Sunday, 13 June 2021

‘78 Musicman Stingray Bass pickup re-wind

 Mr Glyn's Pickups

The Musicman Stingray bass is for me one of the top 3 basses ever – the Precision, the Jazz and the Stingray cover pretty much everything between them. A big part of what makes the Stingray so good is the Musicman Stingray Bass pickup

It has such a distinctive sound. Once you’re tuned into it you can hear it on so many recordings.

This pickup is from 1978 (they started in 1976) and was sent to me from a customer in Christchurch. I thought I’d show you around inside it – these are really interesting pickups.

‘78 Musicman Stingray Bass pickup

The Musicman Stingray Bass pickup is by the look of it a big fat humbucker but there’s more to it.

The magnets are big alnicoV’s, 3/8” diameter and 5/8” deep so a lot of the power and grunt comes from them. The 2 coils are wound with awg 42 wire and are around 4KOhms each (they vary). The poles on each coil have opposite polarity and the coils are wired out of phase electrically so they act as a humbucker. The really interesting part is the coils are wired in parallel, not in series like most humbuckers.

The sound of 2 coils in parallel is the sound of a Jazz bass with both pickups on or a Strat on switch position 2 or 4. It’s a very distinctive, clear tone with a very clear midrange and chimney bass.

So the distinctive Stingray sound comprises of fairly low powered coils in parallel to give plenty of clarity but with exceptionally fat magnets to give bass and grunty mids.

I haven’t mentioned the active circuit the signal goes through yet but that’s another story.

‘78 Musicman Stingray Bass pickup

As you can see, under the cover it looks very similar to ‘Fender’ pickups.

‘78 Musicman Stingray Bass pickup

One coil was open circuit so I cut the windings out. There was tape wrapped around the magnets to protect the coil. I left that in. I love the way they staggered the pole pieces but kept the magnets the same size.

pickup re-wind

The original winding wire is insulated with red poly. Unfortunately I only had Poly insulation in the natural colour – that’s my coil on the right.

MusicMan Stingray Pickup

And there she is, all ready to go back in to the bass.

If anyone has a faulty pickup just give me a call 021912678 or email

Take a look at my YouTube series “Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker” where I have chat with manufacturers of musical gear from around New Zealand

Thursday, 10 June 2021

“Tui” hot Strat pickups getting a workout


Thanks to for showing us what the “Tui” hot Strat pickups can do.

“Tui” hot Strat pickups

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.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

“Silver Lady” Telecaster Pickups

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”.


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.

Monday, 17 May 2021

7 String Humbucker - “Attitude” by MrGlyn’s Pickups

 Thinking of a 7 String Humbucker for modern metal/fusion? 

MrGlyn’s “Attitude” humbucker (6 or 7 string) was developed in collaboration with Graham Young in the UK. He’s a pretty demanding player with an amazing ear for detail. 

For the full story of how we did it and for more demos go to my blog:



Attitude humbucker - Mr Glyn's Pickups


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

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Free Stuff for NZ Music Month


New Zealand Music Month is here and to celebrate MrGlyn’s Pickups wants to help you look good.

With every pickup set bought from the website in May we’re going to give you a free “Robo Aotearoa” T-Shirt.

If you buy a single pickup we’ll give you a treble bleed and a pick holder as usual but if you get a pickup set you get a T-Shirt too.

Here I am modelling (luckily not my chosen career)


And here’s the choice of colours and sizes.


When you order your pickup set just write in ‘Order Notes” at the checkout to let us know which size and colour you’d like. Don’t order it from the “Merchandise” page, it will try and charge you and then it’s not free.

This is only for New Zealand retail customers, only for full sets of pickups and only in May, simple.

If you just want the T-Shirt and no pickups you can buy one from the “Merchandise “ page.

Support NZ music – go and see some live bands and buy some music.

Don’t forget to check out my YouTube series “Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker” for interviews with NZ guitar and pedal makers .

Monday, 19 April 2021

Ep#10 Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker - Rod Capper Guitars


Rod Capper has been making classical guitars near Auckland for 35 years. I was interested in discussing the conflict between tradition and innovation in the classical guitar making world. I got way more than I bargained for. Rod's constant experimentation has led him to some interesting conclusions and caused me to re-think my view of how guitars work. 

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Ep#9 Mr Glyn Meets Your Maker – Red Witch Pedals

 This was a real treat for me, getting to have a chat with Ben Fulton from Red Witch pedals. He’s a Kiwi legend and has designed some of the most imaginative pedals out there. I’m amazed at his constant evolution and pushing the boundaries.