P90’s. The wide flat coil of a P90 gives a richer, less percussive tone than other single coil pickups and this is where the full tone comes from. I’ve sat both neck and bridge pickups on top of a pair of Alnico V magnets to give the power this pickup needs and help add that bit of grit when played hard.

I’ve made the neck pickup smooth and fat but with clarity and chime enough for jazz. The bridge pickup has the dynamics, pushy mids and aggressive highs when pushed but cleans up when you ask it to.

This is a pickup set that would be happy in almost any situation, blues, rock, punk, reggae… If it’s a full bodied, dynamic P90 you’re after look no further.

The Sassy is available in Dogear and Soapbar.

I’ve named this set the “Sassy” P90 set to reflect these pickup’s attitude, they’re bold, spicy, disrespectful and a bit cheeky.

"Sassy" P90 Mr Glyns Pickups
Sassy dogear cream
"Sassy" P90 Mr Glyns Pickups
Sassy dogear black
"Sassy" P90 Mr Glyns Pickups
Sassy soapbar cream
"Sassy" P90 Mr Glyns Pickups
Sassy soapbar black

I also make a humbucker size P90 set – the “Black Sand” if you need some P90 goodness in your humbucker guitar, here’s a link to them:

/https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/black-sand-humbucker-sized-p90-neck/

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

Robot

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Gibson T-Top repair

I’ve been repairing a few broken old pickups recently so thought I’d share some pictures and thoughts on this classic old Gibson T-Top.

The T-Top is a fairly common pickup on my workbench. Not because there’s and common fault with them but simply there were so many made and they’re all getting quite old now.

The “T-Top” simply refers to the molding on the top of the bobbin. They were Gibson’s standard humbucker from 67/8 until around 1980 replacing the legendary PAF.

Mr Glyns Pickups Gibson t top
Gibson T-Top Mr Glyn’s Pickups

There were a few subtle changes from the PAF but enough to make a difference.

Although the bobbins look different the important dimensions were unchanged and they are still made of butyrate making it impractical to wax pot them. Butyrate distorts with heat.

The wire is poly insulated instead of the plain enamel used on PAF’s. Pretty much all T-Tops have a dc resistance of around 7.5 KOhms, neck and bridge the same. The coils are wound symmetrically and are unpotted so beware of squealing with high gain.

The magnets varied, often Alnico III, V or even Ceramic so not all T Tops sound the same.

T Top repair
Gibson T-Top Mr Glyn’s Pickups

This one came to me with a dead coil in need of a re-wind. the magnet is a rough cast Alnico V and from the good coil the finished dc reading I was after was 7.4 KOhms.

After the re-wind I gave it some new cloth tape so it looked the part and it was ready to ROCK.

T Top Humbucker
Gibson T-Top Mr Glyn’s Pickups

Get in touch if you have any old pickups in need of repair. Although most of my day is spent making new pickups I do enjoy repairing classic old pickups.

www.mrglynspickups.com

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“Attitude” 7 string humbucker – Mr Glyn’s Pickups

Attitude 7 string humbucker

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, a 7 string humbucker.

I wanted a tight bottom end, singing highs and a balanced midrange with that slight compression to smooth the dynamics.

I decided to start with a 7 string humbucker 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 humbucker 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”. https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/07/29/attitude-humbucker/

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

Here’s Graham:

7 string humbucker

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Where to try Mr Glyn’s Pickups

I’m delighted to announce that The Guitar Gallery in downtown Auckland is not only stocking Mr Glyn’s Pickups but has demo guitars loaded with them for you to try Mr Glyn’s Pickups.

The shop is at 95 Queen Street (Opposite Fort Street) but it isn’t easy to find so I made this short video.

https://theguitargallery.co.nz/https://theguitargallery.co.nz/

https://mrglynspickups.com/​

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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. 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.

Mr Glyns Pickups Logo - Roboguy
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“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.

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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

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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

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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

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Rewind on an old Jansen Pickup

Jansen toaster pickup

A couple of weeks back I received this faulty old pickup from a Jansen stratphonic hollow bodied bass made in New Zealand.

The meter was showing it was ‘open circuit’ so after the usual tests for dry joints and removing the top layer of windings I decided it needed rewinding.

I do enjoy saving old dead pickups and this one looks so cool with that ‘toaster’ cover.

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. 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.

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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

Mr Glyn's Pickups Roboguy
Mr Glyn’s Pickups Logo – Roboguy
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Attitude 7 String humbucker

MrGlyn’s Attitude 7 String humbucker ready to be boxed up and on its way to McPherson’s Stompboxes in Papamoa. Just time for a quick pic with Roboguy.

Attitude 7 string humbucker by Mr Glyn

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 7 String humbucker.

The Attitude is available in 6 and 7 string, for neck and bridge positions. https://mrglynspickups.com/

Here’s Graham:

And Gabe:

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

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Attitude Humbucker Demo

Here’s the demo of my new “Attitude” humbucker set. Handmade in New Zealand. A huge thanks to Gabe at The Music Academy (https://www.themusicacademypapamoa.com/) for his work.
www.mrglynspickups.com

The Attitude Humbucker has a long story.

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

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An Amazing Fact About Guitar Pickups

The wire in guitar pickups is pretty thin. Numbers like 0.063mm diameter are hard to imagine so I thought I’d put it another way – here’s an Amazing Fact About Guitar Pickups…

Guitar Pickups

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.

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://mrglynspickups.com/

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

email: 

mrglynspickups@gmail.com

phone: +6421912678

Roboguy Logo

Follow the links to find out more

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How Do Humbuckers Work?

How Do Humbuckers Work? Humbucking pickups get their name from the clever way they cancel out hum. But how do they do it?
Here’s a brief video to explain why, with some help from Sammy the dog.

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.

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. https://mrglynspickups.com/

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

How Do Humbuckers Work

Roboguy Logo

Follow the links to find out more

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“Tui” pickup for Strat

A description of what makes my “Tui” pickup for Strat different.

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”- pickup for Strat 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.

Further experiments have shown they balance really well as part of a HSS set with either my Integrity or Cloud Nine humbuckers in the bridge position.

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

Mr Glyn's Pickups Roboguy
https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/tui-hot-strat-set/https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/tui-hot-strat-set/
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Follow the links to find out more

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Tui pickups for Strat – Demo

Thanks to Gabe Dovaston from The Music Academy, Papamoa for this Tui pickups Demo.

Tui pickupshttps://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/tui-hot-strat-set/ Demo

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 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.

“Tui”- hot Strat set

Mr Glyns Tui strat pickup in mint green.

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

Tui pickups Demo

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“Black Sand” Humbucker sized P90

Single Humbucker sized P90 NZ$189 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free NZ$164.35

Pair Humbucker sized P90 NZ$369 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free NZ$320.87

Alnico V, Neck- 6.96 KOhms, Bridge 7.94 KOhms

Brett Kingman Black Sand demo

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Warren Mendonsa Black Sand demo

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.

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
HBSP90 set
Black Sand – Nickel
Humbucker sized P90 Mr Glyns Pickups
Black Sand Black Cover
Humbucker side P90 by Mr Glyns Pickups

Single $189nz, Pair $369nz

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

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“Bellbird”- vintage Strat set

Single NZ$129 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; NZ$112.17

Set NZ$339 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free; NZ$294.78

AlnicoV – Neck 5.68 KOhms, 2.36H, Middle 5.68 KOhms, 2.36H, Bridge 6.05 KOhms, 2.71H

vintage Strat Pickups

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The Bellbird is a vintage voiced pickup set strongly influenced by the pre CBS Fenders of the early 60’s. Clear and chiming, low powered and pure. Suitable for a huge range of styles, ideal for that traditional tone.

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.

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 an Alder body Strat with rosewood fretboard strung with D’Addario 10-52’s. All of them with the same guitar, same amp, same settings, no reverb or eq added later.

Bellbird Neck Pickup Clean
Bellbird Neck and Middle Pickups Clean
Bellbird Middle Pickup Clean
Bellbird Middle and Bridge Pickups Clean
Bellbird Bridge Pickup Clean

Bellbird Neck Pickup with Overdrive
Bellbird Neck and Middle with Overdrive
Bellbird Middle with Overdrive
Bellbird Middle an Bride Pickups with Overdrive
Bellbird Bridge Pickup with Overdrive
Bellbird vintage strat set - Mr Glyns Pickups
Strat Cover Options Mr Glyns Pickups
Strat Cover Options

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

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“Tui”- hot Strat set

Single “Tui”- hot Strat NZ$129 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; $112.17

Set “Tui”- hot Strat NZ$339 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free; $294.78

AlnicoV – Neck 6.73KOhms, 3.22H, Middle 6.73 KOhms, 3.22H, Bridge 7.12 KOhms, 3.51H.

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Tui Pickup Demo

Here’s some more Tui goodness, this time in a HSS configuration with a Cloud Nine humbucker.

And in HSS with an ‘Integrity’ humbucker

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The “Tui” Strat set is a step up in power from the “Bellbird” vintage set while still retaining the character of the Stratocaster. This set is best suited to Blues/Rock players who like a bit of dirt. There’s more bottom end and smoother highs. It’s very well suited to HSS set ups alongside my Integrity or Cloud Nine humbuckers.

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 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.

Further experiments have shown they balance really well as part of a HSS set with either my Integrity or Cloud Nine 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.

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 an Alder body Strat with rosewood fretboard strung with D’Addario 10-52’s. All of them with the same guitar, same amp, same settings, no reverb or eq added later.

Tui Neck Pickup Clean
Tui Neck and Middle Pickups Clean
Tui Middle Pickup Clean
Tui Middle and Bridge Pickups Clean
Tui Bridge Pickup Clean
Tui Neck Pickup with Overdrive
Tui Neck and Middle Pickups with Overdrive
Tui Middle Pickup with Overdrive
Tui Middle and Bridge Pickups with Overdrive
Tui Bridge Pickup with Overdrive
“Tui”- hot Strat Mr Glyns Pickups
Strat Cover Options
Strat Cover Options

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

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Integrity-vintage 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

Alnico II – Bridge 8.02 KOhms, 6.43H. Neck 7.41 KOhms, 5.57H

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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/

Is pickup was originally called the “Blue Sky”.

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

Integrity-vintage humbucker by Mr Glyns Pickups
Humbucker options - Mr Glyns Pickups

Testimonials

I put the integrity pick ups into my Jim Root Jazzmaster last week.
I gigged with the guitar on Sat night and am so happy.
They have the versatility that I’m looking for.
Thanks

Bought a set of Mr Glyn’s Integrity humbuckers and they are awesome! These pickups do everything from clean to blues rock to screaming distorted rock tones. So great to just roll off the volume, have it clean up but still stay loud and defined. My guitar is now super versatile and sounds great! Thanks

https://keningtonmusic.com/

Integrity-vintage humbucker

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