Custom Pickups, Handwound in Manchester
My pickups are 100% handwound (scatterwound) on bobbins or hand cut vulcanised black flatwork with individually set eyelets to hold the wiring. Each pickup is scatterwound at constant speed of around 800rpm with 42 AWG (46 SWG) or 43 AWG (46.5 SWG) plain enamel or vintage formvar copper wire at the right amount of tension. Pinched between forefinger and thumb on one of my handbuilt pickup winding machines, the tension I look for is just enough for the copper wire to warm a little whilst giving a noticeable 'pull' on the smaller motors I use.
Use the drop-down menu above to see my range of Strat, Tele, P90, Humbucker, Jaguar, Jazmaster & Bass custom Pickups.
Handwound / Scatterwound Pickups - Made in Manchester
Unlike machine wound pickups, handwound (also called scatterwound) pickups can have a richer harmonic voice. The wraps of very thin coil wire are scatterwound, overlapping as the coil is built up to the required size for each particular pickup. A handwound / scatterwound coil does take time. I wind my pickups at slowish speed with varying tension to give a more open voice, overlapping the wraps of fine coil with a scattered pattern. Unlike many uniformly pre-tensioned, machine wound coils, I like to wind my Creamery handwound pickups with a lower capacitance with a slightly higher resonant peak to give more dynamics in the tone, more clarity and improved string definition especially at gain.
Wax Potting Pickups
Once wired and after passing final testing with digital meters I start the wax-potting process in a combination of 30% beeswax / 70% paraffin wax. I use a generous amount of beeswax in the potting process as it ensures the solidified coil is less brittle under cold temperatures, thereby making the chance of damage to the delicate coil wire far less likely. Potting the pickup removes any trapped air in the coil and helps to stop microphonic feedback at high gain.
Of course, pickups can be purchased unpotted - Under low to medium gain, un-potted pickups can have a microphonic effect which can enhance the tone of the wood and help the pickup be that little bit more sensitive to individual picking. High gain users should request potted pickups as the microphonic effect can become a damn unpleasant squeal when cranked up high. (Though the vintage PAFs on those $1million dollar Les Paul '59s weren't! ... But that was over 50yrs ago when amp technology was both a little different and a little quieter.)
Custom Pickups - Wound to Order
All my pickups are custom wound, often to customers own specs when ordered. I don't have a shelf of pickups all boxed up ready to send so when you order pickups from me, they're made for you.
The pickups in my range can be a starting point when looking for the right tone for your guitar but often I will craft custom pickups specifically for the customer. As I said, I don't have a shelf of pickups boxed up and ready to ship, each pickup is wound to order based on the customer's unique spec.
Custom Pickup Options
Whether it be a strat pickup for a tele neck, a humbucker with flat baseplate or an upgrade to those muddy reissue Wide Raneg Humbuckers, I can custom design & wind you a set of custom pickups.
If you're seeking a little advice on the best type of pickup for your guitar, or simply want a custom pickup made to your specifications, just get in touch and we can chat about all the custom pickup options.