Posted on Leave a comment

Dirty Jack – don’t blame your pickups

The season is changing, old guitars are coming out of cupboards, if your electrics are crackly it might just be a Dirty Jack – don’t blame your pickups.
 It’s pretty simple really, if you’ve got a crackly guitar the jack may just need cleaning. Don’t blame your pickups straight away, jack sockets, switches and pots are more likely to cause problems than your pickups.

Of course, when you eliminate all the other possibilities you might be needing me:

Incidentally, it’s an “output” jack, not an “input” jack – just a pet hate of mine.

You can see the jack in this Les Paul is looking a tad fluffy. This one isn’t very bad but it’s worth a clean anyway as part of a set up.

Les Paul jack Mr Glyn's Pickups

I use 600 grade wet’n’dry paper used dry.

Mr Glyn's Pickups

I simply tear a piece off, roll it up and clean the jack out with it. A squirt with some contact cleaner can help. It’s good to keep a piece in your guitar case in case your jack goes crackly at a gig.

Dirty Jack  - cleaning

 You can see a fair bit of dirt can come off even this relatively clean jack. Just think what that was doing to your earth connection.

Dirty Jack - how to clean it

If a jack is really bad and you are gigging just replace it. It doesn’t cost much and it’s something you just can’t do without. If your jack stuffs up on stage it’s not a good look. I always have a small piece of 600 grade in my gig bag just in case.

Enjoy this? You may also like…

updated 3 April 2023

Dirty Jack – don’t blame your pickups

Posted on Leave a comment

Larry and the Trons

Larry and the Trons is a short video by Brett Kingman to demonstrate Mr Glyn’s Pickups TheTron pickup set in a Telecaster Cabronita.

I sent him a set of TheTron pickups to make a demo and this is the 4th video he’s made – he must like them.

I designed TheTron pickup set with Gretsch guitars in mind and in particular the lightly overdriven sound of early Malcolm Young. It’s great when a player takes your design and makes you re-think it.

Since Brett fitted his set into a Telecaster Cabronita I’ve changed the spec of these pickups and now offer them in 52mm and 49.2mm spacing to match Fender style bridges. I do try and listen to players whenever I can.

TheTron pickup set is based around the legendary Gretsch pickups Of the 50’s and 60’s. To say TheTron has character is an understatement. TheTron is full and rounded with a well balanced mid range but with that distinctive ‘Clank’ that separates it from other pickups. The neck pickup is clear and fat and the bridge stands out from the mix without ever sounding harsh.

Over the years I’ve repaired a fair few old Gretsch pickups and noticed the best sounding ones are at the upper range for ohms. I’ve taken that design and tweaked it until I got the fullness I was looking for but without loosing clarity or clank.

Most of my pickups are made in collaboration with a professional player, but not TheTron. I started playing guitar at the age of 16 when I first heard Malcolm Young – a Filtertron through an almost clean valve amp. I didn’t feel I needed another set of ears for this one, I knew exactly what I wanted.

I needed this pickup set to be crystal clear with a clean amplifier but to come into its own when pushing an amp to clip. The neck pickup needed to be clear, full and chiming in both a big archtop and in the neck position of a Telecaster. The bridge pickup needed to have no shortage of character, a clean almost jangly tone when played gently but with enough go in it to push the front end of a valve amp to clip when you dig in.

TheTron is the perfect pickup as a Gretsch upgrade, for the modern player wanting something other than Gibson style humbuckers, rockabilly players after that traditional tone, jazz players or, like me, Malcolm Young fans. There’s so much you can to with The Tron.

For the modern player with one foot in the past.

Here’s TheTron’s home page for more info and demos

Mr Glyns TheTron pickup set. Larry and the Trons

Larry and the Trons

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

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 –

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

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

Posted on Leave a comment

“Silver Lady” Telecaster Pickups

Telecaster Pickup Set

I make two flavors of Telecaster Pickups. Here’s the low powered “Silver Lady in the hands of Jason Herbert.

To hear the “Cruel Mistress” Tele set and lots more demos go to my YouTube channel.

Telecasters are brutally honest guitars. There’s no hiding behind fat mushy tones – if you can do it on a Tele then you really can do it.

I wanted to make a Telecaster Pickups set that would reflect the clear honest tone of an old Tele. It’s a delicate balance to get enough treble and for the top end to have sufficient warmth to be usable, but with no hint of woof or boom in the bottom. The bottom needs to be full and clear with no hint of muddiness. The bridge needs a twang but it has to be a warm twang without being over harsh. I’ve used Alnico III magnets with a vintage style wind on both these pickups

Through my repair work I’ve re-wound a lot of old Tele pickups. This is invaluable experience for designing my own version. I enlisted the help of a couple of experienced Telecaster players as test pilots. I really needed plenty of opinions and testing through a variety of amplifiers to get this one right.

I’m really happy with the warm classic tone of this set, clear and chiming with just the right twang. So I have given them a classic name – “Silver Lady”.

MrGlyn’s Pickups Silver Lady Telecaster Bridge pickup
MrGlyn’s Pickups – Silver Lady


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.