Thursday, 1 September 2022
Tuesday, 23 August 2022
Tuesday, 14 June 2022
Was great to see this Brett Kingman demo using a Tele Cabronita with Mr Glyns The Tron pickups to demonstrate some really cool pedals the other day. He’s got dozens of guitars to choose from, so chuffed he chose my pickups.
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.
There are more demos here: https://mrglynspickups.com/2021/09/22/thetron/
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.
Wednesday, 16 February 2022
Had some fun today making a short stop-motion movie of Roboguy to demonstrate an Integrity humbucker in a HSS Strat.
The 'real' guitar is being played by Warren Mendonsa aka Blackstratblues.
Of course, any of my humbuckers will work as part of a HSS Strat set but I think the Integrity matches single coil pickups best.
For more demos of this pickup have a look here: https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/integrity-vintage-humbucker-2/
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 in a HSS Strat
Sunday, 13 February 2022
I’ve just published a couple of videos on YouTube entitled ‘Eat My Packaging’. The idea is to demonstrate that our packaging is compostable and to have some fun at the same time.
I’d love other businesses to think about how they send their products and maybe make some changes.
If you think this is a good idea I’d love it if you could share it on your social media and maybe ask a business to do the same and post a video or pictures on #eatmypackaging
Here’s the short version:
And there’s a longer talky one:
No pickup makers were harmed in the making of this video.
Eat My Packaging is not something I recommend you try and do – you’ve got way more sense than that.
Mr Glyn’s Pickups is a small manufacturer operating from one of the more distant corners of the planet sending delicate products all over the World. If we can manage to use fully bio degradable packaging then there’s no reason why others can’t. You don’t need bubble wrap, you don’t need plastic bags.
I’m going to use this video to encourage my suppliers to do the same. Too many of the parts we use arrive in plastic bags. We do our best to re-use these and some can be re-cycled. It isn’t perfect but we’re working on it.
The products we sell contain plastics and metals but our pickups are designed to last at least 50 years and after that are repairable. Again not perfect, but we’re doing our best.
If you think this is a good idea please share on all your social media, tell your friends and maybe challenge a business to #eatmypackaging
Next time I’ll try and make a cheese toastie
Thursday, 27 January 2022
Had a great time chatting with the guys at The Guitar Knobs Podcast the other day. We talked about pickup design, methods of construction, materials and my favourite pedals.
If you want to hear more, here’s a chat with The Australian Guitar Show from 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-t1MWB87hY&t=13s
MrGlyn’s Pickups is based at Muriwai Beach near Auckland, New Zealand. From low powered “vintage” to powerful rock monsters. We care about your tone.
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. https://mrglynspickups.com/
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.
The Guitar Knobs Podcast
Wednesday, 22 December 2021
It’s always interesting to see where my pickups end up, in this case Hamurana Guitars NZ.
They make World class guitars combining looks, playability and tone. I’ve played a few – they are outstanding.
Hamurana have used my pickups in a few builds and it’s always great to see what he comes up with. This time he’s used a pair of my my Black Sand humbucker size P90’s.
You can get in touch with Hamurana Guitars and order your dream guitar here:
Here’s more info on the Black Sand pickups:
The humbucker sized P90 is a great pickup – it sits tonally between a humbucker and and a strat type pickup. If your neck humbucker is a bit thick and woolly sounding for you, you want more clarity, or just want a different tone, then this one may be the answer. The physical size of this pickup is identical to that of a “normal” humbucker so it will pop straight in.
P90’s are different to other single coil pickups. They have a wide, flat coil similar to that of a Jazzmaster but the magnetic field is a very different shape. Fender single coil pickups have the coil wound around the magnet giving a focused, precise percussive sound. A P90 has 2 bar magnets underneath the coil; this broadens the magnetic window allowing the pickup to listen to a bit more string and thickens the sound. I chose Alnico V bar magnets for this model to help give some grit and power characteristic of a P90.
Of course, too much power and the pickup would sound too thick and bass heavy which is not its purpose. Too little power and it just won’t snarl.
Humbucker sized P90s are such a useful pickup. They sit tonally between a single coil and a humbucker (roughly speaking). and their physical size means they pop straight into any humbucker equipped guitar.
The development of my “Black Sand” pickup was a bit backwards. Usually I make a bridge pickup first and work from there but with this one the neck pickup came first. I had a customer ask for a neck pickup for an es335 to sound clearer than his existing Gibson humbucker. I sold a few neck pickups before thinking it would be a good idea to have a set. So I started work on the bridge pickup.
I wanted this bridge pickup to have clarity in the lower mids to stand out from humbuckers while having enough power to grit up nicely. I wanted it to be clean when tickled and to growl at you when you dig in. P90’s are all about dynamics. It had to match the existing neck pickup or work well as a stand alone in a HSS situation.
Of all the pickups in my range this one came together the quickest. There were only 4 or 5 prototypes and I was happy. Experience and intuition combined with a notebook where I’ve written down details of every experimental pickup I’ve made since 1995.
There were a load of prototypes in and out of a Les Paul, Tele Delux and PRS, through different amps and in the hands of different players. I never trust just my own ears with my pickups. I like to get opinions and suggestions from a few players before making any final decisions. I listen to what players say and I adjust prototypes accordingly, but at the end of the day the final decision is mine. I’m always aware of the phrase “a camel is a horse designed by committee”.
It took a while to get this one right. A pickup would sound great at workshop volume, them I’d play it in a band situation and it would be too boomy, too much like a humbucker. So I’d have a think and make another. In the end persistence paid off.
The pickups I finally settled on went into my Les Paul and off to a gig for the ultimate test, and that’s where they’re staying.
The neck “Black Sand” is a great match for either my “Integrity” or “Cloud Nine” bridge humbuckers or as a set with its equivalent “Black Sand” bridge humbucker sized P90.
I agonised over what to call this pickup set. I wanted a name that would reflect the apparent contradiction in P90’s. From the perspective of a humbucker player they are clear and chiming. From the viewpoint of a single coil player they are powerful and gritty. They’re one thing while looking like another. I wanted a oxymoron to reflect this contradiction, one that might include the unique magnetic structure that gives the P90 its character. So I went for a run along Muriwai beach to think. And there it was staring me in the face (literally). Muriwai has black volcanic sand due to its iron content and it’s magnetic. So I’ve called this set “Black Sand”.
I’m very happy with this pickup – hopefully you will be too.