In the last week I have received 2 emails from customers with YouTube demos attached just showing how Mr Glyn’s Pickups are working for them. Customer Feedback is always gratefully received.
If you like their YouTube channels don’t forget to Subscribe.
Firstly, Reg in Christchurch NZ with a set of Cruel Mistress Telecaster pickups:
Then Antonio from Tasmania who has a Cloud Nine bridge pickup.
Here is the email he sent me along with the links to his YouTube:
Just wanted to give you some feedback on the cloud nine i recently installed.
Firstly, thanks for the amazingly fast service.
Secondly the pickup sounds fantastic, especially alongside the dimarzio hs4s that were already installed on the guitar. I got the cloud nine to replace the paf pro which was only standard spacing but needed to be f spaced. I absolutely love the paf pro, but im so glad i went with the cloud nine.
Even in coil cut mode it sounds fantastic.
Anyways i wanted to send you a couple of links to videos i made with the finished guitar.
The cold chisel one i used the humbucker in full mode on the second solo.
As for the Europe cover, all the rhythm guitars were recorded in coil cut mode including the parts of the solo when i switch to the bridge. Because the hs pickups are such low output pups, the cloud nine in coil cut mode is a perfect output match.
Im definitely going to give more of your pickups a go.
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/
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.
Thanks to Jason Herbert for this Strat Pickups funky demo of my Bellbird Pickups. He used all 5 positions in this 1 minute clip.
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.
Out of the blue I received an email from a customer in Tasmania who had recently bought a Cloud Nine bridge pickup. He sent me a link to these clips. In The Final Countdown the rhythm guitars are the Cloud Nine coil tapped.
“Cloud Nine”-hot humbucker
The “Cloud Nine”-hot humbucker is a versatile ROCK pickup with plenty of mids, plenty of power but with enough clarity to help you stand out in the mix. A great pickup set for the Blues/Rock player but also well suited to heavier sounds , think Randy Rhodes or EVH. It with push the front end of an amp but will also clean up especially with a treble bleed.
Here’s the Cloud Nine story:
I am at heart a man of ROCK.
Since the advent of the DiMarzio Super Distortion players have been able to get some power out of their pickups, enough to really push an amp.
The neck pickup needed to be clear and present but with enough power for some of those sweet lead lines. I wanted the bridge pickup to have power to scream with the best of them while retaining enough clarity to have definition. When I play a 7th chord I want to hear it as a 7th and not sound mushy like a John Deere tractor at full throttle. It’s a real danger with hot pickups that they lose character and tone. I needed a crunchy rhythm with strong mids and an over the top lead sound. I want to get squawking pinched harmonics whenever I please. Not only that but I need it it to clean up nicely and react well to a treble bleed circuit. A humbucker for every situation, for players not afraid of a bit of gain.
Not much to ask, eh!
I got through a lot of wire and magnets experimenting over the years to get this set right. I suppose I worked on it for about 5 years, different magnets, winds, wire thickness, insulation, winds per layer – there are a lot of factors. Whenever I felt I was close I used them at a gig to hear how they sat in the band. Pickups can sound quite different next to a drummer or in a mix. I tweaked and adjusted…
Eventually I was happy with the design and I was lucky enough to have legendary Kiwi band ‘Head Like A Hole’ help out with road testing. I knew if they came back from tour happy then I was on to a winner. They did.
When you get it right it feels so good, a sensitive pickup rich in harmonics is so much fun so I called it the “Cloud Nine” which how I felt at the end of it all.
This is the pickup set I gig with myself in my covers band now. I have them in an Epiphone Sheraton with treble bleeds on the volume pots. With this set up it works for everything from The Smiths to Metallica and all points in between. I don’t feel the need to swap guitar – these pickups work for everything.
Here are some sound samples recorded clean through a Fender Princeton Reverb-Amp. The overdrive sounds are using an Electroharmonix Soul Food. The guitar is a ’98 Les Paul Std with D’Addario 10-52’s. All of them with the same guitar, same amp, same settings, no reverb or eq added later.