Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blade moments

Well they don't look like much right now but these will become blade pickups at some point. A blade of steel, some fiberboard, and a few no hole plastic covers. I must find a better way to cut the blades. I used a hacksaw. Of course the hacksaw isn't exactly precise so I clamped the blades together and ground the edges true.

I still have to wind them and polish the top of the blade on each.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Diablo Humbucker Prototypes for Sale

Introducing the Diablo Humbucker.

I am proud to announce our first Humbucker. The Diablo, named after the guitar they were originally designed for. While building the Diablo project guitar, we made a set of custom bloodwood pickups for it. The owner wanted something that could play all of the music he likes from Sabbath to early Ozzy to Lamb of God. It was a tall task, but I had a pretty good idea. We went through all the pickups I have and made some decisions. He wanted more agressive than his PRS, more warmth than the EMG Zakk Wylde Model LP, more growl than his LP standard, and a little more controlled than the JB in my King V. We both like some of the early 80s Distortion HBs but always thought they were a little too harsh (mainly do to the ceramic magnets) and the over-wind. We had a need for a good pickup to use with maple top guitars. These things are exciting.


We used a high grade Allstar Alnico 8 magnet in the bridge, Elektrisola 43awg wire and tried to build a pickup that was aggressive yet articulate with good bite and growl. One of the things the Alnico8 does is make the highs sparkle. This results in a surprising HiFi feel without sounding cold. It also adds punch to the lows giving the pickup good balance. The next thing was to wind the pickup hot enough to break up a clean tube amp but not a clean solid state. We ended up at 11.3k ohms (necks are 8.4k - 9k), so depending on how you pick you get sparkly clean or a good bite. Distorted, the Diablo retains all of its clarity without being harsh or quacky so even at thrash speed every note is clear on legato runs. The response to the volume knob is really good with only a touch of the knob to back it down. As a result of the Alnico 8 these are loud pickups so the neck has an Alnico5 to match the outputs.

Specs Bridge:
String Spacing - 53mm (2-3/32")
Wiring - 4 conductor
Magnet - Alnico8
DC Resistance - (11.3k - 11.5k)
Baseplate - Nickel Silver Humbucker Frame Short Legs

Specs Neck:
String Spacing - 50mm (1-31/32")
Wiring - 4 conductor
Magnet - Alnico5
DC Resistance - (8.5k - 9k)
Baseplate - Nickel Silver Humbucker Frame Short Legs

Satisfied with the results, I am going to sell off the prototypes. We made 5 sets to test the theory. I have 5 bridge and 5 neck pickups (of course I can make more). I am selling them individually at $50 each or $100 per set. If you buy 2 or more I will throw in free shipping in the US (for International I will discount the shipping).