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.

Best Selling Lollar Humbucker Style Pickups

This is the fourth article in a series about best selling Lollar pickups. In this post we will talk a little about best selling Lollar Imperial® humbuckers, plus give you an overview of the three full sized, stock humbucking pickups that we build. For this discussion we’ll stick to our full sized humbuckers only.

Lollar Imperial® Humbuckers:

We build three general categories of Lollar Imperial® humbuckers. They are categorized based on their output levels, using the standard wind Imperial as the “baseline” or point of reference. The three categories are the Lollar Imperial (considered our standard wind), the Low Wind Imperial, and the High Wind Imperial.

As the name implies, the Lollar Low Wind Imperial is a slightly lower output pickup as compared to our standard wind Imperial. Our High Wind Imperial is a slightly higher output pickup as compared to our standard wind Imperial. For detailed descriptions and sound clips of the three different full sized humbuckers we build, follow this link to read about Lollar Imperial® humbuckers.

On a side note, this is a good opportunity to clarify the word “wind” as used in the names Low Wind and High Wind. This word refers to the amount of copper wire that is wrapped – or wound – around the humbucker bobbins to form a “coil.” The wire is wrapped around and around the bobbin, literally thousands of times to make each coil. The number of times the wire is wrapped around the bobbin is called the “turn count.” The turn count is the number of times the copper wire is “wound” around the bobbin. The term Low Wind refers to the fact that there are fewer times the copper wire is wound around the bobbin to make a coil. The term High Wind refers to the fact that there are more times the copper wire is wound around the bobbin to make a coil.

A favorite: standard Lollar Imperial humbuckers, with nickel covers and traditional single conductor leads.

A favorite: standard Lollar Imperial humbuckers, with nickel covers and traditional single conductor leads.

Getting back to best selling Lollar humbuckers: Our standard Lollar Imperial is our best selling humbucker – by far. We sell roughly 50% more Lollar standard Imperials than Low Wind and High Wind Imperials combined.

Each of our humbucker models is available in eight different “finishes.” These include nickel, chrome, gold, aged, heavy aged, double-black, zebra, and reverse zebra. In addition, each of these is available in your choice of either the traditional Gibson style single conductor lead wire or 4-conductor lead wire. So in other words, you have 16 different choices of standard Lollar Imperial sets to choose from.

Among all of these choices, our nickel covered single conductor Lollar Imperial sets are the top sellers. The second most popular Imperials are (again) our nickel covered Imperial sets, but with 4-conductor leads. Our third best selling full sized humbucker is our Low Wind Imperial neck, with nickel cover and single conductor lead wire. This item is popular for two reasons. First, our Low Wind nickel single conductor sets are popular with archtop players. Second, our Low Wind nickel single conductor necks are great for tele applications. The Low Wind Imperial neck (usually nickel, single conductor) is frequently combined with the Lollar Special Tele bridge.

Now, like we have mentioned throughout this series, there really is no “wrong” answer. All of our pickups have their own advantages. The best approach is to know what your specific goals are, and then make your selection based on what you’d like to accomplish for the particular project or guitar you are working on.

Next week’s discussion will be about a few other popular “miscellaneous” items.

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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