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.

Lollar Pickups Holiday Schedule

We will be closing our shop to enjoy a much-anticipated holiday break. Our last day of business will be Wednesday, the 23rd of December. We will be back in the shop on Monday January 4th, 2010.

If you’re ready to spend some of your “Christmas money” feel free to visit our Lollar Pickups web site – open 24/7. Our full product line is available on the web site, as well as the most up-to-date information.

If you have technical questions, we have many resources right on our web site. This material can often answer most of your questions – especially with a little digging. For example, our Lollar Pickups FAQ page literally contains the answers to the majority of general technical questions that we receive. A PDF file of this section is also available to download and print. This is worthwhile doing, even if you don’t have questions. This Lollar Pickups FAQ section contains some very good general technical information that any technically-minded player would benefit from.

Another good resource is our Lollar Pickups technical information page. This page will tell you the DC resistance and inductance values of our pickups. It will also tell you what type of magnets are in our most popular pickups.

We all thank you for your business throughout 2009, and we wish you a very enjoyable holiday season.

And cheers to a great 2010!

Happy Holidays from Lollar Pickups

Happy Holidays from Lollar Pickups

Lollar making Iggy Pop “Raw Power” Les Paul humbuckers

James Williamson, guitarist for the group Iggy Pop & the Stooges, is having a reproduction made of the Les Paul that he played on the album, “Raw Power.” The replica is being built by luthier Brian Michael of Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, California.
James Williamson and his Les Paul

James Williamson and his Les Paul

Jason & James Williamson's Les Paul

Jason & James Williamson's Les Paul

Williamson and Michael have asked Jason to do his best to replicate the sound and overall “vibe” of the guitar’s original humbucker pickups. (Although bear in mind that even if the tone is an “exact match” there is no way to imbue a pickup with the “mojo” of such a unique player.)

The guitar’s original humbuckers have their coils exposed, which are all black, “T-top” coils.

T top humbuckers get their name from the letter “T” that is molded into the plastic of the bobbins.

Originally, the T was used to denote the top side of the bobbin, for manufacturing purposes. T top humbuckers are also known as “patent number pickups.” The sticker on the metal base plate of these humbucker pickups has an actual patent number. This is different than the sticker on the bottom of PAF pickups, which reads, “Patent Applied For.” The T top humbucker pickups were used from approximately 1965 to 1975, and there are some similarities to a common PAF pickup.

On a side note, James Williamson also produced the Iggy Pop album, “New Values.” This album is one of Jason’s favorite records. You can follow this link to visit James Williamson’s web site.

Lollar “Broiler” Pickups Now Available

We are making a reproduction of the classic vintage pickup with the “jangle” in it’s bones. These pickups were used from the mid 50s to the 70s and are known for creating a signature “bell-like” tone . They are also often remembered as being a distinctive part of the John Lennon sound.

This pickup was used for both guitars and basses, and in typical ’50’s fashion, there was no allowance for string number or spacing variation. For example, some basses were installed with pickups that had 6 pole pieces. The new versions of Lollar “Broiler” pickups measure 7.8 KΩ for the neck pickup, and 8.1 KΩ for the bridge pickup. They can be used for surface mount or pickguard mount.

Lollar now makes a "toaster" style pickup

Lollar "Broiler"

We have modified the appearance to avoid trademark issues regarding the two horizontal black lines on the face of the pickup, but the internal construction and winding is the same as the vintage versions.

Overall size is 3.5” x 1.5.” The pole spacing in 2 inches as measured from center to center of the outside poles. The pole pieces are .25” diameter AlNiCo 5 rod magnets.

The Lollar toaster pickup is made with AlNiCo5 magnets

The Lollar "Broiler" pickup is made with AlNiCo5 magnets

The pickups are available our web site, so you call us directly or order online.   The price for a set is $260, plus shipping.

Lollar Installation and Technical Videos Available

Some of you have already made use of the various video clips about installing Lollar pickups. But we are posting this blog to make sure we let everyone know about this great resource.

Currently there are 6 videos available on YouTube. You can link to 5 of them directly on our web site. They include a 5-part series on Lollar Mini Humbucker installation, a 3-part series on installing Lollar Strat pickups; a 7-part series on Lollar P-90 pickup installation; a 2-part series on Lollar Charlie Christian pickup installation (for Tele); and a single video that takes you through a Lollar Melody Maker pickup & pickguard installation. There is also a newer video that has not yet been linked directly to our web site. That video is a good instructional video on proper pickup height adjustment of Lollar pickups. That video is currently accessible directly through YouTube.

Lollar McCarty style pickup is perfect for the Godin 5th Avenue

Lollar McCarty style pickup is perfect for the Godin 5th Avenue acoustic archtop

Also, over the next few weeks we will be posting two new video segments. One of them will show Jason installing a Lollar McCarty style pickup / pickguard assembly onto a Godin 5th Avenue acoustic archtop guitar. The second new video will feature steel guitar player extraordinaire, Orville Johnson, demonstrating and comparing the Lollar Chicago Steel pickup and the Lollar Supro style pickup.

Latest News about Jason’s book, “Basic Pickup Winding”

1-What motivated you to release a 4th edition of your book, “Basic Pickup Winding?”

I was seeing fake copies of my book being passed off on eBay as original copies. The book has become collectable, selling for between $250 to $500 a copy, so you can imagine a lot of fakes were being produced and sold. We actually had people that bought these copies and send them to us for verification to see if they were legitimate or not.

Basic Pickup Winding by Jason Lollar
Basic Pickup Winding by Jason Lollar


Trying to reproduce a printed product like a book to match in every way is actually quite expensive and usually there are 5 or 6 obvious telltale differences in the copies that we can easily identify. I never cared if people sold used legitimate copies for whatever price, but being deliberately fraudulent is something I just couldn’t put up with. Even though it has been out of print, I still wanted to retain my copyright in case I wanted to sell it again so I have always patrolled for people selling unauthorized copies in any form. I wrote the book, it’s my property, so I feel anyone benefiting from its sale or distribution in any form should be me. I think people severely underestimate the time and effort it takes to create, edit, publish and service a book of even its smallish size. I had originally intended to write more material to make a 4th edition, but so many pirate copies had been selling for $500 a copy recently that I decided to just clean up the last edition enough to re-print that and get it out there as quickly as I could. If there is an official expanded edition coming out it will be some unknown amount of time out there in the future. 

2-When will it be ready to be released – approximately?

Things should be ready in the next 2 to 4 weeks. I am just having a few problems with formatting on a few pages and need to determine what’s causing the problem. Once that is cleared up I could probably have the first batch within a week or two after that.

3-What format will it be in?

I am re-issuing it as a printed book again with a spiral binding because it is used as a reference while you are working. It’s more useful to be able to have the book on your bench. The spiral binding allows you to lay it all the way open without the book springing shut and also allows you to fold it in half so it’s the size of one page if you like. That keeps the workbench space it consumes half its possible size. Also being a printed book you can write notes on the inside of the front and back covers so all your specs are in one place.

4-What will be the selling price – even a rough idea?

I am considering a price around $35 but that’s just an estimate. I need to look over the cost of materials, printing, binding, advertising and distribution.

5-What is the best way to know when we can place an order?

The best way to keep up-to-date would be to subscribe to this blog. It automatically sends out an email when anything new is posted. When the book is ready, we will post it on this blog.

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