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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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pickup upgrade

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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
Mr Glyns Pickups
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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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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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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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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

Mr Glyns Pickups Logo - Roboguy
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Integrity-vintage humbucker