As a contrast to pickups for Strats and Teles, a plethora of components and parameters influence the sounds produces by Gibson Humbucker products.
Each small metal component in the pickup has its effect on the frequency range on tap. I began to put plans together in 2003 for the production of the necessary components to fit my parameters. I looked for local producers with the necessary wherewithall to produce these parts and found precisely that. It was in the Spring of 2005 that I was finally able to construct the first Humbucker designed from scratch by myself. I did it for my customers from the outset. As I had only really got to know Peter Weihe´s 1958 Les Paul thus far and I am myself a child of that year, I named my first PAF Set HB 58.
The sound samples are from Rainer Gaffrey. To hear is always the neck pickup, then both pickups followed by the bridge pickup. To get an even more detailed picture, I recommend visiting Rainer Gaffrey's site.
A true philanderer is the bridge pickup in the HB 60 Set. Installed in a good Les Paul, just plug it into a Plexi Marshall and thrash out Paul Kossoff´s legendary “All Right Now” riff. This pickup is your perfect sparring partner here with a lean more to the Heavy side in comparison to the HB 59 bridge pickup without forgoing the required crisp presentation. A must-have for all you purists out there who are simply looking for the immediate slam you know your instruments can deliver.
HB 60 clean in Les Paul:
HB 60 crunch in Les Paul:
HB 60 driven in Les Paul:
Just like Peter Weihe´s 1958 Les Paul Standard, the HB 58 has a sparkling clarity in both the neck and bridge pickups. The neck pickup has a transparency which does not detract from the fundamental tone on tap. The bridge pickup is altogether more tight with a marked stringency in its presentation. I have often compared this with Blackguard Teles form the ´50s. Dickey Betts infamous “Jessica” sound is a good example of the elegant clarity these pickups provide.
HB 57 clean in Les Paul R7 VOS:
HB 57 crunch in Les Paul R7 VOS:
HB 57 driven in Les Paul R7 VOS:
This new set has to be the first choice for all the fans of the legendary Short Magnet - Pat. Nr. sounds. It rocks with the raucous 70s sound and a liberal shot of the Glam and Glitter of the period. You want to cover the raw early AC/DC sounds as well as “All the Young Dudes”? It´s all there! The bridge pickup is the memorable lout, capable of those harsh, shouting tones. This bully is beautifully complemented by its earthy brother in the neck position which has a fist-sized surprise waiting for you: it is not only well suited to the Hard and Heavy Brigade, but can deliver a fine basis of wonderful jazz tones of the Wes Montgomery or Joe Pass genre.
HB 58 clean in Les Paul R7 VOS:
HB 58 crunch in Les Paul R7 VOS:
HB 58 driven in Les Paul R7 VOS:
The HB 59 Set is my interpretation of the legendary ´59 PAF. In 2005 I had the amazing good fortune to be able to play a number of 1959 Les Pauls. I noticed how the tone developed in a very different manner from the ´58 Les Pauls I had come to know. These impressions led to the development of the HB 59 Set. It sounds more direct or rather more like earthy Blues and Rock with names like Eric Clapton and his Beano Sound, Gary Moore but also Billy Gibbons ´59 Les Paul, Pearly Gates and the sounds they produce. The set is also available as an LC version without caps in Zebra or Double Cream finish.
HB 59 clean in Les Paul R9 VOS:
HB 59 crunch in Les Paul R9 VOS:
HB 59 driven in Les Paul R9 VOS:
HB 59 LC clean in Les Paul:
HB 59 LC crunch in Les Paul:
HB 59 LC driven in Les Paul:
Our humbuckers are also available in the mixed sets HB58/59 and HB59/60 with covers or as LC version without covers.
HB 60 clean in 1961 Gibson SG:
HB 60 crunch in 1961 Gibson SG:
HB 60 driven in 1961 Gibson SG:
HB 62 clean in ES 1974 Gibson ES 335:
HB 62 crunch in ES 1974 Gibson ES 335:
HB 62 driven in ES 1974 Gibson ES 335:
I have a particular soft spot for the HB 57 Set. A 1957 Les Paul Gold Top really touched a nerve for me with its clear and smoky tone. There was something more to it than with the other Les Pauls I had heard, something more weighty. Robben Ford, Snowy White and the legendary slidemaestro, Duane Allman are all famous masters of this legendary instrument. The neck pickup is somewhat lighter in tone with a little more clarity than the bridge pickup.
If you talk about serious guitar, there are a few names in Germany that have to be mentioned. Gregor Hilden is one of them.
The German Gitarre & Bass magazine is spot on by calling his playing an „effortless, fluid and elegant“ mixture of Soul, Blues & Jazz. Gregor´s favourite guitar players from early on reflect his economic and sensitive style very well: Peter Green, Larry Carlton and B.B. King. Gregor asked me if I could make him some pickups which were able to reproduce Green´s legendary out-of-phase sound that Gregor was getting out of his own No.1 ´68 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop „The Golden Voice“. And I did it. That´s the story behind the new HB GH Golden Voice Set.
Here Gregor plays his Les Paul "Golden Voice". The sound served as a model for the Kloppmann HB GH Golden Voice Pickup Set.
Photos by Manfred Pollert
Gregor Hilden´s signature pickups are the weapon of choice for all the Peter Green aficionados who love the nasal, honky out-of-phase sound from albums like Fleetwood Mac „Live in Boston“. With a semi-hollow ES-style guitar you could even get the typical ´60s B.B. King sound. These pickups react very sensitive to the player´s input. As Gregor reports: „The Golden Voice Set sounds so clear and open and responds so sensitive on my picking dynamics, it´s unbevlievable! I never had new pickups that sounded so musical, no matter what style you play! Andreas Kloppmann is very pleased about this high praise: Oh, well!
Peter Weihe is a living legend in the world of guitar players. Anyone who listens to the radio will have heard his genius which ranges from the so beguiling intro in the Rainbirds hit Blueprint to his contributions on albums by Jack Bruce, Rio Reiser and Meat Loaf. The list just goes on an on.
When I first met Peter Weihe back in 1979 it was a fateful moment in the pickup doctor´s life. Peter´s 58´Gibson Les Paul Standard was the first original Burst he had ever seen, and more to the point, heard. Gibson have in fact honored this remarkable instrument with its limited model Gibson CC #28 „STP“ Burst. I have never forgotten this wonderful vintage guitar which has so characterised my perception of the perfect, mesmerizing Les Paul tone. Following years of intensive testing with Peter, I have finally created a signature set, the HB-PW which covers all the demands made of it. As Peter Weihe himself summed up „I am totally surprised but also enthralled at how the new Kloppmann Humbuckers completely capture the tone and the power of articulation so familiar from my original PAFs“.
The HB PW Deluxe Set is identical to the HB PW Set, but there are two Bumble Bee Paper In Oil Tone Capacitors enclosed.
The Kloppmann HB-PW Set is used in the video.
The Grand Master Peter Weihe wanted highly sensitive pickups offering a vast array of sounds and emotions at differing settings of the volume control. To this end, we created the HB-PW set. It covers all the bases and enchants with its bewitching tonal intensity. Whether creamy high gain or airy and clean, the HB-PW achieves an engaging balancing act. The emotion of searing lead sounds in the highest ranges in combination with clarity and definition on the lower strings, always adeptly avoiding any muddying of tones, is well beyond the reach of lesser pickups.
Andy Powell is guitarist and original member of the british rockband Wishbone Ash.
The Andy Powell Custom Beef ist the result of my cooperation with Rock Legend, Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash fame. For many years Andy used my HB 59 but wanted more “beef ” and more juice. The result is this wonderful pickup! The HB AP Custom Beef does not, just to make things clear, have any more power than a regular HB 59, it just delivers a thicker more meaty tone. This makes the pickup a natural choice for SGs and Flying Vs that have thinner bodies than a Les Paul. The AP Custom Beef compensates the lack of the mass in these thinner guitars. Andy was thrilled, as was I, and since then this powerful Humbucker has been available for all those looking for more “beef ” to feed to their rock tones.
Guitarist of the band Ela und Ratpack.
This pickup is for the Hard Boys but maintains its touch for delicate finesse. Dethy Borchardt wanted a dynamic Humbucker which could still assert itself without losing its tonal elegance in high gain drives and even at high volumes. The sound needed to be fast and thick but had to maintain its sheen despite the high output. I had the right solution for him. In contrast to classical PAF Humbuckers, this one has pole screws on both coil bodies. These adjustments allow the Borchardt to produce a host of nuances in its presenation.