Lollar Pickups Blog

Welcome to the Lollar Pickups Blog, where we discuss in detail the finer points of Lollar Pickups and share the latest news from the Workbench.

A Humbucker By Any Other Name

Humbucker… What’s in a word?

The basic construction of a “traditional” humbucker style pickup hasn’t changed much over the years, but the various recipes yield vast differences in tone

The term humbucker probably brings to mind the “Gibson” sound, or rather – and more specifically –  the “Patent Applied For” or “P.A.F.” sound. The pickups made by Gibson in this narrow time frame, spanning from the late ’50s to early ’60s (though the patent was officially awarded in 1959) have become synonymous with what a humbucker “should” sound like. Never mind the fact that rarely would you ever find two P.A.F.-era pickups that share the same exact sound, but that’s a whole other topic unto itself. Because of this, what is now considered a traditional humbucker has become as much form as it is function.

P.A.F. (Patent Applied For) style pickups have become the ubiquitous humbucker, even though today, many humbuckers that may look similar to the original sound very little like the source of inspiration.

 

 

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Welcome To The DULLhouse

We get asked all the time, “Why does my old pickup sound dull?”

There are many reasons the tone can suffer on vintage pickups…

These p'ups aren't just *playing* dead... They're dead!

These p’ups aren’t just *playing* dead… They’re actually dead!

 

We can’t resurrect or improve every beaten, tired, old pickup that we come across. Some of them, like the ones seen above, are just too far gone. Only a complete rebuild, with brand new parts could bring them back to life – but at that point, you may as well just replace it! You can’t shine a turd, as they say (even if you could, you’d still just have a shiny turd). But, just maybe, your dull sound isn’t the turd you thought it was, so in this edition, we’ll address the possible causes and potential solutions.

 

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If you don’t talk to your pickups about potting, who will…?

"I learned it from watching you..."

“I learned it from watching you…”

We will, that’s who!

Potting is the process of soaking the pickup in melted wax, in order to saturate the components, which will isolate them and reduce movement of the coils. Because of this, potted pickups have reduced likelihood of excessive handling noise, microphonic feedback or mechanical failure. However, if a pickup is potted too much, the pickup can often sound lifeless and dull, lacking character and “vibe”.

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Kazumi Watanabe, Collings, and Lollar!

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Kazumi Watanabe - photo by Leslie Kee

We always love to hear about great guitar players, especially when they are using our pickups! Our Japanese distributor, Zenbu Japan, recently informed us that the legendary Kazumi Watanabe has been spinning many of his burning jazz and fusion lines on a Collings SoCo, complete with Lollar Imperials!

Mr. Watanabe has been one of Japan’s most important and influential guitarists (and composers) since the mid-seventies. He has played and recorded with many of the worlds greatest musicians, and received the prestigious Fumio Nanri Award in 1991. He has also been a visiting professor of music at Senzoku Gakuen College since 1996.

Please enjoy his playing!

Whole Lotta Lollar…

What do you get when you cross Classic Albums Live with The Mighty Zep, with a generous portion of Lollar Imperials throw in? Well, this actually:

Dom Polito

Jimmy

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