In the early eighties, I started working in a music store where I serviced and repaired electric guitars. Every since those days I have been interested in how a pickup of an electric guitar worked. Together with Manfred Reckmeyer and Heinrich Sander, I discovered some secrets of the magnetic coil...
In the middle eighties, I started collecting data from every pickup that passed my workbench. To the best of my ability, I analysed these pickups and wrote down my findings. But it took time until the nineties until I was able to improve my analyse methods to understand what it was really all about.
More importantly (at least for me) recording artists like Thomas Blug (git), Jürgen Attig (bass) and Peter Weihe (git) helped me to decide which sound (frequency response) of a certain pickup model was characteristic for it’s kind and manufacturing period (this Strat®-PU sounds like Hendrix, this like Hank Marvin and this Jazz-Bass® PU like Pastorius - and of course a certain PU in a certain guitar leads to completely different sounds).
Based on this knowledge I can tell the sound of a pickup from it’s data and decide which one is good and which is not.
AT THAT TIME / TODAY
I have learned a lot of very important facts by unwinding old pickups. It usually takes me about two days to unwind a pickup, but it is always worth it! In this way, I could not only find out how many windings there are, but also how they were wound onto a coil, which in fact is very important. Just to mention a few, I unwound some Gibson® PAF Humbuckers (‘58,’61,’63,’68), Strat® pickups (‘56,’63,’66,’72) and others.
Every coil that I produce myself is individually hand-wound. The bobbin is rotated by an old Siemens® winding machine from the sixties and the wire is guided by hand. A mechanic counter counts the windings. After having a few years of experience in hand-guiding magnet wires, I can alter important parameters during the winding process which heavily influence the sound of that particular pickup.
Using a database filled with frequency response diagrams of different pickups from several manufacturers produced since the fifties, my pickups are made by comparing them with the original specifications.
Due to individual manufacturing, each pickup has its own special character. After its specs and frequency response the pickup is recommended for certain use and position (neck, middle, bridge, hot, soft). Each pickup has a production number. From this number I can recaccess the frequency response of every pickup produced. Because this production data remains saved, it is possible to choose an identical pickup from production. On request, it is possible to have a copy of the frequency response diagram. It can also be sent via e-mail. Please consider that this data is only meant for compairing-analysis using my database and does not provide absolute values.
For all of those who do not believe in data and frequency response diagrams, I have been a performing artist for 25 years, a specialist in vintage guitars and of course I do benchmark my products by listening.