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Series Parallel switch

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

So what is series/parallel all about?

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

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

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

Series parallel humbucker wiring diagram

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

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

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

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

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

Series Parallel switch

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Epiphone Les Paul pickup upgrade

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”. 

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Integrity humbucker demo

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
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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

AlnicoII – Bridge 7.25 KOhms, AlnicoII – 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/

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

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Minx – 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 10.5 KOhms, AlnicoV – Neck 6.6KOhms

Minx hot mini humbucker  MrGlyn’s Pickups

If you love your mini humbucker guitar but want a bit more power than standard Deluxe style pickups the ‘Minx’ mini humbucker is the pickup for you.

The Minx has plenty of that mini humbucker clarity and tonality but with more power and more grit.

The ‘Minx’ is a clean clear sounding mini humbucker but with more power than the vintage Gibson’s. There is warmth and clarity but with more powerful windings than the ‘Mini’ along with an alnicoV magnet they will push your amp harder.

With narrower coils than a PAF mini humbuckers ‘hear’ a narrower part of the string resulting in cleaner highs, a less pushy lower mid range and a distinctive clear bass that’s never woofy or wooly.

The neck pickup has the same coils as the ‘Mini’ but with an alnicoV magnet they have a fatter power and make a great match to the Minx bridge pickup.

The bridge pickup has a characterful mid range with a bite and fullness that is lacking in most mini humbuckers. You wouldn’t describe this pickup as polite and it will certainly put you towards the front of any mix.

Minx hot mini humbucker set MrGlyn’s Pickups

Great for the blues or rock player after dynamics – tickle it and it’s clean but when you dig in there’s enough power to push the front end of your amp into break up when you ask it to.

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.

For a lower powered mini humbucker take a look at the ‘Mini’ https://mrglynspickups.com/2021/11/12/mini-humbucker/

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Have a look at Mr Glyns Pickups on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/MrGlynsPickups/videos

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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

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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.

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

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Yamaha SA30 pickup

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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How do Humbuckers Work?

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

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

I make a few flavors of humbucker:

The Integrity

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

The Cloud Nine

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

The Attitude

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

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My name is Glyn Evans.

I have been a full time pickup winder and luthier since 1995. I wound my first pickup under the guidance of legendary guitar repairer Ted Lee while studying guitar making/repair under him at City of Leeds College of Music in the North of England.

There’s something about the physics that really appealed to me. I went straight home, built my own winding machine, bought some wire and started experimenting.

In those pre-internet days there just wasn’t any information available on how to make good pickups. I made pickup after pickup, I wound and I listened. I made notes of every variation both good and bad so I could learn what was happening.

Looking back I think that time was invaluable for developing an intuition for making pickups. Whenever I came across a result I didn’t understand I swatted up on the physics; there’s a lot to learn.

I wrote all the experiments down in a notebook, I still have the notebook and I’m still adding to it.

I love hearing my pickups played live or on recordings; it feels good to have played a very small part in that sound.

My day to day work has always been in guitar repair so I’ve been privileged to be able to study first hand some of the great vintage (and modern) pickups. I have re-wound and repaired countless faulty pickups to either restore them to their original state or to improve them. This is how you learn and I think I will always be learning.

In 2012 I had the idea for my own range of pickups. In 2020 MrGlyn’s Pickups website went live. I’ve been lucky enough to know many professional players who’ve given their time and expertise to help me.

Every pickup design I make has been tested both by me and some of these “test pilots”. They’ve been in and out of numerous guitars, recorded, gigged, analysed and altered more times than I can remember.

I am really happy with the results, I hope you will be too.

How do Humbuckers Work

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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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