Lollar Pickups Blog

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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.

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